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retake DAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by vixen, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    First time I applied (for fall 2001), my DAT scores were 18/17 (the breakdown I don't remember exactly but it was something like, reading: 20, math: 16, organic: 19, bio: 16...etc. My gpa was 3.0/2.7(science). I didn't get in, not even an interview...this past fall and currently I am taking more science classes to help my gpa, show the schools that I am willing to work harder now and have better grades...I'm applying this summer for the fall of 2003, and my question is this.

    May: Finals for Current classes
    June: Doing the AADSAS application/sending materials in
    End of June: I'm planning to go to India for 2 weeks because of a death in the family earlier on this year-

    When I return from India, should I study and retake the DAT? I'm so worried that I might get the same score or even do worse than the first time. My prehealth advisor said it's up to me, but if I'm applying for the 2nd time, I should give it my all and retake it. Do schools take the most recent score, do they average or do they take the best of the 2? My gut feeling is to retake it because my gpa is crappy...I hate even thinking about it...anyone have any advice?

    (ps. My recc's are good, I have some experience in a dental office, but no research-because I'm not interested in that hurting me? And my last semester grades were: organic I(retake): A-, microbio: B, biochem: B-. This semester I'm taking organic II and two other bio classes and tutoring chemistry as a part time job)

    Any advice, I'd really appreciate it, thanks :D
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  3. UofM01

    UofM01 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2001

    I know what you are going through. Look at your situation this are taking extra science courses which is a HUGE plus for starters. Get B's or Better in all of them and if I were you I would retake the DAT. You will do better on it the 2nd time trust me. I do not know anyone who has done worse. The first time is always the hardest because you really do not know what to expect. Do yourself the favor and retake it so that way you can sell yourself to the commitees next year by saying I have taken more Science classes and Worked at a dental office and I retook the DAT. They will really be impressed. GOOD LUCK! You will do Great !
  4. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper 10+ Year Member

    Take it again! Look at what I am able to complish with new DAT scores even with a 2.7 cumulative and less than a 2.5 science undergrad GPAs! Be sure to add a little personal touch (phone calls, emails, meet them in person if possible) with your motivation, admissions personal really enjoys that! :cool:
  5. EyeCandy

    EyeCandy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2001
    You are in a very sticky situation but with some planning you could make it work. Eventhough your biochem and microbio weren't as well as perhaps you wanted, considering you are a grad student and not an undergrad. If I were you, I would defenitely want to retake the DAT, your previous grades were average and combine them with your grad work, you are gonna have a tough time getting an interview. The DAT should be review for you so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge, and with new and improved scores you will become a competitive applicant. Also I was wondering that if you were a bio major, why didn't you already take biochem during undergrad? Most dental students I know actually did well in biochem, you just gotta work harder and then you will see the results you need. Good Luck on whatever you decide. :)
  6. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    thanks for the advice guys.

    eyecandy, I was a psych major in undergrad.

    Bumping and grinding this thread :)
  7. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Simseema 17,
    You are sort of between the rock and hard place on the DAT retake issue. Your scores fall within the averages of those who get accepted at many dental schools. On one hand, producing a new academic average of 20+ would obviously help your cause. However, showing no significant improvement or even worse on a retake would likely damage your case. I think you have do some soul searching. If you are willing to devote a good three months to nothing other than DAT prep then I say retake it. If you are burnt out on getting up for the DAT again, then I would advise you to go with the first score only. Good luck.
  8. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    Thanks for your help guys. Yes, I do feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place (that's the story of my life). I think this semester I will just work my tail off and improve my science the time finals are over and I start doing my dental application, I hope to have thought it over more and make a better decision. I will have to write a list of pros/cons and think about the timing especially. If anyone has any similar experiences, it would be great to read them...thanks again <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
  9. quantumhead

    quantumhead Verrucas Vulgaris 7+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2002
    Richmong, VA
    I took the DAT twice. The first time I had not had O Chem so I bombed that section. In addition I was one big overstimulated quivering bundel of nerves. The second time I had O Chem and I bought one of the review books (I can't remember which and I already donated them to AED). I got a 17 the first time and a 19 the second time. If nothing else it shows that I had enough dedication to put up the $$ twice.
    End of story, I got into my top three choices DEC 1st. I will be at VCU and I think that anything you can do to improve your chances you should do. It is all worth it in the end, or the next begining, whatever.
  10. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper 10+ Year Member


    I really do not think that you are in a hard place! If you are in a hard place, then I was in a harder place! It's simple as this, listen:

    If you want dental school REALLY bad, then just do what ever it take to make your application better!! You HAVE to have the confidence that you will do better on your next DAT. Without a doubt, I would retake it because I know that once I increase my scores the second time, then I will increase my chances of getting in!! NO "if"s or "but"s, just committ yourself to your DAT studies and get them 20s!!!

    Check this out:

    Your first time:

    GPAs = greater than 3.0
    DATs = 18/17

    My first time:

    GPAs = less than 2.7 cumulative/2.5 science!!!
    DATs = 17/24 (first time) 20/23 (second time)
    and 3 interviews thus far, some still might be coming!!!

    I'm telling you, my new increased DAT scores really showed dental schools that I meant business inspite of my blemish undergraduate record!!

    No more "I'll have to think about it" or "I'm at a hard place"...JUST tell yourself that you can do it and you WILL do it!!! Retake and DAT and get them 20s!!! Always do everything in your reach to improve your application! Don't even get in that frame of mind that you'll do worse the second time! That will only happen if you LET it happen!

    Sounds like your current GPAs are in great status, improve your other application components!

    I hope that my application situation demonstrated how increased DAT scores can get you further in the application process!

    I bet you anything that you would have better chances receiving interview invites and acceptances with a new set of improved DAT scores along with your current new GPAs than just your current new GPAs alone for your next application cycle!

    I personally would do ANYTHING to increase my chances of getting an acceptance and that included studying of the DAT for three months straight and over New Years Eve when all my friends are out drinking and celebrating!! Well, only thing I have left to say is, my hard work studying for the DATs paid off, in my opinion, your hard work will too if you so to apply it!!

  11. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny

    I am pretty sure I am going to retake it, but I have only one worry...this might sound stupid but I'll ask it anyway.

    My finals are finished at the end of May.

    Early June I want to finish my AADSAS application because I most likely will go to India for 2 wks at the end of June.

    When I return from India, I plan on teaching part time in the summer (to prepare myself for teaching science full time in the fall), so that is when I would have to take the DAT.

    Soo, lets say, I study in June (a little bit) and study hardcore in July and maybe half of August, and I take the DAT at the of August, does that put me behind in the rolling admissions process?

    I'm not sure yet, but if I retake the DAT, my prehealth office won't send my composite recommendation in until they receive my new DAT scores take about 1-2 weeks (is that right?) so I probabaly won't be COMPLETE at a dental school until you think that's late?

    Part of me feels like going to India in the middle of the summer kind of ruins my studying, but I really must go (I've had two aunts die in the past 2 years who were only in their 40's, and my cousins are still young)...maybe I can study in June, and when I come back study my BUTT off...

    I think you're right, enough contemplating...I should kick butt this semester w/my grades (better than last semester), and decide to retake it.

    Do you think I'd be at a disadvantage by not having all my materials in early? The first time I applied my materials were complete in Sept and I thought that was late....I don't know...I just don't want to put myself at a disadvantage.

    Thanks so much for your advice...I think your determination is admirable. I am determined, but just feeling a little chickened out lately...(I think being rejected the first time and now applying the second time makes me a little nervous)...

    anyways, thanks again all :)
  12. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2001
    vallejo, CA
    Simseema 17!

    You are going thru what I have been going through. My gpa is similar to yours. Probably .1 higher. My DAT is 19/18. I applied in 2000 and got only 1 interview from university of Pitt. And they rejected me. And at that time, I was working as a research associate at UCB, and I had also done 2 yrs of undergrad research. I was really PO after that, because I knew some people got worse score than mine got in. However, I still want to do it. So, I'm studying like crazy now for the DAT(since last oct). I also got 2 papers published last year (first author). I now plan of taking some graduate classes to improve my gpa and will retake the infamous DAT again this coming july hopefully. I just want to make sure that I will be in and I will do anything in my power to make it happen. What will you do if you won't get in next yr just because of your DAT? I definitely think that you should get a new score, show them that you want to be a dentist. Then, it will happen. Don't just let it go because of a simple test.
    Best of luck
  13. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper 10+ Year Member


    I think it's really do-able! Here's what I like to further suggest:

    First, if the application is available for you to complete online in the beginning June 2002, go ahead complete it and submit the darn thing, dental schools won't receive it until a month later or even longer (so probably in July or August 2002) anyways!

    During all this time, you're studying for your second DAT which will be scheduled at the end of August 2002 (NOTE: bring your studying materials back to India with you, every hour of studying will help!!). Take the DAT at the end of August upon your return, you'll get your unofficial score sheet right there and then at the end of the exam that you can fax/scan/email to dental schools before they receive the official score sheet. (timing will be perfect, by the time you fax them your unofficial DAT score sheet, they probably just received your AADSAS application for fall 2003)

    As far as you school's committee for letters of recommendation and how they want a copy of your new DAT scores prior to typing your letter, then give them a copy of your unofficial score sheet that you have in your possession! A health profession's committee should be able to use that unofficial score sheet to type you a letter, it's your scores that they want to see, not the official DAT score sheet.

    Second, if dental schools receive your fall 2003 AADSAS application in August, THAT IS NOT LATE in the rolling admissions cycle process!! That is perfect timing, in my opinion!!! I know a lot of us on SDN will have different opinion about when to submit the AADSAS application, but August is not TOO late!! Our goal here is to be accepted, whether it's the first round, second round or even the thrid round of acceptances, WHO CARES!!! As long as we are accepted right?

    Look at me for example! I submitted my AADSAS fairly late (others will call it extremely late) at the end of November 2001 and retook my DAT on JANUARY 2002 and I'm currently still in the game!!!!! All my interviews thus far has been or will be for a seat in the class and not for the waiting list!! I think that you'll be fine as far as rolling admissions goes if you submit your AADSAS in August 2002.

    Remember, again, our goal is to get you in and accepted! If it takes you another 3 weeks to make you feel completely confident to earn them 20s on the DAT into September 2002, I would take that additional 3 weeks to study for it!! You can ALWAYS submit your AADSAS before your retake the DAT.

    The main point here is not when you submit your application, but what you add to your application this second time around that makes you a more competitive applicant!

    Your plan right now, finish AADSAS in June, take the DAT in August = PERFECT!!! Please be sure to dedicate your time and energy to the DAT! You HAVE to make this round of application absolutely PERFECT!!!! Unless you wouldn't mind going in for a third round! :cool:
  14. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA Moderator Emeritus Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

    Jul 21, 2001
    Washington, DC
    SDN Exhibitor
    YOU CAN DO IT!!!
  15. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    Thanks guys, you're the best! I love the predental support on here :D Hopefully some of us will be classmates one day... <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
  16. Buckyball

    Buckyball Play with my "Buckyballs" 7+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2001
    Hey Simseema,

    As it looks like everyone is saying, especially Yah-ZZZ, retake that DAT and ace it!!!!!!!!!!

    Your scores on some of the sections are not so good, so you can definitely improve. I don't think India should get in the way... just do the topscore, and improve your science using the Kaplan Books (worked well for me), and if you want a smaller book, Barron's DAT prep book.

    Good luck, and sorry to hear about your aunts passing away. Were they your masi's or bhua's?

  17. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    thanks buckyball...both of my aunts were my moms younger sisters (one died from breast cancer and one died from an unexpected aneurism...very sad :()

    I think I'm going to use the Kaplan book I still have and try and find some Topscore CD's, although I'll miss those practice problems that Kaplan had in their libraries...I'm wondering if they'll allow me to pay for only like 2 or 3 weeks just to use their material...I'll have to find out.

    Where can I get Topscore CD's? Are they good, that's what I've heard. Hopefully the Kaplan book I have will be good enough and then I can just keep taking practice tests.

    Thanks guys :)
  18. ItsGavinC

    ItsGavinC Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 7, 2001

    The TopScore PRO cd is made by ScholarWare. You can get it directly from the ScholarWare website.

    The quickest way to get there is to go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

    Good luck with your studying! I'm taking the DAT on May 31 for the first time.
  19. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    thanks gavinC. Good luck to all of you taking the DAT, or retaking it like me :) Let's try and get 'em in the 20's!! GOOD LUCK <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

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