Become a volunteer Test Constructor

The ADA Department of Testing Services seeks volunteer Test Constructors. Share your time and expertise to support critical dental exam programs – and the next generation of test takers.

Test Constructor responsibilities

Your valuable knowledge and expertise can contribute to the continued excellence of your profession. Volunteer your time to ensure that the next generation of health professionals possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice safely. Volunteers also receive CE credit.

Examination programs rely on volunteer subject matter experts (SMEs) to help create accurate, reliable, valid, and fair test content. A “subject matter expert” is broadly defined as anyone possessing expert knowledge on a particular subject, such as dentistry, dental hygiene, optometry, biomedical science, or related fields.

With the assistance of ADA test development staff, test constructors are asked to complete tasks such as:

  • Writing and reviewing items
  • Writing and providing case materials
  • Reviewing exam forms
  • Submitting clinical images
  • Writing reading passages
  • Drawing visuospatial graphics

Volunteers do not need prior test development experience to apply. Department of Testing Services (DTS) staff will provide all necessary training and resources.

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteering to serve on a test construction team is not only a great way to contribute to your profession and earn CE credit, but it is also a unique and rewarding experience.  Additionally, Test Constructor Team meetings give you an opportunity to meet peers from across the United States. While COVID-19 concerns mean that all meetings will be held via videoconference for the foreseeable future, you can still build connections with your peers.

How much time is required? Do I need to travel?

Volunteer Test Constructors are selected into a Test Construction Team (TCT) that balances the needs of the program with volunteer availability. These TCTs are formed for a single specific meeting, which means that the teams can vary from one meeting to the next.

Selected volunteers will be invited to attend a meeting. Meetings are held remotely but will occasionally take place in person at the American Dental Association Headquarters in Chicago. Each exam program meeting typically lasts two to three days. Test constructors may be approved to serve on a TCT for more than one exam program and may be asked to attend more than one meeting in a given year. Requests to attend meetings as a test constructor are typically sent at least four months in advance of a meeting, and we ask that you confirm your attendance to the meeting in a timely manner. 

The per-day Honorarium for attending an in-person and remote TCT meeting is $158 for eligible meetings. If selected to attend an in-person meeting, flights, ground travel, and hotel accommodations are reimbursable. A per-day stipend of $158 will also be provided. In addition, continuing education credit may be available to volunteers for their participation (for details, please contact

Who should apply?

Each exam requires different areas of expertise. As such, we must recruit a variety of subject matter experts in both generalized and specialized dentistry, for both educators and practitioners. In addition, there are often volunteer opportunities in areas such as optometry, biomedical sciences, as well as basic sciences and mathematics.

Ideally, volunteer Test Constructors exhibit these characteristics:

  • Ability to be flexible and adaptable
  • Ability to work with different groups
  • Intellectual curiosity and openness
  • Writing and communication skills
  • Range of knowledge and skills
  • Interest and enthusiasm for the role
  • Receptive to feedback from peers and staff

Who is eligible to apply?

While some volunteer opportunities do require a doctorate level degree, there are various opportunities for volunteers with a master’s level degree. Please see the test constructor selection criteria and application link for each exam in the Apply to be a Test Constructor section below. To apply for multiple exam programs, you will need to complete the application for each exam. Once you complete one application, any section you completed in previous applications will populate for your convenience. If you have questions, please contact

Which exams rely on Volunteer Test Constructors?

DTS provides professional psychometric and test development services for high-stakes testing programs in dentistry and healthcare, including the following admission tests and licensure examinations:

Admission Tests

  • Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT)
  • Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH)
  • Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

Licensure Examinations

  • Dental Hygiene Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination (DHLOSCE)
  • Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination (DLOSCE)
  • Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE)
  • National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE)

Volunteers are assigned based on their expertise and interests.

What if I have other questions?
Contact DTS at to answer any other questions. 


Apply to be a Test Constructor

Important Application Dates

Application cycle, status and due date are listed below.

 Application Cycle  Application Status  Application Due Date
 2025 Closed  March 31, 2024
 2026  Closed
(Anticipated to open late 2024)
 Late January, 2025
Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT)

The ADAT is used by more than 400 advanced dental education programs to assess applicants’ potential for success.

Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH)

The ATDH is a nationally administered standardized admission test for individuals applying to dental hygiene programs. 

Dental Admission Test (DAT)

The DAT is designed to provide dental education programs with a means to assess applicants’ potential for success.

Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

The OAT is a comprehensive exam that enables optometry education programs to assess the knowledge and preparedness of program applicants.

Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination (DLOSCE)

The DLOSCE is designed to help dental licensing boards determine whether candidates have the level of clinical judgment and skills required to safely practice entry-level dentistry.

Dental Hygiene Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Examination (DHLOSCE)

The DHLOSCE (scheduled to launch in 2024) is designed to help dental licensing boards determine whether candidates have the level of clinical judgment and skills required to safely practice entry-level dental hygiene.

Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE)

The INBDE is a licensure examination requiring candidates to use their clinical skills to successfully complete one or more dental problem-solving tasks.

National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE)

The NBDHE assists dental boards in evaluating qualifications of dental hygienists for licensure. The examination will assess each candidate’s ability to understand important information from basic biomedical and dental hygiene sciences and apply this information in a problem-solving context.

Fairness and Sensitivity Reviewers

Fairness, diversity, and inclusion are values that are of critical importance to society and health care  professions. The governing bodies that oversee examination programs implemented by the Department of Testing Services (DTS) have devoted and continue to devote considerable time and energy to their examination program(s), to comprehensively consider the relevant issues and implement examination programs that are fair, valid, and reliable, providing candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in support of accurate and valid skill measurement. These examinations are constructed in a manner that supports their validity, with the corresponding activities themselves conducted in a manner that embodies the principles of respect and fairness that lie at the heart of current societal concerns.  Fairness efforts are also rooted in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, which emphasizes the importance of fairness, and provides professional guidance on all aspects of testing. [1] 

The following will be considered when reviewing applications for Fairness and Sensitivity Reviewers:

  • Background, training, and/or personal experiences involving diversity, inclusion, and equity considerations
  • Background, training, and/or personal experiences involving historically marginalized and/or underrepresented groups
  • Statements demonstrating firmly held beliefs pertaining to diversity, inclusion, and equity considerations and respect for individual differences and differing perspectives
  • Fairness and Sensitivity Reviewer Application (application closed)



[1] American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education. (2014). Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. American Educational Research Association.



Submit your images

Don’t have time to volunteer? We always need images to use within the exams. Upload your case images to the Image Portal.