How much do you recommend (or not recommend) taking DATs without core science courses finished?

jankodejenko

2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2015
288
13
Status
Pre-Dental
I've taken some basic physics, bio, and chem back in high school and early college, but never finished the series.

I mean of course it's recommended that you finish these courses before taking the DATs but how do-able is it without having taken these courses?

What is the usual recommended finished coursework before taking DAT's and when is the "best" time to take the DAT?



Thanks
 
Last edited:

Master Yoda

7+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2012
537
405
Status
Pre-Dental
I think it is recommended that you finish the prereqs before taking the DAT. So, you need to finish first year of biology and general chemistry and finish organic chemistry. It is also recommended to take A&P but it is not required. People usually take it towards the end of their sophomore year or junior year. Personally, i don't recommend taking the DAT before taking the prereqs.
 

Ari Rezaei

Senior Member
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2012
699
529
New York, NY
Status
Dental Student
I highly recommend finishing your core science classes before the DAT (bio 1&2, gen chem 1&2, and organic chem 1&2). I know some people who have taken the DAT without doing organic chemistry, but they had to work exceptionally hard to make it happen. It'll make life a lot easier when you're reviewing to have already taken the classes. Most people take the DAT in the summer they apply to dental school, but you can take it earlier so there's one less thing to think about while applying. The DAT is equally difficult at all times during the year, so the best time to take it is when you're ready.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dentalgirl101

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,186
3,038
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
I've taken some basic physics, bio, and chem back in high school and early college, but never finished the series.

I mean of course it's recommended that you finish these courses before taking the DATs but how do-able is it without having taken these courses?

What is the usual recommended finished coursework before taking DAT's and when is the "best" time to take the DAT?



Thanks
Hello jankodejenko,

I have worked with thousands of students over the years and most students would not be able to score high on the DAT without finishing the required course work, of course there are exceptions to every rule. I highly recommend you take the GenChem, Orgo and Bio before taking the DAT to assure you obtain the highest scores possible. But if you are the type of student that can learn these subjects on your own and has the self discipline to do so, it could be possible, but again not something I would recommend.

The DAT is a very challenging exam and not a test you want to take more than once, so the best advice I give any student is NOT to take the DAT until FULLY prepared.

Wishing you the best..

Nancy
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jankodejenko
Sep 9, 2014
21
14
Status
Pre-Dental
I agree with Ari and Nancy - if you can, take your core curriculum first, it will make things soooo much easier. That being said, sometimes life is inconvenient, and with determination, you can do it either way!
 

hockeyboyrw

2+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2015
24
12
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey I took the DAT without orgo 2 and got a 27 in that section and a 23 AA overall. So it's doable but I must admit that I essentially took the orgo 2 class by watching Mike Christiansen's semester 2 organic chemistry videos on YouTube and then watching Chad. So it wasn't like I just read a study guide, I actively went out and learned the material. So you can do it on your own but you gotta put the time in. Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Iwanttopulloutteeth
Sep 22, 2015
2
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I am kind of in the same boat as the OP. I am a 36 year old non-traditional student who would like to enter into dental school in fall of 2017 (I have three kids and need to get this show on the road) so I need to take the exam by summer 2016. I will only have taken Chem I and II by exam time so I am adding a 3 hour course at school which is basically a "principles of organic and bio chem" to give me the formal intro to the course and I will likely have to learn the materials on my own. My current Chem professor teaches Organic I and since she does a flipped classroom she has all of her lectures online so between the videos, my principles class and whatever test prep I decide to buy I think I will get an OK grade in the chemistry section and am looking at balancing that grade out with solid grades in the other sections. I know that is not an ideal approach to taking the DAT but I am also a practical person will review my potential scores as I take practice exams and postponing my dream for a year if necessary.
 

hockeyboyrw

2+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2015
24
12
Status
Pre-Dental
I am kind of in the same boat as the OP. I am a 36 year old non-traditional student who would like to enter into dental school in fall of 2017 (I have three kids and need to get this show on the road) so I need to take the exam by summer 2016. I will only have taken Chem I and II by exam time so I am adding a 3 hour course at school which is basically a "principles of organic and bio chem" to give me the formal intro to the course and I will likely have to learn the materials on my own. My current Chem professor teaches Organic I and since she does a flipped classroom she has all of her lectures online so between the videos, my principles class and whatever test prep I decide to buy I think I will get an OK grade in the chemistry section and am looking at balancing that grade out with solid grades in the other sections. I know that is not an ideal approach to taking the DAT but I am also a practical person will review my potential scores as I take practice exams and postponing my dream for a year if necessary.
I like your idea except for the part about taking an organic chem survey course. Yes that course will cover most of the reactions from orgo but it will not go into detail about mechanisms which could cost you points on the DAT orgo section when they ask what is the intermediate or give you answers with rearrangements. That is stuff you'll only know if you understand the mechanism. Also it seems like a waste of time/money to take that class since it won't fulfill the organic chemistry prerequisites of most dschool. I think you'd be better off just taking orgo 1 that way you learn half the reactions you need to know and their mechanisms and fulfill half of your orgo prerequisite. Then try to self study orgo two. This is my opinion though but that's what I would do.