Part I is usually taken after two years of dental school. It consists of four examinations on the basic biomedical sciences titled:

  • Anatomic Sciences
  • Biochemistry-Physiology
  • Microbiology-Pathology
  • Dental Anatomy and Occlusion
  • Each of the four Part I examinations consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice test items.

Specifications for the National Board Dental Examination Part I appear in the written National Board Dental Examination Candidate Guide.

The National Board Dental Examination Part I is now available in computerized format Candidates for the Part I exam may now register to take the complete, four-section, Part I exam at Prometric testing centers nationwide.

The current testing schedule for the computerized Part I exam provides a specific time limit (1 hour and 45 minutes) for each part or subject area of the exam. Once the time limit for a specific section has elapsed, the candidate must move on to the next section and may not return to a previous section. Candidates should note that with this schedule, they will not have the flexibility of combining or moving freely between two sections of the exam in the three hour and thirty minute morning or afternoon session as the written exam schedule permits. Candidates who wish to take the computerized version of the Part I exam under this time schedule may do so; however, no retesting or special adjustments or accommodations in scheduling or grading based on this format and time schedule will be considered. All national board exam regulations and policies will apply.


A new version of the computerized exam with a time schedule that allows candidates the flexibility to balance their time between two morning or two afternoon sections as allowed in the written exam schedule should be available by approximately May 1, 2004. Retesting on individual parts/subjects of the Part I exam is not currently available, but should be available by April 1, 2004.

Candidates may register to take either the written or computerized Part I examination using the online application. New 2004 print format candidate guides and applications for the Part I exam will be available in April 2004 and can also be used to register for either the written or computerized Part I exam.

Test Preparation Resources:

NBDE Part I Study Guide

Last Updated: 05/21/2014