Board Exams

Board exams aka the most stressful moment of your life as a senior dental student

We recently switched to ADEX board exams so instead of having all the senior students complete the dental board competency over two days, the examination dates are spread out throughout the year. Basically, when you take the exam, you see three different patients that day (perio for scaling, a class 2 and a class 3 prep and restoration of a carious lesion). Each section has a different time limit and when you are finished with each portion of the exam the examiners have to take a look at your patient and grade your work. Additionally at penn, our own faculty will grade your work as part of a competency exam. It can be pretty stressful waiting to see if your work is approved or not and everyone is already quite stressed. When you’re working on your patient you also get one assistant (this is where the second year students come in). For this exam, I assisted a senior students (she passed!) throughout the day. It was a really great experience working with her to see what it would be like when I take the exam one day! (Also the importance of having a good assistant who can keep you on track and calm you down!)

I wasn’t allowed to take photos during the exam, but the school did feed us throughout the day!


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