Current dental students are expected to test on the NBDE Part I and Part II, because the INBDE will not be implemented until 2020. But candidates for the NBDE Part II are encouraged to participate in the INBDE field tests.
Any student who applies for Part II and is approved as eligible by their school will also receive an eligibility email for the INBDE, which can be used for a field test.
Scores from field tests are not reported to state boards or dental schools. Instead, the field tests are used to determine how well the drafted items are meeting the intended objectives so adjustments can be made before the official examination is administered in 2020.
College students who expect to enroll in dental school in 2017 or later could be eligible to take the INBDE instead of the NBDE Part II in 2020.
Students who expect to enroll in dental school in 2019 or later could be eligible to take the INBDE instead of the NBDE Part I. Most likely the NBDE Part II won’t be available after July 31, 2022, so these students might be required to take the INBDE for certification.
After students take the INBDE, they will no longer be allowed to take the NBDE Part I or Part II. Each student must qualify to take the National Board Examinations. Most often eligibility is provided through verification from the dean of an accredited dental program. Additional information on eligibility is available in the Guides
for the NBDE Part I and NBDE Part II.
To help future candidates understand their options during the transition period, please consider the following paths:
I prefer to take the NBDE Part I and Part II. How should I proceed?
You must receive eligibility from your dental program to take the NBDE, and you must pass the NBDE Part I before administration of the exam ceases, which is expected to occur around August 1, 2020. After you pass the NBDE Part I, you must successfully complete the NBDE Part II before administration ceases around August 1, 2022. To take the NBDE Part II, you must receive eligibility from your dental school. However, if time runs out for either NBDE administration and you are eligible for the INBDE, you would be eligible for five attempts on the INBDE.
I prefer to take the INBDE. How should I plan ahead?
INBDE administration is expected to begin in 2020, and candidates will have five attempts in five years to complete the exam successfully. You must receive eligibility from your dental school to take the INBDE. After you take the INBDE, you will not be permitted to take the NBDE Part I and Part II exams.
I’m not sure if I should take the NBDE Part II or the INBDE. What should I consider?
If you have passed the NBDE Part I, and you have received eligibility from your dental school to take the NBDE Part II, you may take the Part II until administration ceases in 2022 or until you take the INBDE. If you forgo the NBDE Part II and test on the INBDE, you will have five test attempts on the INBDE. If you are unsuccessful on the INBDE, you will not be permitted to test on the NBDE Part II.