The last thing I expected to do was take a gap year after college. Everyone around me was applying and getting accepted to dental school right, and it was frustrating that I was not on the same path. What I had yet to realize was that going to dental school immediately after college was a path for some, and even though it wasn’t my path, that didn’t make my path any less fulfilling.
At some point, you’ve probably wondered to yourself, “Is there more I could be doing?” Maybe your friend Flossy Phil was always in lab doing cool research on dental pulp regeneration but still has time to volunteer and maintain a 4.0 GPA and work two part-time jobs. Or maybe your friend Gingiva Georgia got a stellar internship position at Dream Dental Office where she’ll work with the latest dental technology while getting thousands of shadowing hours by assisting dentists. As an ambitious predental student, you want to have spectacular experiences, too.
The Rutgers Tooth Fairies was founded in March 2018, comprised of five predental students. The group’s mission is to increase access to care in underserved areas of New Jersey by bridging gaps between private practice, non-profit clinics and community outreach.
No matter where you are in the process of applying to dental schools, “Your Essential Guide to Dental School Admissions” by Dr. Helen Yang is a must-read. Applying to dental school may be overwhelming, but this resource “for pre-dents, by dentists” provides firsthand knowledge from new dentists about this formidable yet exciting process that marks the beginning of your dental career. These contributing authors, many of whom have served on the admissions committees at their dental schools, have a breadth of experience and strategies about ensuring strong candidacy and building a well-respected application for the dental school you wish to attend.
Retaking the DAT can be a rollercoaster of emotions and stress when you’re not sure how to react or prepare after receiving an unexpected score. I remember the moment after my first attempt, crying in my car and not knowing what to do. I applied to dental schools earlier that summer, hoping my DAT score would be strong enough for consideration, but it didn’t make the cut. All my plans, hopes and dreams for the next year felt crushed in a single second, and I felt so much regret, grief and disappointment for some time.
Studying for the DAT may seem like a daunting task at first, but with a study plan tailored to your availability, goals, strengths and weaknesses, you can achieve your target score. A quick Google search will reveal several DAT study guides and could be a good tool to help you construct your own. These are our study plans, which show you that there are different ways to prepare for the exam. It’s important that you customize a schedule that works best for you.
Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of taking the DAT? Not sure where to begin studying? You might be wondering how on earth you are going to study for a five-hour exam that tests your knowledge on content you probably haven’t encountered in years (or at all, in the case of spatial knowledge). The Dental Admission Test (DAT) can appear daunting at first, but luckily, there are a variety study materials that are tailored to different learning styles and starting background knowledge to help you achieve your dream DAT score.