New Prep for Mock Boards

Second-year OHSU dental students recently took a mock exam in preparation for Part I of the National Dental Examination this spring. 

“We want our dental students to put their best foot forward when taking the national boards,” said Phyllis Beemsterboer, M.S., Ed.D., F.A.C.D. “Over the past five years, the national boards have been re-structured and are now more difficult for dental students across the country.”

To ensure dental students study efficiently for the national boards and to earlier identify areas where students need extra help in the curriculum, OHSU School of Dentistry purchased a mock exam that was given for the first time on Jan. 31. Several review sessions will be held after the first mock exam to assist student preparation.

“The test looks like the real deal,” said Dr. Beemsterboer. “We are taking success on the mock exam very seriously. Students who do not pass the mock exam will not be able to take Part I of the National Dental Examination. Additionally, dental students who do not pass Part I of the real exam will not gain clinic privileges until posting a passing score.”

In August, a mock exam will be held for third-year dental students who are preparing for Part II of the National Dental Examination, said Dr. Beemsterboer.

“OHSU dental students usually do well on their boards,” said Dr. Beemsterboer. “We hope that by placing more emphasis on the actual tests and providing additional practice during school time that OHSU dental students will feel even more confident in sitting for these high stakes exams.”

Dental students must pass both Part I and II of the National Dental Examinations before sitting for the WREB (Western Regional Examining Board). In 2013, 94 percent of the graduating OHSU dental class passed the WREB on the first try, with the majority of those not passing only needing to re-take one portion of the test.

“The mock exam will be an important gatekeeper,” said Dr. Beemsterboer. “Not only will it help us provide more assistance to dental students, but it will help us continually strengthen our curriculum.”