Dec 2, 2017
41
3
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello guys,

I am a pre-dental/biochemistry major sophomore in college. I would like to attend the dental school right after I graduate from undergrad.

I have not started anything. To be honest, I really do not know what to do.

When should I start shadowing dentists? How many dentists should I shadow?

When should I start studying for DAT? Are extracurricular activies really important? I am not very involved in extracurricular activities and this worries me a lot. I go to a big school and it's extremely hard to get a leadership position.

How can I start preparing as a Pre-dental student?

Thank you so much!
 
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artist2022

D2 :)
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Okay! I'm going to type this up for other pre-dents too! Hope it helps! :)
So right off the bat, I'd suggest you join your pre-dental club, and start shadowing a dentist (preferably a general dentist). You can shadow anyone (doesn't have to be your personal dentist), and try to do a couple hours a week/every other week, and show commitment. Make sure you really do like and understand the profession. (Things I type in blue are when I started things/what I did) I started shadowing at the beginning of my sophomore year, and now I am in my senior year, so for a little over two years. Have about 150 hours. Most schools require about 50, but 100 is a number you should shoot for.
You can shadow multiple dentists, but again, show commitment. Don't go hopping around.
Besides pre-dental club, find another club or clubs that interest you. And I go to a large school too, I know it's hard, but really try to be involved and get that leadership position, even if it's your senior year (like it is for me!). As for another EC, you can also look into research! It allows you to learn about a wide variety of things from a different perspective, and you can do things you're passionate about. You don't have to do it as a career if you don't want to- think of it more as a hobby.
I'm part of a biological honor society, and I'm currently part of it's eboard this year. Started sophomore year, and have been greatly involved in its activities (food kitchens, clinics, blood drives etc), which I used to count for my volunteering hours. Same thing with pre-dental club- started sophomore year, but it's helped me more with dental school tours, speakers, tips, etc. I just started neuroscience research, and I love it! It's also helped me at interviews, with talking to faculty members that also do research!
Work on your manual dexterity. Take classes like ceramics, or be involved in sports, or other arts and crafts. I paint and draw, quilt, sculpt- a bunch of things. It really helped me build great hand-eye coordination, and also they served as talking points during my interviews!
DAT- the big one. So since you're a sophomore, I'm sure you've taken your gen chem classes, but talking to a friend who is also a biochem major, you guys aren't required to take too many bio classes, so before your DAT, make sure you've taken your introductory bio classes, a microbio course, an anatomy course, and a botany course. Also, really really try to take ochem before you take your DAT, but some people have taken the test without the course, and still did well. I took tons of upper divs (virology, evolution, biochem, cell physio, plant physio, etc) and did well on the DAT :) Another point I want to bring up is KEEP YOUR GPA HIGH! Don't do poorly in a class because you think it might not count/hurt you. Really avoid C's and below, and W's, if you can. Also remember that any classes you fail/retake, both grades will be factored into your GPA. ANOTHER POINT: Start getting to know your professors really well! The ones that know you outside of the classroom are the ones that will write the best letters for you (in my opinion). Yeah it helps to have done well in that course, but dentistry is all about communication, and dental schools want to know what kind of person you are. They know how you think about yourself via your PS, but what about what others think of you as? So, get to know your professors! And the dentist you shadow too! Don't be super quiet and shy, go ahead and ask questions, be curious, and help out. Back to DAT: I'd suggest taking it the summer after sophomore/before junior (this isn't what I did though :p) because you'd get it out of your way, and have enough time to prepare for a retake if necessary. You will be applying the summer after junior/before senior year, as the app opens June 1st. You can read about it in my breakdown (in my signature), but I took my DAT this August, and applied to dental schools at the end of August. I was somewhat "late" in getting interviews, but I still was able to get interviews, and was accepted to UCLA on Dec. 1st nonetheless! (Dec 1st is the first day dental schools can accept/waitlist applicants; you can be rejected any time before though). You can use the whole summer to study, although some people do study during school and take it while in school. Do whatever works best for you. An amazing compilation of DAT Breakdowns by @8_man is here:
DAT Breakdown Compilation Thread (future test takers, look here!). Use it!! I think this was pretty much it... I hope this helped/cleared some things up/guided you a little. Let me know if you have any questions! Best of luck!
 
OP
A
Dec 2, 2017
41
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thank you so much for the reply!

Your reply is so helpful. I will keep everything in mind. I hope I had your GPA and DAT! Good job!

I noticed that DAT Breakdown Compilation Thread by 8_man was posted on 2014. Is it possible that resources and other stuffs are out-dated? Has DAT changed ever since? How did you do so well on DAT?


Okay! I'm going to type this up for other pre-dents too! Hope it helps! :)
So right off the bat, I'd suggest you join your pre-dental club, and start shadowing a dentist (preferably a general dentist). You can shadow anyone (doesn't have to be your personal dentist), and try to do a couple hours a week/every other week, and show commitment. Make sure you really do like and understand the profession. (Things I type in blue are when I started things/what I did) I started shadowing at the beginning of my sophomore year, and now I am in my senior year, so for a little over two years. Have about 150 hours. Most schools require about 50, but 100 is a number you should shoot for.
You can shadow multiple dentists, but again, show commitment. Don't go hopping around.
Besides pre-dental club, find another club or clubs that interest you. And I go to a large school too, I know it's hard, but really try to be involved and get that leadership position, even if it's your senior year (like it is for me!). As for another EC, you can also look into research! It allows you to learn about a wide variety of things from a different perspective, and you can do things you're passionate about. You don't have to do it as a career if you don't want to- think of it more as a hobby.
I'm part of a biological honor society, and I'm currently part of it's eboard this year. Started sophomore year, and have been greatly involved in its activities (food kitchens, clinics, blood drives etc), which I used to count for my volunteering hours. Same thing with pre-dental club- started sophomore year, but it's helped me more with dental school tours, speakers, tips, etc. I just started neuroscience research, and I love it! It's also helped me at interviews, with talking to faculty members that also do research!
Work on your manual dexterity. Take classes like ceramics, or be involved in sports, or other arts and crafts. I paint and draw, quilt, sculpt- a bunch of things. It really helped me build great hand-eye coordination, and also they served as talking points during my interviews!
DAT- the big one. So since you're a sophomore, I'm sure you've taken your gen chem classes, but talking to a friend who is also a biochem major, you guys aren't required to take too many bio classes, so before your DAT, make sure you've taken your introductory bio classes, a microbio course, an anatomy course, and a botany course. Also, really really try to take ochem before you take your DAT, but some people have taken the test without the course, and still did well. I took tons of upper divs (virology, evolution, biochem, cell physio, plant physio, etc) and did well on the DAT :) Another point I want to bring up is KEEP YOUR GPA HIGH! Don't do poorly in a class because you think it might not count/hurt you. Really avoid C's and below, and W's, if you can. Also remember that any classes you fail/retake, both grades will be factored into your GPA. ANOTHER POINT: Start getting to know your professors really well! The ones that know you outside of the classroom are the ones that will write the best letters for you (in my opinion). Yeah it helps to have done well in that course, but dentistry is all about communication, and dental schools want to know what kind of person you are. They know how you think about yourself via your PS, but what about what others think of you as? So, get to know your professors! And the dentist you shadow too! Don't be super quiet and shy, go ahead and ask questions, be curious, and help out. Back to DAT: I'd suggest taking it the summer after sophomore/before junior (this isn't what I did though :p) because you'd get it out of your way, and have enough time to prepare for a retake if necessary. You will be applying the summer after junior/before senior year, as the app opens June 1st. You can read about it in my breakdown (in my signature), but I took my DAT this August, and applied to dental schools at the end of August. I was somewhat "late" in getting interviews, but I still was able to get interviews, and was accepted to UCLA on Dec. 1st nonetheless! (Dec 1st is the first day dental schools can accept/waitlist applicants; you can be rejected any time before though). You can use the whole summer to study, although some people do study during school and take it while in school. Do whatever works best for you. An amazing compilation of DAT Breakdowns by @8_man is here:
DAT Breakdown Compilation Thread (future test takers, look here!). Use it!! I think this was pretty much it... I hope this helped/cleared some things up/guided you a little. Let me know if you have any questions! Best of luck!
 
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artist2022

D2 :)
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
2,289
3,030
Status
Dental Student
Thank you so much for the reply!

Your reply is so helpful. I will keep everything in mind. I hope I had your GPA and DAT! Good job!

I noticed that DAT Breakdown Compilation Thread by 8_man was posted on 2014. Is it possible that resources and other stuffs are out-dated? Has DAT changed ever since? How did you do so well on DAT?
You are welcome. And no, everything on there is pretty much what I used too. Namely Destroyer and Bootcamp. My breakdown goes into further detail on how I studied :) but everyone studies their own way so I think it's really helpful to just go through some of those breakdowns and see which study methods would work best for you!
 
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OP
A
Dec 2, 2017
41
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Do I need to purchase anything? Is the breakdown by 8_man everything I need to have to prepare for DAT? Where do I find practice tests, textbook, and videos? I literally have no idea. I am planning to start studying for DAT soon. Do I need to buy DAT destroyer and bootcamp and where can I buy them? Please explain steps in details if possible :( Help me!! haha

You are welcome. And no, everything on there is pretty much what I used too. Namely Destroyer and Bootcamp. My breakdown goes into further detail on how I studied :) but everyone studies their own way so I think it's really helpful to just go through some of those breakdowns and see which study methods would work best for you!
 
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artist2022

D2 :)
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
2,289
3,030
Status
Dental Student
Do I need to purchase anything? Where do I find practice tests, textbook, and videos? I literally have no idea. I am planning to start studying for DAT soon. Do I need to buy DAT destroyer and bootcamp and where can I buy them? Please explain steps in details if possible :( Help me!! haha
Ooookay haha. So. Let's go step by step:
Learning the material: I personally used the Kaplan Blue Book (KBB-This) but other people like to use Cliff's AP Bio 3rd ed (you can google it and a pdf comes up for free). Chemistries you should be ok with, but people use Chad's videos (either on Coursesaver.com or through his own website). The ones on Coursesaver are DAT tailored and $50, while the ones on his website for a general college chemistry course and are free. DAT Bootcamp also has videos that are DAT tailored and included with your subscription. RC- can't learn much here, except for strategies (use the search function on here in the DAT Disc forum to find some). QR- Math, goes up to Algebra but there could possibly be Trig/Geometry concepts. Use Khan Academy or Youtube or a textbook to learn forumlas.
Practicing/Applying your Knowledge: DAT Destroyer. Buy the DAT Destroyer from this website (Click here). Also try to buy the Math Destroyer. Then with this just practice what you've learned, and learn from its answer key! It has so much valuable information in there.
Testing yourself: Buy DAT Bootcamp. There are other sources out there like CrackDAT, QVault, Kaplan tests, but I never used these. I used Bootcamp and again learned from its answer key. Try to take every test, and honestly test yourself without notes. The scores you get on there are pretty close to what you will score on the real thing. Buy it here.
There are just my opinions and how I studied. I am not trying to endorse any product- perhaps people that used the resources I didn't use could chime in. I hope this helps! :)
 

artist2022

D2 :)
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
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Dental Student
Bumping this thread with a few changes: June 5th is now the earliest date you can submit, and schools can let you know no earlier than Dec 5th if you've been accepted :) (but can still reject you before then). The rest of the info is pretty much the same though!
 
May 22, 2018
581
254
Status
Dental Student
Start shadowing whenever you can, just know that most schools require your hours to be done before you submit your application. I believe I heard 100 hours will cover most schools. Shadowing with a specialist can count, but many schools would like to see most of the hours be with general dentists. The easiest way would be to start with your own dentist(s). Call up your own general dentist, your orthodontist or oral surgeon (if you were ever treated by one), etc. If you are or were their patient, chances are they will be very excited to hear that you are considering dentistry, and since you supported their business, they will likely be willing to reciprocate. Unless a school gives a minimum number of dentists, usually two or three different dentists is enough, although I don't think doing all of your shadowing with one dentist will be a deal breaker.

Start studying for the DAT when you have the coursework required for it done. Wait until you are ready to take it, as most dental schools prefer to see it once and done. Just send in your scores to all schools when you register for the test, as if you were to ever retake the test, it is their policy to send scores from all attempts (unlike the SAT or ACT, you cannot select which scores you do and do not want schools to see).
 
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