CAAPID 2015 is Open, Are You Ready?

Well, it’s that time of the year again…

CAAPID is open for the 2015 cycle!

Are you ready to get into this years game?

I hope you are, and I hope you’re excited about it too.

The application season can be very stressful. This takes most people by surprise during their first round of application; studying for the boards was hard, so after that it feels like the hard part should be over, but it isn’t. Everything that needs to be done just to apply, like writing your personal statement, Curriculum Vitae, CAAPID application, arranging and writing recommendation letters, responding to school specific short essay questions, while researching where to apply to and what each program’s requirements are, along with how each school wants you to apply, it’s pretty crazy.

I know it’s hard, can I give you some advice?


Tip #1: Apply Early! Please?

It’s no secret that early application plays a huge role in the likelihood of receiving an interview invitation. Talk to anyone involved in admissions, apply early is always one of the top advice they give to someone wanting to get into any kind of program. At the same time it’s an easily-glanced over point.

Don’t procrastinate. If you know you’re going to apply, and you know that early application will increase your interview chances, why wouldn’t you?

Yes I know, people submit their applications late for various reasons, not just because of procrastination.

Some applicants aren’t finished taking tests yet. You’re studying hard and doing the best you can, and your intention never was to apply early, but rather to apply as soon as possible after you’re done with all the requirements. This is the first year, and there’s just no way you’d apply early. 

If that’s you, it’s not really in your control. Just make sure after taking tests you don’t waste anymore time. Plan things out ahead of time so that as soon as you get your scores back everything is ready to go.

Then there are the applicants who are attending Colorado’s interview this year. This is a tricky one, last year Colorado interviewed more than 5 times the number of seats they had, and didn’t send out acceptances until late June, which is when application deadlines start to approach for other schools. Also keep in mind that because Colorado’s interview cycle is so different from other programs their wait-list doesn’t move much at all.

So sorry to break this out to you, but even if you’re going to Colorado’s interview, I’d highly advise you to get ready for the next cycle as soon as you’re done interviewing.


Tip #2: Make sure your personal statement is OUTSTANDING


Your personal statement is the only place you can get your voice heard. It’s an opportunity to grab the committee’s attention and make them want to meet you in person.

For the majority of applicants applying to the Advanced Standing Program, an essay like this is a brand new project you’ve never worked on before. You don’t have a reference for its role, importance, or what it should look like. You end up writing a really boring personal statement that lists your achievements that’s already listed in your Curriculum Vitae. It becomes something like, a CV re-written in an essay form.

This is a classic example of a poorly written personal statement. Imagine you have the job of screening applications that come in, and in the middle of your boring day you pick up an essay like that. Would you like to meet that applicant?

Probably not, you’ll probably skim the essay in less than 30 seconds and won’t even remember what it was about.

Don’t do that, your writing assignments are a HUGE part of your application, it deserves a LOT of attention if you want to get into school.

The other issue I’d like to discuss is: don’t let there be a discrepancy in the writing level between your SOP and the rest of your application – meaning your CV, CAAPID, and essay questionnaires. Many applicants hear that a strong personal statement is extremely important so they get professional help with it, but try to do the rest of their application by themselves. It only takes 3 seconds to recognize the fact that the essay was professionally edited while the rest of the application is not. Reviewers can easily assume that the quality of writing reflected in the rest of the application is the true writing sample of the applicant. That’s not good.

(BTW, if you’re interested, we offer editing services)

Tip #3: Apply Everywhere


You want to get a Yes right? Then be ready for rejections first.

It’s costs lot of time, money, and effort to do this, and you may be thinking that you’d like to be strategic and just apply to the schools that are looking for students like you.

I’ve gotta say, “think again.” You can’t tell which of the 25+ programs spread all across the states will call you for an interview.

Last year one of my students got a call from just one school, and that was University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh only accepts 4 students. She wasn’t called for Boston, USC, UOP, or anywhere else that has a interview size of 100+. But she did get a call from Pittsburgh that only called a few applicants, and she got in. And yes, she applied everywhere.

The application fee is an investment. Do it, you won’t regret it when you get your acceptance.

Don’t get discouraged from rejections, it’s a natural part of the process especially when the competition is high like it is.

Instead, anticipate it, don’t let it bring you down.



  1. Dr.Nada December 22, 2016 at 8:00 am - Reply

    which GPA you Recommend me to have at least to apply or accepted in dental program through CAAPID application ..and if i got gpa 2 what u addivce me to do to be accepted in international dental program to get Licensure in U.S as soon as possible
    Thanks in advance ..

  2. kaitlyn March 27, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Alyssa,Love all your tips and advice. Keep up the good work.

    I had applied to a couple of schools last year with just my NBDE 1. Did not get any interviews. Should I reapply to these schools this year? if yes, then what and how should i change my CV/ SOP

    Thank you in advance

  3. Dent1 March 22, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Another follow-up question. I only have a single publication in the university journal back in 2010 which I was planning to list in my resume. The journal has since truncated all records prior to 2012. Is the publication still worth mentioning, if they cannot confirm its existence. That said, dean of the dental school did confirm my publication in his letter of recommendation. What are your thoughts? Is it worth the risk?

    • Dr. Alyssa March 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Why not? You did it and you’re able to hold a conversation around it. I don’t see this as a risk, rather as a situation out of your control. They won’t be going and looking for the publication unless there’s something weird and they feel the need to confirm the validity of what you say you did, in which if this happens you probably already lost their trust anyway.

  4. Dent1 March 22, 2015 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Hi Dr. Alyssa,

    I cleared both NBDE Part 1 & 2 in my first attempts. Just wondering if its a good idea to point that out in my resume and personal statement?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Dr. Alyssa March 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t. If there are failed attempts it shows on the score report

  5. shehla March 17, 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Hello Alyssa,

    I am applying this year second time, I applied last year with my part 1 and didn’t get any calls, I am done with my part 2 now, my gpa is 3.92, my TOEFL score is very low 92 and expired so I am retaking on 27th march, I recently got a job as dental assistant and its paid, Do you think I have a chance to get in plus should I apply right now OR wait for my TOEFL scores because my last scores are more than two years old.

    Thanks in advance

    • Dr. Alyssa March 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      There’s a lot more that goes into it than scores and numbers, with the information I have I can’t give you a recommendation as it may be inaccurate unfortunately. There’s no right or right way to do things, it’s about weighing the pros and cons and deciding on what makes the most sense for each situation. If you’d like to chat more about it with me we can hold a coaching session.

    • Dr. Alyssa March 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      TOEFL is easy to retake – if it were me I’d do that before applying for sure. I’d set a test day to whatever’s available soonest right now. And if you don’t get the score you want right away repeat the test.

  6. Nidhi March 17, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Hi, I need a help with personal statement writing. Can you please help?

  7. shallu March 16, 2015 at 4:49 am - Reply

    i have a question..i failed part 2 three times with 73 score so what should i do..should i retry or do my sense score report will show 3 times failure and nothing can compromise my failure and side by side i scared to give 4th weak in plz guide me what should i do

    • Dr. Alyssa March 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      I believe you’ll need to now wait 12 months before you can register to take the test again. To be able to make the decision on your next steps I need a lot more info – what does your past experience look like? What’s your ECE? What’s your goal? Have you applied before? How many gap years do you have? etc and more importantly I need to know what you’re thinking/feeling and what your life goals are.
      If you’d like to have a chat with me to decide your best next step we can have a coaching session.
      Thanks for understanding why it’s not possible to tell you what to do with just knowing the fact that you’ve failed part II 3 times. Wouldn’t it be nice if things were so simple with straight forward answers?

    • Dr. Alyssa March 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      After 3 attempts I believe you need to wait 1 year before you can take it again. Use this time as an opportunity to do something to add to your CV. Good luck!

  8. Neha November 25, 2014 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Dear Alyssa,
    I have cleared my NBDE part 1 and part 2 last year and had applied to schools in the 2014 CAAPID cycle. I dint get any calls yet. I have a 2-month observership in US and work experience in my country. I am planning to apply for a masters in public health or masters in oral biology or a preceptorship to strengthen my profile for CAAPID 2015. But I am not sure which one would best help. Need your advice on the same. Thanks

  9. Dental exams September 7, 2014 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Hi, I would like an advice, i passed nbde part one and i have a toefl score of 100, bit only 20 in writing, gpa is 1.9
    Do you think i have a chance? shall I apply this year?
    please help

    • Dr. Alyssa September 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Hi there, unfortunately acceptances depend on so much more than just your stats. Did you have a chance to watch the workshop Kevin did with Courtney tonight? The writing part takes up a HUGE part of the decision making process. A GPA lower than 2 is going to be a big barrier. I have seen someone with a 1.9 make it in, but fyi a GPA 2 is a failing grade in the US, so you’ll need some amazing stuff in your SOP to convince them to see you.
      I can’t say whether you have a chance or not – I can’t say this to anyone really by just looking at stats.

  10. Shabuj Mahmud May 19, 2014 at 1:15 am - Reply


  11. aagam May 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply


  12. Jayanth April 20, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Hi Dr.Alyssa.
    I plan on giving my part 1 nbde exam in the month of august or September 2014…now my question is…in which year would I be getting enrolled to any of the U.S. universities…provided everything goes well?

  13. Katy G April 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    You have helped me so much! But a quick question: I am a foreign trained dentist but I am a US citizen, born and raised. English is my first language. Am I still required to take the TOEFL???

    • Jasmine H. June 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      I know this comment is really old but am in the same situation now,will I have to take the test?

  14. Mounika March 25, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    I am retaking my toefl exam before April 10 should I wait for the score or submit the application saying planned exam , I am just confused can u plz suggest an advice please

    • Dr. Alyssa March 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Is this for CAAPID or Colorado?
      If it’s CAAPID, I’d wait and submit the updated score, it’s not too far away. Colorado’s deadline is so close I wouldn’t wait for Colorado.

  15. Rebekah March 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    your advice is awesome… They just motivated me to continue my efforts . I gave part 2 and failed which was a huge bummer …

    • Dr. Alyssa March 18, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear that, are you retaking it? Good luck!

  16. mahenoor March 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    HELLO. Thankyou for the amazing help and guidance. I’m planning on taking Nbde part 2 on 28th April, should i apply now and update my profile later when I have the result or should i apply in May when i have the result with me?

    • sayali March 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dr.Alyssa

      • Dr. Alyssa March 18, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

        Your welcome 🙂

    • Dr. Alyssa March 18, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

      If it was me, I’d apply first and update it later.

  17. Mohammed March 17, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Thanks for the encouraging words Alyssa.
    P.S: I’m re-taking TOEFL. They’re not releasing my score, because I made a mistake and walked out the center during the break (for less than a minute). People please don’t make my mistake!

    • Dr. Alyssa March 18, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

      That’s a total bummer, good luck with your test!

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