Thursday, June 12, 2014

intro to NBDE Boards Part 1

Here at Penn dental, we get one month off between our second and third year to study/take the NBDE Boards Part 1. The 8-hour-exam itself has 400 questions from the following areas:

  • Anatomic Sciences
  • Biochemistry, Physiology
  • Microbiology, Pathology
  • Dental Anatomy, Occlusion

Candidates take this 8-hour-long exam at Prometric testing centers around the U.S. Some key information about the NBDE Part I and II (adapted from ASDA’s Member Resources site)

  • Each state has own licensing requirements. The NBDE Exams fulfill the written requirement for all of the licensing boards. The practical part is the regional licensing exam (WREB, NERB, and the like)
  • Part I tests basic sciences learned in dental school.
  • Part II tests clinical dentistry.
  • The two parts will soon be combined into one Integrated National Board Dental Examination. It will affect the class of 2017 and beyond. Read more about this change in this post on ASDA’s Mouthing Off.

The Member Resources Taking the NBDE Part I & II page also has a list of commercial resources. I’ll be studying with Dental Decks. ASDA also sells released versions of previous exams.


Taking exams is never fun (especially when it’s as big of a deal as the BOARDS) but at least the P/F takes some weight off. Our medical school friends taking the USMLE Step 1 are suggested to study 6 weeks for 10 hours a day.

2014-05-23 08.12.25

Am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous? Schools suggesting you put together a study schedule that remembers eating, sleeping, personal grooming? (Oh wait, this happened at MIT…) I know my med school friends have said this was the hardest exam they’d ever taken. But some things like self-care should take priority.

My test date is end of July! The focus of my summer will be clinic and NBDE Part 1 studying, with ice cream and sunny runs peppered in between.


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