The NBDE Part II at a Glance

The National Board Dental Examination Part II (NBDE II*) is a two-day examination administered on computer. Most students take the exam in their final year of dental school. It consists of a comprehensive 1½ day of examination. To be eligible, students must have passed the NBDE Part 1. For more information about the NBDE Part I and II, visit the American Dental Association website.

The National Board Dental Examination Part II consists of 500 test items. The discipline-based component (Component A) includes 400 items and the case-based component (Component B) includes 100 items based on 8-10 case problems. Part II examinations will include test items (approximately 30 percent) that have references pertinent to the basic sciences A multiple-choice test item consists of a stem, which poses a problem, followed by a list of possible answers. The stem of a test item is usually either a question or an incomplete statement. For National Board use, an item must have at least three and not more than five possible answers. Only one of the possible answers listed is correct.

The first day is divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Each session is approximately 4 hours long and consists of 200 questions each. These questions are taken from a wide range of topics, including Operative Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Periodontics, Pedodontics, Orthdontics, Oral Surgery, Pharmacology, and more.

The second day consists of a morning session with approximately 100 questions divided among a group of case studies. The case studies represent patients with a medical history, dental history, charts, x-rays, models, photographs, etc. Questions are centered on appropriate premedication, treatment, patient management or social aspects of patient treatment. The National Board Dental Examination Specifications for Part II can be found here.

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