taking a year off?


Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2008
  1. Pre-Dental
    I am new to SDN, but am contemplating my pre-dental timeline and am considering taking a year off.

    I am currently a junior at a top 20 university as a Bio major with about a 3.4 gpa.
    The reason I want to take a year off is to have this upcoming summer to work on studying for the DAT because I don't feel that I'm ready to take it at this point, although I have taken orgo, bio, etc. I feel that I would do best with a full summer off to study and review to get the best score possible. I think that I would be able to work in a dental office, as I did last summer, while I am studying. In my year off, I would also like to work as a dental assisstant or possibly do research. I feel like I would be able to be the best applicant I can be instead of rushing to complete all of the courses/applications/DAT this year.

    Is this common for dental school applicants? I have heard that the average age to enter dental school is aroun 25 so I am guessing it is? And would admissions committees frown upon this at all?

    Thank you so much for any information you have!! :)


    Junior Member
    10+ Year Member
    7+ Year Member
    Jun 19, 2006
      To be quite honest (and this is coming from experience), that sounds like a awesome idea but it is easier said than done. If you plan to work full-time as a dental assistant and study for the DATs at the same time, be aware that you may be too exhausted to study after a hard day of work. Some of my friends went through this and I went through something like this myself. I have always been a studious student (a gunner almost :laugh:) so it was not because I was lazy. Besides a summers worth of studying is probably enough for the DATs but I guess that depends on each individual. Would you really remember something you studied 3 months ago?
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      10+ Year Member
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      Feb 5, 2008
      1. Dentist
        I'm not sure how common it is, but I have taken a year off because I was forced to - didn't get in last cycle. However, it's been an absolute blessing in disguise. I focused on studying for the DAT and improved my scores and have been working full time as a dental assistant since graduating in May. I'm paying off all of my dental school application debts and hopefully will have a little bit of money saved for dental school (or more likely, apartment deposit). I think a year off can be beneficial as long as you aren't going to forget what it's like to be in school and how to study.

        There has been the argument pro and con on assisting, so you can search threads for info on that, I'm not going to get into it here. But I would say that even though your GPA is not very very low, it might not hurt to do research because with sub-3.5 GPAs I think it is more beneficial to work on your academics than dental experience.


        Full Member
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        Apr 23, 2008
        1. Dental Student
          When you interview they will focus on that year off and ask you about it so be prepared. As long as you keep the focus a year off of school can be beneficial but too often is detrimental due to loss of focus.


          Full Member
          10+ Year Member
          Oct 31, 2008
            if I were you I would at least give studying for the DAT and taking practice tests a try. You really might not be as far from prepared as you think. The longer you wait, the further away you are from your pre-reqs that makeup the DATs.
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