Second year Dentistry Student at University of Michigan from Muskegon, MI
What things were you looking for while searching for a graduate or professional program?
I was looking for a program that had a balance between academic and clinical focus. A well-rounded program was important to me because both aspects are crucial for success.
What advice might you give to an undergraduate about their graduate or professional school search or application process?
My advice is to research prospective schools as early as possible to become familiar with all of their requirements. This makes the application and interview process less stressful. Planning ahead and applying early will also help to avoid settling for a school or program due to a lack of time or because application materials were submitted late.
What opportunities did you take advantage of to help prepare yourself for graduate or professional school?
The opportunity to work as a tutor was very beneficial in preparing for professional school. Working as a tutor enhanced my organization skills and helped me to further master the material presented in the basic sciences courses. The constant review made studying for my admissions test much less burdensome. Most importantly, it was very rewarding to help other students with their learning.
How did you distinguish yourself from other candidates applying?
I made myself stand out by being personable and polite every step of the way. I would treat everyone with dignity and respect, even if they were not on the admissions committee.
What were the main factors you considered important when comparing grad/professional schools?
I was looking for the program that would provide me with the best value. All of the schools that I applied to would have provided me with a great education so the next factor to consider was cost. Outreach opportunities and external rotation experiences were also a deciding factor.
Was there a process or strategy that you used to narrow down your top three schools of choice?
I narrowed my schools of choice down by cost. As long as there was not a total deal breaker, I planned on going to the least expensive school. It is also important to consider the location of the school as well because it is hard to be successful without being able to enjoy the surroundings outside of class.
What approaches and techniques did you use to prepare for a standardized test? How often? Did you find that successful?
Independent review of the material along with the GVSU prep class helped to prepare me for the DAT. Class notes, prep books, and digital learning modules helped to integrate all of the information. The most beneficial strategy was to take as many practice tests as possible once I felt that I was ready. This helped to build stamina for taking a long test as well as discovering my weaknesses early enough to fix them. I was able to study for a month before taking the exam and was successful in obtaining a satisfactory score.