Does the thought of getting into dental school seem impossible? Does it worry you that thousands of people apply, but most schools only take between 80-120 students a year? These fears are totally normal to have! I?m no stranger to Dental School applications. In fact, I have helped several of my closest friends wiggle their way into dental school! If you?re looking to apply to dental school, the key is to start early.
Now that you are in Undergrad, remember that you are shaping your career. If you know that you want to apply to dental school, you need to start now. Meet with your guidance counselor to discuss the courses you will need to get into dental school. Start building relationships with professors who can write you letters of rec. Keep in mind that your overall GPA and science GPA are BOTH important! If you?re having trouble in a class, go to office hours and get help from the professor or the TA! Make sure you show consistency and motivation throughout your studies.
If you can do some research for a semester or two, it can really help your application. If you made connections with some of your professors, then finding a research opportunity shouldn?t be too difficult.
When it comes to the DAT, I suggest taking a test prep course. With Kaplan and Princeton review courses, you have the option of taking classes, or having private sessions. You can even combine the two if that?s what you need! Whatever you choose, you want to make sure you do a lot of practice questions that will mimic the real exam. The PAT portion of the DAT is tricky for some, and the best way to master this section is to do practice questions.
MY BIGGEST TIP: I believe that all dental schools take their applications through a website called AADSAS. I don?t remember the exact dates, but I think that the application opens on May 16th, and they start accepting applications on June 1st. That gives you 14 days to get everything together. Clear your schedule and spend those 2 weeks focusing on your application.
If you take away anything from this blog let it be this. Make sure to turn in your completed application by June 1st (or whatever the first day is that they accept applications).
Here?s why: Dental school acceptance is based off of a rolling admissions cycle, meaning if you apply in early June, you will be one of the first applicants that is looked at. This is extremely important! If you have all the qualifications, but you apply late, by the time they get to your application, they may have already accepted too many students, and you will be lucky if you are even waitlisted. If you don?t have your DAT scores, or all of your letters of rec completed, or you are missing something else, don?t worry. Still apply the first day applications are being accepted. The schools don?t actually start looking at applications for a few weeks after.?? As you send in your missing pieces, they add it to your application, and by the time they get to your application, hopefully it?s complete. Even if it?s not, they will put it aside and once your application is completed, you will be in the first batch to be reviewed if you turned in your application early.
Even though the process seems lengthy and tedious, remember your goal and keep working towards it. The earlier you start, the better off you will be.
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