Jul 2, 2020
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I am currently getting ready for DAT, and I am planning to take it in early April or late March.
I am not sure which school I should apply to before taking DAT, so I was planning to ask my professors for letters of recommendation after DAT.
This means that professors would approximately have 2 months to write a letter to me, is this enough time?
And I was wondering if I could submit my application first, then submit LOR to schools? Would this delay my application to be submitted to the school? Or will they be able to see my application without LOR?

I am really stressed with DAT right now and want to focus on this, not the LOR for now. Will this be okay...? I am just worried if I will not be able to submit my application because of LOR.

Thank you in advance.
 

2thDoc11

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Ask them ASAP.. there’s really not much to worry about when asking for LOR? Just provide them your transcript, resume, personal statement and maybe write them a paragraph about why your a good student or something. Some writers will do it that day, others will require the full 2 months and several reminders. Just go into their office and ask them and then provide them with whatever they need to write a good letter
 
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PerioDont

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Jun 7, 2015
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I am currently getting ready for DAT, and I am planning to take it in early April or late March.
I am not sure which school I should apply to before taking DAT, so I was planning to ask my professors for letters of recommendation after DAT.
This means that professors would approximately have 2 months to write a letter to me, is this enough time?
And I was wondering if I could submit my application first, then submit LOR to schools? Would this delay my application to be submitted to the school? Or will they be able to see my application without LOR?

I am really stressed with DAT right now and want to focus on this, not the LOR for now. Will this be okay...? I am just worried if I will not be able to submit my application because of LOR.

Thank you in advance.
Have you scheduled an actual date for your DAT? do that ASAP, esp with covid the testing centers are booked out.

I would just email them and ask them now, and say I can give you more info in April or so, letter is due June.
 
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Jaa_

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I like to do 6 months at the most before the letter is needed, and 2 months at the least. Why wait if you have professors that know you well enough already? Just polish up the CV and have it ready for your writers. Takes like a day. This will also save you time come applications when you can just copy paste from it.
 
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Jul 24, 2020
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I would strongly recommend asking now :) I did this last year for my app cycle (current). So I emailed them all in January to ask, I got coffee with some of my recommenders (pre-covid) to discuss since I'm a nontraditional student and they pretty much all had never written a letter of recommendation for a dental school applicant before so they wanted more information, and I had them send their letters to my committee for the committee letter by March. Even if I hadn't done a committee letter, I would have probably asked them to send their letters to the app service by April at latest so there's about 2 months of buffer room for error. Plus, it's always better to be one of the first to ask, then you'll be higher on their list of folks to write letters for and it'll go more quickly. I hope this helps!!
 
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amaze

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Jul 27, 2018
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I asked my letter writers 2 weeks before I submitted my application lol. I was not personally close to most of them and hadn’t even talked to them in ~4 years. Most professors are used to writing LORs for students, and assuming it’s not a super busy time for them, many can whip up a letter in literally a day.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to ask your letter writers now, but more likely than not, if you give them a 5-6 month deadline, they will not even think about writing your letter until a couple weeks before the deadline. If asking for LORs is stressing you out now and preventing you from focusing 100% on your DAT, I would suggest waiting until you take your DAT. Ace your DAT, then draft up a personal statement (can be a very rough draft) since some writers might ask for that. This still gives letter writers a few weeks/months to submit them.
 
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zToothinator

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This means that professors would approximately have 2 months to write a letter to me, is this enough time?
Yes 2 months is enough time. However, you don't need to know your DAT score before asking for letters. Regardless of what school you apply to, the requirements are pretty similar so at least identify what they all have in common and ask those letter writers in advance while you're still fresh in their memories.

And I was wondering if I could submit my application first, then submit LOR to schools? Would this delay my application to be submitted to the school? Or will they be able to see my application without LOR?
You can submit the application first and it will start the process of verifying your transcript but it will delay it being submitted to schools. Your application won't be flagged as "complete" until all of the LORs are submitted. The way it works is that you enter in the info for your LORs in AADSAS and can then submit the app. Once the letters are submitted, the status will update in AADSAS reflecting received.
 
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Jul 2, 2020
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Have you scheduled an actual date for your DAT? do that ASAP, esp with covid the testing centers are booked out.

I would just email them and ask them now, and say I can give you more info in April or so, letter is due June.
Do you know when the DAT opens for April? I remember that I could apply like 1 or 2 months before, but I don't remember the exact period.
So if I want to take DAT this April, will the schedules open in February?
thanks :)
 

PerioDont

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Do you know when the DAT opens for April? I remember that I could apply like 1 or 2 months before, but I don't remember the exact period.
So if I want to take DAT this April, will the schedules open in February?
thanks :)
I don't know but you should find out as this significantly can impact your plans :)
 
Jul 2, 2020
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I don't know but you should find out as this significantly can impact your plans :)
Okay, thank you :)
I also had some questions about some extra activities I need for dental school. I have currently around 60 hours of dental shadowing (planning to fill the 100 hrs) and worked as a summer intern for research, and mostly only worked in my academic years. I don't have clinical working experience, and the advisor told me that I will not be competitive since I don't have clinical experience. The advisor told me to not apply this year because I am not a competitive applicant. My overall GPA is around 3.7, and I did not calculate the science GPA but I am guessing that it would be around 3.3 -3.5. Do you think I should apply for next year (2022)? I have already graduated, and want to get into dental school faster.
What extra activities do people usually have (in this I mean what activities the majority has, not the "strong, competitive" applicants)?
I feel totally discouraged right now, and I am not even sure if applying this cycle is going to be okay.
Thank you!
 

Jaa_

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Jun 23, 2015
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Okay, thank you :)
I also had some questions about some extra activities I need for dental school. I have currently around 60 hours of dental shadowing (planning to fill the 100 hrs) and worked as a summer intern for research, and mostly only worked in my academic years. I don't have clinical working experience, and the advisor told me that I will not be competitive since I don't have clinical experience. The advisor told me to not apply this year because I am not a competitive applicant. My overall GPA is around 3.7, and I did not calculate the science GPA but I am guessing that it would be around 3.3 -3.5. Do you think I should apply for next year (2022)? I have already graduated, and want to get into dental school faster.
What extra activities do people usually have (in this I mean what activities the majority has, not the "strong, competitive" applicants)?
I feel totally discouraged right now, and I am not even sure if applying this cycle is going to be okay.
Thank you!
Your advisor is giving you poor advice. As long as you have shadowing, you do not need to work as an assistant on top of that. Shadowing is considered "clinical experience" for an undergrad. I pretty much had those stats GPA wise for undergrad. As long as you do well on the DAT and keep up on volunteering and what not you will be competitive.
 
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PerioDont

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Okay, thank you :)
I also had some questions about some extra activities I need for dental school. I have currently around 60 hours of dental shadowing (planning to fill the 100 hrs) and worked as a summer intern for research, and mostly only worked in my academic years. I don't have clinical working experience, and the advisor told me that I will not be competitive since I don't have clinical experience. The advisor told me to not apply this year because I am not a competitive applicant. My overall GPA is around 3.7, and I did not calculate the science GPA but I am guessing that it would be around 3.3 -3.5. Do you think I should apply for next year (2022)? I have already graduated, and want to get into dental school faster.
What extra activities do people usually have (in this I mean what activities the majority has, not the "strong, competitive" applicants)?
I feel totally discouraged right now, and I am not even sure if applying this cycle is going to be okay.
Thank you!
My advisor also told me not to apply and that I was wasting my time (I applied after my sophomore year, finished by B.S. in 3 years)

He was dead wrong as I got in first try. I never worked in a clinical role either. I had 150 shadowing hours, 3.7 GPA. Just get a good DAT score.

Since you graduated what are you doing now? see if you can take 6 weeks off and study like your life depends on it and ace the DAT.
 
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Jul 2, 2020
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Your advisor is giving you poor advice. As long as you have shadowing, you do not need to work as an assistant on top of that. Shadowing is considered "clinical experience" for an undergrad. I pretty much had those stats GPA wise for undergrad. As long as you do well on the DAT and keep up on volunteering and what not you will be competitive.
I didnt really volunteer in anything, (maybe doing some phone calls during pandemic) will this be okay? Or should I start looking for volunteering? In my undergrads, I was not really into dentistry and focused on working and getting okay gpa, so I did not really have time for volunteering.
 
Jul 2, 2020
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My advisor also told me not to apply and that I was wasting my time (I applied after my sophomore year, finished by B.S. in 3 years)

He was dead wrong as I got in first try. I never worked in a clinical role either. I had 150 shadowing hours, 3.7 GPA. Just get a good DAT score.

Since you graduated what are you doing now? see if you can take 6 weeks off and study like your life depends on it and ace the DAT.
I really wanted to get a good DAT score so I started studying now and am planning to take it in early April. But other things are bothering me which is irritating :( Thank you for telling your experience! I think I should focus on DAT and do some more shadowing for the next few months!
 
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amaze

2+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2018
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Okay, thank you :)
I also had some questions about some extra activities I need for dental school. I have currently around 60 hours of dental shadowing (planning to fill the 100 hrs) and worked as a summer intern for research, and mostly only worked in my academic years. I don't have clinical working experience, and the advisor told me that I will not be competitive since I don't have clinical experience. The advisor told me to not apply this year because I am not a competitive applicant. My overall GPA is around 3.7, and I did not calculate the science GPA but I am guessing that it would be around 3.3 -3.5. Do you think I should apply for next year (2022)? I have already graduated, and want to get into dental school faster.
What extra activities do people usually have (in this I mean what activities the majority has, not the "strong, competitive" applicants)?
I feel totally discouraged right now, and I am not even sure if applying this cycle is going to be okay.
Thank you!
Also echoing what others have said - don't listen to your advisor! I applied in mid-September with only 40 hours of shadowing, zero other dental-related experience, minimal volunteering (I only tutored in college) and unimpressive DAT. I still got a couple acceptances on 12/15! As long as you don't bomb the DAT and have a solid personal statement and LORs, you will be fine.
 
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PerioDont

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Also echoing what others have said - don't listen to your advisor! I applied in mid-September with only 40 hours of shadowing, zero other dental-related experience, minimal volunteering (I only tutored in college) and unimpressive DAT. I still got a couple acceptances on 12/15! As long as you don't bomb the DAT and have a solid personal statement and LORs, you will be fine.
Agreed. I also applied in September (which I strongly advise against, try to apply early if possible). But still got in. I know some other DS in my class applied in November and still made it. definitely case by case, but worth giving a shot.
 
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