NBDE I: How I pass my board

NBDE I: How I pass my board

Hello!

It has been a stressful summer because I have been studying for boards. I recently found out that I passed! I am elated. This post will be all about the study aids that I used and my study plan for NBDE I.

Study aids:

  • First Aid: At first, this was very overwhelming for me so I switched to B & B dental (I’ll talk about this in a bit). However after using B & B dental, I felt a bit more confident and I went back to first aid. I read this twice.
    • This has a lot of information (possibly too much), but it has great visual aids. I read all of the sections except for pathology.
    • This does not have enough on dental anatomy. You’ll need to use another resource.
    • Conclusion: Read this if you have time or if you need visual aids.
  • B & B Dental: This is a new program where they provide a book with videos and flashcards that go along with the study aid. There are errors within the book. I went through this book once, but I read the pathology section a few times. That section was straight to the point. The flashcards are to reinforced what you have read, and they are not formatted like the NBDE.
    • Conclusion: I would do this if you don’t have enough time. However, it does not have enough info on head and neck and dental anatomy. Several of my classmates bought this program, and they passed their boards. Again, they used supplemental materials for the head and neck and dental anatomy.
  • Dental decks: My school provided this and the only thing I used was the case-lets. When I was going over the case-lets, I realized how easy it was and I remembered hoping that it would be similar type of questions on the board.
    • Conclusion: I didn’t use it so I can’t really comment on it, but the questions that I got on my scenarios were very similar to the case-lets. I would use it if you have access to it.
  • Dental mastery app: These questions go along with the first aid book. They are similar to the board questions. I went over all the questions at least once and the ones I did not know a couple of more times. Dental anatomy questions are easier compared to the real test. I would use a supplemental resource for dental anatomy questions.
    • Conclusion: Get this app and use it. There were several questions that were exactly the same on the board.
  • Crack the NBDE: I used this as practice exams. I made a simulated testing environment and took the exams. Then I review it the next day. After I went through all the test once, I focused on the first two exams because they were the hardest and my lowest scores. Again, the dental anatomy questions were really easy.
    • Conclusion: Get this app. Use it as a practice test.
  • Youtube: Know these facts like the back of your hand.
  • Dental anatomy: Most of my resources are from my dental anatomy professor. For this section, I would see if you professor has any study aid for you.

Study plan:

  • I had created an amazing study plan, but of course, nothing goes according to my plan. Originally I wanted to start at the end of March, but I got sick so that took me a while to get better. School work started picking up so I did what I could throughout April and May, but June was when I focused and went through what I need to work on.
  • April-May: I did dental anatomy throughout these months, and I practiced to draw out my picket fence, occlusion, and eruption charts.
    • Weekdays: I had to balance school work with board study so I do as much as I can.
      • Per day: 30 questions from mastery app, read 20 pages
    • Weekends: This is when I went into overdrive, but again, I had to balance it with school work.
      • 90 questions from mastery app, read 50 pages
  • June: I had three weeks from when school was over to my test. By this time, I went through most of mastery app, B and B dental, and first aid already so I was going over questions and concepts that I could not grasp. I also took two practice tests a week. Again throughout this month, I was reviewing the 300 dental anatomy facts.
    • Everyday: I made a quick study sheet for concepts that I that I did not understand and I reviewed them. Answered 50 questions the days that I was not taking a practice test.
    • I remembered I took 1 or 2 days off where I did not study because I was getting burnt out.
  • Day before my exam: I re-read the 300 dental anatomy facts and certain pathologies that I could not remember.

Before I end the post, I would like to mention that dental anatomy and head and neck are two areas that they don’t curve so please know this very well. Also in recent year, they have increased the passing rate from 70% to 75% and reduced the lunch time from 1 hour to .5 hour.

If you have any other questions, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Until next time…

XoXo GiGi

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Part II: How to survive 1st year of dental school

Part II: How to survive 1st year of dental school

Hello!

This is a continuation of part I on the tips that I have gathered that has made my life more manageable in dental school.

  1. Semi-meal prep: The reason it is semi-meal prep for me is that I don’t want to eat the same thing every day and I want to have the opportunity to modify it based on my cravings. (I’ll do another post regarding my meal preps later.)
  2. Notability: This has been my savior in terms of taking notes. Most of my professors would upload their lectures and I would import those lectures onto this app on my Ipad, which then I use to take notes. It is so compact because the only thing that I carry is my Ipad to class. (I’ll do another post about technology and apps that I have found useful in dental school.)
  3. Don’t overwhelmed yourself with extracurricular activities: I say this because I was that girl in college that was involved in everything. This past year, I did something that was unusual for me. I did not join that many clubs and I got to sit back and enjoy school.

Until next time…

XoXo GiGi

Part I: How to survive 1st year of dental school

Part I: How to survive 1st year of dental school

Hello!

I have been MIA lately because dental school has taken over my life. As I am wrapping my first year, here are some tips that have helped me with my first year of dental school. Some of these tips are obvious things that everyone knows, but there are a few that I discovered that works for me. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you if you are about to start your first year of dental school or if you’re planning to go to professional school. This is going to be a lengthy post so I have decided to break it up into two parts.

  1. Sleep: For the first month of school, I was getting a minimum of five hours of sleep. Needless to say, I did okay, but nothing spectacular and I could not figure out why. I studied and studied, but I was still getting very similar grades. Then I decided to get more sleep and that was when I saw a huge difference. I was getting grades that I wanted. So now, I get a minimum of seven hours especially the night before an exam.
  2. Exercise: At the start of school, I wasn’t exercising on a regular basis and that was very abnormal for me. I started to feel sluggish, fatigue, and depress. Then, I started going to exercise classes that the school offer or at least squeeze in a 30 minutes workout every other day. I saw a difference in my energy level.
  3. Keep up with my study: There were certain days that I did not study because I needed to take a mental break. However, I knew that if I did that then I had to make it up. So on a regular basis, I study every day for 2-3 hours after class. Another tip that helps is being attentive in class. I realize that whenever I am attentive (so no facebook or instagram) in class then after school, I am quickly reviewing what I have already learned.
  4. Have “Me Time”: I take Friday nights off and I do what makes me happy. That range from catching up with all my shows to cleaning my apartment. Whatever is happening- Friday nights are reserved for me and what I want to do. Whether it is going out with your friends or staying in, it is imperative that you take a night out for yourself and do what you want to do to reenergize.

Stay tune for Part II next week! Let me know if you have questions or want me to do a post on a particular area about dental school.

Until next time…

XoXo GiGi