Qualifying Examination Preparation

The QE is not based upon a single resource. Examinees should focus their attention on the use of specialized knowledge and skills, clinical reasoning, communication, and professionalism required of entry-level pediatric dentists for safe and effective practice.

The QE is reviewed and revised annually. 

Examinees are strongly encouraged to follow guidance from current dental and medical literature. Pediatric dentistry journals and journals such as the Journal of the American Dental Association, Journal of Dental Research, Dental Traumatology, and Pediatrics can be expected to serve as sources of examination content on contemporary topics. Literature reviews can be accomplished through many venues, including formal continuing education courses, study clubs, or self-study. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry neither sponsors nor endorses a “board review” course. While a comprehensive pediatric dentistry review course might provide a valuable overview, it cannot be expected to serve as the only resource for preparation.

Here are some additional tips for preparing for the QE:

  1. Be systematic in your study approach
    • Begin preparations soon after registering
    • Consult colleagues regarding how they prepared
    • Organize study materials
    • Utilize a study partner to review material
    • Set a study schedule
    • Study a little bit every day so that it does not become overwhelming
    • Create flash/study cards
  2. Become familiar with the examination blueprint
  3. Review ABPD sample items
  4. Consider using multiple resources/references in your preparation
  5. Optimize your thinking, reasoning, and memory
    • Reduce your stress/avoid stressful people
    • Eat healthy and exercise
    • Take breaks (for every hour that you study, take a 10-minute break
    • Visualize the test going well
  6. Follow some general test-taking tips
    • Read the entire question carefully
    • Try to answer without referring to the answer choices
    • Read all the answer alternatives carefully
    • Use the process of elimination if you do not immediately know the correct answer
    • If you are struggling with a question, flag it so you can return to it later
    • Select the response that best answers the questions.