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Top 10: Ways or methods on HOW to do well on the US NBDE Part 1 (Dental)


Please contact us at toptennation@hotmail.com if you are looking to purchase some of the used study material that we have left over.
<***SPECIAL UPDATE: As of present, the Joint Commission of National Dental Examinations has unanimously voted to move the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) Part I and II to a pass/non pass format by 2010. Additionally, there is an idea circulating among dental educators to merge the two board exams into one single, clinically relevant and integrated exam. Currently, the JCNDE is conducting surveys and collecting opinions to help decide how to implement these changes. More regarding this format change will be updated as information is acquired by Top 10 Nation. This change in format would affect international dental applicants as well as current and future dental students and current dentists, especially those interested in post-graduate residency programs. For now, this Top 10 List still applies as to how to do well on the NBDE Part I.***>
Dental school... and boards, an inevitable encounter that all dental students experience. What is this exam all about? More importantly, how do you study for this exam? It all depends on the goal here! Do you want to just pass, or do you want to achieve a 90+ score to obtain admission into a specialty or residency program?

Top 10 Ways or Methods on HOW To Do Well on the US NBDE Part I

1. Dental Decks
Yes, you've heard this hundreds of times. The Dental Decks are an excellent resource. Why? They are concise, dense, and packed full of high-yield information. Exactly what you need to know to pass and do well on the NBDE Part 1. If you are simply looking for a passing score, reading the decks ONCE or TWICE over will help propel you to a 'good enough' level. Review it carefully TWO or THREE times if you want to obtain a 90+ score. How long does it take to review the dental decks? Depending on your personal drive and how much time you spend studying per day, ONE THOROUGH reading will take anywhere from one month to 2 weeks. My personal opinion is that the dental decks also adapt to changes in this exam quite tastefully. Therefore it is strongly advised to obtain a recent copy of the Decks.

2. Personal drive and minimizing inappropriate procrastination
How do you do this? Everyone has a different method. I will share with you a method that works consistently for me. Write down your goals. This is a simple way to determine, clarify, and solidify your future performance on this exam. If you're a procrastinator... you better be a 'higher-end' student! Students that have the ability to absorb large amounts of information in a short period of time? They should spend at least 2 weeks preparing for this exam.

3. Wikipedia
Come across some terminology that you don't understand? Wiki it! Often for this exam, you need to know what a certain word means. Even simple knowledge of what a particular term means or is related to can help you pass this exam and do well.

4. Old examinations
A lot of you might complain about the lower ranking of old exams on this list. A few years ago, I would have placed old exams at #2 on this ranking list. Old exams are still important to understand what the current board examination consists of, but guess what? The current NBDE Part I (into 2008 and beyond) is rapidly changing. Testlets are appearing, pictures may soon arrive, and the 100% digitization and randomization of this exam means that old examinations are losing their lustre. Obviously, I do not have any inside information regarding this, however, my personal opinion is that in the past, the old examinations were more useful, and that there were quite a few instances of repeat questions. In the current versions of the exam, it seems that a different style of questions is appearing. Still, use the old exams, but know the limitations. Shy away from OLDER exams (70's and 80's), and try to focus on old exams that are less than 10 years old. Where do you get old exams? My strong suggestion is to use ASDA released exams. At least this way, you know the answers you are studying are correct. I DO NOT SUGGEST THE USE OF UNRELEASED OR REMEMBERED QUESTIONS. These will not give you an edge. The answers they provide are usually not correct. This type of a "resource" will only confuse you! In fact, you should report this type of information to the Joint Commission On National Dental Examinations.

5. First Aid for the NBDE Part I
This concise book gets an honorable mention from me. I did not use it personally so I cannot advise on the appropriateness or the value of the information contained within this publication. I mention it though because LOTS of my classmates used this book and gave positive feedback. I do have some negative information regarding this book though. There are many errata (errors) within this book (as of 2008). This may lead to confusion and may result in you wasting your time to confirm correctness of facts.

6. Classmates and upperclassmen (and women)
Yes, you will have a few of those wild and crazy classmates that decide to rip through the board exam early on. Listen to their advice, they can tell you which sections to focus upon (like... know your fungi!). They can also advise you as to the style of the examination, and other tidbits of information that is current and relevant. In fact, you should have already been using this resource for dental school in general right?!

7. Professors
Ask your professors during your first and second year classes about what you need to know for the boards. They can point you towards the proper direction well in advance of this exam. This will allow you to know what type of information you need to know... and it will be just that tiny bit easier to remember for when the board exam does come around.

8. Inter-school resources
This depends on your school. Some schools offer a databank of past questions and furnish other personalized information for their own students. Sometimes a student from another school is able to forward this information to you, or sometimes your school actually provides you a review course or information. This is something that you should take advantage of!

9. Mock exams
Institutions, organizations, and clubs such as your local ASDA chapter often hold mock board exams to help you prepare and get a feel for what the exam situation feels like. If you tend to develop stress or you tend to become nervous during exams - this type of a resource may help you!

10. ADA Candidate Guide and online tutorial
Last... and least... this won't exactly help you do any better for the NBDE Part 1, however, it will help you understand the rules and processes that are in effect for this exam. Get to know how the exam is structured and scored. Get to know the timing of your breaks, and other details before you step foot into that Prometric Center to take your exam!

44 comments:

  1. the first aid book was actually really good. dont underestimate it ....it did have some errors, but they have posted the correcntions,

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  2. I took Part 1 in January and three important points come out from it:
    1. I had about 90 released old board exam questions on my test, 90! and because everyone said "oh, the new boards don't really repeat old questions," i looked at only 2 out of 10 old exams. In my quest to estimated my score before i actually received it in the mail, I came across all these questions which i had seen on my exam, and i was kicking myself. No joke, i would have easily gotten a 95 if i had looked at all of them beforehand.
    2. On the Board registration page, there are about 40 sample questions and some landed on mine and friends' boards, so look at them also.
    3. A lot of the basic science questions were asked using there application to dentistry, eg. alot of microbiology and pathology in the mouth, which of course (at least in my school) weren't covered outside of their basic science presentation. So suggest that you get your hands on notes or presentation from your's or upperclassmen's perio, endo, oral surgery, and oral path courses.

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  3. great post! thanks for all the info!

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  4. For anonymous who posted on april 6, 2008.

    when you are talking about the 10 old exams.. are you talking about the ASDA
    I only have the 1-M one... are there 10 other like that we have to go over?

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  5. any body looking for NBDE PART 1 material.
    contact: dshramis@gmail.com

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  6. I will like to know if the 2007 decks is the latest on available, if not where can I get it?Does the Kaplan NBDE 1 help at all?

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  7. Anne Marie,
    There is a newer version available. To purchase the Dental Decks, go to dentaldecks.com.
    The Kaplan can help as well. Technically, if you study the decks sufficiently enough, you will do fine.

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  8. I read somewhere that the pass/non pass format has been postponed from 2010 to 2012....is that true???

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  9. is it necessary 2 read the whole kaplan books or decks n released papers will suffice....please reply soon...thanks

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  10. Does anyone have any advice for exactly what materials are VERY helpful for the NBDE Part 1? I know someone who is having difficulty passing it.

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  11. hey guys wel i just appeared fr the exam a month back..and i did nt clear it..now i plan to take the exam agn..i am reading decks and i feel tht they are nt sufficient and at the same time i am taking too much time try to cram kaplans and first aid..so can u tell me tht if i do decks only..and some old ada papers will tht help..

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  12. hey guys..i have just started the preparation for my part 1 exam..can anyone suggest where to start from ...im highly confused

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  13. somebody tell me whr do i find d rememebered questns? thanks.

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  14. Hi.. can some one please tell me the deadline for applying to various dental schools in the east coast for fall 2011 ?
    thanking u all in anticipation.

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  15. I just took the exam a week ago. I was shocked to find between 5-8 Anatomy questions related to the lower limbs, since its not in the review books nor did my anatomy class go over it. Make sure you understand the organic chemistry behind biochem, I almost suggest blowing the dust off of your old o-chem book and browse the stuff you don't remember. Testlet questions were fashioned in such a way that at times it was confusing and hard to determine the correct answer. Don't be discouraged though because other than the points I just highlighted the test was VERY straight forward and I would say if you've read the decks and skimmed first aid you should have no problem scoring at least an 84+. Not sure what the hype is all about, the old exams definitely seemed harder. Anyways, goodluck and dont waste your whole summer studying, its not that bad!

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  16. hey mike ,
    did you receive your score? how long did you study? does first-aid and decks suffice?

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  17. hey !
    mike !the information is very valuable .
    can i access u for future help?

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  18. hi
    please tell me when to write ndbe 1 if i'm planning to join around jul-aug 11

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  19. HI, I'm new in this blog & I hope I can get some help. I'm really struggling with part I. I don't know why.(second try!) I have the newest decks & Mosby's study book.
    Can please anybody tell me how to get some old exams??? I think I have problems with how they ask the questions in the test.

    August 25, 2010 5:26 AM

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  20. Hi, kaplan lectures have been personally a very good review and helps to study in a way that prepares for the way the NBDE may ask questions on each subject, but I have sadly spent more time fighting over a computer to be able to see these lectures than being able to study. And I was even asked to give my computer to someone who had just arrived at the center after I had booked the computer with 24 hours anticipation. I am at he Toronto center. They hold few units for the amount of students that are there because some are damaged and others have old versions of the lectures. I feel really frustrated about this, which is adding stress on to having to study for his exam. So that's what I think, now you decide.

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  21. hi am navin
    new to this site can any one give information that after clearing part 1 what should we do

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  22. @ rose dun go for mosby ,study from decks 2010 ,kaplan notes ,fisdt aid , and also try to study from kaplan q bank !!

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  23. I want to buy dental decks 2010 and 10 years old question papers of NBDE part 1..

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. hi... i'm planning to take my part 1 in nov 2011. I heard that National Board is thinking to merge both parts of exam in single . Is this a rumor or kindly inform me about the latest information. This vl give me way to prepare. Hope to c ur rpy soon.... Thank u !

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  26. Yes it is true but it will not be soon it will take at least 5 years to do that. I am planing to take the test on November too. Next year starting jan 2012 it will be pass/fail scores no numerical score.

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  27. this is priyanka siwach i am from india right now living in pinebrook, new jersey
    i have done bds
    i had sm queries abt nbde
    i will be very thankful to u if u could help me wid these..
    1. wat shd be the study plan, is self study enough or i shd join sm online course for eg kaplans courses
    2. which study material is the best
    3. approximately hw much time is needed for preparation of part 1
    4. which subjects r more important weightage wise?
    it would be very kind of u if u reply

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  28. Does low gpa effects on score ..? Or getting admission in university ..???

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  29. hey...im a student of 3rd year an wanna prepare for nbde...do let me know from where can i get d study material

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  30. hello!!! i'm prabhjot ..i want to appear for a nbde exam can anybody please advice me where to start from and which study material is essential for scoring good marks in the exam?plzzzzzz

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  31. I'm taking my test in two weeks, hopefully I'll pass, I would like to share my study method, I studied for 3 months, I started with the easiest to make myself feel more confident, so I choose Dental anatomy/oclus from first aid and I dental decks 2010....2.- micro/physio from first aid, 3rd. Biochemistry (hardest one for me) I couldnt study with decks and first aid, so I found this great free academy online named khan academy on YouTube, wow this maked my studied clear, for those who have problems with biochemistry I highly recommend it. Human anatomy with first aid and videos from a university of my country, well know I'm just doing a review of everything and of course I almost forget reading all the asda exams. I'm going to post after the exam :/

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  32. hi odontoblast, if you don`t mind me asking, how did you do in the exams?what country are you pertaining about the videos? I am planning to take part 1 as a pre req for advanced standing nxt year

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  33. Can sumbdy tell me dat wat xam pattern of nbde part1 z gonna be like in 2012..i heard derz sum change in it..

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  34. hi i take exame 2 time and both time i got 70 i dont know what should i do ?????new role for nbde1 will be pass and fail i wana know it will be harder or not ? plz help me

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. Thank you so much, this advice is everything I needed to know how to prepare!! :) im getting asda tests, dental decks, and first aid then.

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  37. hi guys i'm preparing for exam please advice me what are the material should i study ? and now the exam is pass or fail so should i need to get high score to be accepted by dental school please help me out and i'll appriciated may thanks.

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  38. does any one knows now that NBDE is pass/fail is it getting harder?

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  39. on what basis will the students be given a seat , if its pass/fail...Will GPA be given more weightage??what if the GPA is not that good...?? on wahat basis will the candidate be selected if he passes NBDE 1?

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  40. hey. i really need some help... do u guys know the detail procedure for applying loan for gettin into dds univs. i need to know, when a cosigner signs on a loan for me, does it affect him? does it limit his loan taking limits?
    plz plz reply...

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  41. I am abput to start the study, and it is already driving nuts :0. 2013

    Any advice will be great. I found a really nice scientific article about the NBDE that say that whatbmatters to do well on the exam it is to increase hours of studynper week. Good luck everyone, including myself

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  42. i am interested in selling the study material that i have- dental decks- edition 2012, asda papers,mosby's, first aid and soft copies of all standard textbooks.at economical rates. 10 thousand including courier charges. if interested , let me know.. would be glad to help.
    email at ashwinshankar85@gmail.com

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