What to Expect on Exam Day: National Board Dental Exam

Discover insights and practical advice from Cloud Dentistry's dental professionals on preparing for, managing anxiety, and achieving success on exam day.
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If you're a dental student, you know that the National Board Dental Exam is a significant milestone in your journey to a career in dentistry. This test might seem daunting, but with the right prep and understanding of what to expect, it can be a lot less scary.

Here's some insider advice from some of Cloud Dentistry's internal dental professionals to help you successfully navigate such a big day.

Preparing for the Big Day

Plan to arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes early for check-in. Remember, most centers do not allow personal items inside, but they likely provide lockers for storage. So, don’t overpack—bring only your ID and testing paperwork if you can help it.

"Arriving early helps you settle down, familiarize yourself with the environment, and mentally prepare for the task ahead," says Adriana Kwock, one of our experienced dental professionals. 

Managing Test-Day Anxiety

Feeling anxious? You're not alone. Adriana suggests anxiety-reducing techniques like breathing exercises and listening to empowering music before entering the exam room for a little boost of confidence! Try these techniques during study breaks in preparation for your exam to get yourself into the habit well before exam day.

Oh, and don't forget to eat before your exam! "Having food in your system ensures you're not distracted by hunger pangs during the test," Adriana adds.

During the Exam

Speaking of food, Amber D'Andrea, another internal dental professional of ours, has some practical advice for the actual test-taking process. "Pack a snack. You'll get a break about halfway through the exam. Use this time to stretch, use the restroom, and eat something," she recommends.

Also, consider bringing gum. "The minty flavor can help stimulate your brain," Amber mentions, citing advice from her former professors.

When it comes to answering the questions, Amber advises reading each one thoroughly. "They will try and trick you, but trust your instincts and don't second guess yourself," she says.

After the Exam

Once you've done your best, it really is a waiting game. The results usually take about six weeks to arrive. In some states like California, you cannot take the WREB (practical exam) until you pass the National Board exam.

Remember, the National Board Dental Exam is a stepping stone towards your dream career in dentistry. You’ve got this! Prepare as best you can, stay confident, and trust your abilities.

Good luck!

Written By Cloud Dentistry