If you make the first cut and a dental school is considering your application, they often send you some additional questions to answer, I also help my clients with this material, as with the following provided as a sample.
Manual Dexterity (600 Characters)
Describe any activities requiring manual dexterity (For example, activities requiring hand-eye coordination such as cross-stitching, sewing, art, crafts, playing musical instruments, auto repair, etc.) at which you are proficient. Ensure you enter your response as a narrative list; do not use bullet points!
I have always enjoyed excelling at basketball. As a barber, I am especially efficient at using scissors and clippers to cut hair and beards. Whenever I play soccer, I especially enjoy being a goalkeeper, always ready to fly. I garden after church on Sundays and have played video games with my brother and friends for almost as long as I can remember, not only because it is fun but because I am convinced that it helps me maintain nimble, capable, fast, fast, agile fingers and hand motion. I have worked with beads as a craftsman and taken stitching classes in high school. I also braid hair.
Childhood Residency (250 Characters)
What is the type of geographic area where you were raised?
Description of Childhood Residency
I spent my childhood and adolescence in a modest but comfortable home in a semi-rural area with a high crime rate. Growing up in Cameroon, Central Africa, we had little infrastructure and no materials for school. Later on, we would share computers; sometimes, we only had one for the entire class.
COVID-19 Impact (2500 Characters)
COVID-19 has broadly impacted the world. If you want, you can use this space to describe how COVID-19 has impacted your preparation for the application to dental school up to this point. Each program will determine how a response to this question will be considered part of the admissions process. You might consider these questions as you formulate your response:
Academic: Did your school move to offer only online coursework? Did you have to leave an academic program? Were the grades for your coursework, especially prerequisites, affected? Was your Dental Admission Test (DAT) exam canceled or delayed? Did you lose the ability to interact with professors or advisors?
Professional: Was your job, paid or volunteer, affected? Did you lose a job or seek new opportunities? Was your shadowing experience shortened or modified? Were your financial responsibilities shifted or increased?
Personal: Did you have to move out of a house or dorm? Did travel restrictions impact you out of the country? Did you seek out volunteer opportunities that arose from the crisis? Did you help family members who were affected?
Getting everything ready for dental school has been challenging since much of the world stopped due to COVID-19. The pandemic made it more challenging to get shadowing hours, and I was turned down several times, even in locations where people knew me. I count myself most fortunate to have finally found some volunteer work available. As an entrepreneur interested in several areas, COVID-19 has been a disaster for my business interests and many others. I could have lost everything I had worked so hard to build if I had not been thinking quickly. I pivoted to new strategies that enabled us to survive and swallow our losses. I learned to adapt quickly and effectively.
My Master’s program was late going online, dividing us into groups. Nevertheless, the pandemic has been especially hard on me because I am outgoing and social. Not being able to connect with my classmates was hard. All communication was online, studying and sharing documentation. I ended up only taking only two classes online in my MS program. I found it more challenging than being in class. I had to learn a different type of personal discipline and time management. I had to adapt quickly in order not to fall behind. Nevertheless, I quickly learned how to excel in my online classes.
One aspect of my preparation for applying to dental school that was not negatively affected by the pandemic was my discovery of opportunities for dental shadowing. I also spent a lot more time than would have been the case otherwise, learning a lot online and taking full advantage of many resources that I did not even previously know existed. I have been educated by dentists online in nearly every specialty, listening to their personal experiences and evaluating their mistakes.
I even got to follow many students during their full days in dental school and shadow several dentists in my community. Online, in private practice, or with a corporate organization, I have observed many dental procedures performed by dentists originally from all over the world. This was the most positive aspect of the time spent under pandemic restrictions.
While COVID-19 made me scramble, especially at first, and some of my short-term plans were delayed, overall, it has made me stronger and more dedicated to Dentistry than ever before.