Is it possible with low GPA, but high DAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by grettlin, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. grettlin

    grettlin Senior Member

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    I just wonder does anyone know the people who did not get good school GPA, but they had high DAT scores? Since, as usual, high GPA would be more chances to get high DAT, how about low GPA? Or it is just like what my biology professor said if you do not get good GPA now, you are out of medical/dental schools. "If you could not compete with your classmates for good GPA, how could you compete with all professional applicants?" How do you think?
     
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  3. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

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    Well... It would depend on your definition of "high" or "low" and how competitive the particular school you are applying to is...

    If you consider a 3.0 cumulative and science GPA "low", I think you should have a fair chance of getting into a dental school with a a high DAT score (like 21 total and up).

    Keep in mind also that different schools have different levels of competitiveness-- During the years I applied to schools, I heard that the California state public dental schools for instance are so darn competitive that they are almost impossible to get into if your GPA is anywhere below a 3.5...
     
  4. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Senior Member

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    it hard being a Californian.....
     
  5. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus

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    It can be done, however there is one other aspect that must be factored in: GPA trend! I think that too often we forget about the GPA trend. A low GPA (even a 2.5 overall or science) can be accepted quite easily with high DAT scores, if the trend for that GPA is on the rise.

    That is, a 3.5-4.0 for the last two or three semesters, etc. Schools look at this much more than we think. I know 20 people from my undergrad who have gotten into dental school with an overall GPA below 3.0 and a science GPA below 2.8! Their secret to success: they have a very strong upwards GPA trend for their last 45 or 50 credits, and they coupled this with high DAT scores.

    Of course, the best possible option is to achieve good grades and hold them throughout the course of your undergrad, but having an upward GPA trend is probably a more realistic expectation for many applicants. It is a powerful factor in admissions!
     
  6. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Senior Member

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    in regards to the upward trend in GPA, don't some school pre-screen your stats. If u have a 2.8 GPA, but an upwards trend, would they even consider that if it's below the cutoff point?
     
  7. savvysearch

    savvysearch Senior Member

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    what happens when your fall GPA comes out in Dec. ? Do you think they consider it or do you think their minds are made up using your GPA at the time of applying? Because if you have a 2.8, it may be possible to get it up to a 3.0 this upcoming semester which I imagine would make a HUGE difference if you have a high DAT scores.
     
  8. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

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    The most competitive schools are certain to pre-screen, like the California state schools. After the GPA cutoff they still have a HUGE number of applicants with GPAs upwards of 3.5 to choose from. Even with an upward trend, in a situation like this someone with a 3.0 GPA doesn't stand much of a chance.

    One has to tailor his/her application strategy to suit. I was one of those actually.. My undergrad GPA was only 3.0, with a respectable 21 total DAT, so I applied to very few very competitive schools and targeted the majority of my efforts towards the moderately-competitive ones and the lesser-competitive ones.

    With my strategy I managed to get into several fairly competitive schools (NYUCD, UB SDM), and was pretty happy with the results.. :p
     
  9. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus

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    I agree w/ Tom that applicants have to tailor their applications -- that is what the application process is really all about.

    I disagree that an applicant w/ a 3.0 won't have much of a chance at schools that pre-screen. Once again, it depends on the application process. If you get your application to the schools quickly you will have a much better chance of getting an interview. If you get your application out in the middle or late part of the application cycle (October onwards), THEN a 3.0 applicant is really pushing their luck at super-competitive schools. Above all, a high DAT score must be coupled with a low GPA (or upwards GPA trend) applicant!

    SloppyJoe,

    You may miss a GPA cut-off, but with high DAT scores (which was another part of the acceptance formula) you should be able to get an interview. When comparing you to other applicants, they will then have the chance to recognize your upwards GPA trend.

    savvysearch,

    AADSAS mails out grade update forms to the schools in January (or February?), however the ideal is to have acceptances in early December -- which makes the update sheets worthless. Your grades that are on the application are the grades the schools are going to see. Also, I think it is nearly impossible (if not impossible) to raise your GPA by .2 in a single semester, if you are a senior. My GPA rose .09 last semester, and I had a 3.97 with 18 credit hours. .2 (2.8 to a 3.0) would be over double that!
     
  10. Doggie

    Doggie Professional Jackass

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    I too didnt have that great of a GPA in undergrad. I wasnt really in tune with the concept of studying until I really wanted to apply for dental school, which was in the last year of undergrad. :( At the time, there was nothing I could do to improve my GPA, so the only other way to increase my chances of acceptances was with good recommendations and high DAT scores.

    It also doesnt hurt your chances if you go to a "brand name" undergrad. I remember during one interview, an interviewer commented on my low GPA.......but he kinda answered his own question by saying, "oh...I guess it's ok, since your school is very competitive."

    It's funny to see how different interviewers reacted to my sub-par GPA and high DAT schores......hehe.

    Anyways...dont give up hope, conquer your low GPA with high DAT scores.
     
  11. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

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    I dunno man... My 3.0 undergrad GPA from Columbia University didn't seem to impress too many interviewers.. :p

    SUNY Stony Brook was one of those supercompetitive schools that took something like 30 students a year. That's the only very competitive school I applied to and believe me I tried to deal myself every card with that school by applying early and all the other tricks in the book. I really wanted to go there because it was close to home and it was inexpensive (me being an NYS resident and it being a state school and all). Despite my efforts I didn't even get an interview on my first attempt.

    My second attempt, after two years of maintaining a 4.0 GPA in a masters biology program, rated an interview but didn't get any further than that.

    UB and NYU are pretty good alternatives though.. :D
     
  12. Doggie

    Doggie Professional Jackass

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    Tom,

    Did you have good recommendations? Did you also have good undergrad research experience?

    I volunteered in a lab at UCSF for 1 year and had 2 profs write me recommendations...... :D Maybe that's how I got into dental school. :D
     
  13. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer

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    Heck yah. Got the committee composite letters plus the extras where I thought I'd need them (as in the case of Stony), did LOTS of biomedical research (including a stint with the Drosophila genetics team at Columbia that contributed some data to the Nobel Prize-winning team on that topic a few years back), shadowed several dentists and put in some time as an uncertified dental assistant, applied early. All the tricks in the book, man.

    Doesn't matter now... I've already spent two years here at the UB dental school and am looking forward to getting out of here with my DDS degree in another two.. :D
     
  14. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    I really think you're on the line w/a low gpa and decent dat....I think the DAT is important because its equal playing ground for everyone (doesnt matter what school you went to etc)....I applied 2yrs ago w/a 3.0/2.7 overall/science and 18/17 dat/pat and here i am, 2yrs later applying....if you have a low gpa, you really need a good dat score to offset that so you have a chance...and vice versa....both being low or even avg is definitely a crapshoot.
     
  15. al

    al Member

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    I agree with the previous posts

    if your gpa sucks the big one:

    1. rock the dat (I mean 20's across the board if you can, study your butt off for them!)

    2. get involved in research, doesn't even have to be science related, just something of interest to you (demonstrates ability to work with a team, responsibility, etc)

    3. community outreach, community outreach, community outreach (demonstrates your desire to help others)

    4. intern at a dental office (shows true interest in field)

    5. awesome, unique personal statement: search yourself for specific unique strengths that may separate yourself from other applicants, and somehow connect them to why you want to be a dentist . SELL YOURSELF, and BE POSITIVE (avoid writing negatives which includes any explanations of bad grades, etc). if an adcom has a problem with anything on your file, let them ask you at your interview! don't sell yourself too short too early on these personal statements (or on any part of the aadsas for that matter). get everyone and their moms to critique your statement. make it GOOD because often times the subject matter of the statement is what drives the adcoms interview questions, comments, etc.

    6. good letters of rec : for academic letters doesn't even have to be from classes that you received an "A" in (I requested letters from profs of classes that I got a "B" or better, and received many offers.)

    all in my opinion.....
     

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