Getting into any dental school is not easy. Every school has independent requirements and criteria for acceptance. Besides completing your undergraduate studies with a stellar GPA while simultaneously gain research and voluntary experience, you also have to sit for the DAT. A combination of all of this can be really overwhelming for many students, resulting in low GPA or low DAT scores. Did you identify with this description? are you in a place where your DAT Score or GPA is low, or maybe both? here are a few alternative routes to dental school.
The good thing about the DAT is that you can give it thrice, and they’ll report your best score. But the fact that you couldn’t get a satisfactory score on the first try may negatively reflect on your Dental school application. To learn more about how how the DAT is broken down and their fees, check this article.
To give you an idea, the average applicant normally have a DAT score as follow:
- Academic Average: 18-19
- Biology: 18-19
- Chemistry (General): 17-19
- Chemistry (Organic): 18-19
- Quantitative Reasoning: 15-16
- Reading Comprehension: 19-20
- Perceptual Ability: 18-19
- Total Science: 18-20
These DAT scores are “OK” and even with these DAT scores, you might encounter difficulties landing an interview in some cases and even more difficulties if your GPA is low. Is good to know that some, not all, dental schools have a DAT score “cut off and for the GPA this is true as well.
Most students who have successfully applied to and have gotten accepted in dental schools usually have a 3.5 or higher GPA and a DAT score of 19 Academic Average and 19 Total science.
What can you do now that your DAT score and GPA are too low?
Depending on how low is your GPA is the route you must take. Here are a few alternatives to go into dental school if you have a low DAT score or low GPA.
1. Enroll into a Post-Baccalaureate Program
This is true if your GPA is lower than 2.75. If this is the case, you will have to sign up for a post-baccalaureate program because like I said before, your current GPA is lower than the cut-off grade for most dental schools. The grades earned in this program will directly impact the undergraduate GPA.
Earning an A in all the classes should be your first priority in your post-baccalaureate program. The upward trend in your GPA will indicate that with a little dedication, you’re capable of earning high grades and this looks good to the eyes of the commitee.
2. Get into a Master’s Program
This is true if your GPA is just above 3.0. It is true that the GPA is crucial for your dental school application, but the application is consider as a whole. GPA score isn’t the only thing that can convince dental schools to accept you. You can make up for a low GPA with good DAT scores or other experiences such as a Master’s Program.
There are plenty of 1-year Master’s programs and there are plenty that serves as bridges to their dental program if you maintain a certain GPA, some even guarantee an interview for the following cycle. With a master you can add weight to your application and show determination. A master’s program also showcases that you are capable of doing and excelling at graduate-level classes.
If your first attempt at dental school results in rejection, because of low GPA/Low DAT score, go for a master’s program. The acceptance number of students in dental school with master’s degrees is increasing every year.
3. Get a good DAT score
Out of all the alternatives above mentioned, this is the more affordable and efficient. if your GPA is low, but you have outstanding DAT scores, there is a fair chance that you might get into a dental school that cycle. So if your GPA is not below the cut-off but still pretty low, work hard on your DAT. If you want to learn more about how to prepare for the DAT exam: click here to create your free account and get started