I think it’s quite useful, whilst in the application process for dental school, to know when everything is due. It’s not as quite straight-forward as it is for other degrees, since there is usually an entrance exam (UKCAT/BMAT), and the deadline for the UCAS application is earlier (15th October). I can’t think of anything more irritating than missing a deadline for something you’ve worked so hard for! So to hopefully prevent this, both for myself and others, I’ve compiled a timeline of what you should be up to!
- Work experience – You should be well on the way with this by now. Most dental schools ask for 2 weeks in a general dental practice, but generally speaking, the more experience you have, the better. More experience gives you more confidence that you’re making the right career decision and gives you more things to talk about at interview. In short, you should be doing/organising work experience right now. After each placement I complete, I write a little bit about my day so that I can refer back to it when I come to write my personal statement. At the time you think you’ll remember everything you saw on placement but it’s incredible how quickly you forget things and having a note somewhere to refresh your memory can be really useful!
- UKCAT exam – The dental schools I will be applying to ask applicants to sit the UKCAT exam, as I think is the case for most schools in the UK. Deadlines for the UKCAT are as follows:
- 2nd May – Registration opens
- 3rd July – Testing begins
- 19th September – Registration closes
- 2nd October – Booking/rescheduling closes
- UCAS Application – Due on the 15th of October. I think that it’s worth trying to have it completed by the end of September/beginning of October. The earlier you get it in, the earlier places will start reviewing it and it’s good to get it sent off early so that it’s one less thing to worry about when you’re studying for A-Levels or your final year at uni (which we all need!). Speaking from experience of UCAS, I can tell you that it is stressful waiting to hear back from Universities, but it’s incredibly important that you try and forget about it as much as possible, and try and limit yourself as to how much you log into your account. It’s very easy to become obsessed with checking, but it really gets you nowhere. You’ll be notified if anything changes anyway, so whilst it can be difficult, do try and crack on with life as normal as much as you can!