What GCSE grades do you need to be a dentist?

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What grades do you need at GCSE to be a dentist?

We've got the answers. In a nutshell: Most universities or dentist training programmes ask that candidates hold at least five GCSEs with grades ranging from 7s-9s.

Now let's take a look at what it takes to become a dentist in more detail. 

Dentistry is a popular career choice for students who demonstrate great skill in science and mathematics and is an industry with a wide variety of job options – not just your traditional dentist role.

If you’re thinking about a career in this field, then you might be wondering what GCSEs you need to achieve this or, more importantly, what GCSE grades do you need to be a dentist?

Well, help is at hand. We’ve debunked the myths and sorted through all the information to bring you this simple guide to help you figure out the best choices for you looking forward to the future.

THE BASICS

What grades do you need to be a dentist at GCSE?

Well, at GCSE level, it’s most likely you will need qualifications in both maths and science if you’re considering a career as a dentist.

Luckily for UK students, mathematics and the sciences – including Biology, Chemistry and Physics – are part of the National Curriculum and studied by all students, regardless of their future career choices.

However, if you want to go down a scientific career route, it may be useful for you to take extra courses or classes to not only bolster your knowledge, but demonstrate to things you’ll apply to in the future – like university and eventually, jobs – that you have a passion and interest for the subject outside of your required subjects.

Your school might offer Further Maths to select students or Triple Science as an option for your GCSEs. These classes explore content and information that goes above the general science understanding that a sixteen-year-old would need and can set you up well for A-Levels in similar subjects.

Whilst it does mean you’ll have to take more exams, it’s good practice for the training that someone who wants to study dentistry will have to undergo. GCSEs are very important to getting you on the path to becoming a dentist.

Most universities or dentist training programmes ask that candidates hold at least five GCSEs with grades ranging from 7s-9s.

Many higher education systems have not yet changed their grades to the new system brought in by the government which changed the letter system to a number system, but ultimately these places want to see a strong set of passes – if not higher – in your GCSE grades.

The focus will be good grades in the sciences – particularly Biology and Chemistry – as well as Maths, so aim for slightly higher grades there as well. Any future courses will also want to see a strong grade in English as this will demonstrate your ability in written and spoken communication.

Remember: a set of good GCSE grades doesn’t just set you up for A Levels. Universities, training colleges and jobs in the industry all require a solid set of GCSE grades in their ideal candidate.

SKILLS

What skills do you need to be a dentist?

Well, your choice of GCSEs could help you gain the necessary skills to take on such a career without you even realising. Whilst scientific subjects offer you the basic know-how and can help develop your skills within the field, other subjects might also be able invaluable skills to get you to your dream job. So don’t feel constrained by just science or maths at GCSE level – you never know what another subject might do for you.

Ultimately, at GCSE level, most universities and training colleges are just looking for a set of good grades that include the subjects you’re required to do – like English, Maths and Science.

So, if there’s a subject you’re passionate about that might not be completely relevant to Dentistry, don’t worry. You can still choose one of those as your options.

Some of the most common skills listed for dentists include: -

Good customer service and interpersonal skills – you’re going to be meeting and working with patients and staff every day, so it’s important you build good relationships with them. 

Attention to detail – you’ll be dealing with a variety of situations when it comes to your patients and need strong focus and conscientiousness when you work. 

Business management – if you decide you want to open your own practice, it might be a good idea to take a Business Studies GCSE course. You’ll learn a wealth of skills whilst gaining a transferable qualification in the process.

LOOKING AHEAD

Getting the right GCSE grades to study dentistry is the only the first step into putting you in your dream career.

These grades can help move you forward onto A-Levels, a university education and later a training college that’ll give you all the right skills to become a dentist. Most universities ask students applying for dentistry courses at their institutions to have grades ranging A*AA-ABB, depending on where you apply.

You can look up league tables and university rankings online to see where the best place might be for you to study. It’s recommended that, as part of your A-Level options that you take on a Chemistry and Biology course, to best help you prepare for the rigours of studying at a university level and give you a foundational knowledge of the subjects.

You may also have to take some extra exams when applying for a course in dentistry – like the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test, though this will depend on where you apply.

Most of these courses are approximately five years long, like most medical courses, and will be followed by two years of training in a dental practice to give you some real-world experience.

Being a dentist is a rewarding, thoughtful and exciting career path and requires great skill in a variety of areas. And it all starts with the right GCSE grades.

Here at GradePod, we want to make sure you succeed, whatever your future holds. You can check out our blog for more handy guides on choosing the right GCSEs for your dream job today.

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