DANB General Chairside Assisting (GC) Practice Test

The Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB) General Chairside Assisting (GC) exam is one of three components of the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification program. The GC exam ensures individuals meet the national standard for knowledge-based competence in general chairside assisting tasks.

To earn the CDA certification, you must pass the exam for all components. You can take all three components in one testing session or individually within five years.

This page will cover the DANB GC examination, what information the exam covers, the number and type of questions you can expect, the score you need to pass, and everything you need to register for the assessment.

Eligibility

There are three pathways to meeting eligibility requirements for the GC exam.

Regardless of the path to eligibility, you must have a current DANB-accepted hands-on CPR, BLS, or ACLS certification.

Pathway 1

Option 1: This option is for individuals who are graduates of a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited dental assisting or hygiene program or who hold a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) license (except the state of Alabama). The documents you must submit with your application include a copy of your certificate or diploma, an original/official transcript in a sealed envelope from the school, or a letter from the school’s program director on school letterhead.

Option 2: This option is for students who are to graduate within 90 days of applying for the exam. A letter from the program director on school letterhead is required, and you must submit proof of graduation from the program within 90 days of testing, or the GC exam results are rescinded.

Option 3: This option is for individuals who hold a current Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) license in any state except Alabama. Submit a copy of your current license with your GC exam application.

Pathway 2

Use Pathway 2 if you are a high school or equivalent graduate with 3,500 hours of dental assisting experience accrued over at least two but no more than four years. A licensed dentist must verify your work experience. Required documentation includes a work experience statement signed by a licensed dentist, a copy of your high school diploma, GED certificate, or an official transcript in a sealed envelope from the school. The work experience statement must be from the CDA application packet; letters from employers or pay stubs are not accepted.

Pathway 3

Pathway 3 is used if you hold former CDA certification, graduated, or are enrolled in a CODA-accredited DDS or DMD program. This pathway can also be used if you are enrolled or graduated from a dental degree program or are enrolled in or graduated from a postbaccalaureate program affiliated with a US or Canadian dental school that DANB accepts outside of the US or Canada. If you qualify for this pathway, make sure you supply the documentation required with your application.

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Exam Outline Review

The DANB General Chairside Assisting exam is computer-delivered, and you will have 75 minutes to answer 95 multiple-choice questions.

The GC exam consists of four domains.

1. Evaluation (17%)

The subjects covered in this domain include:

  • Preliminary examination
  • Head, neck, and oral cavity
  • Charting the conditions of the oral cavity
  • Treatment documentation
  • Medical conditions that can cause complications or emergencies

2. Patient Management and Administration (17%)

The subjects covered in this domain include:

  • Patient management
  • Oral health education
  • Legal record maintenance
  • Legal regulations and responsibilities
  • Inventory management
  • Equipment and instrument maintenance
  • Emergency kit maintenance

3. Chairside Dentistry (50%)

The subjects covered in this domain include:

  • Four-handed dentistry techniques, including preparing the room, trays, and the patient
  • Transfer instruments, maintaining the field of operation
  • Intraoral procedures and armamentarium
  • Bleaching and whitening
  • Desensitizing teeth
  • Oral surgery
  • Preventative dentistry

4. Dental Materials (16%)

The subjects covered in this domain include:

  • Impression materials and procedures
  • Operative materials and procedures
  • Laboratory materials and procedures

exam outline for the DANB general chairside assisting exam, which contains 95 questions and has a time limit of 75 minutes

Registration

Once you have determined which pathway to apply under, complete the application at the DANB website. Include all of the required documentation and payment. Incomplete applications are not processed. When you complete your application, you need to decide the method of test delivery, either at a Pearson VUE testing center or by a remote proctor at home. Testing center applications are accepted online, by mail, or by fax. Remote proctored test applications are only accepted online.

DANB reviews your application within four weeks and will notify you if you are determined eligible. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email notification with instructions on how to register for your exam. You have 60 days from the date of the email to schedule and take your exam.

Testing Fee

The testing fee is the same for both delivery methods: $270.00. The active-duty military testing fee is $265.00.

Test Delivery Methods

You can take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or from the comfort of your home by remote proctoring.

Pearson VUE Testing Centers

Testing centers are located nationwide. Most centers have appointments available six days a week from 7 am to 7 pm Central Standard Time, excluding holidays. A government-issued ID is required, and outside materials are not allowed in the testing center.

Remote Proctor

If you decide to take the exam at home by a remote proctor, ensure your equipment meets the minimum requirements. You must have a desktop or laptop with a webcam and microphone, a mobile phone that can take photos and send texts, and a private workspace. The exam cannot be taken on mobile devices, smartphones, or tablets. The technical requirements can be detailed on Pearson OnVUE’s website.

You can schedule your exam 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On the day of your exam, you will show the remote proctor your testing space and submit your identification by text. Your testing space must be free of reference materials and distraction-free.

DANB GC Exam Scores

If you take the exam at a testing center, you will receive a preliminary pass or fail status at the end of your exam. If you take the exam by a remote proctor, you will receive a link to the initial results. Your preliminary report cannot be used as proof of certification.

Your exam results are posted as a scaled score ranging from 100 to 900 points. To pass the exam, your scaled score must be at least 400.

If you passed, your official exam results are provided by DANB within one to three weeks after taking the exam by mail. Your score report is uploaded to your online account if you did not pass.

Retaking the Exam

You can retake the DANB General Chairside Assisting exam as often as needed to obtain a passing score. There is no waiting period between tests. You must complete the application and pay the fees for each retake. Your state licensing board may require additional education after failed attempts.

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How to Study for the DANB GC Exam

How to Study Effectively

Your success on DANB General Chairside Assisting test day depends not only on how many hours you put into preparing but also on whether you prepared the right way. It’s good to check along the way to see whether your studying is paying off. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking DANB GC practice tests to evaluate your progress. Practice tests are useful because they show exactly where you need to improve. Every time you take a free DANB GC exam practice test, pay special attention to these three groups of questions:

  • The questions you got wrong
  • The ones you had to guess on, even if you guessed right
  • The ones you found difficult or slow to work through

This will show you exactly what your weak areas are and where you need to devote more study time. Ask yourself why each of these questions gave you trouble. Was it because you didn’t understand the material? Was it because you didn’t remember the vocabulary? Do you need more repetitions on this type of question to build speed and confidence? Dig into those questions and figure out how you can strengthen your weak areas as you go back to review the material.

Answer Explanations

Additionally, many General Chairside Assisting practice tests have a section explaining the answer choices. It can be tempting to read the explanation and think that you now have a good understanding of the concept. However, an explanation likely only covers part of the question’s broader context. Even if the explanation makes sense, go back and investigate every concept related to the question until you’re positive you have a thorough understanding.

Comprehend Each Topic

As you go along, keep in mind that the General Chairside Assisting practice test is just that: practice. Memorizing these questions and answers will not be very helpful on the actual test because it is unlikely to have any of the same exact questions. If you only know the right answers to the sample questions, you won’t be prepared for the real thing. Study the concepts until you understand them fully, and then you’ll be able to answer any question that shows up on the test.

Strategy for DANB GC Practice

When you’re ready to start taking practice tests, follow this strategy:

  • Remove Limitations. Take the first test with no time constraints and with your notes and DANB study guide handy. Take your time and focus on applying the strategies you’ve learned.
  • Time Yourself. Take the second practice test “open book” as well, but set a timer and practice pacing yourself to finish in time.
  • Simulate Test Day. Take any other practice tests as if it were test day. Set a timer and put away your study materials. Sit at a table or desk in a quiet room, imagine yourself at the testing center, and answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible.
  • Keep Practicing. Keep taking practice tests on a regular basis until you run out of practice tests or it’s time for the actual test. Your mind will be ready for the schedule and stress of test day, and you’ll be able to focus on recalling the material you’ve learned.

Online DANBCDA Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online DANBCDA Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The DANBCDA Course includes:

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The DANBCDA Prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their DANBCDA exam; click below to check it out.

FAQs

What is a passing score for the DANB GC exam?

To pass the General Chairside Assisting exam, you must achieve a score of at least 400.

How long is the DANB GC exam?

The General Chairside Assisting exam is timed at 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes).

How many questions are on the DANB GC exam?

There are 95 multiple-choice questions on the exam.

When will I receive my test scores?

An unofficial pass/fail status will be available as soon as you complete the exam, but the official score report will be mailed to you within 1 to 3 weeks after test day.

How much does the exam cost?

The DANB GC exam costs $270.00, regardless of which delivery method you choose.


By Kate Nockunas

Kate has been Mometrix’s Nursing and Medical Editor for over four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Marymount University, and a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins. Kate is a critical care registered nurse who still works occasionally in the ICU and PACU.

 

by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: September 16, 2022