5 Recommendations from Students Who Passed AFK

The equivalency process for internationally trained dentists (ITD’s) in Canada without a doubt may be the most challenging process in your professional life. As with all things in life, learning from those who have completed the exams provides valuable insights and helps anticipate and overcome hurdles with relative ease.

Here are the top 5 recommendations from Scholars Dental students who have successfully passed their NDEB exams

1. Plan and prepare for your process from the beginning to the end.

The equivalency for ITD’s is a time consuming and financially exhausting process. It requires a lot of patience, dedication, perseverance, and will make a dent in your bank account. It’s best to plan and be prepared in order to avoid any surprises. Learning about the structure of the exam, the equivalency timeline, their associated costs, adjustments in your lifestyle, work schedules, finances, and so forth will provide you peace of mind and clear objectives. Of course, life will throw you curve-balls, so it’s also important to remain flexible and see the big picture.


Learn more about the NDEB equivalency process in our orientation video below:


2. Do your best to pass on your first attempt.


Even though each student is permitted three attempts for each exam, not passing from the first attempt delays practicing as a dentist for 6 months. To make it worse, the stress from knowing that you have one less attempt for achieving your goals will cause you to lose some sleep. Therefore, it’s advisable to do everything it takes to maximize your success right from the start. Give it your absolute all, and if you fall short, you can worry about it when that time comes.



3. Try to take time off work at least 4-6 weeks before each exam.


Studying for the NDEB exams is a full time commitment. If you are one of those students who is juggling work and studies, it is highly recommended to take the last month off of work to make the exam your absolute priority. This is where recommendation #1 comes in handy. Planning your finances and work schedule ahead of time will allow you to study effectively during this critical time.



4. Select your resources and studying materials carefully.


If you’re taking a course, trust their materials and focus your efforts on mastering their material well. Be aware of the latest recommendations (for example antibiotic prophylaxis in dentistry). The RCDSO and the ADA are good sources. If you’re reading an article always check the date it has been released. If you’re studying from a textbook make sure it's in the NDEB reference list; https://ndebbned.ca/sites/ndeb/files/ndeb_bned_reference_texts_2019.pdf



5. Take a course.

As we all know by now, the AFK exam scores are equated based on a curve. As the number of ITD’s taking AFK courses increases year to year, passing becomes more difficult for students studying on their own and the competition rises. It’s not impossible to pass the AFK without coaching, but you need to be among the best of your cycle in order to pass.


The advantages of taking a course will significantly reduce the amount of work and time required to gather the essential information for passing this exam. It is absolutely worth it in the long run, both in terms of time and finances, because a course helps you pass on your first attempt.

Watch the video below to find out if a course right for you.


Whether you plan to take a course in class or online, Scholars Dental courses are designed to give students the knowledge and confidence they need before entering the exam. We also offer free consults online, by phone or in person to help you figure out a plan that works best for the students specific situation and circumstances. Our instructors have gone through the process themselves and can guide you from experience. There are no obligations and you have nothing to lose. Book your consult now and have experts by your side in planning your journey to becoming a dentist in Canada.




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Scholars Dental is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Disclaimer:“Scholars Dental is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed, sponsored or supported in any way by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Test names and other trademarks such as “NDEB”, “BNED”, logos and design marks, and service marks are the property of the NDEB and not trademarks of Scholars Dental.”