Aug 21, 2017
9
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Pre-Dental
Okay so I am scheduled to take the DAT in five days and the practice tests are not going well, I have yet to get over a 15 in anything besides the PAT which I excel in (got a 20 on my first attempt). I think part of the reason why I am struggling is because I have yet to take Genetics, Calculus, and Cellular Biochemistry. Even though I'll be taking all of those classes this upcoming year I feel like the admissions committee will immediately turn me down even though every other aspect of my application is, in my opinion, extremely competitive. Do you think dental schools will take into consideration the fact that I haven't taken those classes yet? Thanks guys!!!
 

FeralisExtremum

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Okay so I am scheduled to take the DAT in five days and the practice tests are not going well, I have yet to get over a 15 in anything besides the PAT which I excel in (got a 20 on my first attempt). I think part of the reason why I am struggling is because I have yet to take Genetics, Calculus, and Cellular Biochemistry. Even though I'll be taking all of those classes this upcoming year I feel like the admissions committee will immediately turn me down even though every other aspect of my application is, in my opinion, extremely competitive. Do you think dental schools will take into consideration the fact that I haven't taken those classes yet? Thanks guys!!!
I don't think dental schools will overlook a weak DAT score because you haven't taken certain courses yet and for what it's worth I don't think you need to have taken any of those courses to do well (although Genetics would be pretty helpful). Calculus in particular is completely irrelevant to the DAT, and biochem courses in undergrad go way beyond in detail what you'll ever need for the DAT.

I don't know what resource your practice test scores are from but scoring below 15 in all the sections but PAT is not a good sign. Have you considered rescheduling your test? How have you been preparing thus far?
 
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orgoman22

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Okay so I am scheduled to take the DAT in five days and the practice tests are not going well, I have yet to get over a 15 in anything besides the PAT which I excel in (got a 20 on my first attempt). I think part of the reason why I am struggling is because I have yet to take Genetics, Calculus, and Cellular Biochemistry. Even though I'll be taking all of those classes this upcoming year I feel like the admissions committee will immediately turn me down even though every other aspect of my application is, in my opinion, extremely competitive. Do you think dental schools will take into consideration the fact that I haven't taken those classes yet? Thanks guys!!!
I need more information before I can offer any advice. You state you haven't scored above a 15, is that in everything except PAT? What is your science GPA?

Feel free to private message me.
 
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OP
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Aug 21, 2017
9
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Status
Pre-Dental
My science GPA is a 3.6 and my general GPA is a 3.45. And yes, that is everything besides the PAT and RC. I haven't been practicing the RC because I am a research analyst and have extensive practice with scientific papers so I'm not too worried about it.
 

PreDentTechySon

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2011
179
95
Status
Dental Student
Okay so I am scheduled to take the DAT in five days and the practice tests are not going well, I have yet to get over a 15 in anything besides the PAT which I excel in (got a 20 on my first attempt). I think part of the reason why I am struggling is because I have yet to take Genetics, Calculus, and Cellular Biochemistry. Even though I'll be taking all of those classes this upcoming year I feel like the admissions committee will immediately turn me down even though every other aspect of my application is, in my opinion, extremely competitive. Do you think dental schools will take into consideration the fact that I haven't taken those classes yet? Thanks guys!!!
I'm sure you're getting top notch advice from feralis and orgoman, but I would really recommend postponing your exam if your're not scoring in an ideal range. 15 is pretty low for any category and you aren't leaving yourself much time to improve. I think you would be way better taking the test when you're super ready instead of having to endure the cost and time involved in retaking it.
 
OP
C
Aug 21, 2017
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I don't think dental schools will overlook a weak DAT score because you haven't taken certain courses yet and for what it's worth I don't think you need to have taken any of those courses to do well (although Genetics would be pretty helpful). Calculus in particular is completely irrelevant to the DAT, and biochem courses in undergrad go way beyond in detail what you'll ever need for the DAT.

I don't know what resource your practice test scores are from but scoring below 15 in all the sections but PAT is not a good sign. Have you considered rescheduling your test? How have you been preparing thus far?
I have been doing DAT Bootcamp tests, Cliffnotes AP biology flash cards and I'm an audio learner so I watch tons of youtube videos for biology and chemistry.
 
OP
C
Aug 21, 2017
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm sure you're getting top notch advice from feralis and orgoman, but I would really recommend postponing your exam if your're not scoring in an ideal range. 15 is pretty low for any category and you aren't leaving yourself much time to improve. I think you would be way better taking the test when you're super ready instead of having to endure the cost and time involved in retaking it.
Thats what I have been thinking but I don't know how much I am going to be able to study during the school year, I am a full time student and have two jobs including a directed study!
 
OP
C
Aug 21, 2017
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I need more information before I can offer any advice. You state you haven't scored above a 15, is that in everything except PAT? What is your science GPA?

Feel free to private message me.
My science GPA is a 3.6 and my general GPA is a 3.45. And yes, that is everything besides the PAT and RC. I haven't been practicing the RC because I am a research analyst and have extensive practice with scientific papers so I'm not too worried about it.
 

FeralisExtremum

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I have been doing DAT Bootcamp tests, Cliffnotes AP biology flash cards and I'm an audio learner so I watch tons of youtube videos for biology and chemistry.
I would completely change your approach to the content review portion of your preparation. Flash cards are useful for memory retention but not a good initial learning source - use Cliff's AP Biology or Barron's AP Biology book here as your basis before branching out to other resources. For chemistry (general and organic) check out either Coursesaver (Chad's) videos or Mike's videos on Bootcamp. Both are comprehensive and will walk you through the important material covered by the DAT from the very beginning. Only after going through rigorous content review and building up a foundation would I start using practice resources (like Bootcamp and Destroyer).

Thats what I have been thinking but I don't know how much I am going to be able to study during the school year, I am a full time student and have two jobs including a directed study!
At this point I would absolutely re-schedule. Balancing a full class load, two jobs, and preparing for the DAT doesn't seem feasible - you may have to sacrifice something to free up the time necessary to prepare.

Also, try to take at least one RC practice to gauge your standing there - it never hurts to know in advance if you'll need additional practice.
 
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artist2022

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My science GPA is a 3.6 and my general GPA is a 3.45. And yes, that is everything besides the PAT and RC. I haven't been practicing the RC because I am a research analyst and have extensive practice with scientific papers so I'm not too worried about it.
Are you applying this cycle?
 
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OP
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Aug 21, 2017
9
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Pre-Dental
Are you applying this cycle?
Yes I am, the first portion of my summer I spent in a developing country in a dental unit in a hospital so I really only started studying six weeks ago, but like most people I work eight hours a day so my time has been pretty limited.
 
OP
C
Aug 21, 2017
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I would completely change your approach to the content review portion of your preparation. Flash cards are useful for memory retention but not a good initial learning source - use Cliff's AP Biology or Barron's AP Biology book here as your basis before branching out to other resources. For chemistry (general and organic) check out either Coursesaver (Chad's) videos or Mike's videos on Bootcamp. Both are comprehensive and will walk you through the important material covered by the DAT from the very beginning. Only after going through rigorous content review and building up a foundation would I start using practice resources (like Bootcamp and Destroyer).



At this point I would absolutely re-schedule. Balancing a full class load, two jobs, and preparing for the DAT doesn't seem feasible - you may have to sacrifice something to free up the time necessary to prepare.

Also, try to take at least one RC practice to gauge your standing there - it never hurts to know in advance if you'll need additional practice.
Do you think its better to have a lower score and apply early or postpone my test just to raise it a point or two?
 

PreDentTechySon

7+ Year Member
May 13, 2011
179
95
Status
Dental Student
Thats what I have been thinking but I don't know how much I am going to be able to study during the school year, I am a full time student and have two jobs including a directed study!
I know it can be stressful. I was working a full time job and had to study right as soon as I got home and had to spread it out over a couple months. I just think it's not worth it to take the test just to take it. You'll want to go in prepared and confident knowing you can make it in the 20+ range. Even with a good GPA 15's are really low. I think the lowest score you can really get and still be considered competetive would be around the 19 range, maybe an 18 if everything else on your app was amazing, but you'll want to shoot as high as possible to be competetive.
 
OP
C
Aug 21, 2017
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I know it can be stressful. I was working a full time job and had to study right as soon as I got home and had to spread it out over a couple months. I just think it's not worth it to take the test just to take it. You'll want to go in prepared and confident knowing you can make it in the 20+ range. Even with a good GPA 15's are really low. I think the lowest score you can really get and still be considered competetive would be around the 19 range, maybe an 18 if everything else on your app was amazing, but you'll want to shoot as high as possible to be competetive.
I know, and I am the type of person where in school I never really score below a 95 on a practical exam but multiple choice have always been a disaster for me! I'm just praying my recommendations speak to who I am as a student and learner. Thanks for your opinion!!
 

FeralisExtremum

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Do you think its better to have a lower score and apply early or postpone my test just to raise it a point or two?
Postpone (most likely you'll have to apply next cycle considering it's already late August), take as long as you need to do well on the DAT, apply next cycle.
 
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artist2022

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Do you think its better to have a lower score and apply early or postpone my test just to raise it a point or two?
100000% better to postpone and score higher vs. taking it when you're not ready and doing poor. That will cost you another $445 to retake and the goal should be to get it done in one shot.
 
Apr 20, 2017
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For me, taking the DAT is like jumping out of a plane, if you have good equipment and prepared well, it could be safe and actually fun. But if you know you're not prepared and using questionable equipment, I don't think that would be any fun at all.
 

orgoman22

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My science GPA is a 3.6 and my general GPA is a 3.45. And yes, that is everything besides the PAT and RC. I haven't been practicing the RC because I am a research analyst and have extensive practice with scientific papers so I'm not too worried about it.
Send me a pm and I will be happy to discuss your situation. I work with hundreds if not thousands of students a year and can hopefully guide you to a safe landing.