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J Dent Educ. 2004 Jan;68(1):29-34.

Comparisons of National Board Part II and NERB's written examination for outcomes and redundancy.

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  • 1Department of Periodontics, Dental School, University of Maryland, 666 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


The purpose of this study was to compare students' in-school academic performance with their scores on the North East Regional Board (NERB) of Dental Examiners' Dental Simulated Clinical Examination (DSCE; written) and the written examination given by the National Board of Dental Examiners, Part II (NBDE Part II). A second purpose was to evaluate whether requiring the DSCE in addition to the NBDE II is of benefit in assessing the qualifications of candidates for licensure. Results on the first attempt at passing the two examinations were compared for 836 graduates (1994-2002) of one dental school. Mean scores on the examinations and mean grade point average (GPA) of those who passed the two examinations did not differ. Mean GPAs of those who failed the two examinations also were not significantly different. Scores on the two exams and GPA significantly correlated with each other. Correlation coefficients were higher between GPA and scores on the NBDE II than between GPA and scores on the DSCE. The failure rates on first attempts were 6 percent on the DSCE and 7 percent on the NBDE II. The results of this study suggest that the DSCE does not materially assist in the licensure decision for candidates who passed the NBDE Part II, as the results on the two exams are very similar.

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