Why practice tests are essential in studying for the NBDE Part I

Many things happen in the first couple years of dental school!

You will start taking introduction classes, meet new friends, and dig deeper into your future career. One thing is in your future for certain though - and that's your dental boards! Whether those boards are far away or right around the corner, here are 3 ways practice tests can help you make sure you’re on the right path to NBDE success.

1. Taking a Practice Test Reduces Stress

Stress can do funny things to even the smartest students. For some, it can lead to nerves, anxiety, frustration, and mistakes, and poor performance. For others, stress allows focus and motivates them to perform better (weird, right?). 

Here's where the importance of practice comes in. Practice tests are a great way for you to figure out and practice what works for you to reduce pressure. Techniques for reducing stress can include:

  • Slowing down
  • Deep breaths
  • Listening to soothing music before hand.

Using practice tests makes you feel more confident because you will be familiar with the types of questions on the exam!

2. Practice Tests Help With Time Management 

Time management can be a big problem for students who aren’t used to having a strict time limit. Do you remember your first time taking the ACT?

With practice tests you can take your work home where you can time yourself as you work on questions. As you practice, you can get a feel for how long each question takes. Time management is essential to being successful on the NBDE. Tips for time management include:

  • Read every question carefully. Test makers always dress simple questions up with additional language.
  • Divide your time up. Know how much time you can take on each question before moving on.
  • Start with what you CAN do. Start strong! Build some confidence before moving on to the hard questions.

Practice tests are a great way to get you adjusted to the timing and cadence required to nail the exam!

3) Practice Tests are Backed by Science 

It's true - practice leads to perfect! Whether you’re talking about sports, music, or exams, research has shown the best performing experts practice more than their colleagues. In a study on mock exams, researchers found that students who would take practice tests did better on finals exams than those would didn't take practice tests. Practice exams are a great way to help you improve for the actual exam. Practice exams can give you a benchmark as to where you stand for the real deal. It is better to find out on a practice exam that you need to study more than on the real exam!

If you want to practice for the NBDE Part I, check out the B&B Dental online course! There are practice tests included in our Advantage Level program! Learn more about practice tests and other features in the B&B NBDE Part I Test Prep

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