How to Pass INBDE ? Tips to Pass INBDE

To earn a license from American state dental boards, a dentistry student must take the INBDE. The exam tests one’s knowledge and clinical skills, ensuring that he or she has the credibility to hold the license. 

Many states already make passing the test mandatory and a student must pass it within the first five years, implying that one must properly prepare for the exam. If you are one of these students, read the sections below because we’ll show you the right way to study for INBDE.

The Basics of INBDE

INBDE is a computer-based examination that lasts for two days. It was created by JCNDE to replace NBDE exams and is designed to test dentistry students who are close to the final days of their predoctoral education.

The test is required in all 50 states for licensure and numerous dental schools use it as a prerequisite for students to enroll in their advanced dental education programs. Test-takers will face three sections within the test covering topics like anatomy, biochemistry, endodontics, etc.

How to Ace INBDE?

Yes, INBDE is here to replace NBDE exams, but it is very different from its predecessors. The test does not focus on basic biomedical sciences but rather on didactic knowledge of science and clinical applications. Having that said, it is crucial to find innovative ways to prepare for this exam.

#1.Set A Clear Time Frame

One of the most crucial things you can do is set up a clear time frame. This not only helps you set realistic study goals but also allows you to manage your schedule so that your preparation does not clash with your other activities. 

Generally, INBDE is held two times a year, so you’ll need to decide early on when you take the exam. From there, you will be able to calculate the right time frame for your preparation. Be sure to factor in the many materials tested within the test and what areas you need to focus more on.

Make sure you design a realistic study schedule and goals, meaning that you create a schedule you can stick to and never overestimate your capabilities. Allow yourself some time to take a break and reward yourself with something every time you go past a study milestone.

#2.Take A Lot of Practice Exams

If you think that reading the materials over and over again is enough to deliver success in an INBDE exam, then you are making a big mistake! Yes, it might give you a deeper understanding of the materials, but you should not forget one other important thing: taking a lot of practice exams.

Doing practice exams not only forces you to gain a better understanding of the subjects tested, but it also does three things: making you more familiar with the test format, helping you identify the areas you are less knowledgeable in, and improving your overall test-taking skills.

As you take more INBDE practice tests, you will be able to analyze which areas you need to focus on more during your study sessions. On top of that, familiarizing yourself with the format can provide you with much-needed self-trust and help you design a more efficient strategy to complete the test.

Besides doing practice tests, it also helps to quiz yourself after each study session. Asking yourself about subjects you just read can help you figure out whether you have gained a good grasp of the topic. If you still answer incorrectly, then you should not hesitate to review the topic again.

#3.Join A Prep Course

If you really want to pass INBDE without taking multiple tests, then it is a good idea to join a prep course. INBDE Booster and Bootcamp are our top picks and you can read our detailed comparison here. It can be a valuable investment, considering that a prep course can provide you with a structured learning method as well as comprehensive learning materials and a community to keep you motivated.

While it might be true that there are already a lot of quality books and resources to help you master the INBDE exam, you have to find them on your own and figure out the one that works best for you. This explains why a prep course is mainly suitable for a dentistry student who does not have a lot of time to gather study materials.

If you enroll in a prep course, you will also gain access to a huge library of study materials and exercise questions. Some prep courses even offer hacks that allow students to do the test more effectively. Ultimately, the learning community a prep course has is one thing you will never find if you study on your own.

However, you should note that not all prep courses offer the same service and quality learning methods. Thus, you should pay attention and do your homework first before enrolling in one of those courses. Most importantly, you should know if the prep course provides all the subjects and whether it has a decent support program for its students.

Free Resources

TheFrenchDentiste’s INBDE Prep Deck

Tuft’s Pharmacology Review

Ethics Mastery Notes


#4.Pay More Attention to Weak Areas

Without knowing what areas you need to make improvements on, you will never develop an effective INBDE learning strategy. Luckily, you can easily do so by reviewing the results of your practice exams. Look for sections with multiple wrong answers and see what topics you need to learn more about.

Adjust your schedule so you can put more time into studying and reviewing the topics you are weak at. If you think you need someone else to explain the topic to you, ask one of your classmates. This will not only help you understand the topic in a more casual language but also check if you already have the correct understanding.

However, you should not be so hard on yourself! Be patient because it needs time to get a grasp on a foreign topic, especially when it comes to advanced topics like pharmacology and evidence-based dentistry. Remember that stressing yourself out will only do harm to your INBDE preparation.

#5.Keep Yourself On Track

When preparing for INBDE, it is only natural to get bored and tempted to put yourself in some other activities. Even so, it is important that you remind yourself to get back on track as soon as possible and not procrastinate for too long.

Based on people who have taken the INBDE exam, spending too many hours studying and jam-packing too many topics in one study session will only lead to burnout. So, one more effective way when preparing for the test is to break down the subjects into more ‘digestible’ chunks.

According to researchers, the “spaced repetition” method is one of the greatest learning strategies to face exams like INBDE. This approach is more effective since our brain is not designed to process and memorize large chunks of information at the same time. Instead, it would be better if you read the same information over again until it sticks to the memory.

According to researchers, the “spaced repetition” method is one of the greatest learning strategies to face exams like INBDE. This approach is more effective since our brain is not designed to process and memorize large chunks of information at the same time. Instead, it would be better if you read the same information over again until it sticks to the memory.

Don’t immediately give up if you don’t immediately understand the importance of operative dentistry or what are the standard procedures in pediatric dentistry. Be positive about your learning process and keep in mind that you actually have more than one opportunity to take the exam.

Challenges when Preparing for INBDE

No one says that trying to cover more than 3,000 concepts in one exam is an easy job. In fact, knowing the many concepts one needs to grasp to pass the INBDE exam alone is enough to make many of us feel overwhelmed.

On top of the test’s level of difficulty, the preparation for an INBDE exam also requires a lot of resources, including the costs of registration, learning materials, and prep courses. However, many have been able to pass the test with great scores, proving to us that it is not impossible to succeed in this exam.


Considering the difficulty of the INBDE and the fierce level of competition, creating a solid study plan is essential! Know that you don’t have a lot of opportunities to pass the exam, so identify your strengths and weaknesses and find ways to keep yourself motivated.

Make sure to allocate enough time so you can focus on areas where you need improvement. And, to improve your chance of success, use high-quality study materials to improve your knowledge and be more confident in your ability to pass the exam.


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