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Technical Reports

The objective of a technical report is to provide examination users with information to help them evaluate the validity of examination scores they interpret and use.

With the Part I examination, the intended interpretation is the knowledge of basic biomedical and dental sciences that dentists should have. The use of the Part I scores is to recommend passing or failing the candidate. With the Part II examination, the intended interpretation is the professional knowledge of clinical dental sciences including professional responsibility and patient management abilities that dentists should possess. The use of the Part II scores is also to recommend passing or failing the candidate. Technical reports contain validity evidence and references to validity evidence that support both interpretations and uses of scores.

The following technical reports provide detailed information related to areas such as examination history, administration, the rights and responsibilities of candidates, and the failure rates of candidates. Additionally, the technical report provides background information that allows the reader the opportunity to understand the history and processes that have led the examination program to its present state.

The reports available to download below focus on the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) and National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) testing program and findings.

Test Item Development Guide

This publication of the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations provides item development guidelines to new and current item writers to augment the quality and quantity of new test items into our item bank. The use of the item development guidelines should increase the chances that items submitted to testing services will be accepted. This exercise affords an opportunity to participate in a professional activity associated with dentistry. To this end, the Test Item Development Guide is intended:

  • To inform dental and academic communities of interest about the item development process for National Board Dental/Dental Hygiene Examinations
  • To encourage participation in our item development and review activities.
  • To broaden our base of item writers, item reviewers, and future test constructors.
  • To replenish our item pool with current knowledge in a variety of item formats.
  • NBDE Test Item Development Guide (PDF)