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Prepare to Apply

  1. It is important for students to understand that the application process typically takes about two years. So, getting started and developing a timeline will help so that you can achieve your goals in a timely manner.
     
  2. The prerequisites that are required of students who are applying to any Texas dental school are listed below:
English ENGL 104 & any literature or tech. writing
Statistics STAT 201, 211, 301, 302, 303, INFO 303 or
SCMT 303, PSYC 203
Intro Biology w/ Labs BIOL 111 & BIOL 112
Inorganic Chemistry w/ Labs CHEM 101/111 & CHEM 102/112 
Organic Chemistry w/ Labs CHEM 227/237 & CHEM 228/238
Physics w/ Labs PHYS 201 & 202 or 208 & 218
1 Upper-level Biology (see handout or OPSA Advisor for list)
Microbiology BIOL 351
Biochemistry BICH 410

If applying to out of state programs students will have to check their websites for more information on required courses. However, about 90% of out of state schools have the same prerequisites that the Texas schools have. 
 
     3 DAT – Figure out when you will take your required exam, the Dental   
          Admission Test. If you are a student on a four year schedule and wish to
          start dental school after graduation then the spring of your junior year will
          most likely be when you will take your test. Most of the prerequisite
          courses will be required to take your DAT exam however; there is
          no Physics on the test. The cost of taking the test is currently $385. 

           Score: DAT scores are based on the number of correct responses; 
          applicants are not penalized for guessing. DAT results are reported in
          terms of scale scores. These scale scores are neither raw scores 
          (number correct) nor percentiles. Scores used in the testing program 
          range from 1 to 30. There are no passing or failing scores; a scale 
          score of 18 typically signifies average performance on a national 
          basis. 
 
Scope of the Test: The DAT is comprised exclusively of multiple-   choice test items presented in the English language. Each edition of the test is developed according to established test specifications. The DAT consists of a battery of four tests: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension and Quantitative Reasoning. 

Testing Schedule: The following table indicates the testing schedule for the DAT. You will have a total of four hours and 15 minutes to complete the four tests in the DAT (or five hours including the tutorial, break, and survey). If you choose to take the optional break, the testing session will resume automatically after 15 minutes have elapsed.
You must report to the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled  appointment. For an outline of the test, see the Test Specifications.
 
DAT Testing Schedule
Optional Tutorial 15 minutes
Survey of Natural Sciences 90 minutes
Perceptual Ability Test 60 minutes
Scheduled Break (optional) 15 minutes
Reading Comprehension Test 60 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Test 45 minutes
Optional Post Test Survey 15 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
 
      4.   Get out in the field and try to shadow and volunteer in the field.
             Students can gain   experience by shadowing a dentist, volunteering in
             a clinic or practice, or working in the field.  If looking for shadowing we
             courage students to join the Pre-Dental Society or look back home and
             try to complete it while on winter, summer or spring break.
 
      5.   OPSA will hold File Workshops and students are required to attend this
             workshop to begin to prepare for the application process. These 
             workshops are held in the fall semester prior to the summer in which
             they are going to apply. Once students attend this workshop they will
             be  prepared to ask their evaluators for letters of evaluation as well as
             begin writing their essays. Advertising for the workshop will be 
             accomplished through our website, individual listservs as well as
             through student groups and the campus paper, the Battalion.
 
        6.  Other workshops that will help students through the application process 
             are the  Application Workshop and Interview Workshop.  
 
       7.  Get to know your professors so that you can ask them for a letter of
             evaluation. Typically students will need two professors they have had in
             class, as well as others, when they apply. So, it is important to start
             working on your communication skills while in school.