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help me out....

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by UMDeeMan, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. UMDeeMan

    UMDeeMan Senior Member
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    ok so i am taking a break from studying for physics and decided to calculate some gpa projections. turns out the best i can do is a 3.4-3.5 range assuming all A's from here out (bout 60 credits or so, some tough kinesiology courses coming up). so realistically my gpa will be at 3.2-3.3. here's my question to you all. when i apply for dschool, how should i go about explaining my crappy first year of college? should I just explain my situation that was at hand in my personal statement or do something else??? I had thought about making a graph or chart (very professional looking) to illustrate just how much I've changed from my first year(ex. Improvement trend and comparison of work from old school UW-madison to new school UMinnesota-duluth). basically i want to graphically illustrate for them the enormous turn around i made. i just want to mention i also took a semester off to get things straight. as of right now I have yet to recieve a grade below a B+ and this spring semester I will have completed Physics I, Chem I (redo), Bio I, Psych, and an elective which totaled 22 credits in one semester. at this exact moment I have an A, A+, A+, B, A (grades correspond to how i listed my classes). Basically, if I was not to count my first year I would be sitting on a 3.7-3.8 range gpa. I really want to illustrate this to all the schools I apply to, hence the snazy graph idea to get their attention since people rather look at pictures then words. What does everyone think? Would such a thing be a good idea? Would it be looked at as excess material and just be thrown away? Any suggestions?? sorry for the post, i blame it to the hectic semester and the high anxiety i'm now experiencing due to finals on the horizon.
     
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  3. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    Personally, I wouldn't go with the graph. I'd try my best now to keep my GPA as high as possible. Then I'd study like mad for my DATs and hopefully get in the 20+ range. With scores like that, you'll get into some dental school in the country.

    Check out the Under 3.0 Club thread and read through some of the posts. Don't lose hope. With a 3.2-3.3 GPA, a lot of schools won't be too concerned if you do reasonably well on your DATs. And if they do happen to ask at the interviews, make sure you have a good reason and make sure to convey yourself in a manner that shows them you've really changed since that year in college.
     
  4. Zurich5

    Zurich5 Membership Revoked
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    I would not make a graph. I had a similar situation to yours, and was never asked about my 2.6 first semester of college. Don't say anything unless they ask, then give them the "ohh, but I had family problems and a bad case of syphilis...." schpeal. I think you'll be fine, just rock the DAT like stated above, and interview well.
     
  5. ecdoesit

    ecdoesit DDS/MS
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    I think your first semester wont hurt you as much because adcom are quite understandable that there is a gap between high school and college. IF you have a strong enough explanation, you could tell them why you did poorly in your first semester and what you do to improve. Otherwise, I wouldnt mention it unless they ask. Definitely rock the DAT like zurich5 said. And choose your schools well and apply early. Good luck
     
  6. dr_benj

    dr_benj Senior Member
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    I don't think the graph is a bad idea....it will make you stand out. I made a 10 minute video explaining why I wanted to be a dentist, reserach, extracurriculars, etc. I sent it to every school I applied to. Everytime I would talk to the admissions director they immediately remembered me as the "guy who made the video". One of the directors even called me right after they watched it. Anything that makes you stand out is a plus. I don't think it is entirely necessary to explain yourself (although I would), all schools look at grade trend, but letting them know how hard you have been working can't hurt.
     
  7. ToothMonkey

    ToothMonkey Senior Member
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    I also had a tough time adjusting to college freshman year, but nobody ever mentioned it during my interviews. I think if you do well on the DAT then that, combined with your improved GPA later in school, will be more than enough to convince adcoms of your academic ability.
     
  8. jes1ca

    jes1ca OP Resident
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    Hello,
    I had some really bad things happen to me while I was in college (really bad) and grades during those semesters that reflected them. I wrote an essay in the section of AADSAS about things that prevented me from doing well. I wrote an honest essay and didn't whine about anything but talked about how they had given me life experience. The subjects came up in my interview a little. I still got into several schools. I think this let the adcoms know a little more about me and I don't regret it at all.

    Now I wouldn't recommend writing an essay about how you partied too much your first year caused you to get bad grades unless you make is really good. :) I also really wouldn't recommend making a chart unless you really think that it is a good idea. Most schools know that people tend to do better as they get more focus in their last couple of years of school. Just relax, apply early and you'll be fine.

    Jessica
     
  9. HBomb

    HBomb Senior Member
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    I'm with dr_benj here. I don't think it's a bad idea. It's definitely gutsy, but I actually think it could work. If I were on an adcom, I would treat it in a positive light...but I'm not so you kind of have to take my advice with a grain of salt.

    ...but I thought I'd add this: although I think it could be a good idea, the graph is also not necessary. You aren't the only one with a bad quarter or two earlier in his/her college days. In my first two years, my GPA was 2.85; I withdrew from an entire quarter; I had another quarter with just 8 units after dropping 2 classes, I've got an F and three course repeats, adding up to a whopping 60 quarter units or so in two whole years. But I recovered, just like you. During my interviews (the ones that were open file), I explained my situation as honestly as I could: I told them that academics weren't my #1 priority at that time, that my social life took precedence over my academic life, that I wasn't really ready to move away from home and take all that responsibility on my own. And then I told them that I grew up and realized why I was in school and how important it was to me...and so the interviewers bought it!!! :) no really, at least they understood where I was coming from...and I got my acceptance letter. So doing bad in your first year isn't as bad as you make it out to be. A lot of people, not just me, have been in your situation. A 3.2 - 3.3 really isn't that bad either. It's not great, but it's pretty good. FYI, I didn't bring it up in my personal statement, but it did come up at interviews.

    Good luck always.
     
  10. UMDeeMan

    UMDeeMan Senior Member
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    thanks for the posts (support) guys. i really appreciate it. i guess i just need reassurance from somewhere cause the majority of administration will tell me i have no shot and i should give up. although, after my first semester and especially after this semester, i think my kinesiology advisor will see that I'm truly capable of handling the professional school load. i'm an avid reader to most of the posts on here so I know about the under 3.0 club and it's a goal of mine not to be in it (Sorry guys, Yah-E, fellow U of M system undergrad brother). i understand the importance of the DAT and realize the key to the door to dschool admissions lies there. I honestly see no reason why i can't get 20's on the thing with minimal preparation. thanks again for the support everyone and good luck to all you in dschool and all you applicants.


    ONE MORE THING!!!!
    in terms of research experience, does it have to strictly in the dental field or do they like any kind of academia based research?? i ask this cause in my senior year i'm looking into doing some research with my major (examining various strength and conditioning programs). let me know.
     
  11. dr_benj

    dr_benj Senior Member
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    I did resarch with cardioviruses (totally not related to dentistry), however all the interviews I went to the interviewers seemed very interested in my research and I think it was definitely a plus. They know it is going to be pretty hard to find dental related research. They just like to know you have the capacity to problem solve on your own and think critically and analytically.
     
  12. UMDeeMan

    UMDeeMan Senior Member
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    so i could do research on mating patterns of the adolescent male if I wanted and they still wouldn't mind???
     
  13. jes1ca

    jes1ca OP Resident
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    Yes, but I hope you're kidding. :)
     
  14. UMDeeMan

    UMDeeMan Senior Member
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    yes, i didn't thikn about how bad that looked, i'm not a pedofile and i like to rail chicks
     
  15. Thaxil

    Thaxil Senior Member
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    This made me laugh not that is was a bad idea, but that it reminded me of the video the lead character in the movie Illegally blonde sent to Law school. It must have been good for your application.
     
  16. trypmo

    trypmo Arch Fiend
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    Recently, an awesome dentist came to speak to our pre-dental group and gave us the exact same advice (except that instead of "the guy who made the video" she was "flying squirrel girl" -- I'll always get a kick out of that)!
     
  17. jes1ca

    jes1ca OP Resident
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    Do something cool that is better than making a graph then. No offense.
    ;)
    Jessica
     
  18. UMDeeMan

    UMDeeMan Senior Member
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    bumpage, good advice, i know i have personality cause a certain reality show had me as a finalist. :)
     

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