PREPARING FOR THE DENTAL HYGIENE NATIONAL BOARDS

by Jane Weiner, RDH

There are three type of people who are preparing for the Dental Hygiene National Boards:  

There is no sure fast method to preparing for these intense exams but there are some things that I have found to be helpful to many people over the past 20 years and I would like to share them with you.

First of all one must have confidence in themselves. After all, you have taken the correct courses of study and have done well and now you are to be tested on that knowledge which you already have in your head.

Secondly, it is an exam that can be retaken if necessary over and over again, but if you prepare properly there should not be the need for that.

If there are reviews in the schools or with individuals, please avail yourself of these reviews as they are invaluable.

There is a time calendar that you can set up for yourself. Remember that each day must include some National Board study time, even a half hour, but study every day.

Take one subject at a time and learn from your mistakes as you study and take sample questions. Once you have become comfortable with a subject, put it aside and go on to another subject. Try to study subjects that lend to one another, ie, radiology into pathology into anatomy, etc.  This way you can have a continuous review.

Keep track of things that you consistently get incorrect and try to find a way to remember the correct facts. Concentrate on these items more carefully than that information which you already know and are comfortable with. Also, try to see how many different ways you can think of how the board would present questions for some areas and learn from this. Remember that you cannot learn everything and cannot remember everything, but you can be familiar enough with the information that you will be able to make an educated decision, ie, the correct answer out of say 4 -5 multiple choice answers.

Try to cover as many case studies as possible as one entire part of the exam is now case studies with 10 -15 questions based on these studies. Teach yourself how to take that type of test.

Remember that each and every day for the next months, until the boards,  you should also do something special for yourself.  A manicure or special haircut, a movie or dinner out, or a walk in the park.  Whatever it is do something special for yourself.

Do not try to study too long at any given time,  50 minutes on and 15 off is a good rule of thumb.  Do not overstudy.

More tips will be coming in the following months.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO SIT FOR THE BOARDS!!!

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