Certified Dental Assistant: What’s On The Exam?

After becoming a dental assistant, it makes good sense to become “certified.” Becoming a Certified Dental Assistant (or CDA) requires an additional test/exam in addition to the one you need to pass in order to complete your dental assisting program successfully.

Only once you have you passed your program are you eligible for certification. And certification is a smart idea as it increases your options for employment (it demonstrates your competence to employers and gives you an advantage over other job applicants who may not be certified) as well as income potential.

So what’s involved in the Certified Dental Assistant exam?

The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. set the standards for the Certified Dental Assistant, known as CDA. The CDA exam is composed of three parts. The General Chairside is a written test composed of 120 multiple choice questions. The questions are based on basic Dental Assistant fundamentals. The Infection Control segment is also a written portion.

It is composed of 100 multiple choice questions relating to information on various diseases, the risks, and prevention methods. The last portion of the exam is the Health and Safety portion. This is a 100 question multiple choice section that is basically common sense related. Some Nursing Assistants choose to take the Certified Dental Assistant portion as well. This is a 210 question multiple choice section.

To prepare for the CDA, review your text book and notes from your Dental Assistant program. It is a good idea to purchase a CDA study guide. You can form a study group with other students who will be taking the CDA exam. The internet also has many free practice tests available. The exam is given in either a written form or computerized form. Nursing Assistant can choose the method they are most comfortable with.

To ensure you do the best possible on the CDA test, consider scheduling it immediately after you have completed your Dental Assistant Program. This is a great time to do it because all of the information is still fresh in your mind. You are also still in learning mode, so you should not suffer too much from test anxiety. Those who test right after completing their Dental Assistant program score better on the test. The longer you wait, they lower your score is likely to be. It is also less likely you will take the test once you have secured employment as a Dental Assistant….

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There’s some good advice here; get certifed as quickly as possible so all the information is still fresh in your mind! Other options for learning what is on the exam can be found online…