Advice For Dental School Reapplicants
understand applying to dental school can be a complicated process. Not being accepted
to the dental school of your choice can leave students feeling overwhelmed and
disappointed, but have confidence, this is not the end of the world or your opportunity
for a career in dentistry. I’ve put together a few tips and advisory
information that will help improve your application for submission during the
next dental school cycle.
First it’s important to ask yourself a few
- Was I a competitive applicant at the time of application?
Were all the prerequisites (academic and extracurricular)
met? Your GPA should not need any explanations and your Dental Admission Test
(DAT) score should be within the national average for the schools where you’re
interested in applying. Remember, each
dental school has different requirements, so be sure to submit all supplemental
materials and information on time.
- Was my ADEA AADSAS application submitted at least six weeks prior to the dental
school’s stated due date?
Submitting your application to ADEA AADSAS does not
mean it is automatically received by the dental schools. First ADEA AADSAS has
to verify your application before it can be released to the dental schools. Did
you include your DAT, Letters of Evaluation (LOE’s), transcripts, supplemental
fee and supplemental application (if required)? Delays in submitting all of
your documents on time may result in your application not being considered.
- Have I completed all of my prerequisites with a grade of B or higher?
If your grades were not competitive, did you
complete a postbaccalaureate/master’s degree before reapplying? Courses still
in progress do not indicate that you have mastered study skills and time
management. Usually an admissions committee wants to see the postgraduate work
completed with grades of B+ or higher.
- What will be different on my new application?
It is wise not to submit the exact same application
in the new cycle. Ask for updated letters of recommendation and refresh the
extracurricular, academic, work and research sections of your application. Take
the time to revive your personal statement.
- Does my DAT score need improvement?
If you plan to improve upon your DAT by taking it
again make sure to give extra attention to planning your preparation time. Many
prep courses will help with test taking strategies, but you must learn the
concepts completely. Every student prepares for standardized exams differently,
but you must take the time to prepare to be successful. Dental schools all
differ in how DAT retakes are considered in the admissions process. The goal is
to limit taking the DAT to two times. My advice is to only retake the exam when
you are absolutely academically ready to do so.
recap, I advise all applicants to review the previously submitted unsuccessful
application in detail to create a clear plan for how to improve your next
application. This analysis may mean waiting a cycle or two to ensure submission
of a stronger application. Educators and admissions officers understand that
life issues occur that can impact your academic performance. Use what you have
learned from your past experiences to cope with any difficulties that may arise
in dental school. Be honest with yourself, and work on your weaker points. If
your admissions officer gives you feedback and makes specific recommendations,
accept this knowledge and follow the advice. Prepare based on what you have
learned. Do not leave any aspect of your application to chance.
keep in mind that what you are doing during the reapplication cycle is
significant. If you are not enrolled in courses, are you engaged in community
service or shadowing a dentist (preferably a general dentist)? Be sure to limit your extracurricular
activities if you need to dedicate more time to your academics.
you do, do not to give up on your dream of becoming a dentist. One unsuccessful
cycle gives you the opportunity to pause, reflect, reorganize, prepare and
renew your determination and commitment to be successful. Utilize the many
resources available to you such as ADEA GoDental. If possible, partner with
other applicants and create a support system. If you have questions, contact
the schools where you are interested in applying directly. Always remember to
learn from your experiences, and stay motivated. You can do it!