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Certified Dental Assistant Exam Prep Time

What to Expect From Your Dental Assistant Exam

Certified Dental Assistant Exam Prep Time

Are you getting all geared up and ready to take your dental assistant exam? Feeling nervous? Exam anxiety is very real. Many successful students suffer from it. In fact, all your dental assistant training can provide you with is the knowledge necessary to pass the exam; the rest is up to you. Passing a quick quiz or test in class can be very different than studying for, taking, and passing the state board. Knowing what to expect can often ease the stress. Here’s some solid information on what to expect from the dental assistant exam.

Pre-Requisites for Taking the Dental Assistant Exam ➣

The Dental Assisting National Board, or DANB, is recognized by the American Dental Association and administers the Certified Dental Assistant exam. They require that you prepare to take the exam through one of three routes. We’ve outlined them below:

1. The first is graduation from an accredited dental assistant or dental hygienist program and also has CPR certification.
2. The second is graduation from high school, 3,500 hours of on-the-job dental assistant training, and CPR certification.
3. And, lastly, if you graduated from a program outside of The United States or Canada, you need to provide proof of successful completion, have CPR certification and, at least, one year of experience in the field. Please note that most CPR certifications expire after one year. Keep your current.

The Three Parts of the Dental Assistant Exam ➣

The CDA or Certified Dental Assistant exam has three parts, covering everything you learned during your dental assistant training.
1. Part one is the RHS, or Radiation Health & Safety, exam; it has 100 multiple-choice, computerized questions, and you are allowed one hour and fifteen minutes to complete it. If you are not comfortable with a computer, you can inquire about alternative options.
2. Part two is the ICE exam, covering every aspect of infection control in the dental field. There are 100 questions in an hour and fifteen minutes here as well.
3. The last part of the overall exam is the GC, or General Chair, part of the exam, covering assisting specifics. This test section has 120 multiple-choice questions and your time is increased to an hour and a half.

What if I Don’t Pass My Dental Assistant Exam?

Certified Dental Assistant Exam Prep Time

The DANB scores each test section individually; so, it is possible to pass two sections but not the third. Different questions carry more weight, based on their perceived importance by the DANB. The scoring ranges from 100 to 900, with a 400 or higher needed on each section to pass that particular section. If you do not pass a section, instead of receiving DANB certification as a dental assistant, you will receive a certificate of completion for each of the portions of the test that you did successfully completed. Refresher courses and practice exams, covering every facet of dental assistant training, are available online when you are ready to re-test.

Renewing and Continuing Education for Dental Assistants ➣

The DANB requires you to renew your dental assistant certification every 12 months. They do charge a renewal fee and require a certain amount of continuing education training. The board’s definition of continuing education is very flexible though. In fact, they allow additional dental assistant training, home study coursework, article research and review (think book reports), volunteer work, and, of course, taking the test again.
Congratulations on completing your dental assistant training. We hope this information will help you to feel more prepared for your dental assistant exam.

For anyone who’s been to any school whether high school, college, the vocational school knows that getting ready for an exam or even preparing for it is no walk in the park. The certified dental assistant exam is no different, plus this adds more to your anxiousness since it directly relates to your career as a dental assistant.
So you need to get a high score on all the different parts of the test, but as you know there are obstacles that can get in the way of you doing well in the exam or any exam for that matter. We will discuss some of what these obstacles are in order to know what they are so you can move past them.
  • The number one reason for not doing well with the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) exam is the unfamiliarity with which the format of the exam might take.
  • Second, there is the chance of being by test anxiety.
  • Third, procrastination tends to plague many students.
  • Fourth, knowing important test-taking skills: This includes not knowing how to pace yourself during the exam, when to guess at certain answers, and how to best use the process of elimination in an exam.
  • Fifth, not mentally and physically in shape before you are getting ready to take the exam.
  • Finally the sixth reason for not doing well with the CDA, not eating well in the exam day and shivering all throughout your exam because the room you are in is way too cold.

In looking at all these various obstacles there is a commonality amongst them and that is not letting the exam get the best of you, this means you need to be in control for the reasons listed above. What happens with most people is that they give the test power over them so now they feel like they need to pass the test in order to win back the control and when they don’t do well they experience themselves as inferior or they may end up doing well and have a sense of victory over the situation, either way, this shows a lack of mastery or control. None of that is necessary if you assert control in the beginning when you were prepping for the test.

Certified Dental Assistant Exam Prep Time

What does it take to master these exams? It takes some of what we have discussed already but most importantly motivation and purpose, what is it for? Let’s talk about this some more because if you can master this you pretty much have the rest handle. Decide for yourself what is the meaning of you taking the exam for example for some it might be to make more money or to make mom and dad proud or to show off to your friends and family, or a genuine desire to give back to your community be part of the team.
Whatever your reasons are for taking the CDA you need to get in touch with that as that will carry you through the tough time when you have to actually prepare for the exam. We will discuss the point the obstacles above in greater length in later articles.