The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) is written and administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations of the American Dental Association (ADA). The purpose of the examination is to determine professional competency in the various subject areas that are taught in the schools of dental hygiene.
According to the NBDHE Candidate Guide, the examination consists of 350 multiple-choice questions and is administered during 1 full day consisting of two 4-hour periods. Component A (4 hours in the morning) contains approximately 200 multiple-choice questions; Component B (4 hours in the afternoon) contains 150 questions based on 12 to 15 dental hygiene cases. Component A is composed of the following three major areas:
In the community health activities area, approximately four community cases are presented with a series of multiple-choice questions related to the situation described. The community cases are simulated situations that might occur in the community. They usually involve the dental hygienist’s participation in a community oral health activity. Multiple-choice questions after the community cases require that the dental hygiene student apply information, such as that within this textbook, to select the correct answer. The community cases and the related questions are referred to as testlets within the examination.
Multiple-choice questions are used to test the student’s knowledge and understanding of content. A multiple-choice test item consists of a stem, which poses a problem that is followed by a list of answers. The stem is presented either as a question or as an incomplete statement. A choice of four or five answers is given per question. Only one of the answers is correct or best. The other answers are called distracters. Some suggestions are as follows:
1. When answering multiple test questions, use your time wisely. Look over the test initially to determine how many questions are presented, and calculate approximately how much time you will need to answer them.
The following multiple-choice test questions relate to information in Chapter 8 and demonstrate how to answer multiple-choice questions using the clues already presented. Answer the following questions using your knowledge and these clues.
3. You have developed a new program to promote oral health to teenage mothers. You would like to discuss your ideas with other health professionals at an upcoming public health conference. Which of the following formats would be best for presenting your information?
1. b. This is the logical answer because Chapter 8 is on health promotion and behavioral change. Although a. has the word changes, the topic is not relevant. Answers c. and d. have no wording similar to that of the question.
2. c. This answer uses a similar idea—the concept of individualization—even if one does not connect risk with tailoring. Answers b. and d. can be eliminated because they are opposites of the question, referring to groups rather than an individual. Answer a. uses the vague term might, which makes it a less viable answer than c.
When answering the community cases, you must change your train of thought from thinking about private practice to thinking about community. Recall the definitions from within this text and the comparisons of private practice and community oral health practice. Your selection of the correct answer must be in relation to what is best for the community as a whole. You will be applying the information you have learned in your community course to a simulated situation in the community.
In most dental hygiene schools, students have an opportunity to apply the information that they have learned in the community course by conducting projects in the community. These projects require critical thinking skills to determine the best way to achieve maximum oral health for the target population the student chooses to work with. Studying the “Applying Your Knowledge” features at the end of each chapter in this textbook is a good way for students to practice their critical thinking skills. Testing with cases requires students not only to retrieve knowledge, as in the stand-alone multiple-choice questions, but also to use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to make choices. Your critical thinking skills are just that—thinking about what you know. The NBDHE measures your ability to solve problems and to make decisions based on the knowledge you have acquired in your coursework.
Once you are in a community frame of mind, read carefully through the community situation. Then start on the multiple-choice questions; remember that the questions refer to the case presented. Some of the questions can probably be answered on a stand-alone basis, but they are intended to relate only to the case presented. The best answer is the one related to the information in the case.
If time permits, rereading through the case one more time after answering the questions allows you to catch any incorrect answer you may have selected without recalling important information from within the case. The community cases are located in the test in the latter half of the morning. If you do better with case-type questions early in a 4-hour period, consider answering the cases first and then the other multiple-choice questions in this section.
In your general preparation for the examination, try to identify your weak areas and concentrate your review on them. Do not cram for an examination of this magnitude. Set aside scheduled time for review, possibly using a calendar to set aside hours weekly to use for study. Some people study well in groups. Group studying can be />