Dental College Application Tips

You want to become a dentist.  Congratulations!  You have chosen a fascinating career.  According to the American Dental Education Association, thousands of students apply to dental school every year.  Most have excellent grades, impressive DAT scores and experience.  So how does a candidate distinguish themself from the rest and gain admission into dental college?  The answer lies in the Personal Statement.

Each dental school applicant, must write a brief (one page) essay about why they seek to be a dentist.  In addition to demonstrating writing ability, the essay must reveal unique qualities you possess that will make you a terrific dentist.  Let your personality shine through the words you write.  Here are some tips:

-Hook your reader with a powerful opening.
-Make the essay flow from one paragraph to another with creative bridges to connect your thoughts.
-Strive to demonstrate your personal attributes through the details you choose to include.
-Remove as many passive verbs as possible.  (Examples include is, be, was and am.)  Passive verbs make writing seem lifeless.  Use active verbs to make your essay vibrant.  Here is an example of a sentence written in a passive voice.  “The dentist was bitten by the patient.”  See how cumbersome it is.  Now, compare it to the next sentence written in an active voice.  “The patient bit the dentist.”  This technique is vital to successful writers.
-Close your essay with a strong statement about your desire to become a dentist.  Demonstrate passion through the words you use.
-Above all, tell the truth!  Do not embellish or exaggerate.

The next step in the process is an interview.  More and more schools are conducting behavioral interviews in order to select individuals with a specific personality type.  Here are some tips to help you with the most important interview of your life.

-Practice answering questions with friends and mentors.
-Be prepared to address any weak areas in your credentials.
-Use your normal vocabulary.  Don’t try to impress the interviewers with big words.
-Breath properly to control the ah’s and um’s.
-When asked about personal experiences, choose stories that demonstrate your ability to solve problems and work with others.


For more information on Dr. Nelson’s guide for writing a personal essay click HERE. For information on the interview guide click HERE.