February 4, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Getting rejected from the dental school of your choice can be disheartening. After putting so much time and energy into your applications, chances are you just want to give up all thoughts of dental school at this point. But what if there was some way to improve your chances of being successful the next time you apply? Would you go for it? The first step to re-applying to dental school is identifying what you could have possibly done wrong so that you can work toward improving your application on these fronts.
Here are some of the more common reasons why applications to dental school get rejected:
While your success is not based exclusively on your academic record, it does play a crucial role during the elimination stages. If your academic scores are below average, your application may not be taken to the next stage. Taking a few extra classes to improve may help to give you a better chance of being invited for an interview.
Several dental schools have rolling admissions and it is extremely important to get your application into the system at the right time. Remember that there are a lot of qualified students applying for a limited number of seats. If you apply late in the season, there is a possibility that the seats may be filled up and your application may not even be read. If you’ve decided to apply to dental school, start early. Collect all your recommendation letters, write your personal statement and put together all your documents before the application season opens so that you can send it in early.
Applying to dental school is often a game of numbers. There are too many applicants for too few dental seats. The best way to increase your chances of acceptance is to apply to as many dental schools as possible. Don’t just stick to schools in your area or the top ranked schools. All dental schools offer a high standard of education so don’t get deterred by the school’s ranking. Widen your search, look for as many schools that offer what you are looking for.
Extra-curricular activities add a lot of weight to your application. Not only will the application committee want to see how you spend your life outside of academics but they also want to pick up on activities that will reflect various qualities in you. This means that your extra-curricular activities should be meaningful. For example, commitment to a team sport for many years will show them how you can work well within a team and that you are committed to what you do. Leadership skills are also important in this field. If you are planning to get into dentistry, you will be expected to show commitment to your field, work with other dentists and possibly lead teams during school activities.
You may be wondering why you should have experience before you join dentistry school. The truth is admission committees often give preference to applicants who have volunteered or interned in the dental field before applying. Having firsthand dental experience shows them that you are sure about wanting to become a dentist and also that you know what to expect in this profession.
Working to improve at least some of these aspects could help better your odds when you reapply to dental school during the next admission cycle.