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  • Writer's pictureRahul Monga

AFK, INBDE, ADAT: Exploring The World Of International Dentistry

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Year 2012. This was when I wrote my Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge exam. I have migrated from India 14 months ago , with a confirmed admission in a dental hygiene program in Toronto , a promised seat in DDS program in NYU School Of Dentistry after a successful interview, and with hopes making it far in dentistry. But, I never wanted to leave my family or Canada.

Immigrate To Canada As A Dentist

I have been preparing for AFK for the last 3-4 months now. I often visited Edmonton Public Library to access my study materials on a large desktop. Accessing these digital files on a tablet or smartphone was cumbersome and exhausting.

I could not get a spot in Edmonton to write my exam. So, now I was headed to Saskatoon in a greyhound bus. I had planned to get some sleep before reviewing my materials for exam, that was scheduled next day.

You could be wondering and prepared to ask me, “Is 3-4 month preparation for AFK is enough?” . Here is a disclaimer from my side. Before I migrated to Canada, I have written NBDE-1 ( now known as INBDE ). This helped me recall the important topics of various subjects easily, and my study reviews became very efficient. So, if you haven’t prepared for any other dentistry exam in the last one year, you can add another 2-3 months to your preparation time.

Now, recalling the day of my AFK exam, I realize that pharmacology has always been favourite of National Dental Examination Board Of Canada ( NDEB ). I knew only 70% of the answers that I was confident about. Rest of the responses were guesses or resulted from intuition.

The AFK tests biomedical science and applied clinical science knowledge. The AFK serves a dual purpose; it is an admission requirement for Canadian Degree Completion Programs and one of the examinations in the Equivalency Process.

ADAT ( Advanced Dental Admission Test ) is recommended if you are a:

  • Third- or fourth-year dental student interested in post-graduate training (e.g., in a dental specialty area)

  • Practicing dentist interested in post-graduate training (e.g., in a dental specialty area)

  • International dental student applying to advanced dental education programs or advanced standing in pre-doctoral programs

All the applicants for advanced standing dental programs in the United States take this exam along with INBDE because many dental school programs in the United States will consider the ADAT exam as a part of their evaluations. Starting from 2022, the University of Toronto and McGill university dental schools have discontinued the AFK exam as a part of their requirements and have replaced it with the ADAT exam. Therefore, all the candidates who want to apply to these universities have to take the ADAT exam as a part of their process.

The new Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) replaced the NDBE’s Part 1 & Part 2 exams. Combining the most relevant and clinically updated content, this exam integrates content from several dental disciplines and encourages candidates to exhibit their knowledge of the sciences alongside the clinical know-how involved in the safe practice of dentistry.

From an academic standpoint, your strategy should include understanding all important concepts that are common to all three of these exams. This is fruitful if you are open to all possibilities. This may include completing NDEB equivalency in Canada, getting selected for a DDS program in Canada or US, or applying for a speciality program in US or Canada.

I have always suggested that, practising more and more questions, seeking help from a mentor, and being part of a learning community, is what that could help you the most. All these steps could contribute towards preparation for all these examinations.

Some of you could be thinking that my goal is not to go in the US, so why shall I prepare for INBDE? Why do not I just focus on assessment of fundamental knowledge? You may be absolutely right. But, when you are ready to do whatever it takes to be accepted in a DDS program, whether it’s in US or Canada or it’s another part of the world, passing these examinations gives you a great headstart. Now, you have done your due diligence getting prepared for these exams. You have installed the foundations of deep learning in your character. This means no piece of content, text, concept will stay away from you for too long. It will eventually come to you.

The foundations you lay here, or time and efforts spent preparing for Assessment Of Fundamental Knowledge Exam will be well worth here. This is especially true for participants who plan to write ACJ ( Assessment Of Clinical Judgment) exam for NDEB Equivalency. You will retain more of the information if you have been thorough.

This is the reason why AFK, INBDE, ADAT examinations are the unstamped visas, that you can obtain with perseverance and determination. Challenging these exams and becoming successful is an approval. An authorization that you can make a difference to the lives. You can do this by making a big contribution in the quality of smiles. Just 'do your thing'.

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