Students accepted with GPA under 3.3X, what do you believe made you stick out?

supraman

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Just like the title states, I would like to find hear what you think made you stick out and also if you could state the name of the school . DAT scores? ECs?
Thanks for the info guys, this would help a lot of people.
 
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stdmufin27

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Participated in a lot of EC's. Make sure you do all the research/volunteer/shadow/school club hours possible. "Prettify" your app as much as possible with everything you can do. Oh yeah, and as previously stated make sure you have the upward trend. The adcom's have to notice that you performed better in the more difficult upper div. classes.
 

flyingkao

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DAT score, EC's, research, personal statement, letters of rec, essays on the secondaries, the works. GPA is only an aspect (although a very important part) of your application.
 

pingy24

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1. Definately my DAT scores, 20+ in all areas except 18 in QR. I only had a 3.21 cumGPA and 3.14 sGPA (Could have done better, but I chose to have fun and have a lot of ECs as well).

2. Not sure if this actually helped or not, but I don't think it hurt any. I mentioned names of alumni that I personally know. I know recent grads of all the schools I was accepted to (they all claimed to have been well liked by the staff and did well in dental school) and I met with them before my interviews and they gave me advice and told me things to say to the dean or interviewers that they like to hear. At the end of the interviews when just chatting I always threw in the "Dr. so and so says hi and wanted me to let you know they are doing good and are so gratful for the education they received here" or something along those lines. I also did the the same thing if and when asked "why this school". I think this would be most helpful at schools that have really strong alumni ties. Maybe made them think that if they didn't accept me they would hear from the alums I know. I didn't get accepted to any of the schools I interviewed at and didn't know an alumni.
 

Dan3223

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Upward trend, decent DAT scores, worked as an assistant for a little while, good interview.... and a just plain dumb luck.
 

armorshell

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I'll go out on a limb and say unless you're DAT score is killer, ECs, shadowing and letters of rec aren't going to do anything for you.
 

stdmufin27

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Come on, not true. I know plenty of people get in w/ an average gpa (a little above 3.0)/DAT (18), good EC's, and a good interview. Obviously above average in those categories makes you a shoe in but not having killer DAT is not the death of your app.
 

MB111

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a lot of u guys mentioning working as a dental assistant. don't you need to take a full-blown course on assisting before u could do this? correct me if i'm wrong. i'm also from canada so maybe it's a bit different in the states.
 

armorshell

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Come on, not true. I know plenty of people get in w/ an average gpa (a little above 3.0)/DAT (18), good EC's, and a good interview. Obviously above average in those categories makes you a shoe in but not having killer DAT is not the death of your app.
If you're going for the slam dunk, DAT is the way to go. I'm sure there are people that get in with all average stats, but there's no "guarantees" that way.
 

jigabodo

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If you're going for the slam dunk, DAT is the way to go. I'm sure there are people that get in with all average stats, but there's no "guarantees" that way.
I agree. If you want to make sure you do stick out, getting a killer DAT score is probably the best way.

Out of all the schools I interviewed, many schools use formulas to judge the student's stats and DAT score is usually one of the most important portions.
 
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Dan3223

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a lot of u guys mentioning working as a dental assistant. don't you need to take a full-blown course on assisting before u could do this? correct me if i'm wrong. i'm also from canada so maybe it's a bit different in the states.
You can do a lot of assisting stuff without being certified.... you just cant do certain things like take xrays. You probably wont get paid as much if you arent certified... but pay isnt really the main concern with this type of job (at least it wasnt for me).
 

sarah_bellum

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1 - Strong DAT (20+ in all sections).
2 - Specifically, for UNC, my work in the MED program.
 

MB111

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You can do a lot of assisting stuff without being certified.... you just cant do certain things like take xrays. You probably wont get paid as much if you arent certified... but pay isnt really the main concern with this type of job (at least it wasnt for me).
i agree. but a lot of dentists would probably prefer to hire an assistant that's certified. b/c it'd probably take a lot longer to train. im iffy about whether to ask around all those dentists to see if they'd take me as an assistant, with no background in dentistry/assisting -related courses

but i haen't gotten accepted this cycle. i applied in oct so that may be a tiny factor. im hoping for more luck this coming cycle =(
 

alanan84

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2. Not sure if this actually helped or not, but I don't think it hurt any. I mentioned names of alumni that I personally know. I know recent grads of all the schools I was accepted to (they all claimed to have been well liked by the staff and did well in dental school) and I met with them before my interviews and they gave me advice and told me things to say to the dean or interviewers that they like to hear. At the end of the interviews when just chatting I always threw in the "Dr. so and so says hi and wanted me to let you know they are doing good and are so gratful for the education they received here" or something along those lines. I also did the the same thing if and when asked "why this school". I think this would be most helpful at schools that have really strong alumni ties. Maybe made them think that if they didn't accept me they would hear from the alums I know. I didn't get accepted to any of the schools I interviewed at and didn't know an alumni.
I hope this really didn't help
 
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supraman

supraman

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I figured it was mainly DAT so ill get crackin on it!
 

alanan84

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???
Why do you hope it didn't help?
While it may not be the case, I would like to hope that you get into dental school based on what you know not who you know.
 

Dan3223

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i agree. but a lot of dentists would probably prefer to hire an assistant that's certified. b/c it'd probably take a lot longer to train. im iffy about whether to ask around all those dentists to see if they'd take me as an assistant, with no background in dentistry/assisting -related courses
My 'assistant' job was understood to be a 'student assistant' position. I got the job because I offered to work for free at first as a sort of intern. After a couple weeks, I was put on the payroll. Some dentists like the idea of taking a young aspiring dentist under their wing and teaching them and being a mentor. I didnt do all chair side assisting.... I also helped out with the front desk stuff, lab type stuff, cleaning and sanitizing, and lots of other bi!<h work.
Offering to work for free for a little while is a great way to get your foot in the door... and they dont mind teaching you things... especially if they arent paying you. Then once you get some skills and start taking on some regular tasks around the office, you become valuable...
 

KinKs

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I wore custom Fendi glasses to the interview
 

gijohn529

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Strong DAT score should boost your porfolio significantly (20+). Make sure to put down as many extracurriculars as you can to show that you are well-rounded. If you could, do some research... I didn't have any and I think that hindered me a bit.

I was a business major with a cumulative gpa of 3.17 and took my dental prereqs at community colleges... dat of 21 with all scores 20 and above.

Gonna be at NYU but still hoping to hear back from USC. Good luck to you and do not give up. I had to apply twice... it was a setback but it's giving me time to pay off some debt and prepare for school.

Good luck and PM me if you need additional info.
 
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SMCohen

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1. DAT score - 21/21/21, and all but one score above 20 (19 in bio)
2. Worked p/t in a dental office as a receptionist for 5 years
3. Masters degree in management after a BSc (Hons)
 

desert rat

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At the dental school I attended we had a lot of low GPA students. Several were there as minority enrichment. One was a former assistant at the school and only had 3 years of community college with less than 2.75 GPA in sciences. We had many others with excuses.

In some states like IA they have preference for in state students and are required to take at leat 30% in state. The population of Iowa is only about 2 mil, so the applican pool is small and that helps to get in regardless of grades. Now add some other things like prior working at the school and being a minority as an iowa resident and you do OK at the interview and your odds are increased.
 

Amalgam4U

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i had a good gpa and dat scores, but didn't get in my first time around. So kinda the opposite of what you were looking for, but hopefully also valuable.

I attribute it to my application being late (Oct), and lack of substantive dental experience.

I also sucked out on the only interview I had.


moral of the story: numbers only get you so far. :luck:

Good luck.
 

swtcatastrophe

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1. my undergrad (predents at my school are a rare breed. 3/1100 in my graduating class.)
2. dental experience in different forms (shadowing, assisting, research, internship)
3. interview
 

qwerty86

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I have 3.3 but My DAT Total science is 23. With 27 In bio. I think that is what helped me out the most.
 

SoonDent

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If your GPA is low (like mine was) I think what works is making every other aspect of your application above average inc. shadowing, volunteering, masters classes, leadership activities, DAT.

Specifically during the interviews they were impressed with the DAT scores, volunteering at a dental clinic, and high graduate GPA.
 
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KendoMania

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My overall gpa is 3.3, but having 3.8 for my science gpa with upward trend helped me a lot. Strong DAT(above 20 on every subject) should back up weak gpa too.
 

MiztiKatz

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While it may not be the case, I would like to hope that you get into dental school based on what you know not who you know.
Some times it helps to say I know so and so, who graduated from your school, and I think that the skills that your school provided allow him to be a competent and compassionate dentist

At least in my opinion its not knowing a person, but more knowing how that school has prepared that student for a career in dentistry.
 

alanan84

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Some times it helps to say I know so and so, who graduated from your school, and I think that the skills that your school provided allow him to be a competent and compassionate dentist

At least in my opinion its not knowing a person, but more knowing how that school has prepared that student for a career in dentistry.
Ok and that will help YOU decide where YOU want to go to school. THEY will decide based on your stats/accomplishments/skills if they accept you.

I just hate how networking has just overwhelmed the business sector. I don't like seeing it creep into healthcare professional schools where people who work hard and deserve it, should be getting in.
 

jay47

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Ok and that will help YOU decide where YOU want to go to school. THEY will decide based on your stats/accomplishments/skills if they accept you.

I just hate how networking has just overwhelmed the business sector. I don't like seeing it creep into healthcare professional schools where people who work hard and deserve it, should be getting in.
I couldn't agree more. Getting into this field is based a lot on what you know and not who you know. I like it that way better because everyone is on a level playing field. When it starts to get more like the business field, it starts to be more of who you know that what you know.
 

dr bojangles

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to the OP, check predents.com. you can search through the members, specifying certain gpa/dat numbers. kinda fun, actually.
my opinion, MORE. just more of everything....upward trend gpa, better dat, more shadowing/volunteer/research/EC's/etc. apply to the right fit schools, apply early. that is all.
good luck.
 
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supraman

supraman

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bumping my thread!

I graduated cum laude with 3.34 as a final gpa, sci gpa just under that, my application will be sent soon and I have a lot of other credentials that are really good. My only concern is DAT, I have been preparing for it and am planning to take it in July (mid July). Should I set it earlier? Or just keep it and do the best possible on it? Thanks!
 

714guy

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I thing there were a few things that really helped me over my previous year application

1. Applied early - I had everything in by the first week of june and stayed on top of all the secondaries.

2. Personal Statement was restructured and was more effective

3. An extra year of volunteering at the Dental Clinic.

4. More Science classes under my belt.

5. Lots of LUCK!!!

Good luck to you!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd try to get the DAT done ASAP..
 

MonchichiMan

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1. 2 years working as Dental Assistant - Oral surgery, endotontics, orhto, and general practice. Ability to take and process impressions including making retainers, night guards, and other appliances.

2. 2 years as a research assistant in a bacteriology lab

3. Determination: 3 year applying, made trips to see schools and requested interviews in early september to discuss improvements on my application.

Good luck to others! It works out in the end!
 

rollredroll

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hate to say it, but there isn't a thing wrong with using networking for anything. if you know someone who can give you an edge on getting into a school, you'd be an idiot to not use it.

the idea is that when you're older you pay it forward.
 

lgwdnbdgr

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3.25 GPA. What made me stick out was the name of my undergrad. Admissions committees DO take that into consideration and are impressed with a "lowly" 3.25 from Harvard.
 

AdidasPete

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Well I heard that Lgwdnbdgr actually busted out a ridiculously large pocket knife during his interview and in true Columbia fashion cut the throats of all the other interviewees! The Adcom ate it up! Not only did it help him stand out... He was the only person even standing!!!

But thats just what I heard....


As for me, I made up for a 3.3ish GPA and weak crappy orgo grades from back in sophomore year with blingin DAT scores (a 29 OC helps explain away a B- right quick...)
 

DrReo

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1. my undergrad (predents at my school are a rare breed. 3/1100 in my graduating class.)
2. dental experience in different forms (shadowing, assisting, research, internship)
3. interview
A 3.2 at MIT is 3 out of 1100?....? :confused:
 
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