Advice To The Junior Class From Students Who Have Recently Passed The NBDHE!
advice from senior class dental hygiene exam prep

Advice To The Junior Class From Students Who Have Recently Passed The NBDHE!

Hello there, juniors! 

As you continue on the next half of your #RoadToRDH, you may start wondering about what lies ahead (hint: the dental hygiene board exam) 

But first, you have to go through dental hygiene school! Go to your classes, do your assignments and ultimately pass all your exams.

☝ We asked some graduates who took and passed their boards what tips and advice would they give to the junior class. These tips are extremely useful for dental hygiene school and when the time comes for you to take the boards.

Keep their ideas in mind, or even better, try them out! ? 

PAY ATTENTION in class (seriously!)

This seems pretty obvious, but if you’re the type who isn’t very “present” in class but goes on a crazy study marathon for big tests, stop doing that to yourself!

“It’s helpful to study hard during school because this is all put towards your studying for the board exam” – Alana from Toronto, Canada

As you go through dental hygiene school, everything you learn from your coursework adds up, so if you didn’t understand the basic concepts from the start, preparing for the boards would be twice or thrice as tough.  If you encounter any question or concept you don’t quite understand in class, speak up and ask your mentor to clarify that immediately. ✅

To help you retain what you learn from class more effectively, try applying memory techniques – these aren’t just helpful for school tests, but for the boards too! ? It also helps to take a quiz right after you finish studying a subject or a large chunk of information.

“You want to remember the material long-term, so it would be helpful to create notes with something that will trigger a picture in your memory about the material.” – Yanet from Houston, TX

Putting in the work while you’re still in school will help you master and remember key concepts so that when the time comes, you won’t struggle as much when studying for the boards. ✍

⏰ Don’t forget to take breaks and SLEEP

Lack of sleep is never good, and it really won’t help you study better either. You may think of forgoing sleep so you can cram in more study time, but doing that will only overwhelm you. There’s even a study to prove that!

“Take breaks, take time to yourself, and most importantly SLEEP. Your brain doesn’t work well if it isn’t rested.” – Jacqueline from CO

There is a limit to how much studying our brain can take in a day, ⏰ so simply studying for the entire day won’t work as well as you think. Taking breaks during the study session will not only relax your brain, but you can also use the break to stretch, meditate or relax your body a bit. After the break, you may even find that you can focus even more while studying!

If you find yourself too groggy to function as soon as you wake up in the morning, try to come up with a morning routine to help jumpstart your day. ✌


Do you have a certain routine or schedule for managing your coursework? ? If you don’t, now would be a great time to start! Most successful people got to where they are now because they plan out what they’d be doing not just for a big project, but for every day. 

“Create a game plan of how to review all the subjects and then allow at least 2 weeks to review everything and take practice tests.” – Janessa from Tallahassee, FL

For example, create a to-do list or a schedule for the next day so you won’t forget to do something during the day. Give yourself deadlines or certain goals to do during the day, week, or month. Don’t procrastinate and do the “scary task” first – taking care of the challenging things as soon as you can even give you a great sense of accomplishment! 

STRUGGLING IN DENTAL HYGIENE SCHOOL? Watch the free video: How to survive Dental Hygiene School


Lastly, and most importantly – always try to be positive, stay motivated, and focus on your end goal, ✅ which is getting that RDH. 

“Discipline yourself to sacrifice now for a short period to enjoy the long-term benefit.’” – Amber from Colorado Springs, CO

Aside from organizing or re-organizing your study routine, make it a point to focus solely on your studies when it’s officially studying time. That includes removing or switching off distractions like social apps and other websites, ⛔putting on music to help you concentrate, ? and setting up an efficient studying schedule

Sometimes, you might feel that you are missing out on spending time with family and friends because you are stuck at DH school.  Remind yourself that this situation is only temporary. Everything you sacrifice now will be worth it in the end!

“To succeed you will have to miss parties and social events. Your friends will understand and when it’s over you will be so glad you took the extra time to study!” – Sydney from IL

We hope you found inspiration in these seniors’ thoughts.  You’ll get there soon too, #FutureRDH. You got this! 


Related Article: How To Get A Job as a Dental Hygienist Before Graduation

(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

Follow @studentrdh

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