yellowtoof

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May 29, 2020
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TLDR
I got accepted to a dental school with:
Undergrad GPA: 2.9
Undergrad sGPA: 2.3
Graduate: 3.5
DAT: 20AA/19TS (17 in Bio)
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Hello all! I want to just post my journey into dental school and for those with low GPAs, maybe it’ll help you a bit.

I wanted to become a dentist since I was a kid or maybe I brainwashed myself into thinking that (my grandfather was a dentist). And as a kid, I thought of careers as shopping where you choose what you want, and you become. OBIVOUSLY not the case.

I graduated state university in 2014 with a non-science degree, but took the minimum science prerequisites for dental schools. I found it was a lot of work to get high grades in the sciences, but still took the prerequisites anyways. I failed OC I AND failed OC II. Yes. Completely failed and had to retake. Fast forward to graduation, I became a salary slave. Hating the 9-5 cubicle grind, I decided to try for dental school again after a year of working. June 2015, I quit and ‘studied’ for my DATs (more like an excuse to be fun-employed). At this point I still did not have the ‘passion’ for dentistry and my plan was to take the DATs and apply 3 years and whatever happens, happens. Truthfully speaking, I wasted a good 6 months picking up new hobbies.

After many hours of researching schools that would POSSIBLY accept me with a low GPA, many of those schools required biochem, anatomy, microbiology. This helped because I knew my sGPA was low so I took 2 classes (A&P I and microbiology) in my community college and an online biochem course from OSU (biochem was not available in my CC). I received an A, A, B, respectively. In between these classes, I finally took my DATs on August 2016 and was not happy with my score.

18 AA, 17 TS, 22 PAT, 22 QR, 17 RC, 17 BIO, 19 GC, 17 OC

My chances of getting into dental school was pretty much impossible with these scores and my sGPA so I decided to retake. Early 2017, I got a job as a dental assistant as my savings were dwindling. This is where I found my passion for dentistry and knew it was dental school until I got in. While working, I retook the DAT on July 2017.

20 AA, 19 TS, 21PAT, 20 QR, 21 RC, 17 BIO, 22 GC, 19 OC

Not the best, but still an improvement. I decided to apply to 13 schools in 2017 with the approximate GPA listed below according to AADSAS.

GPA: 2.9

sGPA: 2.27

No wonder I was rejected from all 13 schools. I was discouraged at this point, but I’ve spent time and money and thought it’d be a waste if I didn’t try til’ the end. So, what next? I decided to shell out even MORE money to do a masters program. I chose masters over post-bacc for a couple reasons.

  • Post-bacc GPA would be averaged into undergrad GPA and even with all As in the classes I’d still hover around a 3.0.
  • I’d have another degree for around the same amount of money plus the opportunity for jobs if dental school wasn’t an option.
With my DAT score expiring in 2020, I applied to 6 schools during the 2019-2020 cycle with a 3.5 in graduate school (yes, even with the 17 in Bio). It was a slight gamble to only apply to 6 schools, but it was the top 6 schools I would love to attend because of location. In the end, I was rejected from 5, but accepted to 1.

I’ve seen a handful of posts where low stat students ask if they have a chance at dental school. Realists will reply, ‘You can try, but most likely not. You should do x, y, and z.’ Negative Nancies will reply, ‘With your stats, no. You don’t want to go into dentistry anyways, it’s a dying field’.

A good handful of that handful say they do not have the money to do a masters or post-bacc. And once they hear the optimist’s reply, ‘Yes, anything is possible,’ they go right on ahead and apply to 13 schools and most likely get rejected from all 13 of them. If you’ve caught on, yes, I was one of them. It was a post to justify my thoughts. So, if you’re reading this and in the same shoes as I was, you probably know what do to. There is no easy way out. Unless your DAT is 25+ with my undergrad GPA, then….MAAAAAYBE…but even then, who knows.

If I was able to be true to myself, I would’ve saved $3000 in applications and most importantly, time. It’s easy to criticize myself in hindsight, but it was hard to tell myself to do a masters program back then.

I also want to say that not everyone is the same. A person with my numbers may not have gotten in or may have been accepted to more than 1 school this time around. There are lots of factors as you know and you have to know what the school looks for to fill their seats.

This may not be as detailed of a post as I wanted to be, but if you are in a similar situation as I was before and have some questions or want some guidance, feel free to message me and I’ll answer if I can.
 
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laundry

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Way to go! :clap:The important message is IF YOU APPLY - YOU HAVE A SHOT; IF YOU DON'T - THEN YOU DON'T!

Can you share what your interview experience was like? Did your GPA or your scores come up doing the interview at all?
 

yellowtoof

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May 29, 2020
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Way to go! :clap:The important message is IF YOU APPLY - YOU HAVE A SHOT; IF YOU DON'T - THEN YOU DON'T!

Can you share what your interview experience was like? Did your GPA or your scores come up doing the interview at all?

Thanks! My scores did come up. They asked why the F in o-chem, but sort of overlooked my undergrad GPA. They figured since I was an older applicant and had a graduate GPA, they knew what I was capable of and that my undergrad GPA was a 'i was young' type of deal.

Interview itself was very laid back and conversational. It showed that they just wanted to get to know you better as a person.
 
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Ach05

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Do you think your grad gpa helped? Is a 3.5 grad gpa considered good? I also have a 3.5 so just curious.
 

yellowtoof

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May 29, 2020
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What school will you be attending?
NYU

Do you think your grad gpa helped? Is a 3.5 grad gpa considered good? I also have a 3.5 so just curious.
It definitely did in my situation. 3.5 is considered 'competitive' from what I've seen. But school websites usually post 'GPA' not specified to grad GPA so not 100% on how it relates. 'Good' is relative to everyone and to every school. I did have a 3.5, but I believe when entered in AADSAS, it comes down to a 3.33. Also, they look at your DAT and other factors as well. Pair that 3.5 grad gpa with a good DAT score, i'm sure you'll get interviews.

Do you consider yourself a realist now?
LOL tough question...I'm gonna have to say no. I mean I still decided to gamble my chances to the 6 schools, right? Initial plan was to finish my masters and retake DATs this summer and apply. Pretty much was desperate to get in lol

Did you finish the Masters program before applying the cycle you got accepted in?

no, I was 20 credits in when I applied and updated my fall 2019 grades. I received an interview post dec.
 

slimdentshady

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CONGRATS!!
Did you have a 3.5 GPA with your 20 credits or was it that after you updated your fall grades?
Also, what were the other 5 schools that you applied to?
 
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yellowtoof

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CONGRATS!!
Did you have a 3.5 GPA with your 20 credits or was it that after you updated your fall grades?
Also, what were the other 5 schools that you applied to?

Sorry for the late reply. i didnt see this pop up in my notifications.

I had a 3.5 when I updated my fall grades. I believe I had a 3.4 before that.

Tufts
Touro
Western
USC
Roseman
 

dds_2024

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Sorry for the late reply. i didnt see this pop up in my notifications.

I had a 3.5 when I updated my fall grades. I believe I had a 3.4 before that.

Tufts
Touro
Western
USC
Roseman

did you receive interviews from the other 5 schools or they just rejected you without?

it really only takes 1! congrats :)
 
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bch18

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I just applied to 6 dental schools with a GPA of 3.65 and a sGPA of 3.85. My DAT score was a 17, i received 18's and a 19 but I messed up on the QR section. Heard schools don't really look at that score anyway so praying that it doesn't hurt me too much.
 
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DentG_XO

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This is such a motivator, thank you! Just about to start a masters this upcoming semester! I wanted to ask, how helpful was your time as a Dental assistant in your application and what did you do to become an assistant?
 
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yellowtoof

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May 29, 2020
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This is such a motivator, thank you! Just about to start a masters this upcoming semester! I wanted to ask, how helpful was your time as a Dental assistant in your application and what did you do to become an assistant?

To be honest, I don't exactly know how much of my 3 years of assisting helped my application. They didn't really ask about my assisting during the interview, but maybe when they review my application they see that I do have dental exposure and a good amount of it.

I was asked if I wanted to work from the office I shadowed years before. If you want to become an assistant, look for offices that are hiring and ask.
 
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MandalorianDMD

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Congratulations on your achievement! This is the feel good stories we all like to read. This means so much more to more people than an easy path. Think about movies and books, who would want to read or watch a story that has no growth, struggle, and overcoming the odds?

Keep up the good work.
 
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