htdt

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Dec 15, 2012
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Speaking from my own experience, I know right away that the LoRs from my supervisor and my dentist would be stellar even though I never read them, it's just something you could naturally tell when you asked the recommenders. The LoRs from my science profs would be decent since I got A's from their classes, but I don't think they would be called "strong" since they don't know me super well. That's how you guess the quality of your letters. Generally people don't give out negative letters, otherwise they would have refused in the beginning. So don't worry too much, yours are probably fine.
 

DJI

2+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2016
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Dental Student
Hi all,
Another quick question.
Do you guys ever see your LORs? I thought it was only natural to not know what the letters actually say but I was confused as I was reading some other thread where people talk about how they have strong LORs. I have a committee letter and a letter from dentist but I have no idea how good/bad they are (I'm assuming they would be nice while being honest and realistic..). Is that normal?
You have two options. Either you request to see the letter and that professor will send it "unsealed" (in a manner of speaking) or you have your professor upload it unseen. The first option adds credibility to your letter when adcoms view it, and the latter could make it seem as though you've been shopping around for the best letter possible.

My opinion, ask them to send it sealed. Just be sure of the person you receive it from. If you're not, a good and unsealed letter is much better than a bad sealed one.
 
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DJI

2+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2016
124
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Dental Student
Speaking from my own experience, I know right away that the LoRs from my supervisor and my dentist would be stellar even though I never read them, it's just something you could naturally tell when you asked the recommenders. The LoRs from my science profs would be decent since I got A's from their classes, but I don't think they would be called "strong" since they don't know me super well. That's how you guess the quality of your letters. Generally people don't give out negative letters, otherwise they would have refused in the beginning. So don't worry too much, yours are probably fine.
Never trust that a professor will tell you first before handing out a bad letter. It was done to a good friend of mine and prevented him from receiving admission (his stats were better than mine).
But you're right, you can usually tell just through interaction with them, so I wouldn't worry too much.
 
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htdt

5+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2012
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Never trust that a professor will tell you first before handing out a bad letter. It was done to a good friend of mine and prevent him from receiving admission (his stats were better than mine).
Dude that is a ****ty situation for your friend. I can't understand why a prof would do that to ruin a student's life. Last year I asked for a letter from a guy who is not known for being a nice prof, and even though he didn't refuse he told me right away that the letter can only be "very generic" at best since he doesn't know me beyond office hours. Bad sign. It took him forever to get the letter done, so I just decided to not go with his letter.
 
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Mason91

Mason91

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Aug 19, 2014
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.
 
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fayevalentine

See you space cowboy.
5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2014
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Never trust that a professor will tell you first before handing out a bad letter. It was done to a good friend of mine and prevented him from receiving admission (his stats were better than mine).
But you're right, you can usually tell just through interaction with them, so I wouldn't worry too much.
Yep, I knew a professor who actually laughed telling the class a story of how he wrote a scathing letter for a student's med school LOR. I was sure not to ask him for a LOR when my time came ;).
 
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redhotchiligochu

D3
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Jul 11, 2016
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Yep, I knew a professor who actually laughed telling the class a story of how he wrote a scathing letter for a student's med school LOR. I was sure not to ask him for a LOR when my time came ;).
Hearing things like this scream of utter unprofessionalism. Why waste the time to write a scathing LOR and at the same time ruin someone else's future?

I was a schoolteacher in my previous career and I've turned down requests to write an LOR simply because I either didn't know them well and/or didn't want to be a d**k by writing an anti-recommendation.

Admittedly, I have written two "generic" LOR's mainly because the parents would practically beg me to write their son/daughter an LOR. I had too much pride to write a bad one, so I did a generic "Sally is a good student and she always turned in her homework" type letter just so the students can fulfill that LOR requirement for their liberal arts undergrad admissions.
 

JLT223

Dental Student
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Jun 3, 2015
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Not waiving your LORS makes them utterly useless.
 
Jul 23, 2016
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I know in my school, and that what one of the committe teachers said that they can send a ( not recommended) letter! and she said that the dental schools rely alot on the letters that if it say ( not recommended) then they will not take that student no matter how good he is!