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Beating the NBDE with This New Mobile App

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          There is one acronym that every dental student learns to associate with a sense of dread: NBDE. This past December, I too experienced the same apprehension that many others have before me when it came time to take Part 1 of the National Dental Board Examination. However, during the course of my exam preparation, I came across an invaluable study resource that not only improved my confidence going into the exam, but actually encouraged me to learn the material in a way that was conducive to my overall learning style and interests. This hidden study gem is the Dental Boards Mastery App, which is an application developed by the UICD (and others) for dental students taking the NBDE. The app is available for purchase on the iTunes App Store, and can even be accessed from an Internet browser. 

The aspect that I liked best about this application is its organization and user-friendly interface. The Dental Boards Mastery App has hundreds of practice questions that are divided up by category (dental anatomy and occlusion, anatomy and histology, pathology and microbiology, physiology and biochemistry, growth and development, and ethics). In addition, each category is divided into its own subcategories so you can customize your study questions based on where your own personal weaknesses lie. For example, the “dental anatomy and occlusion” category is further divided into subcategories such as general structure and tooth morphology, pulp and periodontium, primary tooth morphology, dental pathology, and occlusion.  

The application also allows you to sort each question you study into a “know,” “somewhat know,” and “don’t know” pile. This feature not only helped me quickly determine my personal strengths and weaknesses, but also made it easy for me to maximize my studying efficiency by targeting the topics that I needed to review the most.  

Another useful feature of the app is an extensive list of mnemonics. The mnemonics are creative, fun, and, more importantly, useful, especially when it comes to memorizing which nerves exit which foramina and which bacteria cause what disease. I even found myself reciting many of the mnemonics in my head when I was taking the exam. The app also includes practice quizzes and allows you to track your overall progress by setting daily study goals, which helped me to stay motivated and on track, even on the longest study days.  

We live in a world of constantly evolving technology. Study resources are shifting away from traditional hard copy textbooks to more online, digital resources such as THE NEXTDDS, which I hear is readying its own testing tool. The Dental Boards Mastery app appealed to me and many of my classmates because of its accessibility. With just a few clicks on my phone, I could bring up the app and instantly access the questions while waiting in line at the grocery store or at the library for quick, “on the go” studying. In fact, the study material being presented as an app made the process feel less tedious, and I even found myself running through 50 questions at a time without thinking twice about it.  

The actual return on investment came on exam day, when I found that I was able to retain much of the information that I had reviewed through the app. I highly recommend this study resource to any dental students taking the NBDE Part 1! 


I used Dental Board Mastery App for Part I and Part II and was successful! I definitely put my stamp of approval on this application. I do want to say that as with everything it is not the end all be all. You really have to put the time in to study the material and be sure to understand the concepts that you repeated miss when you are studying! All the best to everyone studying!!!
qibeto at 3/5/2016 9:11 PM