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BRP

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Feb 22, 2007
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Hello........I am currently a Junior in college, and am really struggling here. I have wanted to be a dentist since i was a junior in high school. I have really been struggling in college recently. I THINK my current Science GPA is maybe a 2.6-ish (I am not sure how to calculate it) Here is a list of my classes/grades. Anyways, I talked with Diane Beard at UMKC awhile back and she just said 'work hard' and I am trying, but have trouble when it comes to studying........playing more than I should. I know I am not studying enough, so thats one of the first things that needs to be increased. So, could someone please look at my unofficial transcript here, and let me know just how much trouble I am in?? Thanks. If you have any hints on how to make my study habits better, I would surely appreciate the tips.


Class Hours Grade

Composition 1 3 B
Public Speaking 3 B
Composition 2 3 B
Personal Health 3 A
History (1877) 3 B

Inter. Algebra 3 A
Biology 1 4 A
Coll. Algebra 3 A
Poly Sci 3 B
Psychology 3 C

Tech and Change 3 B
Biology 2 4 C
Computing 1 3 B
Geography 3 C
Physics 4 F (Retake for C)

Cell Bio 4 C
Gen Chem 1 5 C
Fund Drafting 3 A

Anatomy 1 4 C
Personal Finance 4 A
Spanish 1 3 B


Again, if you could offer any insight I would appreciate the advice, and please be honest.
 

in her drawer

Ain't no glory in a war
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Sep 11, 2006
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It's not all GPA, dude. There are other factors that can get you in. The thing is that there's usually a minimum GPA of around 3.0. Try to get that, and hopefully you'll fill out the rest of your app with outstanding stuff.
 

BRP

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I should mention that I also have a small amount (slowly building) of both volunteer work and observing at about 5 different dental practices.
 
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djeffreyt

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GPA and DAT scores get you looked at (usually) so don't count on the extracurricular and volunteer activities to save you totally.

There are no hints. You have to figure out how you study best and realize that a 2.6 isn't going to cut it. You'll have to figure out how to buckle down yourself and play less, study more and study more effectively. What works for person A (staying out late, getting drunk, barely studying and still acing tests) doesn't always work for everyone. Person C's plan, (staying up every night in the library until they kick him out and not doing anything but read, make notecards, review, and research beyond the text) also doesn't work for everyone.

There is always this method. Go to your professor, say, "I want to do better in your class. Can you suggest how I can study better for your class?" Most professors don't get asked for help by a lot of students...some are jerks and don't want to, but some are nice and will try to help.
 

Roems11

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In all honesty... dental school is getting to be so competetive to get into that you are really going to have to do quite the 180 to get the attention of most dental schools. You are getting C's and an F in some of the major science classes that dental schools are looking at. People are right when they say it isn't all about grades, but schools look at your grades to see if you can handle the rigor of dental school. My guess is that with a transcript like this, you will be passed for a student with a more solid SGPA. How many semesters do you have left before you are applying to dental school? If you rock out a 4.0 or the next 2 or 3 years, schools will see a visible change and may over look the first part of your schooling. work on an upward trend as some may say...
 

SugarNaCl

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I see 2 potential problems in your transcript that may be brought up should you be afforded an interview. I know from personal experience. My undergrad GPA was a little over a 3.0, but still not stellar by any means. The two problems are as follows:
1. Your grades are decreasing as time goes on. Mine did too, so I had to go through a MS program and get a 3.6 in it. It still was frowned upon my some schools.

2. The classes you are taking are also decreasing. If you are only taking 3 classes and only one science class and still not performing well, they will DEFINITELY pick that out and it will hurt your chances BIG TIME. I was questioned at the school that accepted me about why my bio grades were lower than many of my other science subjects though it was my major.

Other than that, just work hard for the rest of college, dont overload, but don't skimp on science classes and maybe do some postgrad work. Best of luck to you. I had similar problems so I can identify.
 

proline

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hi!

you claim that you are playing more than you should and know you aren't studying enough... is dental school something you want badly enough to make yourself turn around. can you discipline yourself to study? grades may not be "everything" but they play one of the most important roles in the decision process. also, dental school is a lot more work than undergraduate, do you feel like you will have more motivation then to do work than you do now? good luck and i hope everything works out for you! (however, you need to do the work first!)
 

Fuji

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Drop everything and go establish a free dental clinic in Nairobi.

But seriously, you need to do something to balance out your grades. Research. Leadership positions. Volunteering. You may even have to wait a year or two after undergrad to do a masters program or get some work experience.

As for study tips? Make school your top priority. Don't drink or smoke during the week. Spend a few hours every day studying, including the weekends. Go to office hours. Do all the questions in the book, not just those that are assigned. Meet with your professors at least once a month. Get help from a tutor, if needed.

(Disclaimer: I did none of these things in college, and my grades showed it. Easier said than done, right?)
 

diane07

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Don't just think about "how to get into" dental school.

Also think about the big picture. Which is that once accepted, you will need to complete 4 years of school which includes rigorous academic study. Read the posts of current dental students or talk to dentists who have completed the training, and they will tell you that it is no cake walk.

If you are struggling in your current sciences classes, you need to ask yourself the following:

#1. would you be able to handle a course load that includes a lot more science credits than you're currently taking

#2. would you be able to handle science classes that are numerous times more difficult than your current classes

If your answer is "yes" than you need to prove it by taking upper division science courses and improving your grades.
This is a direct quote from UIC's website.
Highest consideration will be given to applicants who take at least three of the following upper level science courses or their equivalents and show evidence of high academic performance under heavy course loads.
And they list the courses that they consider to be upper level sciences. Many other dental schools feel the same way and they want academically competant applicants for this reason: they aren't doing anyone any favors by admitting someone who won't be prepared for the rigors of dental school and consequently fails.


That being said, of course there are those who do the minimum to get in and are accepted. However, dental school is getting increasingly more competitive and hard to get into. You need to think not "what is the least I can do" but "what can I do to make myself as competitive as possible" Then you will have the double advantage of not only being an excellant candidate but also being adequately prepared for the work when you get into dental school.

By your own admission, you are playing more than you should and not studying enough. So you need to give this serious thought, and think about whether you can do this and if you really want to.
 

Nasem

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to be honest.... ur not in trouble but you WILL be in trouble if you continue to do as bad as you have been doing.

All the classes you have mentioned are what I call "easy" classes. You haven't even started taking some of the heavy hitters like organic chemistry. Anything that has the word "chemistry" or Biology or physics" in it you MUST get atleast a 85% or higher.... A C grade is defenetly not going to cut it for you..... You need to get serious with your studying habits.

the route to dental school is tough as heck. you have to learn some strong studying habits to survivie or you won't even be able to pass dental school... Basically, getting into D school is hard, but passing D school is even harder.

To keep things in prespective for you... I work 40-50 hrs a week as a software developer and I still manage to study 2-4 hrs EVERYDAY. (weekends, atleast 5-6 hrs a day)..... Getting into medical is no joke.
 
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