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When Failure Isn’t an Option

Posted by Laura Hill on Oct 24th 2022

When Failure Isn’t an Option

Key Takeaways

  • You’ve invested so much time and money into becoming a dentist, failing the INBDE just isn’t an option.
  • Reducing exam anxiety will help you feel more confident as the INBDE approaches.
  • A comprehensive study aid like Dental Decks will help you prepare with confidence.

Deciding to become a dentist is a series of big decisions…from what you’ll study as an undergraduate student, to which dental school you’ll attend. And let’s not forget the financial aspect. The average dental education costs more than $200,000.

With that level of investment, failing the INBDE simply isn’t an option. But, that creates a ton of pressure, which can leave you feeling anxious about your exam. So how can you feel more confident going into the INBDE?

Let’s look at things you can do to approach this all-important exam with confidence.

Tips for Reducing Test Anxiety

Exam anxiety is a reality for any student. Ironically though, when it comes to a high stakes exam like the INBDE, reducing anxiety is essential for success! So how do you get there?

  • Think positively: Positive thinking is crucial to taking exams. In fact, research shows that if you expect to do poorly, studying may not be enough to overcome this negative thinking.

    Fortunately, there are some ways to trick your brain into staying positive. Practice self-affirmations: remind yourself you’re a smart student and you’re well prepared. Challenge negative thoughts by telling yourself those thoughts just aren’t true. For example, if you think you haven’t prepared enough for your INBDE, say to yourself, “That’s not true! I’ve been preparing for months.”

  • Visualize Success: Actively imagine yourself taking the INBDE, answering each question confidently and correctly. By visualizing a successful test taking experience, your brain will create a connection between taking the exam and success.

    Visualization won’t replace preparation, but it can help build your confidence.

  • Calm your body: If you’ve experienced test anxiety before, you may have felt shaky, sweaty, or even a little dizzy. That’s because fear and anxiety release adrenaline.

    To combat these effects, focus on your body. Try an intentional breathing exercise: take deep breaths in and out until your nerves calm. Do some stretching to release tension in your body. Or, take a short walk. Moving helps clear the mind!

  • Eat before the exam: Don’t skip meals on exam day! Your body needs nutrients to perform at its best. And, what you eat and drink matters.

    Try to eat foods high in protein or brain-boosting healthy fats. Avoid sugary snacks which may cause you to crash mid-exam.

    Hydrate! Drink plenty of water. Now, this one’s tough: avoid highly caffeinated energy drinks that will just make you more jittery.

  • Get a good night’s sleep: Just like your brain needs food to function at its best, your brain also needs rest. Studies show you’ll actually perform better with a full night of sleep the night before an exam than if you pull an all-nighter studying.

    If you have been staying up late to study, you may have a hard time falling asleep the night before your test. Ease yourself into it! Try going to bed a little earlier each night for a week or two leading up to the exam. Your body and brain will thank you, and your test scores will show it.

Preparation Tips

These are all great tips, but when it comes to the INBDE, these practices don’t take the place of good preparation. Here are some tips for studying:

  • Make a study schedule: You’ve got a lot of material to learn! You’ll be able to master all of the material on the INBDE better if you break it up in to chunks of material you study each day.

  • Use an INBDE study aid. You obviously want to make sure you’re studying specifically for the INBDE. Invest in an INBDE study aid to ensure you study all the content and question styles covered on the exam. With so much on the line, this is definitely a smart investment.

When Failure Isn’t an Option…Trust Dental Decks!

Dental Decks is the most comprehensive, most recommended INBDE study aid for a reason. You’ll get thousands of topical and case-based patient box questions, a case study and oral pathology booklet, three practice exams, plus we provide free 45- and 60-day study schedules. With all of these resources, you’ll feel confident in your INBDE prep.

Plus, we’re so confident you’ll pass your exam the first time with Dental Decks, we offer a full money-back guarantee. If we’re that confident, shouldn’t you be, too?

Trust Dental Decks to help you crush the INBDE when failure isn’t an option!


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