I knew once I made the decision to become a dentist I also accepted the path God created for me. The courses I took in college felt like boxing matches ..I gave it my all but there were some fights I left without having victory so I already knew within myself I needed some rematches. As time passed, my self esteem grew as I became inspired from networking and it was at that moment I said to myself “I’m going to take the DAT”.
Now in order to become a dentist , like any other career , there’s a process. It’s something like the following: HS >College>DAT>Dental School. So I got my test preps together ( most were free from networking with other students and the people I knew from college) and I created a study schedule to go by for those months.
After getting my dental application complete (recommendation letters, transcripts, $$$$,personal statement, etc) it was finally time to face the Dental Admissions Test, better known as the DAT. The DAT is a 5 hr test taken over the computer made of a variety of subjects from natural sciences to perceptual ability test (viewing 3d shapes). All of this is required to show how committed you are to dentistry.
I remembered waking up hours before the test to have breakfast and look over notes. I kept praying for God to lessen my test anxiety and to help me with the test. When I arrived at the testing center I saw other students putting away their things in the assigned lockers. I sensed all types of emotions but I tried to remain focus.
As I started my test my mind literally went – blank-. I became distracted as fear crept into my mind paralyzing my thoughts. I became frustrated because of the money I wasted and the score I knew I wasn’t going to get at that time.
5..4..3..2..1.. My computer screen says I’m done. “noooo!!!” I screamed to myself. I sat at my seat for a moment holding back tears and the feeling of defeat then I stood up and walked slowly over to the lady that printed test scores. My scores were awful and I knew schools would not consider me . Understanding this much allowed me to come up with the idea of just wanting to go home in my bed and cry for at least 2 hours.
However, my fiancé changed my plans rather quickly by surprising me with my favorite cupcakes and balloons. He said no matter what was the outcome he was still proud of me . I contacted the admission committee from each school with my scores and I kid you not it was like they were waiting on my email because their response was less than 5 mins apart. I did not get in but received a lot of advice that would help me for the next cycle until then this is what I learned from taking the DAT::
- Retake the classes necessary in order to have a strong foundation for the DAT as well as show the dental committee I can handle their course load
- Continue volunteering
- Stay consistent with studying so I will remain confident once its time to take the test.
- Keep a support system
- Never give up
Keep an eye out for Facing The DAT : Take 2 very soon but until then I hope my experience will help you as you take tests or face other obstacles in life 🙂