Learn How to Ace the INBDE Exam With These 15 Tips and Tricks

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The INBDE (Integrated National Board Dental Examination) is one of the most challenging exams for dental students to pass. It is a comprehensive test that assesses the knowledge and skill required for dental practice in the United States. With the right preparation, however, students can ace the INBDE without too much difficulty. In this blog post, we explore 15 essential tips and tricks that can help you prepare and succeed in the exam.


Find out your study style:

Before you begin studying for the INBDE exam, it is important to find your preferred study style. Do you learn better alone or with someone who can explain the material to you? Identify what works best for you and stick to it.


Get the right resources:

The INBDE exam requires intensive studying, so make sure you have the right resources. The Mosby Book, MDI Prep online courseDental Mastery App, and INBDE Bootcamp are all great resources to help you prepare.

Address any test anxiety issues:

One of the most significant barriers to doing well on the INBDE is test anxiety. It is quite common for students to feel nervous before taking an exam, but if your anxiety levels are so high that you find yourself underperforming despite knowing the content, you may have a more severe case of test anxiety. Fortunately, there are specific steps that you can take to manage this. Experts recommend seeking professional help or taking a complimentary test anxiety assessment such as the one offered by MDI Prep. This service involves a live online meeting with an expert who can help you identify the root cause of your anxiety and develop effective strategies to manage it.

Learn how to review a multiple-choice test:

One of the crucial skills that dental students must master to ace the INBDE is reviewing multiple-choice tests correctly. Students who do not take the time to review their exams carefully are more likely to make the same mistakes repeatedly and lose points. A useful tip is to never look at the explanation of a question until you have first figured out your own explanation. This approach forces you to think critically, evaluate the alternatives and identify the best option. It can help you identify gaps in your knowledge and understand where you need to focus more attention. To help students develop these skills, MDI Prep offers a free workshop that teaches the correct method to review multiple-choice questions and maximize your score.

Get an accountability partner:

Having an accountability partner can keep you motivated during the study process. This can be a friend or a mentor who checks in on your progress.

Learn how to increase your memory retention:

When preparing for the INBDE exam, your memory retention plays a significant role in retaining information that you study. Certain foods such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables can help boost your memory retention, while incorporating mnemonic devices can help you retain information much easier. The doctors at MDI Prep have also found that question-building prior to studying can significantly improve your memory retention by up to 80%.


Decide when is the best time to take the INBDE exam:

When to take the INBDE exam can make a significant difference in your success rate. Your decision of when to take the exam can depend on your experience level, study habits, and personal life. Planning accordingly and not taking the exam during peak periods of the year, especially if you are a foreign-trained dentist, can give you an edge on your road to success. Peak periods are from June – January.


Decide if you have any language barriers that can affect your performance on the exam:

If you are not a native English speaker, it is essential to consider any language barriers that may affect your performance in the exam. Staying proficient in the language is critical to understanding the exam questions. Reading children’s books can be a useful tool to improve your English comprehension, as it can help you learn tone, variation, sentence structure, and transition words quickly.


Set an appropriate schedule:

Study time and schedules vary from person to person. Create a schedule that works best for you and stick to it.


Set up a pre-test routine:

Establishing a pre-test routine can help calm nerves and get you ready for the exam. Some tips include getting sufficient sleep, eating a healthy meal, and taking deep breaths before the exam.


Speak to a mentor who can guide you:

Talking to someone who has taken the exam before can provide valuable insights that can help you prepare better. MDI Prep have peer mentors who have taken the exam and help others who are preparing.


Review remembered questions:

Try to recall the questions that you remember from previous exams and review those areas. Also utilize remembered questions posted by previous test takers.


Set a goal:

Creating a goal will give you a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. This can help motivate you during the study process.


If you failed the exam, don’t give up:

If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, do not give up hope. Use the experience to learn what worked and what did not and try again.


Set aside the finances to get what you need to pass:

Invest in your success by purchasing the required resources.




The INBDE exam may seem daunting, but with the right mindset, study habits, and resources, you can succeed and become a successful dentist. Use these tips and strategies to help you prepare for the exam and achieve your goals. Remember to stay positive and persistent, and to always keep striving towards your dreams. Good luck!

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