What can you do to maximize your chances of succeeding at your national dental assisting board examinations (RHS®, ICE®, GC, AMP®, coronal polishing etc.)? Here are 3 strategies that have proven to work with students I mentored at SmarterDA, and I would like to share them with you so you can also successfully pass all of your examinations.
1. Find the key words in the question (at all cost)
Detectives require clues to solve a case, and so do we. Those clues are presented as key words in the exam questions. The key words do not have to be necessarily difficult (e.g., verrucas vulgaris) and can be any verb, noun, adjective, or adverb.
How can key words help us? By making us focus on what the question statement is trying to achieve and muting the background noise that distracts you from properly understanding the true meaning of the question. Also, questions are made by humans who intentionally or unintentionally leave you hints. So identify those hints, and let them lead you to the correct answer.
Strategy: Find 1-5 key words in the question even if you have to read the question again and again. Then circle those words and focus your attention on the purpose of those words.
2. Slow the Hxxx down
When you have just learned a new language, you usually take the time to understand each word and comprehend the meaning of sentences. Questions in your exam deserve the same amount of attention. We all have the natural tendency to rush through the exam, being concerned about not finishing on time. As a result, our mind let our eyes skip words that could be the critical clues leading to the correct answer. Rushing through questions in the exam is like building a car without thoroughly reading the instructions.
Strategy: SLOW DOWN. Statistics show that the majority of students finish the exam before the given time in the Dental Assisting Exam. Therefore, there is no need to rush!
3. When you see words such as “NOT,” “EXCEPT,” or “FALSE” in the question, play the TRUE or FALSE game
Have you ever made the mistake of not paying enough attention to the “NOT,” “EXCEPT,” or “FALSE” in the question and selected a “correct” statement when you were supposed to select an “incorrect” statement? We all have experienced this at some point. In fact, this is one of the most common mistakes that test takers make.
Why is this mistake so commonly made? It is because the majority of exam questions are about detecting the “correct” answer. So naturally your brain is trained to recognize and to choose a correct statement.
Strategy: Force yourself to answer TRUE of FALSE for each answer choice, and find the one FALSE statement.
Practice those 3 strategies described above with school exams, until they become part of your regular test taking habit. If you are able to do so, you will do fantastic on your big day!
SmarterDA has great STEP-by-STEP courses that give you everything you need for the dental assisting boards. There are FREE trials in each course, 100% FREE. If you are interested in being successful, give it a shot.
Remember that our goal is #SUCCESSANDNOTHINGLESS. Bring it all out and the be the best you can be!
Author: Claire RDH, MS
Claire is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA – exams prep solutions for the dental hygiene and dental assisting students. The online solutions deliver content of the highest quality through the latest e-learning technology. According to some students, studying is now “addictive!” Prior to her career in the dental field, Claire Jeong was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States as well as Canada. She provides personalized mentorship and can be reached at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com.