What Pre- Requisites are there for Getting into Dental School?
Because it is such a highly skilled field the standards for most dental schools are pretty high. To be admitted students usually have to have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA in their undergraduate studies and then score well on the Dental Admissions Test. Schools also often prefer students who have demonstrated leadership talents and have shown an interest in becoming more involved within their community.
What is the Dental Admissions Test and Does Everyone Have to Take It?
The Dental Admissions Test, also commonly known as DAT, is one of the biggest qualifiers for those hoping to enter dental school. A student usually sits the test during their second year of college and is designed to measure and test a candidate’s knowledge of biology and general and organic chemistry.
In order to take the test -which is administered by a testing agency called Prometrics and costs $205.00 – a student must file an application to do so with the ADA (American Dental Association) The test usually lasts for about four and a half hours and is presented in a multiple choice format. The passing score is considered to be 15 out of 30. The national average score is 18, so if a student can achieve a score of 20 or higher there acceptance into dental school will usually be assured.
What Will I Do in Dental School?
Usually the first two years of dental school are very much lab and classroom based, gaining the knowledge of the basic and then more advanced techniques and theories needed to become a successfully practicing dentist.
The last two years then switch the focus to actual hands on experience under the guidance of licensed dentists, working on voluntary patients and putting all that classroom knowledge into practice.