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Looking Towards Post-Grad Education

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Applying to GPRs/AEGDs during dental school can be a trying and tedious process. My hope is that by the end of this article you would have gained additional knowledge in charting your path into a successful GPR/AEGD application. First let’s begin with the question, what is PASS? PASS is a post-grad application clearinghouse service run by the ADEA. PASS deals with submitting applications to programs while MATCH deals with matching an applicant to a program. Most programs use PASS and MATCH, but some use only one or neither. PASS and MATCH serve very different purposes, but you need to become familiar with both as you determine which programs to apply to. Some specialty programs require additional examinations be taken by its applicants. For example, many orthodontic programs require the GRE, while many oral surgery programs require the USLME Step-1. Keep in mind certain programs want to see a certain minimum score to consider an applicant competitive; in the above examples a GRE above 1000 or a Step-1 score ~220 respectively. The next thing to consider when applying is GPA/Class Rank. The two go hand-in-hand; a GPA alone says 

nothing without your class rank. A GPA of a 3.8 with a class rank in the top 50% is just as good as a 3.4 GPA with a class rank in the top 30%, so both go hand-in-hand. GPA/Class rank and passing of the NDBE Part I and II (preferably on the first try) are the most important items on your application because they will allow you to progress to secondary applications or to interviews. Below are a few Q/A’s of the PASS/MATCH application that I thought were very insightful:

Q: The deadline on PASS is the hard deadline for them to have all the required materials - they guarantee that they'll get your stuff to the programs by the program's deadline date as long as they have it. 

A: True, it takes 1-2 weeks to get it processed and to the program. Late info may have to be mailed directly to the program, or might not be accepted.

Q: What are PPI’s and when do I submit my ETS PPI evaluation?

A: Personal potential index, PPI, is a web-based system for evaluating the personal attributes of applicants. It is composed of evaluations that measure applicants on six personal attributes. The evaluation is held by ETS and sent to ADEA PASS. Evaluators provide ratings for each question and an overall evaluation. In addition, evaluators are strongly encouraged to add comments for each dimension and for the overall evaluation. The best time to submit the report is after all evaluators have completed their evaluation, because the report cannot be updated and only sent once by ETS to ADEA PASS.

Q: Can I customize my ADEA PASS Application, how can I submit one?

A: A custom application is one that tailors applicants to designate different essays and forms to different programs, which is useful for a divergent individual stuck on whether to specialize or not to specialize.