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Claire J

How to Assess Your NBDHE Failed Report

How to Assess Your NBDHE Failed Report

3/7/2019 8:09:55 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 916

How to Assess Your NBDHE Failed Report

Many students are reaching out to me because they don’t understand the NBDHE failed report card. And the truth is that it can be really confusing. In this article, I am going to show you how to assess your NBDHE failed report card with confidence. Hopefully, you won’t get this, but sometimes things happen! And it’s OK if you fail. Know that you have many chances!

Watch the video now or continue reading below!

Understanding the NBDHE Failed Report

We know that there is a total of 350 questions in the NBDHE (American Board Exam).

And if you look at the number of questions per session, you will see that there are:

- 200 Basic Science questions, such as Head and Neck Anatomy, Pathology and simple answer choices (Session one).
- 150 Case Studies (Session two)

In total, that makes 350 questions.

The problem is that when you add up the total number of questions shown in your fail report card, it comes out as 500 questions. Why is that?

how to assess your failed report (NBDHE)

If you take all disciplines/areas except the Case Studies and add them up, you will get 350 questions. Students get really confused with this, as it would make more sense if they would be equal to 200 as we have 150 case studies (200+150 = 350).

how to read the failed report

Let’s understand the numbers: If you look at some of the disciplines like Patient Assessment, Radiology, Management of DH Care, you’ll see that they have many questions. The reason is that they include case studies AND basic science questions.

So now we know that those 350 questions include also case studies. Therefore, the number of questions area is telling us how many questions they are in session 1 and session 2 combined. In the reality what the report is telling us is that it doesn’t matter whether is session 1 or session 2, those are the total number of questions.

how to read the failed report

The case studies total score is mostly a “bonus”, an extra section that shows your total scores for case studies only. But please remember that those case studies have already been included before.

how to read the failed report

How To Create A Study Plan Based On Your NBDHE Failed Report

The NBDHE failed report shows you how many correct answers you had for a particular area and what is the national average. This information is going to be really valuable for you to know what are your strengths and weaknesses and to create a study plan.

This is how you create a study plan based on your failed report:

Step 1 - Assess your weaknesses

Look at the national average and compare it with your scores. What have you not done good enough? Go ahead and mark every single area that needs improvement.

How to Assess Your NBDHE Failed Report

Step 2 - Look at the big weaknesses

Look at your scores again. Maybe for some disciplines, you were only one or two points below the national average. But for some others, there will be a bigger gap between the national average and what you had scored. Make sure you identify them.


Step 3 - Start studying your weak disciplines first

The reason is that our mind is trained to repeat what we know. It’s easier for our brain to repeat what we already know well. It feels good! However what we really have to tackle first are the difficult parts, your weaknesses.

I strongly advise to make yourself a study plan and start with those weaknesses first. You will tackle the rest afterward. Make sure you don’t start with your strengths.

How to Tackle Case Studies When Studying for the NBDHE

Case studies are a compilation of many different things that come up in one case such as the radiograph, the chart, the patient profile and the photo.All those things combined will make a case. And you will have many different questions about that case that you need to solve.

My advice would be NOT to start doing more case studies. I would first review the content of each discipline. The content is your foundation, the solid base that you have to know any way to tackle the case studies. Once you have reviewed all content, please do the case studies.

The sequence would be:

Study your weaknesses - make sure you are getting better at them.
Review all the content. Remember, this is your foundation.
Practice case studies.

What Are The Most Important Chapters?

To understand what areas or chapters are more important, let’s look at the national average and what that information is telling us. For example, let’s take Radiology and compare the total number of questions with the national average.

How to Assess Your NBDHE Failed Report

You can see that the number of correct answers on average is only a little bit more than half of the total number of questions. As you can see, Radiology is one of the most difficult areas for everybody. You are going to be asked a lot of questions and the national average is not great. That is why I would advise you to try to study it a little more. If you can perform well on this, you are going to get a great score.

Other important areas that you should focus on are Management of DH Care and Community Health. You will see a lot more Community Health questions that you probably would have anticipated. There are 24 questions in the report for this area, and if you compare it with others such as Anatomy or Microbiology you will see that they range from 10 to 16.

I hope this is helpful! 

Related article: Let's Learn From Those Who Failed!

About the author:

Claire Jeong is an educator and entrepreneur. She founded StudentRDH and SmarterDA – which offer dental hygiene and dental assisting exam review courses. The online platform delivers content of the highest quality through the latest e-learning technology. According to some students, studying is now “addicting.” Claire was invited on various podcasts to speak about memory techniques and learning efficacy; topics she also promotes through articles, speeches, e-books, and blogs.

Claire has a Master’s Degree in Administration from Boston University and a Dental Hygiene Degree from Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene in Boston. Prior to her career in the dental field, she has been mentoring students for 15 years and was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States as well as Canada.

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