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5+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2009
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  1. Dentist
Nothing new, but this thread was suddenly merged into part I thread. I guessed it would be easier for members to have each thread alone.

This is the part II thread of how to prepare for NBDE. Information is taken from recent exam takers. If any would like to contribute, please copy/paste questions with your answers.

1- Are you US trained/Foreign trained ?
lotexigeus: US trained
goldendoc: Foreign trained
kdawg: US
Ninety: foreign trained
cuspofcarabelli: Im in dental school here in the US

2- your composite score:
lotexigeus: 90 (413/500)
goldendoc: 85
kdawg: 83 Comp.; 75/100 Case; 372/500 overall
Ninety: 83
cuspofcarabelli: 80

3- which books or resources you used?
Main resources: .....
Reference ones: .....
M: Used dental decks
R: wikipedia and google for unclear subjects
M:Mosby's Review, Dental Decks 07- 08, ASDA papers
R: wikipedia
M: First Aid, Released exams
R: Mosby, Decks
M: Decks, Mosby, and Tufts review (in order)
R: school notes and Wikipedia of course ;)
M: Kaplan Qbanks, dental secret, released board questions
R: Mosby, 1st Aid

4- how much time you spared/spent for NBDE II?
lotexigeus:Studied a month prior to exam date. Studied about 4 hours/day for the first 3 weeks then about 8hrs/day for the last week.

goldendoc: 1 month

kdawg: One week solid study of about 8 hr/day week before exam.

Ninety: 4-5 months (first 3 months was studying irregularly for 2hrs/day, last 2 months 4+ daily) since I am out of school for nearly 3 yrs
cuspofcarabelli: 4-5 hrs Monday- Friday and 10hrs on Saturdays for 2 months

5- method of study:
lotexigeus: Studied dental decks once through. Did 2006 and 2009 released exams and went over questions that were unclear

goldendoc: Went through Decks and Mosby's simultaneously once, doing one subject at a time

kdawg: Cram, cram, cram. Before I began my studies I took one of the released exams to gauge what my strengths/weaknesses were and studied proportionally to that. Found out I was weak in Pharm & Path. Then studied hard using a couple more released exams along the way to monitor progress. Then saved one for the end to see if I was ready. I only used 4 most recently released exams. Seems like getting about 65-70% on those exams translates easily to a passing grade on the real exam. I know I studied properly and balanced because I wasn't too far off (above or below) the national mean in any area.

Ninety: I did decks once for all subjects except pharma and Beh. sciences. I read pharma from Mosby to know general classification of drugs followed by Tufts review. I read Beh. Sciences from Mosby. Then I did some ASDA papers and Kaplan Qs coupled with second reading of areas I was not confident enough about (oral medicine, pharma, prosth, restorative, radiology, beh. sciences)
cuspofcarabelli: started with released boards questions to find my weaknesses ( recent years 1st), used mosby to read on the subjects that are causing me harm lol, then I started on the Q banks ( make sure to read the explanation on all questions included the ones I got right ), dental secret. 3 weeks before my exams I redid 1998 and up released board questions.

6- your comments on:
lotexigeus: good, I read them slowly and thoroughly
goldendoc: I did only once. very useful for Radiology and OSHA, according to me
kdawg: Not totally necessary, but helpful in your weaker areas. Good for casual study.

Ninety: great source, good to score in 80s (except for pharma since too much and disorganized + I did not use it for beh. sciences so I can not judge this section)
cuspofcarabelli: didnt use them to study for the exam But during my junior year I used endo, ortho/pedo and O.S decks as my study materials for my midterm and final exams.

1st aid:
lotexigeus: didn't touch
goldendoc: n/a
kdawg: Too concise to stand alone. I used it as an outline and wrote notes in it from other sources.
Ninety: rarely used it. Not even an outline (unlike part I where it is a perfect outline that needs little extra readings from other sources)
cuspofcarabelli: used for reference ONLY

lotexigeus: didn't touch
goldendoc: very good resource and a must
kdawg: Too detailed. Great resource but overkill
Ninety: only did beh. sciences from it. Classical textbook style. Beh sciences, as in other sources, lacks a lot in insurance information (especially for foreign trained like me who have no background about the system in US). But seems to be a great source especially in Pedo/Ortho it is very organized and informative but I already did them from decks so could not do them again
cuspofcarabelli: I read on the subjects that I'm weak in

Kaplan Q bank:
lotexigeus: didn't touch
kdawg: n/a
Ninety: great to fully understand and solidify information. I recommend doing it after first reading and before ASDA papers
cuspofcarabelli: used it a lot. I did all the questions

ASDA papers:
lotexigeus: 06 and 09, gives you a rough estimate on what to expect on the real one, these are slightly tougher than the real exam imo
goldendoc: A must : gives you a very good idea of the exam pattern and questions
kdawg: Four most recent are a MUST; anything older seems outdated. You are silly to not use them.
Ninety: 2006 and 2008 are difficult and will break your confidence, 1993 and pilot exam are straightforward
cuspofcarabelli: recent one up to 1980's, it was helpful but no repeats...only couple questions from the 2009

Crack NBDE:
lotexigeus: didn't touch
goldendoc: n/a
kdawg: n/a
Ninety: didn't use it
cuspofcarabelli: didn't use it

lotexigeus: wikipedia and google. If a subject is unclear to you, do a quick google search and read up on it until you can get a complete understanding on it. Very useful.
kdawg: Mosby is great but too detailed. If you're looking to just pass I think you need to be comfortable with a volume of information more than what 1st Aid provides, but don't really need as much as Decks or Mosby provide
Ninety: Tufts, enough said! It is a must for pharma. It does not teach pharma details but categorized all previous board questions and teach you how to solve them

7- if you had the chance to repeat NBDE II, what would you have done?
lotexigeus: wouldn't have studied as much, but on the flip side I like to play it safe and wanted to guarantee myself a passing score
goldendoc: learn more vigorously.go through decks and mosby's again after I go through the papers. concentrate more on patient management, insurance, osha and prosthodontics.
kdawg: Nothing. I think the reason I passed by just studying for one week is because I continually study dentistry on my own. If you're someone who is always reading journal articles, reading textbooks, and actively learning then the exam is very practical where you can draw on your base knowledge. The cramming is simply to help you remember details that you've forgotten along the way.
Ninety: do more questions
cuspofcarabelli: To be honest, I don't know what I ll do differently..pray more

8- how did you study/spend your time 1wk to 1month before the exam?
lotexigeus: Took it easy the day before the exam, just did a few old questions
goldendoc: Last 2 weeks I was studying frantically because I hadn't studied for almost 10 days in between Went through Mosby's and the ASDA papers
kdawg: see above. Prior to my one week cram session I studied VERY casually. I mean, I would pick up a few Decks cards of one of my classmates and quiz myself now and again. Or just pick up Mosby and start reading a little.
Ninety: review my own notes, review some difficult questions papers. The night before exam I only studied for 2-3 hrs and went out to relax and relieve stress
cuspofcarabelli: I went over the released papers for the 2nd time and focus on reading dental secrets book.

9- any thing more you wish to add?
lotexigeus: If you've made a conscious effort to thoroughly understand how and why you do things in clinic it will make your life easier on this exam. Take your time, read the questions correctly and figure out the most logical answer
goldendoc: Be positive.. Have faith and confidence... Keep praying.. God will not forsake you...
kdawg: For those of us who are just looking for the pass, I think most over-study. At this point the exam should be something you could pass without studying, theoretically, right? Really. I'm middle of the class in ranking and one week got me an 83. I thought the exam was very fair and exactly as I expected it to be. Plenty of gimme's and several WTF's. The key is to not let the WTF's get to you---just move on. And just like Part I, the test wears on you physically and mentally. Of all the standardized exams I've taken over the years, this one has the most practical relevance and was the least stressful to me. DON'T PUSH YOUR ORIGINAL SCHEDULED EXAM DATE BACK!!! Sticking to a date forces you to go for it. I was one of the first in my class to be done because I insisted on getting it over with. You'll be more ready than you feel. Good luck!
Ninety: If you want to pass, decks are enough to pass (better coupled with Mosby for beh sciences and Tufts for pharma).
cuspofcarabelli: The exam was challenging but just believe in yourself and go in with confidence.
Good luck to everyone!

And finally thanks for our contributors,
lotexigeus, goldendoc, kdawg, and cuspofcarabelli, and to our great forum, SDN
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Jun 7, 2012
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hey Ninety ,

I am also a foreign trained dentist.
I want to know the books which you used for reference.
is there anyway i can get your email id so that i can take your help .

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