Will AADSAS automatically get my DAT scores from last year?

AADSAS will automatically match your scores within the first few days of opening your application. Make sure the dentpin you give AADSAS matches the one you used to register for the DAT. AADSAS will distribute them to all the schools you apply to IF you have selected at least one AADSAS school when registering for your DAT.

Additionally, when you select dental schools on your DAT application that participate in a standardized application service (ADEA AADSAS or TMDSAS), the Department of Testing Services will report your official scores to the application services. If your DAT application has no dental schools selected, then you have not granted permission to the Department of Testing Services to release your official scores and your official scores will not be forwarded to the standardized application services.”

Source: http://www.ada.org/en/home-ada/education-careers/dental-admission-test

It is always recommended to check every box on the page when applying to take the DAT because it is free the first time around. Checking at least one school that participates in AADSAS meets the requirements and forwards your score to the centralized server. Sending score reports afterwards are $33 dollars per school. 

You will have to pay for a score report so that it appears on your AADSAS. The DAT score needs to be on the application when its sent out to dental schools. 

If you did not already send your DAT scores to the school you end up attending, you MAY have to pay to have your DAT scores sent there once admitted. This can vary from school to school.

Should I retake the DAT?

You can take the DAT once every 90 days and are only allowed 3 attempts. In most cases, your last attempt is the score that is reviewed by dental schools. Please be aware that any regression in score will override any higher scores previously earned. Only take the test if you are ready to take it again, do not do it just because you can! If you are taking the DAT while applying, make sure you give yourself adequate time to prepare. Extending your test date by a week will be more beneficial than waiting 3 whole months in order to retake it.

What is a good DAT score?

You should aim for as high as possible, however a nice“safe” score is 20 and above. This applies to virtually all dental schools. Rule of thumb is that if you score under 17 on any section, then you should retake the test. To put this into perspective, a 16 is on average approximately 50% correct. Anything that low is not considered a competitive score and may be immediately rejected at many dental schools.

When should I take my DAT if I have not done it yet?

It is highly recommended that the DAT is completed as early as possible. Having a DAT score is not a requirement to submit the application. You can indicate that you plan to take it in the near future. To still be considered a moderately-early applicant, you should have your DAT done no later than July. You can take your exam later than that, but your application will lose its early advantage it had when you initially submitted it. Applications missing sections are put on hold until the section missing is received. I have heard of people taking the DAT as late as October or November of their application cycle!

Would you recommend me to retake the DAT before reapplying again next year if I had low DAT scores?

Generally, retaking the DAT will help improve your chances. BUT getting a lower score the second time around WILL hurt you. I would only recommend retaking the exam it if you have the time and the motivation to do better. The DAT is a standardized test and as a result it is the best definition of what kind of applicant you are. A strong DAT score carries significant merit vs. GPA which varies across colleges.

Ultimately, the general rule is, if you can improve anything before the next application season, do it. The more you improve your application the better off you will be. Based on responses by admissions officers, applying with the same application used the previous year will almost always result in an identical response from the schools. Give them something to show how you’ve grown.

Now that your application is mostly completed, this time around be sure to APPLY EARLY. Applying as early as possible to June 1st has a tremendous effect on your chances of getting in. For example, those who applied early on SDN with a 3.3 have been getting interview opportunities. Since admissions is rolling, as people are awarded an interview, fewer spots remain for the following batches of applicants and interviewers.

Last but not least, DON’T give up hope! You can always become a dentist, it just depends on determined you are to become a dentist. It is common for people to continue towards a Masters Degree or even a PhD and apply for dental school. The point is that it is never too late to get into dental school.