The Best NBDE Review Books and Resources of 2021

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Are you a dental student getting ready for the National Board Dental Examination Part I? Have you passed the Part I already, but you’re not quite sure what you need to study for Part II? Are you overwhelmed by the length and breadth of the tests, and not sure where to start?

You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of soon-to-be dentists take the NBDE Parts I and II. There’s a wealth of resources available to you, from review books to practice question banks to guided prep courses.

This article will help you explore the review material possibilities and determine what you need to be successful on the tests. It may help to know how you study best ⁠— do you want an in-depth, comprehensive review, or a brief, bulleted review for the NBDE? Do you want access to case study questions for the NBDE Part II exam? Do you want illustrated visuals to brush up on your dental anatomy? Read on to determine what prep materials will benefit you the most.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for NBDE review books here

Our Top Favorite
dentEssentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review: Board Prep for First- and Second-Year Dental Students
Our Top Runner Up
Dental Decks Part II
Our Top Value Pick
Mosby's Review for the NBDE Part II (Mosby's Review for the Nbde: Part 2 (National Board Dental Examination))
Book Title
Kaplan Dentassentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review
Dental Decks
Mosby’s Review for NBDE Part II
Prime Eligible?
-
-
-
Our Top Favorite
dentEssentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review: Board Prep for First- and Second-Year Dental Students
Book Title
Kaplan Dentassentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Runner Up
Dental Decks Part II
Book Title
Dental Decks
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Mosby's Review for the NBDE Part II (Mosby's Review for the Nbde: Part 2 (National Board Dental Examination))
Book Title
Mosby’s Review for NBDE Part II
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-04-16

Our Favorites for Best NBDE Review Books Part 1 and Part 2

Kaplan Dentassentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review by Drs. Michael Manley & Leslie Manley

Kaplan’s book is perhaps the most comprehensive NBDE prep you can find. DentEssentials is divided into three parts that go over the material in-depth: dental anatomy, organic systems, and general principles of basic sciences. Designed for first and second-year dental students, you can use Dentassentials as a guide or supplement for your other textbooks or even a course.

You’ll find in-depth information in Dentassentials, with content that will help you delve deeper into the specifics using things like graphs, diagrams, and pictures. You’ll get information on supplements you can use to improve your understanding of some of the areas, and you’ll be able to read through different sections or skip around as needed.

Why this book is unique:

  • Lots of detailed diagrams and pictures to help with the material
  • Provides advanced-level practice problems relative to the real test

Why you should choose this NBDE review book:

  • Works as a supplement to other texts and courses to help build upon the material
  • Lists additional supplemental texts you can use to learn more
On Sale
dentEssentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review: Board Prep for First- and Second-Year Dental Students
dentEssentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review: Board Prep for First- and Second-Year Dental Students
  • Manley, M.D. Michael S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 468 Pages - 10/30/2012 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-16


NBDE Part I Secrets Study Guide by NBDE Exam Secrets Test Prep Team

With NBDE Secrets, you’ll get an overview of all of the information you need for part 1 of the dental exam. That includes microbiology, pathological conditions, anatomic sciences, neurology, respiratory and cardiac, and more. All of these areas are given more than just a basic overview as well, so you’ll be able to feel comfortable taking your exam.

You’ll get concepts and principles that are fully defined as well as a logical flow to make it easier to follow along. The organizational structure of NBDE Secrets is designed to make things easier on you, and you’ll love the fact that it’s technically accurate related to the most recent information about the field.

Why this book is unique:

  • Includes detailed information related to each aspect of part 1
  • Provides technically accurate content that is easy to read for any individual

Why choose this NBDE review book:

  • Logical organization and flow to find content easily
  • Overview of different concepts and principles needed for the exam
NBDE Part I Secrets Study Guide: NBDE Test Review for the National Board Dental Exam
NBDE Part I Secrets Study Guide: NBDE Test Review for the National Board Dental Exam
  • NBDE Exam Secrets Test Prep Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 156 Pages - 02/14/2013 (Publication Date) - Mometrix Media LLC (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-16


Runner Ups for Best NBDE Review Books and Our Favorite QBanks

Dental Decks by Jim Lozier

Possibly the most common and the most acclaimed NBDE review tool, Dental Decks are flashcards that come in both Part I and Part II versions. Each set has over 1,000 practice questions in a range of topics that reflect the NBDE exam ⁠to make the studying process easier for you. Part I comes with over 1,300 questions that delve into the key topics that you need to know for Part 1 of this exam.

You’ll also get a 100 question test booklet and some extra cards to help you study all of the material. Each question card features a topic review and a detailed answer to make sure you understand not just what the answer is but how it applies. You’ll get topics that include anatomic sciences, biochemistry, dental anatomy and ethics, and patient management.

Why this book is unique:

  • Flashcard format makes it easy to study in short bursts or on the go
  • Covers variety of content to prep for all of the part 1 exam

Why choose this NBDE review book:

  • 1,300 cards provide a wide range of information
  • Up-to-date content to make sure you know the latest information on each topic
Dental Decks Part II
Dental Decks Part II
  • 2016-2017 Edition
  • Released in October 2015
  • PDF Format

Last update: 2021-04-16


NBDE Part I Lecture Notes by Kaplan Medical

Kaplan Medical has written a 1,000-page text that discusses each of the different sections and subjects of the exam. It includes full-color notes and an in-depth review, so you get the most information possible. You also get bulleted information, which is easier to review in short bursts whenever you have the time.

Designed by experts in the field, NBDE Part 1 is intended to first and second-year dental students to prepare them for the exam. You will also be able to use the online system to get even more information. The outline format also allows you to build on your own notes and add more content through your research.

Why this book is unique:

  • Overview of all parts of the exam and subjects related to it
  • Bulleted content and notes format to make it easy to study in short bursts

Why choose this NBDE review book:

  • Full-color diagrams, charts, and other content to make it easier to memorize
  • Updated to relate to the latest version of the NBDE
NBDE Part I Lecture Notes (Kaplan Test Prep)
NBDE Part I Lecture Notes (Kaplan Test Prep)
  • Kaplan Medical (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1312 Pages - 12/06/2016 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-04-16


Value Picks for Best NBDE Review Books

If you’re already spending hundreds of dollars on the actual exam, you probably don’t want to have to fork out another lump sum for a prep book. We get it. Here are some more affordable options for the same excellent test prep experience.

Mosby’s Review for NBDE Part II by Mosby

With Mosby’s you’ll get an extensive review material that will help you understand everything about part II of your exam. You’ll get an outline format that makes it easy to skim over everything when you don’t have a lot of time. On top of that Mosby’s will help you out with practice exams as well as a logical progression of information. Everything is presented in a way similar to the actual NBDE exam.

You will get practice exams that will mimic the NBDE exam to make sure you know the way the test will look. There are over 400 different diagrams, photos, and other visual means to make learning the material easier for different types of learners. On top of that, Mosby’s provides you with online resources that allow you to study in different ways and from anywhere.

What makes this book unique:

  • Provides extensive information related to anatomy, including visual content
  • Practice questions and explanations included in each section to offer more advice

Why choose this NBDE review book:

  • Follows up on a book from the same author that relates to part 1 of the exam
  • Includes practice tests that include all question types from the actual exam

Last update: 2021-04-16


First Aid for the NBDE Part 1 by Derek Steinbacher & Steven Sierakowski

Written by McGraw-Hill, First Aid for the NBDE offers content written by students who have actually taken the exam. This type of content means that you’re getting information directly from people who know what the test looks like and who can give you inside information that will provide you with an edge. With First Aid, you will also get full-color inserts and information that you can review and memorize more easily.

Overall, First Aid for the NBDE, you will get concise content, which is better for those who want to study during short bursts. You will get content that is revised and updated frequently to make sure it’s valid for the latest version of the exam. First Aid has a note style format that allows you to review information more easily. There are even mnemonics and bulleted facts in First Aid to help you memorize information.

What makes this book unique:

  • Provides bullets and mnemonics to make memorization easier
  • Offers full-color images to illustrate information in a more easily digestible format

Why choose this NBDE review book:

  • Short content to make it easier to study in short periods of time
  • Content written by students who took the exam to provide more firsthand insight
On Sale
First Aid for the NBDE Part 1, Third Edition (First Aid Series)
First Aid for the NBDE Part 1, Third Edition (First Aid Series)
  • McGraw-Hill Medical
  • Steinbacher, Derek (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-04-16


How to Choose the Best NBDE Review Books for You

The NBDE is an investment in many ways. It’s a monetary investment for one, at PRICE, a time investment at LENGTH, plus all the hours you’ll need to study, and an investment in your future. You’ll need a review book that fits your needs. The best way to choose the NBDE review for you is to identify what exactly you need out of a review. A comprehensive overview of all the topics? Lots of practice questions and practice exams? Test-taking strategies? An overview of one or two of the topics? Narrowing down what you need will help you pick the best book. But the best way to find that out is to take a free practice exam.

How Long Do You Have to Prepare for Your NBDE Exam?

This will depend a little bit on your test date and course load. People generally take the Part I exam after their second year of dental school, and the Part II after their fourth year. You should take a practice exam and do some practice questions at the beginning of your studying to figure out how comfortable you already are with the material from your classes.

If you already remember most of the content and feel comfortable with it, you may only need to study for a few weeks. But if there’s a lot of weak points you know you need to review, you should take a few months to make sure everything feels rock-solid. Also, if you know you have a busy workload, it’s probably better to start early and take your studying slow and easy, so you don’t feel forced to cram everything in the last week before the test. You’ll remember more if you spread out your studying anyways.

It might be a good idea to make a study calendar to plan out your studying. If you bought access to a question bank or prep course that expires after a few months, make sure to plan out what chapters or concepts to review during that time, so you make the most of your investment in the review product. If you set goals ⁠— i.e., do thirty practice questions and review one chapter each day ⁠— it’s easier to keep yourself motivated and accountable with the material.

How Good Are You at Self-Studying?

The NBDE is a behemoth of a test. Your dental school classes will help you prepare for the test, but you’re going to have to put in some work outside of the classroom as well. So an important question to ask yourself: how good are you at self-studying complex material? You’ll need to create a study schedule for yourself and stick to it, which requires discipline and determination.

But if self-studying isn’t your strong suit, there’s no shame. Lots of companies offer NBDE prep courses to help you succeed without entirely relying on your ability to self-study. These can also fit in with your class schedule, so you don’t have to carve out different parts of your days to study.

How Helpful are NBDE Lecture Notes?

Produced by Kaplan, the NBDE Lecture Notes are two books, one for each exam part, that go over everything you’ll need to know for the exam in a bulleted, lecture format. The chapters are broken up and categorized in an intuitive, easy-to-follow format.

While not the ideal book, if you’re looking to learn every detail from the start, the Kaplan lecture notes provide an easy, well-organized review to help you pass your exams.

However, the content is also broad, so if you’re looking for a more concise, specific review, these might not be the books for you. They’re also more focused on information and less concentrated on test strategies. They have an exam overview section at the beginning, but that’s about all you’ll get in terms of tips and advice for the actual exam.

The Part II book comes with over 50 pages of sample case studies to practice that portion of the exam.

When Might an NBDE Prep Course Be Better for You?

Is self-studying not your forte? Have test-taking always been difficult for you? Do you benefit from hearing the information from a teacher and receiving assignments to practice in a more structured format? If so, a Prep Course may be a good option for you. More robust than just a review book, prep courses will provide you a more traditional instructional format.

However, prep courses tend to be more expensive, and sometimes more time consuming, so it’s good to figure out what your workload is already and decide if you can fit in a prep course.

A prep course will also keep you motivated and on-task if you’re a serial procrastinator or easily distracted.

Kaplan offers an online prep course that can fit flexibly into your schedule. Their course has video instructors who happen to be medical experts, and you can tune in from anywhere when you’re comfortable. Their question bank allows you to create practice tests geared to your weak spots, or you can use some of their pre-prepared tests. You can get instant, detailed feedback.

That being said, Kaplan On Demand isn’t cheap, with prices starting at $699, but it includes their questions bank and lecture notes for Part I and part II, as well as the over 90 hours of instruction.

A cheaper prep course alternative is B & B Dental review course, which offers 15 hours of instructional lectures, and 1,800 problem question bank and 1,100 interactive flashcards. They have practice tests in levels that you can pass out of, which increase in difficulty the farther you get. Their basic plan only costs $99. That being said, it’s only a review for Part I.

Wrapping Up the Best NBDE Study Resources

In closing, here is a table of the best NBDE study resources we went over today:

Our Top Favorite
dentEssentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review: Board Prep for First- and Second-Year Dental Students
Our Top Runner Up
Dental Decks Part II
Our Top Value Pick
Mosby's Review for the NBDE Part II (Mosby's Review for the Nbde: Part 2 (National Board Dental Examination))
Book Title
Kaplan Dentassentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review
Dental Decks
Mosby’s Review for NBDE Part II
Prime Eligible?
-
-
-
Our Top Favorite
dentEssentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review: Board Prep for First- and Second-Year Dental Students
Book Title
Kaplan Dentassentials: High-Yield NBDE Part I Review
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Runner Up
Dental Decks Part II
Book Title
Dental Decks
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Mosby's Review for the NBDE Part II (Mosby's Review for the Nbde: Part 2 (National Board Dental Examination))
Book Title
Mosby’s Review for NBDE Part II
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-04-16

Overall, the NBDE isn’t an easy test. You’re going to need to work hard, even with the material from your classes. But it’s also not impossible. With the right prep book, flashcards, practice problems, or prep course, and a little bit of self-discipline, you’ll be able to succeed.

If you’re looking for the best possible book, then we recommend Kaplan’s Dentassentials. This book will give you a strong overview of all of the content on the exam including diagrams and information about supplemental text. Our favorite runner up is Dental Decks, which offers a part 1 and part 2 set. You’ll get flashcards you can use anywhere you need to go. Finally, our favorite budget book is First Aid for the NBDE, which offers an in-depth look at one of the important aspects of the exam.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other medical-related book reviews here.

> Best DAT Review Books

> Best NREMT Test Prep Books

> Best OAT Prep Books

> Best NCLEX Review Books

> Best NAPLEX Review Books

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Readers of this post also read...