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How hard is it to get into a CA school?

dnguyen

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  1. Pre-Dental
    I feel relieved, I just finished my DAT's on Halloween day. My scores are as so:

    PA: 23 (99.0%)
    QR: 18
    RC: 19
    Bio: 23
    GC: 21
    OC: 25
    AA: 21 (92.2%)

    I went to UC Berkeley, which I think is an okay school though my GPA suffered somewhat because of it (GPA 3.2). I've been working for a year now at a hospital and I have extensive volunteer and research experience. Does anyone have an opinion on what my chances are at getting into a dental school in CA?
     

    teefRcool

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    Sep 2, 2005
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      dnguyen said:
      I feel relieved, I just finished my DAT's on Halloween day. My scores are as so:

      PA: 23 (99.0%)
      QR: 18
      RC: 19
      Bio: 23
      GC: 21
      OC: 25
      AA: 21 (92.2%)

      I went to UC Berkeley, which I think is an okay school though my GPA suffered somewhat because of it (GPA 3.2). I've been working for a year now at a hospital and I have extensive volunteer and research experience. Does anyone have an opinion on what my chances are at getting into a dental school in CA?

      Wow those are some great scores. You will definitely get into a CA with those scores. I've seen people with your scores get in.

      Do you mind sharing how you studied for the test, how long, what materials you used. What you think is the best strategy to studying thanks. What you thought about each section on the real exam (in terms of difficulty).
       

      dnguyen

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      1. Pre-Dental
        In response to your question, I studied really hard for the test. I'm currently working full-time which made it even more difficult. Since the test did not have a timeline really helped. I took the test when I felt I was prepared and that translated to 4 months. You should do the same.

        As for studying for it, study out of the Kaplan book from front to back. I read the material at least twice and did every problem in the book plus the extra material provided from the Kaplan course. The lectures didnt really help. Finally I did all the TopScore practice tests, making sure that I went over all the explanations, wrong and right, b/c a lot of time I got the right answer for the wrong reasons.

        Make up mnemonics for yourself, especially for Bio. Its pure memorization so things like that help. For instance, POSS stands for Pistils, Ovary, Stigma, and Style for all the female parts of a plant. I won't tell you what POSS sounds very similar to. Figure that out for yourself. Likewise, I used FAther, stood for Filament and Anther for the male parts of a plant.

        The PAT just takes practice. You should developed your own way of doing this section. I made my own method when i did the hole punching which reduced my time and gave me 100% everytime i did the practice tests. I basically drew a square on a piece of paper and divided it into four sections. Then I placed dots where the holes were as i unfolded the paper in my head. You should try that. Make sure if you do like that method, to make all these squares on your scratch paper b4 you start your test. It really saves time and time is against you in this test. I think playing a lot of video games when i was young helped in this section too. Haha.

        Finally, just do as many problems as you can and go over flashcards(provided by kaplan) or ones made by yourself the day before the test. It really rejuved my memory right before I took the test w/o stressing me out. One more thing, taking a test in the morning is the best time to take a test. I took mine at 9:30am. Its been proven that test takers performed better when the same test was administered in the morning as opposed to later in the day.

        I thought the PAT was very similar to the practice test from Kaplan and TopScore, although the angle ranking was a little bit harder. The RC section was more difficult merely because of the fact, when I went to the next question, the passage would automatically scroll to the beginning of the passage, making me lose my place. Expect that to happen when you are taking it.

        Hope that helped.
         

        teefRcool

        Senior Member
        10+ Year Member
        Sep 2, 2005
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          dnguyen said:
          In response to your question, I studied really hard for the test. I'm currently working full-time which made it even more difficult. Since the test did not have a timeline really helped. I took the test when I felt I was prepared and that translated to 4 months. You should do the same.

          As for studying for it, study out of the Kaplan book from front to back. I read the material at least twice and did every problem in the book plus the extra material provided from the Kaplan course. The lectures didnt really help. Finally I did all the TopScore practice tests, making sure that I went over all the explanations, wrong and right, b/c a lot of time I got the right answer for the wrong reasons.

          Make up mnemonics for yourself, especially for Bio. Its pure memorization so things like that help. For instance, POSS stands for Pistils, Ovary, Stigma, and Style for all the female parts of a plant. I won't tell you what POSS sounds very similar to. Figure that out for yourself. Likewise, I used FAther, stood for Filament and Anther for the male parts of a plant.

          The PAT just takes practice. You should developed your own way of doing this section. I made my own method when i did the hole punching which reduced my time and gave me 100% everytime i did the practice tests. I basically drew a square on a piece of paper and divided it into four sections. Then I placed dots where the holes were as i unfolded the paper in my head. You should try that. Make sure if you do like that method, to make all these squares on your scratch paper b4 you start your test. It really saves time and time is against you in this test. I think playing a lot of video games when i was young helped in this section too. Haha.

          Finally, just do as many problems as you can and go over flashcards(provided by kaplan) or ones made by yourself the day before the test. It really rejuved my memory right before I took the test w/o stressing me out. One more thing, taking a test in the morning is the best time to take a test. I took mine at 9:30am. Its been proven that test takers performed better when the same test was administered in the morning as opposed to later in the day.

          I thought the PAT was very similar to the practice test from Kaplan and TopScore, although the angle ranking was a little bit harder. The RC section was more difficult merely because of the fact, when I went to the next question, the passage would automatically scroll to the beginning of the passage, making me lose my place. Expect that to happen when you are taking it.

          Hope that helped.

          Thanks a lot
          What do you think helped you get high scores on the chem's. Did you get A's in your chem classes? I'm kinda slow with studying for chem, and improvement is really low.
           
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          BigJ77

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            dnguyen,

            Solid post and scores, my man! I really like your hole punching suggestion. Just tried it and it does help. It helps you by not having to keep in mind where the holes are you just have to look at your paper, mark, and move on.

            Congrats on your scores! I honestly think that UC Berk is a solid school and will also help you! You are in like Flynn!

            j
             

            dnguyen

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            Nov 7, 2005
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            1. Pre-Dental
              teefRcool said:
              Thanks a lot
              What do you think helped you get high scores on the chem's. Did you get A's in your chem classes? I'm kinda slow with studying for chem, and improvement is really low.

              Yeah, Chemistry can be tough. I didnt get A's in the first half of OChem or GChem. Just B's if that makes you feel better. I just think my work ethics and study habits are better nowadays. I really have a better understanding of the things I study now. I dont study just to study, I utilize my time very efficiently and take good notes on the things I read and don't understand so that I can really go over them later.

              Because there is so much material to go over, I think it is essential to make your own notes, particularly the biology section. I dont know what I would had done if I had not done that. Looking through my notes for quick review and answers saved me so much time and energy. I say put out the time to make the notes, it was worth the investment for me.

              Everyone has their own way of studying, find the best way for you. Choose a method that will save you time and headache. Some people highlight everything they read in the books, that never helped me any, and frankly never saw the point in it.

              The best way I thought to study for Chemistry was to get the concepts down first. Ask for help on the concepts you dont understand, then do a bunch of problems to make sure you really did understand what's been taught to you. OChem takes some memorization, but if you know the basic concepts like pushing electrons, you'll be alright. Write down all the reactions you have trouble with on a nice organized table for reference. Then go over them a little everday until you know all the tough reactions by heart.

              Find patterns and similarities with reactions. For instance, the Hoffman rearrangement and the Curtius rearrangement are almost identical, just different reactants. Know one really well and you'll know the other. Find these patterns, cause they're all over the place and it'll make memorization and your life a whole lot easier. Finally, although mechanisms weren't essential for the test, if you're good at doing it, solving any OChem problem is possible and furthers your understanding of the basics of OChem. That's my 2 cents.
               
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