When should I take the DAT?

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by coreyb, Jul 7, 2003.

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  1. coreyb

    coreyb Dentist 10+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    US Navy
    I will be finishing off my science prereqs this coming school year (2003-04). Specifically I will be taking my physics and organic chem. courses.

    My questions:

    When should I take the DAT? Once done with organic?

    When should I begin the application process and what is the earliest date I could get into dental school?

    Is it unrealistic to hope to start dental school fall 2004-05?

    Thanks for your help!

    Corey :)
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  3. dr_benj

    dr_benj Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I would suggest taking the DAT in the spring of 2004. That would organic should be somewhat fresh in your mind and you will have the most time to prepare to take it. I would then fill out your application as soon as possible and submit it. It came out sometime in mid May this year, so be watching for it next year about the same time. You will be applying for the fall 2005 cycle. I don't think you will be able to apply for the fall 2004 cycle as you would have to take the DAT very soon as well as complete your application immediately. Additionally, you need at least 90 credits under your belt to apply to many/most schools. Good luck to you!
  4. coreyb

    coreyb Dentist 10+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    US Navy
    Thanks for your response...I was thinking that along those lines, but I was hoping that I could get into school 04-05.

    I just hate the idea of waiting around an additional year after finishing the requirements! I already have my BS in Healthcare Administration and I am just finishing the science courses that are required.

    Oh well, I guess there isn't much difference between almost age 29 and almost 30! :p
  5. mcataz

    mcataz Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    I don't think you need 2 semesters of Organic Chem before you take the DAT. I had the same fear but I listened to what everyone else on the forum advised and they have been correct for the most part. The Kaplan DAT book will sufficiently prepare you for the Orgo section. To be honest, it's a section most people do really well on the DAT because if you memorize all the reactions they list, you will pretty score an 18 or above. That's been my experience.

    I think the gen chem is more difficult than Organic. I would spend more time on that.
  6. critterbug

    critterbug I like big buttz. No Lie! 7+ Year Member

    May 13, 2003
    yeeHa, Texas
    I agree. If you already have your bachelors, take the DAT now. Just grab the Kaplan book and start memorizing. I think the DAT can be taken with just one semester of OCHEM under your belt. In my opinion, OCHEM I teaches you the concepts and OCHEM II just applies the basic concepts to reactions. But the DAT doesn't really test on conceptual knowledge. From my experience with practice tests and from what others have said, just memorizing the rxn's will suffice.

    So here is my suggestion. Take OCHEM I in the Fall. Start studying the KAPLAN book NOW for the DAT. Once you have a few months of OCHEM under your belt, then start studying for tbe OCHEM section, because then you will have the basic concepts down. If you don't understnd something just pester your TA, professor, anyone that can answer questions. I am a firm beliver that if someone truly wants to learn something, they don't need a formal classroom setting to do so.

    If you feel confident, take the DAT in Nov, or Dec. This will be late, but you can apply then or a few months before you take the DAT (Aug, Sept, Oct)

    Now, this is all being said under the assumption that you have completed all other prereqs and can have all prereqs finished before matriculation into dental school which is Aug 2004.

    If you are a good student, and are confident in your ability to learn outside of a classroom setting, I don't see anything holding you back from applying this year. Good luck!!
  7. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA Moderator Emeritus Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

    Jul 21, 2001
    Washington, DC
    SDN Author
    SDN Exhibitor
    I know at least three friends who have taken the DAT without Ochem II, and they did really well. It is important to understand that the Ochem portion is not out there to see if you could memorize every Ochem reaction, but in reality to see if you know "facts."

    By facts I mean:

    Nomenclature, the basics of SN1, SN2, E1, E2 reactions, acid/base relationships. and the main reactions.

    I believe if you have Ochem I down, and then use the Kaplan DAT review book to study then you can get this material down really well.

    good luck.

  8. wimmcs

    wimmcs Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 16, 2003
    I agree with Critterbug - I'm 31 yrs old also have my bachelor's degree. I haven't taken O Chem yet (start in the Fall) and I'm planning on taking the DAT sometime in the Fall and send in my application sometime in late Aug, Sept. I'm planning on studying the DAT very aggressively (sp?) now and be ready to take it and ACE it in the Fall. I know it's a bit late, but I plan on applying for 2004-05. I am in your same situation on not wanting to wait for another year to apply. In the Spring I will only need 2 more courses to finish off my science requirements and then I can matriculate. The least I can do is try to apply this year and if I don't get accepted, then try again next year. Good luck!
  9. ItsGavinC

    ItsGavinC Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I took the DAT prior to having the second semester of OChem, and I did just fine overall!

    On the organic section I did well (90+%ile). The Kaplan book prepped me on all I needed to know, and the BULK of the questions were from the first semester. Basic reactions and nonmenclature, nothing too tricky.
  10. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2001
    vallejo, CA
    I agree with desi. Those are most of those subjects you will need for Ochem. If you have biochem, it would be good because it helps with biology section.

    Remember to study all of those brandname reactions in biochem. Whatever that has a name attached to it.
  11. DaktoorTaj

    DaktoorTaj Junior Member

    Jul 8, 2003
    I will most likely be in a similar situation next summer. I only have my chem classes (general and organic) left in order to apply for fall 2005 but I will hopefully be finishing organic chem 1 in late June of 2004, leaving me with only organic chem 2 to apply. How does the admissions process work. Can you send in your application very early in the summer without the dat to show that you are eager and for them to start processing your application? I would prefer to take the dat in the fall to give me ample time to prepare. Does anyone have any advice concerning this?
  12. wimmcs

    wimmcs Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 16, 2003
    I actually talked to an admissions person regarding this very issue and they recommended to apply now and wait to take the DAT, however they were very insistent that my file wouldn't be complete and I wouldn't be considered for an interview until after I take the DAT. Good luck!
  13. mcataz

    mcataz Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    Depends on your GPA. If you have a low GPA, I was advised by several admissions directors not to apply before I completed my DAT for fear of being rejected outright on the basis of my low GPA

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