Schools won't even look at you app without it
After you have bribed them, then they will put you app in order and skim it. Most schools, especially comptetive ones, will look for 3 things: GPA, Personal Statement, and DAT scores.
If you meet those minimums then they will invite you for the interview.
Now, it is here where the fun begins. Your numbers really don't matter here, I think. It is a equal playing field. You have been chosen, as the select few that the school thinks is capable of handling the curriculum and succeed in dentistry, due to you motivation.
Now the school will look at your personality, ability to be amicable, and your people skills. A great application on paper can become trash if the interview goes bad (inconsistencies in what you say, trouble illustrating your message, trouble with English, bad manners, bad appearance).
Only after this will the commitee decide on your application. Usually this is right after the interview and many schools ask for your photograph for this reason so they can remember who you were.
It's a long process, but getting an interview is the main goal. After that you are almost at the finish line....or are you? I question this every day.
Heh heh... It is only the beginning! (resounding evil laugh)
I've only recently passed the halfway point of this 4-year journey known as dental school, and all I can say is this: You will laugh, you will cry. It will be the best of times, it will be the worst of times. Periods of immense stress will alternate with periods of all-too-brief sigh of relief at passing an exam. There will be moments of elation, moments of UTTER frustration.
Yep, that's what I thought, too. "All I'll do now is focus on just getting IN!"
Well, guess what. When you actually DO get in.....and are weeks away from starting like me......it is finally starting to hit you that you are going to have to start studying again, freaking out about grades, more late nights, more abandoned friends and significant others, more crying (OK, at least in my girlie case).........all the horrible crap you went through in college to get into this mess - but double it!
But hey.....I definitely wouldn't be doing all this if I wanted it BAD. The satisfaction at the end will be priceless.........I think?
When you first start class, open your mouth wide, hold on tight, and prepare to be inundated by the fire hose of knowledge. And don't fret about those ugly itchy red blothces you may get all over your body after waxing up your first tooth in that overly hot lab. You have not come down with an incurrable dose of jungle rot. It is only a case of heat rash that has been exasperated by your feelings of stress.
i can't wait until I get to be like a "sponge" again and absorb all that "gooey stuff" they teach you in dental school. It's going to be hard, I know. But I'm just glad I didn't take 5 years off and have to re-start studying again. I laud people who do that, but I don't think I would or could do that. So for me I think it will just be switching one gear to the next you know, just like climbing a hill on a 21-speed bike.
Also, this upcoming year (my fifth year due to two degrees) I only have 12 credits I need to take to finish up, but also intend to take gross anatomy, histology, and hopefully find a job in a dental lab.
For those of you just starting dental school, just make sure you take it one day at a time. I know it's easier to focus on the big picture, but since each day is like a week of undergrad it is to your advantage to take it one day at a time. Good luck.