Jun 6, 2020
3
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Hi!
I only recently (June 2020) figured out that I wanted to pursue dentistry. I'm a senior in college and I took the DAT and sent out all my applications to about 12 schools. I signed up for the DAT in June and took it in August 2020 before my senior year. I ended up getting a 20AA, 23PAT, 19TS. I know my TS isn't competitive, however this is my first try on the exam, and I'll be retaking since I don't expect to get in to schools this cycle. I studied with DAT Destroyer, it was really good, but I didn't have enough time before the exam to do all the revision that I wanted. I have a low GPA c2.9, s3.1. I'm also applying to postbac programs to bolster my application. What I wanted to know: is my DAT competitive for this cycle? I know it won't make up for my GPA and I'd need a higher score to do that. I'm currently working at a dental school, and I'm a TA for physics. I've done a lot of volunteering at a local hospital and senior center, and I shadowed a radiation oncologist for a week during spring break. Even though that's not dental shadowing, it was an important experience I had, that guided me to dentistry. Given all of this, do I have a chance of getting in this cycle. I'm already making preparations to apply in the next cycle, so I've been doing a lot more. I'd love to hear your opinions! (And yes, I'm aware of my absolutely dreadful OChem).

DAT: 20AA, 23 PAT, 18 TS, 23 QR, 21 RC, 19 Bio, 20 GC, 15 OC
 
Last edited:

ChemistryDentist

Almost there!
2+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2018
282
279
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  1. Dental Student
The lower GPA + lower DAT score combo in addition to the lack of dental specific shadowing would worry me for a lot of the US dental schools. I guess it depends on where you want to get in, though, and it still may be possible this cycle. The 15 OC really sticks out, unfortunately, and I think that may end up being a major factor this time around. Again, anything is possible, but given what you've told us I would really recommend retaking (like you are planning to).

If you do get in, fantastic! Your application must have shone! If not, I wouldn't be too harsh on yourself going up against pretty slim odds. It might be worth, like you suggested, doing a post bacc if you do not get in so that you can bring up your GPA some. That will certainly make you more competitive, in addition to the higher DAT score. Plus, a year would give you time for solid dental shadowing experience. While shadowing a radiation oncologist is impressive and seems to a be formative experience, a dental school may argue that it is simply not dentistry. You can't know you like something based on having experiencing something else without experiencing the thing that you claim to like itself, or so they may say.

The fact that you are very self-aware and critical makes me think if not this cycle, you will have a great shot after a retake and maybe working on the GPA a bit (plus shadowing). It may seem like a lot, but you've got a whole year to make it happen if this cycle doesn't go as planned! Just make sure you really focus on bringing up OC and Bio when you take the DAT next - maybe try some of the other Orgoman resources (Orgo Odyssey, Dynamite Bio Review, facebook group, etc.) to get the most bang for your buck. They are all super helpful resources that the vast majority of folks do fantastic with. You should really be aiming for as high as possible, but 20+ in each section is getting to be the bare minimum for a lot of schools amazingly.

Best of luck! You may have some work ahead of you, but you've got this!
 
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Jun 6, 2020
3
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
The lower GPA + lower DAT score combo in addition to the lack of dental specific shadowing would worry me for a lot of the US dental schools. I guess it depends on where you want to get in, though, and it still may be possible this cycle. The 15 OC really sticks out, unfortunately, and I think that may end up being a major factor this time around. Again, anything is possible, but given what you've told us I would really recommend retaking (like you are planning to).

If you do get in, fantastic! Your application must have shone! If not, I wouldn't be too harsh on yourself going up against pretty slim odds. It might be worth, like you suggested, doing a post bacc if you do not get in so that you can bring up your GPA some. That will certainly make you more competitive, in addition to the higher DAT score. Plus, a year would give you time for solid dental shadowing experience. While shadowing a radiation oncologist is impressive and seems to a be formative experience, a dental school may argue that it is simply not dentistry. You can't know you like something based on having experiencing something else without experiencing the thing that you claim to like itself, or so they may say.

The fact that you are very self-aware and critical makes me think if not this cycle, you will have a great shot after a retake and maybe working on the GPA a bit (plus shadowing). It may seem like a lot, but you've got a whole year to make it happen if this cycle doesn't go as planned! Just make sure you really focus on bringing up OC and Bio when you take the DAT next - maybe try some of the other Orgoman resources (Orgo Odyssey, Dynamite Bio Review, facebook group, etc.) to get the most bang for your buck. They are all super helpful resources that the vast majority of folks do fantastic with. You should really be aiming for as high as possible, but 20+ in each section is getting to be the bare minimum for a lot of schools amazingly.

Best of luck! You may have some work ahead of you, but you've got this!
Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate the honest opinion. Would it be alright if I dm'ed you with questions in the future?
 

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