Prepare for Exams

Studying for your DANB exam

Everyone who takes a DANB exam has a different level of training, education and experience. Your method of preparing for the exam should be unique to your needs and background. Although everyone is different, there are some resources that will be helpful for everyone to know about when developing their study plan.

Review the exam outline

Before you create your study plan, begin by reviewing the exam outline. The exam outlines list the topics that will be covered on the exams and can help you identify the areas you’ll want to study. You’ll also want to consider the percentage next to each exam topic. The topics with the bigger percentages are important ones to study.

Select your study materials

The exam outlines also include the list of exam references, which are often textbooks or other materials that were referenced during the development of the exam. It’s a good idea to have access to at least one recommended dental assisting textbook.

Study with the DALE Foundation

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The DALE Foundation, the official DANB affiliate, offers interactive, online practice tests and review courses on a variety of topics to help you prepare for DANB exams. Taking practice tests can help you build your confidence and get comfortable taking a test while being timed. Completing review courses can help you go into more detail on the topics and deepen your knowledge and understanding.

See the course catalog

Exam study strategies

Set aside time. Give yourself plenty of time to study. Many DANB test-takers have said they spent at least 1-2 months studying before they took their exam. Giving yourself more time and setting aside a few hours each week to study will help you fully understand everything you need to know.

Find a place to focus. The location where you study can make a difference. Select a study space that is free of distractions and where you won’t be interrupted. Some people like to study at coffee shops or the library. There may be study rooms at your school that you can use. The important thing is to pick a place that works for you.

Break it down. The exams cover a lot of information, and you may not know where exactly to start or how to get through everything you need to know. Breaking the materials down into manageable sections can help you cover it all. Use the exam outline and your textbooks to create a study schedule that spans several weeks. Planning ahead is a good way to give yourself enough time to review the materials.

Practice makes perfect. On every exam, there will be some key concepts and vocabulary terms you’ll need to know. If you’re trying to memorize information, writing it down can help you remember it later. One memorization technique is to write something down on paper several times in a row to really capture it in your mind.

Exam day tips

The day of your exam is an important one. Make sure you’ve done everything you can to be at your best. Here are a few tips to set yourself up for success.

  • Relax. Do something relaxing the night before your exam so you are able to unwind.
  • Be rested. Get a good night’s sleep so you are rested and refreshed.
  • Dress for comfort. Dress comfortably so you can be fully focused during the exam.
  • Fuel up. Eat before your exam so you don’t get too hungry while you are taking the exam.
  • Bring your ID. Bring your DANB-accepted photo ID and have it with you when you go to check in.
  • Plan your route. If you are taking an exam at a test center, know where the test center is located and give yourself plenty of time to arrive.
  • Be positive. Before you start the exam, get in a good mindset and visualize your success.