Have you heard?

The INBDE is a two-day exam administered on a computer. Day 1: 360 test items (3 sets of 100 standalone items, 1 set of 60 case questions). Day 2: 140 test items (2 sets of 70 case questions). The total exam administration time is 12 hours and 30 minutes with 500 items. While that’s down from 900 questions, don’t underestimate it.

How are you supposed to tackle this? School teaches you everything, can you keep it all in your brain at one time? For 12+ straight hours? B&B is definitely right here to guide you through this new exam format. Let’s take a look at what they are asking.

There are two main aspects that you want to pay attention to as a student.

Physical test – First consider the testing time and the environment. 12+ hours sitting and reading at a computer is significant. It would be wise to trial this a few times before exam day. Check out our other posts on how to take breaks, how to calm down, how to free your mind up. Do you need computer reading glasses? How much water should you drink? Which snacks help you stay most alert? Much like a marathon, you don’t want to burn out too early or mess up and get a cramp. It’s also a reminder that it is a long test, so a minor bump in the beginning doesn’t mean the race is over.

Content – This exam “emphasizes synthesis and understanding of clinical concepts through integration of dental and basic sciences, rather than rote memorization and recall. Additional focus will be placed on evaluating examinees’ decision-making skills and preparedness for safe, professional practice of dentistry.” Say what?

Before you dive into the weeds with any topic, zoom out and ask yourself how it applies to patients. This is the major switch in direction for this exam. It’s seeing how these details apply to your patient care. A huge priority of these exams is keeping the public safe, so pay special attention to material that would endanger your patient if you messed up. They will ask you about key differentials.

B&B is here to support you all the way! We’ve got your backs! Keep it up!


Written by Dr. Kerri Lyons


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