Congratulations! You have begun the first step toward becoming board certified through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). The Qualifying Examination (QE) is the first of the two examinations you will have to successfully complete to obtain board certification.   

The examination consists of two-hundred objective, single-best answer, multiple-choice questions designed to provide evidence toward validation of an individual’s advanced training in pediatric dentistry.  The QE is intended to assess the examinee’s understanding of the scientific and biological principles that support the practice of pediatric dentistry. A successful examinee must demonstrate a well-rounded in-depth knowledge of pediatric dentistry.  This examination is not intended to duplicate the clinical application of pediatric oral health care that will be tested during the second component of the certification process, the Oral Clinical Examination. 

Preparing for any examination can be challenging. There are many ways, and a variety of resources that can be used to prepare for the QE. 

ABPD has the following recommendations:

Review the Blueprint

ABPD recommends you begin preparing by reviewing the QE Blueprint. The blueprint provides the framework for the examination and lists the domains and subdomains covered, as well as the number of questions for each domain. 

Choose Your Study Materials

After reviewing the blueprint, you will need to determine which study materials you want to use to prepare for the examination. We surveyed our 2020 QE examinees on how they prepared for the QE, and their top three responses were: 

Reviewing current dental and medical literature, pediatric dentistry journals and periodicals, and literature reviews can also be beneficial for preparing for the QE. 

What to Expect on Examination Day

The QE is a 4-hour computer-based examination administered at Pearson Professional Centers. All Pearson Professional Centers follow the same procedures for administering the QE. Below you will find several resources available to examinees to help you become familiar with the testing process.

  • To learn how to navigate computer-based examinations, view demo
  • To learn about the check-in process and test experience, view video.
  • To tour a Pearson Professional Center, view online tour.

Additional information for preparing for the QE and what to expect on the examination day can be found on the ABPD website and in the Certification Guide.