National Entry Level Dental Assistant

Passing the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) exam can jump-start your dental assisting career. Learn about the exam requirements, how to apply, how to prepare, and what to expect on exam day.
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Timeline & Requirements

TEST WINDOW

60 DAYS

TEST TIME

180 MINUTES

TEST QUESTIONS

240 QUESTIONS

Eligibility Requirements & Pathways

Pathway I

  • Graduation from a dental assisting program located within a post-secondary institution that is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education but is not CODA-accredited
  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • Current hands-on CPR, BLS or ACLS from a DANB-accepted provider

Pathway II

  • Graduation from a U.S. Department of Labor Job Corps dental assisting program
  • Current hands-on CPR, BLS or ACLS from a DANB-accepted provider

Pathway III

  • Successful completion of a DANB-accepted dental assisting program located within a high school that is recognized by a state or federal agency in the U.S. education system
  • Current hands-on CPR, BLS or ACLS from a DANB-accepted provider

Pathway IV

  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • Minimum of 300 and up to a maximum of 3,000 hours work experience as a dental assistant, accrued over a period of at least two months and no more than three years; employment must be verified by a licensed dentist
  • Current hands-on CPR, BLS or ACLS from a DANB-accepted provider

Testing Options

Test Center

Read about what to expect when you take your exam in-person at a test center.

DALE Foundation Study Materials

NELDA Exam Prep Bundle

This complete package includes all the practice tests and review courses for DANB’s NELDA exam.

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NELDA Review Courses

Study for DANB’s NELDA exam with four comprehensive review courses, all part of this discounted bundle.

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NELDA Practice Tests

Prepare for DANB’s NELDA exam with all three practice tests together in one cost-saving package.

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Save 20% with code ICE20

Through 9/30/22, use promo code ICE20 to get 20% OFF ICE exam prep materials.

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