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Finishing Up First Year At Temple...ama


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To bangbang911:

 

I had a somewhat unusual route. I did two undergrad degrees instead of an undergrad and masters. I just flat out hate research. That being said:

 

Stats: 

First undergrad GPA (BSc Biochemistry) = 3.23

Second undergrad GPA (BSc Medical Sciences) = 3.96

Combined GPA = 3.45

DAT = 20AA/20TS/19PAT

 

Shadowing hours: 500+

 

Volunteering/EC hours: ~1500

 

Tuition: received a line of credit from CIBC and parents are covering the rest

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To the6kid:

 

The process was fine. Takes awhile to fill out the application though (if you have many EC's and volunteer experiences) and requires a lot more effort than filling out Canadian dental school applications. Mainly just fill it out and send your transcripts to the AADSAS people so they can confirm your grades, then mail out your Canadian DAT scores to each individual school. Wasn't too much of a hassle. Some schools (like UDM) require your high school transcripts, others have supplementary applications to fill out. But not hard overall.  

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Do you mind sharing how you entered credits into AADSAS. My school usually designates 0.5 or 1.00 credits for each course, but the U.S system uses credit hours (i.e 3 semester hours). Should I convert 0.5 credits to 3 credit hours or just write it how it appears on my transcript (0.5). Thanks for your help!

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To Wobble:

 

My tuition is approximately $60,000/year USD. But the first year they charge you an instrument rental/supply fee which was roughly $11,000. Sounds like a lot, but this is one of the cheaper American schools to go to. Most are $75,000+ USD per year. Temple was renovated in the last 5 years or so, so everything is pretty awesome and their preclinic and clinic are unreal.  

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To Wobble:

 

My tuition is approximately $60,000/year USD. But the first year they charge you an instrument rental/supply fee which was roughly $11,000. Sounds like a lot, but this is one of the cheaper American schools to go to. Most are $75,000+ USD per year. Temple was renovated in the last 5 years or so, so everything is pretty awesome and their preclinic and clinic are unreal.  

 

Did you need a cosigner to get a line of credit? whats the max they give you?

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Hi brafadmd16,

 

Just wondering, how important is dental shadowing hours? (Of course, more is good..) I have around 50 hours..which is a lot less compared to you. My EC hour and DAT score is somewhat similar to yours and I have a higher GPA. I'm not sure how good my chance would be if they have a huge emphasis on shadowing..

 

Thanks!

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1. How has your transition from undergraduate to dental school at Temple been? How is the workload in first year and how have you adjusted to it? How many hours per week do you devote to studying outside of school?

 

2. How are tests and examinations scheduled? Are there frequent weekly tests or is it generally a block of tests after several weeks?

 

3. I recently looked at the academic calendar and did not see any breaks during the Spring and Summer months (March - September). Are there any small breaks between semesters or does school continue right through these months?

 

Thanks for doing this and answering my questions!

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To 5142416:

 

1. Transition has been fine. It is definitely way more work and class time than undergrad, but I knew that going in so it's not terrible. It's about 3-5 times more material than undergrad and about 22-32 hours of class a week (not including going in after hours to finish lab projects and to practice for practicals). Depends on the semester though. First semester was way easier in terms of courseload (only 6 hours of lab a week vs. 12 in second semester). I skip class whenever I can to get my sleep and read the powerpoints on my own time. Works for me. It's hard to put a number on how many hours a week I study because every week is different in terms of tests. I cram, so I only study when I have a test the next day or within 2 days. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say maybe around 10 hours a week. Realistically, it would be a week with 5 hours, another with 10, then the next with 15-20 due to a midterm or two. None of those weeks include catching up on weekly lab projects and practicing for practicals, so add another 4-6 hours a week of being in lab after hours (moreso in second semester). 

**Side note: if you are the type of person who likes to make notes to study, you will have no life because the volume of material. Much better off just studying off the slides**

 

2. Tests and exams are scheduled evenly throughout the semester. Some courses have a midterm and final with a quiz every week. Others just have a midterm and final. Some are just 3 or 4 noncumulative tests. Averages out to about 2 tests a week with about ten practicals spread out throughout the semester. Professors are great though. If we have 3 midterms in one week, they are usually very accommodating and will move a test for us. Final exams are scheduled within a week or two of each other at the end of the semester like undergrad.

 

3. We have a break after first year from the last week of June to mid August. Every other year there is no summer break or break between semesters.

 

Hope that helps! 

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To StriveP:

 

1. Our class is very intelligent (I've heard through the grapevine we have the smartest class since the school has opened). Our class averages are about 85%. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Depends on the class.

 

2. We have 5 Canadians this year (including myself). A record high for the school. They usually only take around 2. 

 

3. There is definitely time to do things outside of school (especially first semester....at least at Temple). I don't study nearly as much as my classmates and still get mostly A's (an A here is 90 or above). So everyone is different. It really helps if you're good at cramming. But it definitely is manageable to have a life....especially if you don't care about grades or class rank. 

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Firstly, thanks for doing this, I just have a couple questions:

 

1. Why did you choose Temple over other US schools?

 

2. Is school rank important if you want to pursue specializing in the states, or are your class rank/board exam marks more important? My parents own a couple dental offices in Toronto so I'm pretty set on being a GD atm, but I wanna keep my options open in case I find a specialty I really like in dental school

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To DDSER:

 

1. I chose Temple because it was the most logical choice for me at this stage of my life. I'm currently 26, turning 27 in a week. So I wanted to attend a school that was very clinically oriented so I wouldn't have to waste another year of my life doing a GPR/AEGD (since I have no interest in specializing). If you do some research, you will see that Temple is the top dental school (or at least among the top) in North America in terms of clinical experience. I felt that attending Temple would give me the greatest preparation for the real world of dentistry. Furthermore, it is one of the most affordable schools for a Canadian applicant to attend and is only a 6 hour drive from my hometown. Also, their preclinic and clinic are amazing, and have more modern technology than most Canadian schools (at least compared to Western since that's where I interviewed in Canada).  

 

2. Good question. I've heard multiple answers to this. From what I've gathered, school reputation does matter. It is easier to specialize if you attend an Ivy league school. However, it is by no means impossible to specialize if you don't attend an Ivy. You can specialize from any school. Just make sure you keep your class rank high and get involved with school clubs/do some volunteering. I think boards are pass/fail now though. I may be wrong, but that's what I've heard.  

 

Pretty sweet that your parents own some offices. I'm sure they've worked very hard to get where they are today. Props!

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To 5142416:

 

Generally, textbooks are a waste of time for most classes. I don't buy them. Way too many slides of information to worry about. They may be useful if you have difficulty understanding what's in the slides, but I usually just google something I don't understand. Test questions come from the powerpoints or what the professor says in class. 

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