Non-Trad Apps: Low DAT, still applying to schools with late admissions, any feedback/advice?

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Aug 29, 2016
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Hi All

This is my first public post, but the people on here have been so amazing and thoughtful,
it is only fair to share my performance (or lack thereof) and continue to request any advice
anyone is generous enough to give

To get out of my comfort zone and blast out of my insecurity,

I got a 17...

embarrassing compared to what I was scoring on the KAPLAN DATs Practice tests,

For Prep:
Speaking to various students on here and other research,
I used CHADS videos for Org Chem and G.C.
and did two rounds, and was getting between 75%-100%'s on the second round of his quizzes,
and for BIO I used the KBB, with the new edition of Kaplan MCAT just released 2+ months ago
for supplementary info.

I made the mistake of still studying up until the exam, with less than 90 minutes of sleep,
and prepped for approx 6 weeks. I only came across the Chads videos exactly one month before Oct 19
which was my exam date.

With all that said, I have researched school still accepting applications and saw the 2-3 schools that accept 17s. I will still be applying to other schools that typically wouldn't consider looking at an applicant with such a score but as numerous individuals who have gone through this process know, it is a entire application package these schools evaluate and take into consideration.

For example, I have 10+ years of professional work experience and just sold
my company this summer, a toxicology/clinical institute and completing my M.A. w/ Thesis student in
Medical Sociology/Bio Ethics.

Speaking with the ADEA webinar from last week, was informed that this defaults me to the "non traditional" student.

- With the mini auto-biography presented above, are there non traditional students out there that can provide any perspectives of what their process has been like?

- Any suggestions on what prep materials I am lacking (also I have the AP Bio Cliff Notes, but barely used it), or any advice for the application process?

- I have 2 LOR from non science, and one from my molecular / virology professor whom I took Post Bac courses.

- Would it be wise to still attain one from my biology professor whom I did my I.S. under as an undergrad?
I am prepping the submissions over the weekend, any feedback and time spent on replies is of course appreciated.

Good luck and blessings to everyone in their pursuits. There is a lot of good advice people have posted on here and some may not even realize it. For example, if you are down or sad about a DAT score, or feel you won't get it,


The only people you should be listening to are those who are doing what you want to do, whether it is Dentistry, driving a school bus, or staring at a stop sign (not sure how many people do the last one).

Good night and once again

Many Thanks

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5+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2015
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1. Can't really give you any insight on that.

2. No one ever boasts about doing well on the DAT using Kaplan. Stick to using Cliffs 3rd Ed., Feralis Notes, Chad's Vids, Destroyer, and Bootcamp.

3. Get at least 2 LORs from science profs, 1 from a DDS/DMD, and another one of your choice (probably community service based?).

4. It seems a bit too long for you to ask your undergrad prof unless you had a really good relationship with them.
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2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
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You're going to have to retake the dat. hows your gpa and ecs? also, Idk why you didn't use destroyer, bootcamp, genius, etc.
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Jul 11, 2015
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For prep materials, I would look into using what @acesofseven suggested. I used all of those materials and did decent, as well as many others. I studied for approximately two months with the first month dedicated to taking good notes from Chad's. The second month was used to test myself with practice problems and read for bio from Cliff's. Since you're planning to retake the DAT, I imagine you already have the notes from Chad's so for your next time studying, just focus on practice problems which the Destroyer is perfect for that purpose. It's difficult at first, but don't be discouraged to run through the book. I would recommend going through the problems at least twice. And yikes, you should make sure you get more sleep next time! That must've been partially the problem. As for the LOR situation, if you've been working for 10+ years, I imagine it's been a while since you graduated from undergrad. Unless you had a close relationship with him/her, I don't know if I would bother asking since several years have passed. If it's your only option though to attain another science LOR, then I say go for it!

Just look around the forum at all the breakdowns to get solid DAT advice because there is plenty. Good luck! :)
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