Preparing for the Qualifying Examination
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 240 objective, single-best answer, multiple-choice items designed to provide evidence toward validation of an individual’s advanced training in pediatric dentistry. Forty of the items are pre-test items and will not be scored. A successful examinee must demonstrate a well-rounded in-depth knowledge of pediatric dentistry.
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 2022 QE examinees on how they prepared for the QE, and their top three responses were:
- AAPD Reference Manual
- AAPD Handbook of Pediatric Dentistry
- Textbooks (View QE textbook references)
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.