May 17, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Howdy SDN folks,

So I've been following this forum since I planned to apply to dental schools in 2015 or so. I finished my first application that year, and I really blew it across the board. I basically just shadowed and coasted through courses for most of undergrad. With that minimum effort, I got a 16 AA on the DAT (lowest was a TWELVE on GenChem...please don't judge) and my GPA was like 2.7.

The next year, I used my final year of undergrad to somewhat turn things around, but not in the best ways. I retook the DAT after using the Destroyer and basically all the online resources that people recommend except Bootcamp. I uhhh...basically did the exact same, but my AA was 15 (12 on GenChem AGAIN). I had also started my first job at a pharmacy, which I sort of thought would look alright, but alas...

So this summer, after hearing the last of those rejections, I finally caved and just called up Tufts Dental basically asking what I could definitively do to get this right one last time. As many of you know, dental schools usually don't like having specific phone calls with students because there's the risk of bias and they have such a high volume of applicants that it is easier to just send out the pre-written "do better next time" response I'm sure many of you have seen. But I somehow got an actual 20 minute phone call back in April.

Here's what she told me:

1. I shouldn't even apply again unless I retake the classes I got less than a C in. Those were: GenChem, Immuno, Bio I (my freshman year was rough, y'all), Genetics, Physics 2, and BioChem. I much preferred taking these again at a cheaper 4 year university than doing an expensive master's, and she said that was a solid plan.

2. She also said I should volunteer more, so I'm going to my first orientation this Thursday, and I have numerous backup plans in case that doesn't pan out.

3. She also weirdly pointed out that I didn't have enough under the "manual dexterity" section of my app, and suggested I work on that. So I have since taken a sewing class! And I plan to do some pottery stuff as well, since I love little hobbies like that.

Other than that, she said that it's probably not in my best interest to take the DAT a third time because A) she doesn't think much will help at this point except like committing months to it or taking an expensive class and B) a lot of schools don't like seeing a third attempt I guess, and her reasoning was that all that work would get in the way of fixing my damn grades by retaking classes.

I haven't been able to get a hold of her again to follow up a single time since then, which I guess makes sense because I already got lucky once and now I know things are 1000x busier at dental school admissions offices obviously.

I guess my question to you all here at SDN is: Am I Good??

Between volunteering, shadowing again (she did mention I should at least do a few more hours because it's been a while since I've shadowed, but I don't need to do 100 again), taking all six classes over the next few months at a local university, and developing my manual dexterity, I feel like I'm building a really strong application for next June. Do YOU think I should just take the DAT again next spring and do better? Or is she right in your opinion that it's not worth another time sink? I will say classes are going very well so far. I got a perfect A in Bio I and an A- in Genetics over the summer, and I feel like I'm on track to do that with all of my courses. I know that doesn't somehow replace my GPA, but they will certainly see that I got my **** together since graduating. I only work weekends now too, so I'm always looking to fill my free time with more stuff that will help me out. Any feedback is appreciated, as I'm sure you all know how isolating and scary it can feel to not succeed after so much time. But I still think there's hope :D Thanks for reading that wall of text, it's been a journey.
 
Jul 7, 2017
74
79
Status
Pre-Dental
To be real, there would be close to no reason for admissions teams to grant ya an acceptance over another, say the average student (3.4 gpa, 19aa, ecs etc.). It ain't easy to follow the rigorous curriculum of D school and according to what you have written above, I honestly don't think this is the right path for ya man. But then again this is my opinion and you should always do what you want with your life. TLDR; unless you can absolutely show that you are able to handle a tough academic schedule, this ain't your road. As @Kou_KeiKi said, good luck if you still decide to do so.
 
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ncide

2+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
1,333
1,387
Status
Dental Student
Dental schools don't want to see Cs. I had one and every dental school interview I had brought it up. My overall was a 3.5 science and 3.6 overall, they seemed fixated on that one mishap.

You had numerous classes below Cs. In dental school, the science course load is significant and much faster paced than undergrad. If you struggled in undergrad, you will surely struggle in dental school. We lost several classmates because they couldn't keep up.

The DAT difficulty pales in comparison to the NBDE part 1. You have to perform better if you want to be taken seriously. It doesn't get easier.

Our class average was a 20-21AA, most schools have a cut off point for each section around 17, with the lowest exception being 16 for QR. You absolutely have to retake it if you want to have a chance, and do not aim for the minimum, since very few of those students matriculate. You need to get As in every class you retake to salvage your low GPA, and even then I think you'd need to get a Masters and get a 3.8+.
 
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Life of Pablo

Hola
2+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2016
1,126
2,194
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Do well in the classes you retake AND do well on the DAT. With a 15/16 AA, even if you get A's in all your retake classes, you're going to have trouble getting in unless you bring your DAT up.
 
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OP
aibrahim
May 17, 2017
3
0
Status
Pre-Dental
To be real, there would be close to no reason for admissions teams to grant ya an acceptance over another, say the average student (3.4 gpa, 19aa, ecs etc.). It ain't easy to follow the rigorous curriculum of D school and according to what you have written above, I honestly don't think this is the right path for ya man. But then again this is my opinion and you should always do what you want with your life. TLDR; unless you can absolutely show that you are able to handle a tough academic schedule, this ain't your road. As @Kou_KeiKi said, good luck if you still decide to do so.
I think this reply reads a bit more harsh than you meant it to be? But I agree, of course the load is going to increase dramatically. I realized that after graduating and have been excelling like crazy since then. I guess I just need to fix that DAT with one final retake and I should be golden, so of course if you have recommendations in that department, throw them my way.
 

DocDoom

2+ Year Member
May 24, 2015
140
98
Status
Dental Student
no point in doing an informal post-bacc. apply to an SMP and achieve no less than a 3.6 GPA, and retake the DAT for 21+AA/TS.
 
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juustinkim

D.D.S. Candidate
2+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2017
258
454
California
Status
Pre-Dental
I think this reply reads a bit more harsh than you meant it to be? But I agree, of course the load is going to increase dramatically. I realized that after graduating and have been excelling like crazy since then. I guess I just need to fix that DAT with one final retake and I should be golden, so of course if you have recommendations in that department, throw them my way.
I agree that an SMP, earning a 3.6+ and scoring a 21+ on the DAT will definitely get you into dental school. If you need advice on the DAT, take a look at my breakdown/advice video in my signature and let me know if you have any questions about the DAT! Best of luck.
 

ChewyDrop

2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2015
239
104
Status
Dental Student
It's all about metric in the beginning. If you don't have the scores and GPA then don't even bother. You need to take a post-bacc and retake your dat; aim for a 20+ AA. The fact that you did worse on your second attempt is probably a red flag, but hey I believe you can do it!
 
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amariesa

5+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2013
254
249
Why do you want to be a dentist so bad? Maybe the sciences aren't your strong points in life and you would be happier doing something you Excel at rather than struggle in an uphill battle. If you took that many bio courses in undergrad and still are scoring in the 15sAA, maybe dental school isn't for you?

I'm usually for people trying and going for dental school regardless of grades but your science knowledge is so low that more effort into dental school could be a waste of time, money, and effort. Then, if you do get into dental school, it's such a heavy load that you have a real chance of failing out with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

This is not to say that studying like crazy with a master's won't get you in but it's such a time investment with no guarantees that you really need to think it through if this is what you really want. Best wishes.
 
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