Dental How should I proceed as a re-applicant after applying late last cycle?

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Dec 25, 2016
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Hello and thank you for anyone who will help me out below. I am in a bit of a dilemma currently on what to do with my gap year. I will explain my situation below. I applied pretty late last cycle (End of August) to 2 schools and did get 2 interviews but was waitlisted at both. One of those two schools was my state school (LSU), whose application deadline was actually September 1st, so I did apply very late in regards to that. I will post all my stats and etc below. However I got in touch with the dean at my state school and was told to re-take my DAT and get more shadowing hours or a dental job, I was a little taken back because I thought I scored pretty well and am a bit worried to retake my DAT in case i score lower plus I am unsure if that is a generic reply given to every applicant to just re take their DAT and get the best they can. I am aware some schools take your most recent grade and others take your highest, but not everyone does better on a retake. My dilemma here is should i risk it and re-take my DAT? or should i strengthen my app by shadowing more and etc. Below are my stats when I applied and next to it I will put my stats for this cycles application.

Date of submission: 8/28/2019 [Now 6/16/2020]
Overall GPA: 3.33 [Now 3.4]
Science GPA: 3.33 [Now 3.4]
Bio-Chem-Physics GPA: 3.33 [Now 3.42]
DAT score (include AA and all sections):
20 AA / 21 TS / 20 BIO / 20 GC / 22 OC / 20 RC / 20 PAT
State of Residence: LA

Shadowing Experience: 40 [Now 150]
Volunteering Experience: 200+ er, hospice, foodbank
Employment: 800+ cashier
Research: No
I don't think your DAT warrants a retake since you did get a 20 or above in all sections. I think what hurt you most last cycle was applying so late, and applying to so few schools (I definitely would've applied to more than 2). I think your shadowing and volunteering are fine, and there's not much you can do to increase those anyway.

This cycle I would definitely apply right when it opens, make sure you have strong LORs and a strong PS, and also make sure you apply to about 8-10 schools at minimum (probably more like 12-13) to have a solid shot this time around and not have to reapply for a third time.

I would ask also talk to the other school you interviewed at and see why you were waitlisted and what you can do to improve your app.

All that being said, you would improve your chances with a higher DAT score, and open more doors for yourself with interviews at other schools, but that's your choice to do so.

Good luck!
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