DANB CDA Practice Test

The Certified Dental Assistant Exam is a content-driven test designed to measure a candidate’s command of the skills and knowledge in all aspects of dental assisting. The test leads to a certification that is required by many employers and, where it is not required, helps an applicant stand out.


CDA Study Guide
CDA Flashcards

How Do I Register for the Certified Dental Assistant Exam?

The first step to registering for the test is to establish your eligibility. There are three different paths to eligibility. If you meet any one of these three, you will be qualified to take the test:

  1. You have graduated from a CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) accredited dental assisting or dental hygiene program and you have current CPR certification from a DANB (Dental Assisting National Board) accepted provider.
  2. You have a High School Diploma (or equivalent), a minimum of 3,500 hours of relevant work experience, and a current CPR certification from a DANB accepted provider.
  3. You were formerly certified through DANB OR you graduated from a CODA-accredited Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) program OR you graduated from a similar degree program outside the US/Canada. You also need a current CPR certification from a DANB accepted provider.

Once you submit your application verifying that you meet one of the above three criteria, you will receive a “Test Admission Notice.” This will contain all the information you need to schedule your exam, including how to pay the $450 exam fee. Once you receive that notice, you will have a 60-day window to take the test.

Which Subjects Are Included in the Certified Dental Assistant Exam?

This test is actually made up of three separate component tests, but you will need to pass all three in order to pass the overall exam and receive certification. The three component exams are:

  1. General Chairside Assisting – 120 Questions
    • 17% Patient Preparation and Documentation
    • 17% Patient Management and Administrative Duties
    • 50% Four-Handed Chairside Dentistry
    • 16% Diagnostic/Laboratory Procedures and Dental Materials
  2. Radiation Health and Safety – 100 Questions
    • 26% Expose and Evaluate
    • 21% Quality Assurance and Radiology Regulations
    • 31% Radiation Safety for Patients and Operators
    • 22% Infection Control
  3. Infection Control – 100 Questions
    • 20% Standard Precautions and the Prevention of Disease Transmission
    • 34% Prevention of Cross-contamination during Procedures
    • 26% Instrument and Device Processing
    • 20% Occupational Safety and Administrative Protocols

Each component represents an important aspect of your career in dental assisting, so you will have learned it either in your educational program or through your on-the-job experience.

What Should I Prepare for on Test Day?

Prepare to be there for about four and a half hours, including check in. The component exams are timed as follows:

  • 90 minutes for General Chairside Assisting
  • 75 minutes for Radiation Health and Safety
  • 75 minutes for Infection Control

All three components will be administered via computer and all materials that you will need for the test will be provided for you, including scratch paper. So do not bring any personal items into the testing center with you. That includes food, wallets, phones, watches, and so on.

You should arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment so that you can check in. For checking in, be prepared to present a valid, government-issued photo ID with the same name that you used to register for the exam.

How Will the Certified Dental Assistant Exam Be Scored?

The CDA is an adaptive test. This means that if you get a question correct, the computer will give you a harder question. However, if you get a question wrong, it will give you an easier question. There is no official passing score, but the Dental Assisting National Board says that the average candidate will answer a little over 50% correctly. Your score will be based on the difficulty of the questions that you encountered and answered correctly.

What’s the Best Way to Prepare for All 3 Component Exams?

Your strategy should include a combination of learning the material you need to know and reviewing it often enough that it is thoroughly embedded in your mind. One of the best tools you could use for the learning portion of your study plan is the Mometrix Study Guide.

This guide contains a highly focused and thorough overview of all the content you’ll need to know along with plenty of practice questions to familiarize you with the kinds of question structures and phrasing you’re going to encounter on the test.

To review that material, make sure to pick up a set of Mometrix flashcards. These include the core content from all three component exams along with in-depth explanations right there on the back of the card so that you won’t have to waste time digging through textbooks for context and detail.

DANB CDA Study Guide

Mometrix Academy is a completely free CDA practice exam resource provided by Mometrix Test Preparation. If you find benefit from our efforts here, check out our premium quality DANB study guide to take your studying to the next level. Just click the DANB CDA study guide link below. Your purchase also helps us make even more great, free content for test-takers.

Upgrade your studying with our CDA study guide and flashcards:
DANB CDA Study Guide
DANB CDA Flashcards

CDA Study Guide Customer Success Stories

Our customers love the tutorial videos from Mometrix Academy that we have incorporated into our CDA study guide. The CDA study guide reviews below are examples of customer experiences.

I took my DANB 2 hours ago and passed!!! I only took the radiography and infection control parts today and will take the general chairside later. This is the only thing I used to study for the test and I recognized a lot of the material covered in this book on the test! Would recommend this book to anyone studying for the DANB! Great job Mometrix! so happy with my purchase!

CDA Study Guide – Abby

If i didn’t have this book, i probably wouldn’t have passed my exam. Definitely worth it. The practise questions in the back are some right off the actual test. Passed my exams with the help of this book.

CDA Study Guide – Kassidy

Wow ! Love this book . Covers everything and comes packaged great.

CDA Study Guide – Carranza

The secrets of the CDA have the most important concepts to be prepared for the day of the exam. I feel more confident I will pass the CDA exam!!

CDA Study Guide – Michael

I love this book because it helps me learn more about dental assistant without all the fluff, like other textbooks usually do.

CDA Study Guide – Rylee

Topics covered in depth and Practice Tests included to help Exam Preparation.

CDA Study Guide – Skylar

This book was great. The material was definitely on the test and very helpful. There are also links in the back for extra study guides practice tests, which were also great!

CDA Study Guide – Elizabeth

I am really nervous about taking this test it's a lot of information that I need to refresh on. But so far with this book is setting my nerves at ease and helping me feel confident that I can pass this exam. The practice test are really helpful.

CDA Study Guide – Customer

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: June 23, 2022