Best materials to study for NBDE part 1

  • study materials for NBDE -

Are you looking for materials to study for NBDE Part 1? In this article, I will be highlighting the study materials for NBDE that any international dentist or aspiring dentist must have for the successful preparation of the NBDE Part 1. There are numerous resources and materials to study for NBDE Part 1; but it is important to remember that studying smart and exerting hard work will be the best recipe in making sure that these study materials will be put to good use!

materials to study for NBDE part 1

The National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Part 1 is a one-day exam composed of 400 questions that test you in basic sciences. It takes over a seven-hour period.  About 20% of the test is grouped into testlets with an interdisciplinary focus and clinical application. The NBDE Part 1’s scoring system is in a pass/fail format. A candidate’s total score is computed using the total number of correct answers selected by the candidate. The total score is then converted to a scale score. Candidates who achieve a standard score of 75 or higher get the status of “pass.”

The subject areas tested on Part 1 of the NBDE include:

  • Anatomic Science
  • Biochemistry/Physiology
  • Microbiology/Pathology
  • Dental Anatomy
  • Ethics and Patient Management

Study Materials for NBDE Part 1

Many study guides are available in the market, but I would suggest sticking to one and supplementing it with other materials you can quickly access. Facebook groups are very helpful for discussing questions. Those are good sources since you can download some compiled notes shared by other candidates!

Based on the experiences of the successful candidates, below is a list of the most read study materials for NBDE Part 1. These are simply a list of recommended study materials and you still have to choose the most effective combination of books that would work for you. It is a personal choice.

  1. First Aid for the NBDE Part 1

    It is a fundamental book or one-stop for NBDE preparation written by students who aced the exam. First Aid for the NBDE Part 1 is a concise review of the exam. It contains hundreds of high-yield facts, illustrations, mnemonics and photos. The book offers what-to-study guidance for the most frequently tested topics in anatomic sciences, biochemistry and physiology, microbiology and pathology, and dental anatomy and occlusion. Readers will also find confidence-building and performance-enhancing test-taking strategies.
  2. Dental Decks

    The Dental Decks feature over 1,300 individual flash cards designed with a question on the front and a detailed, comprehensive answer and topic review at the back. The question-answer style of this book makes study more interesting.

    preparation for NBDE part 1

  3. Released ASDA Papers

    American Student Dental Association sells released examinations from previous years with actual questions from the NBDE.  It is beneficial to time yourself when you take these exams and mark the incorrect answers so you could easily review them later.
  4. Dental Boards Mastery App

    You can easily download the app on your phone and practice questions anywhere!  The app contains about +1,200 high-yield questions based on previous NBDE I exams, detailed explanations and full-colored images and quizzes to build up your confidence! It includes mnemonics, root words, critical dental vocabulary and an in-depth statistical analysis so you can track your progress.

  5. Mosby’s Review for the NBDE Part 1

    This book is more of a review book rather than a detailed concept building. It outlines essential data and key points them in a clean, streamlined fashion.

  6. Kaplan Lecture Notes and Question Bank

    The Kaplan Lectures Notes and Question Bank has about 2000 questions with detailed explanation that can help you build concepts. You can track performance reports and customise your own tests according to the subjects.

    study materials for NBDE part 1

  7. Your dental school notes: Useful materials to study for NBDE part 1

The notes you made during the examinations of each year at your dental school could come in very handy! It has been helpful for me since these notes reinforced my confidence of learning the topics, I have listed and studied again.

I hope that you have now an idea of the most common resources for the preparation of NBDE Part 1. If you have already taken the exam, let us know which has helped you the most! If you’re currently preparing for it, we wish you all the best and hope that you may pass with flying colors!

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By |October 16th, 2019|Testing Phase|2 Comments


  1. Edison IMASUEN February 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I like to have details about my opportunity for residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery. I am a dentist from Nigeria and have a fellowship with the west African college of surgeon in oral and Maxillofacial surgery and have a green card. I really like to have more information.

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