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transitioning to DAT

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by sk06, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. sk06

    sk06 New Member 5+ Year Member

    94
    0
    Aug 8, 2006
    I took the MCAT in January and have decided upon a career change to dentistry so I am wondering if I have enough time to study for the DAT now until the end of May and take it sometime in late May? I know the DAT is quite different from the MCAT & has the added math and PAT parts so I dont really know if all that MCAT studying will have helped me for the DAT. Any advice would be appreciated!
     
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  3. dentaldentist

    dentaldentist Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    293
    1
    Aug 21, 2006

    If you still have all of your MCAT materials, you can use most of those to help you prepare, but you don't need to worry about physics (not on the DAT) and you'll probably want to also get some more DAT specific guides. I suggest you start with the Kaplan blue book and would also get TopScore DAT (the most accurate set of computerized sample tests you will find). Kaplan covers most everything fairly well. The kaplan book is a little bit weak on the bio section and very weak on the PAT section. To brush up on bio you can try something like schaum's outline of biology and for the PAT, if you find you need extra help you can try Barron's DAT guide.

    * Kaplan blue book
    * Topscore

    If you are going to take the test at the end of May, get your butt in gear and start studying hardcore. The DAT is not as tough as the MCAT, but it certainly is not easy. If you did well on the MCAT, then you should do fine on the DAT as long as you brush up on all your subjects and learn how to handle the math and PAT sections. If you are switching to dentistry because you didn't do well on the MCAT, you'll need to make sure you put in as much time as you can before you take the test.

    Also, since you are considering the switch to Dentistry, make sure you know what you are getting into. Get some shadowing in with a dentist (or two or three) and read up on the profession. Dentistry is awesome, but it is different than medicine so make sure this is a good transition for you. Also, you will want to have some shadowing hours on your application to dental school - many schools require a certain amount of shadowing, and without it you look like a premed student trying to use dentistry as a backup (which is not looked well upon by acceptance committes). Another thought is that if you are new to the idea of dentistry and are a little unsure if that what you really want (since it sounds like you are just now becoming interested in the field) you may want to take a year and apply next year to give you more time to investigate the field and really make sure its right for you. I took a few years off myself always considering returning to dentistry and am happy I took that time as I am very happy where I am at now and am confident I am I made the right career choice in the end. Anyway, good luck.
     
  4. transzincIIB

    transzincIIB Accepted Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

    138
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    Mar 27, 2007
    California
    Well, I've read the MCAT book for the Biology section and it helps a lot. But the DAT book contain details like the taxonomic classification, the plants (autotrophic nutriction), ecology as well as the animal/human behavior. hope this helps.
     
  5. sk06

    sk06 New Member 5+ Year Member

    94
    0
    Aug 8, 2006
    Thanks for the tips. I've been considering dentistry for the past 1.5 years but thought I would take the mcat just to see how i'd do (bad call i know). I did decent all sections except for the damn physics part. my physics has always sucked. I actually really like dentistry so far since I have been shadowing dentists and oral surgeons (so far) this past summer & winter. Do you think it would be too late if I pushed the DAT back to June if I feel like i'm not ready?
     
  6. dentaldentist

    dentaldentist Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    293
    1
    Aug 21, 2006
    Sounds like you know what you are doing then. :)

    As far as the DAT goes, you can push it back as late as mid July and really not be hurt at all for your application. You can submit your application without having taken the DAT, so I would suggest getting your application in by June for sure, but your DAT you can take later. Most schools don't even start looking at applications until the beginning of august and I believe it takes about 2 weeks for your DAT scores to be sent to the schools while it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for your application to be sent in. If you don't feel ready, take the extra time and take the test a little later. Also, you should probably schedule your test at least a month in advance to get the date and time you want.
     
  7. toothfairy85

    toothfairy85 Guest

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    Aug 22, 2006
    Texas
    I took my DAT in June when I applied. A lot of people even wait to take it in August after they've submitted their application. Don't rush into it though. Take it when you feel you are prepared.
     
  8. stevenweng

    stevenweng New Member 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 18, 2006
    Most of the Kaplan material is exactly the same, with the MCAT books a bit more detailed but that won't hurt you. However I would recommend you get the Kaplan DAT blue book because there are several topics especially in biology that are covered on DAT not on MCAT, and vice versa. Also you may want to consider DAT Destroyer, DAT Achiever, and although I haven't tried it, Topscore.

    The DAT overall is a much easier exam. I took my MCAT last August, and I started seriously studying for DAT's around mid January and took them this past Tuesday. I put in about 3 hours a day on average, sometimes I'd take a weekend off and occasionally I'd do an 8 hour marathon.

    It wasn't too bad but I do have to admit the DAT is a lot more detail oriented. I got by doing well on the MCAT bio without knowing much detail, due to its passaged based nature. The DAT is all about knowing obscure details and being able to apply them...

    good luck
     
  9. sk06

    sk06 New Member 5+ Year Member

    94
    0
    Aug 8, 2006
    thanks everyone. i really appreciate all the help! :)
     

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