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The Curriculum Integrated Format (CIF) is an alternative to the traditional format of administering an initial clinical licensure examination process The ADA House of Delegates approved a definition of Curriculum Integrated Format in Resolution 1H-2007 and many agencies use the format in their licensing examinations.

What is the Traditional Format?

The traditional format is administered to candidates who have either graduated, or are within forty-five days of graduation of dental school.  All four parts of the examination are administered within a few days under the Traditional Format.

What is the Curriculum Integrated Format (CIF)?

The format allows dental students to take their examinations in sections, spread out across their last year of dental school, instead of taking all four parts) at the very end of senior year. With the CIF, the simulated examinations are administered early in the senior year and the Restorative and Periodontal examinations early in the second semester of the senior year. Candidate scores are reported to their dental school administration for the purpose of student remediation. Students are permitted to take the simulated patient examinations three times and the patient-based examinations twice prior to graduation.

Feedback has been positive, with students citing that they are more relaxed and generally more prepared because of the timeframe. Students can be eligible for licensure by the time of graduation, which means that they can plan their transition out of dental school weeks earlier.

Tip: Some testing agencies offer two separate Candidate Guides—one for Traditional Format and one for the Curriculum Integrated Format. Make sure you’ve got the right one.