Should I even bother taking the DAT?

  • No

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • Yes

    Votes: 22 81.5%

  • Total voters
    27
Sep 15, 2017
1
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm turning 27 in December. A lot has happened over the course of the last 10 years- 3 of them were spent on a full-time service mission, I got married, had a baby, and our son later passed away. So needless to say, I've been in and out of school for a while. I'm currently a junior (undergrad) majoring in biology and currently have a 2.5 GPA, and best case scenario, I would be able to take the DAT next August.

I have been a full-time dental assistant for 6 years at the busiest dental clinic in the state. One of the dentists that used to work there is the brother of the dean of admissions at a dental school out of state. He said he'd be happy to hand-deliver my LOR to his brother in the admissions office.

So, even though I have nearly 10,000 hours of chairside assisting and a strong personal reference, is my GPA and age combination overpoweringly horrible? I don't know if I should even bother- even if the schools I apply to are "easier" to get into.

I'm half Hispanic and trilingual. My wife is a highly paid software engineer and has a hefty inheritance so we wouldn't be in need of much assistance... I don't even know if those things are taken into consideration when applying.
 
Last edited:

testtest123

2+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2017
46
17
i'll keep it short.

3 things matter - GPA, DAT, extracurriculars.

GPA - work harder.

DAT - If your GPA starts showing a strong upward trend, study for the DAT and aim for 20+ on both TS/AA

Extracurriculars - Seems like you have a lot of dental assisting experience. That's good.
 

Faefly

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2016
1,990
1,163
Status
Dental Student
First. I am so sorry for your loss. Words can't alleviate your pain, but I hope you are feeling better.

Secondly, you are still young but even if you were older, my brother's friend got into dental school at age of 33 and now he got accepted into an Ortho program. So, Please don't let age stand in your way.
Yeah, some schools won't like older students, but some schools don't really care as long as you have the right numbers.

and here where we have a problem
Your gpa is 2.5. You really really need to bring it up to 3 and above.
and you really need to get a high dat score.

But that being said, it's not impossible, and you can do it!

You can do it, don't give up and don't let anyone sway you from your dreams!
 
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MendiT13

UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry c/o 2022
May 13, 2017
172
117
San Antonio, TX
Status
Dental Student
Age is just a number!!! I am 31 and just applied the first time this year...and Sorry to hear about your loss. Being older, you will have a ton of life experiences that will help you be a better dentist. You have a story, a why, and passion then apply when you are ready. Work on getting that GPA up, take the DAT and then go from there.
 

mapetite

2+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2017
108
104
Status
Dental Student
I'm turning 27 in December. A lot has happened over the course of the last 10 years- 3 of them were spent on a full-time service mission, I got married, had a baby, and our son later passed away. So needless to say, I've been in and out of school for a while. I'm currently a junior (undergrad) majoring in biology and currently have a 2.5 GPA, and best case scenario, I would be able to take the DAT next August.

I have been a full-time dental assistant for 6 years at the busiest dental clinic in the state. One of the dentists that used to work there is the brother of the dean of admissions at a dental school out of state. He said he'd be happy to hand-deliver my LOR to his brother in the admissions office.

So, even though I have nearly 10,000 hours of chairside assisting and a strong personal reference, is my GPA and age combination overpoweringly horrible? I don't know if I should even bother- even if the schools I apply to are "easier" to get into.

I'm half Hispanic and trilingual. My wife is a highly paid software engineer and has a hefty inheritance so we wouldn't be in need of much assistance... I don't even know if those things are taken into consideration when applying.
If you can write a really good personal statement, do well on your DAT, show that upward trend in GPA that they love to see, I think you have a really good shot! And from what I've heard, your age/life experience only strengthens your application. I'm 28 and applying to dental school for the second time after a 5 year break (as a touring musician), and I just got my second interview!! Nothing is impossible!!
 
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knewstance

2+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2016
407
348
Status
Dental Student
If you can pull together a DAT score in the 22+ range, I think schools would give you a shot despite the low GPA. That DAT score will be your determining factor.

So to answer your question, yes its worth taking the DAT. Applying to dental school will be a question that needs to be reassessed after you know your DAT score.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,181
2,334
Status
Dentist
If you can pull together a DAT score in the 22+ range, I think schools would give you a shot despite the low GPA. That DAT score will be your determining factor.
So to answer your question, yes its worth taking the DAT. Applying to dental school will be a question that needs to be reassessed after you know your DAT score.
Kind of like driving across the country to the Pacific of Atlantic Oceans and, after dipping your toes in the water, deciding that the water is too cold to take a dive and then doing a U turn. Commitment to pursue a career is the single most important factor in deciding which applicants to choose for interview/acceptance.
 
Last edited:

Michael_Scott

Best Boss
2+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2016
431
325
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I'm turning 27 in December. A lot has happened over the course of the last 10 years- 3 of them were spent on a full-time service mission, I got married, had a baby, and our son later passed away. So needless to say, I've been in and out of school for a while. I'm currently a junior (undergrad) majoring in biology and currently have a 2.5 GPA, and best case scenario, I would be able to take the DAT next August.

I have been a full-time dental assistant for 6 years at the busiest dental clinic in the state. One of the dentists that used to work there is the brother of the dean of admissions at a dental school out of state. He said he'd be happy to hand-deliver my LOR to his brother in the admissions office.

So, even though I have nearly 10,000 hours of chairside assisting and a strong personal reference, is my GPA and age combination overpoweringly horrible? I don't know if I should even bother- even if the schools I apply to are "easier" to get into.

I'm half Hispanic and trilingual. My wife is a highly paid software engineer and has a hefty inheritance so we wouldn't be in need of much assistance... I don't even know if those things are taken into consideration when applying.
Hi, I am sorry for your loss.
You have great amount of dental experience. Your GPA is low. I would really suggest doing a 1 yr masters after undergrad and doing DAT and doing well in both. That will give you a much better chance at dental school.
As for your financial status and going for dental school, its totally up to you. Is being a dentist a passion for you ?
You are obviously doing very well financially so it comes down to your personal choices (time, money, life, etc)
 
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