On this page, you will find a button at the top that provides full access to the Dental Assistant DANB CDA practice test. Just below that, there’s an opportunity to engage with an extensive practice test aimed at thorough review. These tests serve as invaluable tools, expertly crafted to highlight your strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement. This strategic approach enables you to customize your study plan effectively.

To enhance your preparation further, particularly in topics requiring extra attention, we’ve introduced specialized quizzes. These quizzes are carefully designed to focus on distinct aspects of the GC exam, offering a focused and efficient way to study.

DANB CDA Domain Quizzes

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination is a comprehensive assessment for dental assistants seeking to become certified. The CDA exam is divided into three main components, each focusing on a critical area of dental assisting expertise: General Chairside Assisting (GC), Infection Control (ICE), and Radiation Health and Safety (RHS). 

Below is a breakdown of each component:

1. General Chairside Assisting (GC)

  • Number of Questions: 95
  • Content Areas: This component evaluates a candidate’s knowledge and skills in chairside assisting procedures, patient care, dental materials, and managing dental emergencies. It covers a broad range of topics essential for effective assistance during dental procedures.

2. Infection Control (ICE)

  • Number of Questions: 80
  • Content Areas: The ICE part of the exam tests the candidate’s understanding of infection control procedures and protocols, including sterilization techniques, handling of hazardous materials, and implementation of infection control policies to ensure the safety of both patients and dental healthcare workers.

3. Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)

  • Number of Questions: 80
  • Content Areas: This section focuses on assessing the candidate’s knowledge in radiation safety, X-ray film processing, radiographic procedures, and compliance with state and federal radiation guidelines. It is essential for dental assistants involved in taking dental radiographs and ensuring radiation safety in the dental office.
Exam Component# of questions Content Areas
General Chairside Assisting (GC)95Chairside assisting, patient care, dental materials, dental emergencies
Infection Control (ICE)80Infection control procedures and protocols, sterilization, hazardous materials handling
Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)80Radiation safety, X-ray film processing, radiographic procedures, radiation guidelines compliance

Additional Important Details:

  • Eligibility: To sit for the CDA exam, candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria set by the DANB, which may include completing a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) or meeting work experience requirements.
  • Preparation and Study Resources: Candidates are encouraged to thoroughly prepare for the exam by reviewing the DANB’s exam outlines and recommended study materials. Various resources are available, including practice tests, review courses, and textbooks.
  • Application Process: Interested individuals must complete an application process, which includes submitting the required documentation and fees.
  • Certification Maintenance: Once certified, CDAs must maintain their certification by completing continuing education (CE) credits and renewing their certification periodically according to DANB’s recertification requirements.

DANB CDA Exam Breakdown

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam is a nationally recognized certification exam for dental assistants in the United States. Achieving CDA certification signifies that a dental assistant is prepared to assist with patient care, office duties, and laboratory functions in a dental office setting. The CDA credential is highly respected in the dental community and can enhance a dental assistant’s career opportunities, salary, and job satisfaction.

Breakdown of the DANB CDA Exam

The CDA exam consists of three component exams, which can be taken separately or together:

  • General Chairside Assisting (GC): This section assesses knowledge and skills in chairside dental assisting procedures.
  • Radiation Health and Safety (RHS): This portion evaluates the candidate’s knowledge of radiation health and safety procedures in dental settings.
  • Infection Control (ICE): This segment tests the candidate’s understanding of infection control practices and protocols within a dental office.

Candidates must pass all three components within a five-year period to earn the CDA certification.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the CDA exam, candidates must meet certain education and/or work experience requirements, which may include graduation from a CODA-accredited dental assisting program or a high school diploma plus a certain number of hours of work experience as a dental assistant.

Exam Details

  • Format: The exam is computer-based and consists of multiple-choice questions.
  • Duration: The time allowed for the exam varies for each component. The total time for all three components is approximately four hours.
  • Cost: There are fees associated with taking the DANB CDA Exam, which vary depending on whether components are taken separately or together.

Application Process

Candidates must apply to take the CDA exam through DANB’s website, where they can also find detailed information on eligibility requirements, exam schedules, and fees.

How to Become DANB CDA Certified

Becoming a DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) is a notable achievement in the dental assisting profession, recognized for enhancing professional credibility, knowledge, and career opportunities. The CDA certification process involves meeting eligibility requirements and passing examinations designed to assess a candidate’s competence in various areas of dental assisting. Here’s a comprehensive guide to achieving this certification:

Eligibility Requirements & Pathways

To be eligible for the CDA certification, you must satisfy one of the following pathways:

Pathway I: Graduation from a CODA-accredited dental assisting or dental hygiene program, plus current CPR certification from a DANB-accepted provider.

Pathway II: High school diploma or equivalent, a minimum of 3,500 hours of approved work experience, and current CPR certification.

Pathway III: Former DANB CDA status, graduation from a dental degree program (DDS/DMD) inside or outside the U.S. or Canada, or graduation from or enrollment in a CODA-accredited post-baccalaureate program, plus current CPR certification​.

Examination Process

The CDA certification consists of three component exams, which you can take separately or together for a comprehensive assessment:

  • General Chairside Assisting (GC)
  • Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
  • Infection Control (ICE)

These exams cover a broad range of knowledge and skills essential for dental assistants, from patient care and radiographic techniques to infection prevention and control​.

Preparation and Resources

To prepare for the CDA exams, you can access a variety of study materials and resources provided by DANB and the DALE Foundation. These include the CDA exam application packet, candidate handbook, exam outlines and references for each component exam, study materials, practice tests, and comprehensive review courses. These resources are designed to help candidates understand the exam format, content areas, and types of questions that will be asked​.

Application and Testing

After meeting the eligibility requirements, you can apply for the CDA exams through the DANB website. The process includes submitting the necessary documentation, such as the CDA work experience form and any required consent forms, along with the examination fee. Upon approval, you’ll receive information on scheduling your exam at a testing center or via an online proctored option​.

Our Experience Teaching DANB CDA Candidates To Pass The Exam

The journey of creating the Dental Assistant DANB CDA practice tests at Career Employer has been extraordinary, filled with significant achievements and hurdles. Driven by the exam’s wide-ranging topics, we’ve been motivated to cater to the diverse learning preferences of our students.

We’ve meticulously shaped our approach, aiming to prepare every student thoroughly for the exam. Our dedication to delivering an all-encompassing educational experience is evident in the extensive scope and detail of our practice materials. This underscores our commitment to the success of our students. 

Teaching the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification can be both rewarding and challenging from a lecturer’s perspective. As an instructor, your goal is to prepare students for the DANB CDA exam, which is a key stepping stone for those looking to advance in the dental assisting profession. The certification not only enhances professional credibility but also opens up more job opportunities and potentially higher salaries for your students.

Understanding the Exam

The DANB CDA exam covers three main areas:

  1. General Chairside Assisting (GC): This section tests knowledge and skills in chairside dental assisting.
  2. Radiation Health and Safety (RHS): This part assesses understanding of x-ray procedures and safety measures.
  3. Infection Control (ICE): This focuses on the principles and practices of infection control in dental settings.

As a lecturer, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself and your students with the exam format and content specifications provided by DANB. This involves not only theoretical knowledge but also practical skills that are essential in a dental healthcare setting.

Teaching Resources

To effectively prepare your students, you’ll need a comprehensive set of resources. Here are some valuable materials and links that can enhance your teaching experience:

  • DANB Exam Outlines: Begin with the official DANB exam outlines, which detail the topics covered in each exam section. This is crucial for structuring your curriculum around the required content. DANB Exam Outlines
  • Textbooks and Review Books: Select textbooks that are recommended for the CDA exam preparation. Books such as “Modern Dental Assisting” and “Dental Instruments: A Pocket Guide” are popular among instructors for their comprehensive coverage of dental assisting topics.
  • Online Resources: DANB offers various online study aids, including practice tests and review courses. These can be an excellent supplement to classroom instruction, providing students with additional opportunities to test their knowledge and get accustomed to the exam format. DANB’s Online Learning Center
  • Hands-On Training: Practical skills are as important as theoretical knowledge. Ensure your program includes ample opportunities for students to practice dental assisting techniques in a clinical setting, under supervision.
  • Professional Journals: Encourage your students to read professional dental assisting and dental hygiene journals. This can help them stay updated on the latest in dental science and technology, which can indirectly benefit their exam preparation and future career.

Challenges and Solutions

One of the challenges in teaching the DANB CDA certification course is keeping students engaged and motivated. To address this, incorporate interactive teaching methods, such as group discussions, case studies, and hands-on practice sessions. Additionally, staying updated on the latest dental practices and technologies is crucial for providing your students with the most current knowledge.

At Career Employer, our Dental Assistant DANB CDA certification practice tests are crafted by a distinguished team renowned for their deep expertise and vast experience in leading candidates to success on their Certified Dental Assisting DANB CDA exams. The profound understanding of the domain by our team has been crucial in guiding more than a thousand dental assistants to secure their DANB CDA certification, specifically tailoring our resources to meet the distinct needs of medical lab technicians.

Our team is comprised of seasoned dental assistants, each with over a decade of dedicated service in orthodontic assistance. This extensive experience ensures that our practice materials are developed by leading experts in the field, making them exceptionally effective in preparing candidates for success in their certification endeavors. Our steadfast dedication to excellence ensures that individuals utilizing our resources are comprehensively prepared not just to meet but to exceed their certification goals, demonstrating our commitment to their success.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

Preparing for the DANB CDA exam requires a structured approach to effectively cover the extensive material and excel. Below are the most effective study strategies, drawing insights from several respected sources.

  • Create a Study Schedule: Given the breadth of topics covered by the DANB exams, starting your preparation early is crucial. A common recommendation is to begin studying 1-2 months prior to the exam date. Crafting a detailed study plan that breaks down your study topics over the weeks leading up to the exam can help manage the workload and ensure that all material is covered. The importance of not cramming at the last minute is emphasized, as this can be overwhelming and counterproductive​​.
  • Review Exam Outlines and Resources: Utilize the exam outlines provided by DANB to understand the distribution of topics on the exam. These outlines detail the subject areas and their respective subtopics, guiding your study focus. Additionally, they recommend specific textbooks, online materials, and review courses, such as those offered by the DALE Foundation, to align your preparation with the exam content.
  • Focus on Your Learning Environment: Identifying a conducive study environment is key to effective learning. This might be a quiet room, library, or any place where distractions are minimal. Tailoring your study space to suit your preferences, whether you need complete silence or some background noise, can enhance your focus and retention.
  • Take Practice Tests: Engaging with practice tests is highlighted across resources as one of the most effective ways to prepare. They not only familiarize you with the exam format and question phrasing but also identify areas where further study is needed. Revising based on practice test results allows for targeted study on weaker topics. The DALE Foundation offers a variety of practice tests and exam prep bundles to aid in this aspect​​.
  • Adapt Study Strategies to Your Style: Understanding and leveraging your personal learning style is beneficial. Whether you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, tailoring your study methods to fit this style can improve comprehension and retention. This might include using flashcards, participating in study groups, or employing mnemonic devices​.
  • Regular Breaks and Self-Care: Incorporating regular breaks into your study routine can prevent burnout and maintain focus. It’s also crucial to look after your physical well-being through adequate sleep, nutrition, and hydration, as these factors significantly impact cognitive function and memory​.
  • Invest in Quality Study Materials: Making a reasonable investment in quality study materials, such as online courses, textbooks, and mobile apps specifically designed for the DANB CDA exam preparation, can be highly beneficial. These resources often provide structured content, practice questions, and exams that mimic the actual test environment​.
  • Self-Belief and Confidence: Lastly, maintaining a positive attitude and confidence in your abilities is vital. Remembering that you have already accomplished much by reaching this point in your certification journey can boost your morale and motivation to succeed on the exam​.


Type of CostAmountDetails
DANB CDA Exam CostUSD 450RHS, ICE, and GC exams included
Annual Renewal FeeUSD 75Required to maintain certification annually
Online ProgramsUSD 1,000 to USD 10,000As short as 16 weeks to complete
Community College Certificate ProgramsUSD 3,000 to USD 29,000Generally lasts 6 to 12 months
Continuing EducationVariesYearly continuing education credits required

The cost of the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) board certification exam is USD 450. This fee is necessary to take the exam, which includes three components: Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), Infection Control (ICE), and General Chairside Assisting (GC). Upon passing, there’s an annual renewal fee of USD 75 to maintain the certification​​. 

  • DANB CDA Exam Cost: USD 450. This includes the RHS, ICE, and GC exams taken together​​.
  • Annual Renewal Fee: USD 75. Required to maintain the certification annually​.
  • Education and Training Costs:
    • Online Programs: Range from USD 1,000 to USD 10,000, with a completion timeline as short as 16 weeks​​.
    • Community College Certificate Programs: Tuition varies significantly, from USD 3,000 to USD 29,000, generally lasting 6 to 12 months​.
  • Continuing Education: Yearly completion of continuing education credits is necessary to maintain certification​.

It’s important for prospective dental assistants to consider these costs in their career planning, as they represent both the initial and ongoing investments into their professional development and certification maintenance.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To prepare for the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification exam, you have a variety of online resources at your disposal. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the preparation process:

  1. Dental Assisting National Board (DANB): The official DANB website provides a wealth of resources for CDA exam candidates, including exam outlines, study materials, and eligibility requirements. They also offer information about the application process and what to expect on exam day​.
  2. The DALE Foundation: An affiliate of DANB, The DALE Foundation offers online practice tests, review courses, and exam prep bundles specifically designed to align with DANB’s exam outlines. Their resources cover all major areas of the exam, including dental radiography, infection control, and chairside assisting.
  3. Mometrix Test Preparation: Offers a range of study aids for the CDA exam, including practice tests and a comprehensive online prep course that features review lessons, practice questions, and digital flashcards​.
  4. Tests.com: Provides practice exams with detailed explanations for questions, helping you understand the rationale behind correct and incorrect answers. This can be a valuable tool in identifying areas where further study is needed​.
  5. DANB 101: Offers advice on creating effective study schedules and utilizing a mix of study resources, highlighting the importance of practice tests in your study routine. They suggest incorporating practice tests to get familiar with the exam format and identify knowledge gaps​.
  6. Exam Edge: Features a selection of practice tests for the DANB CDA exam. Their tests aim to mimic the length and difficulty of the real exam, offering both timed and untimed options, as well as detailed explanations for each question​​.
  7. iPrep: Provides a free DANB practice test and a prep guide that outlines the benefits of certification, exam credentialing options, and fast facts about the exam’s format and scoring​​.
  8. Books and Study Guides: Various publishers offer comprehensive study guides and textbooks designed for CDA exam preparation. Look for the most recent editions to ensure you are studying up-to-date material reflecting the latest exam format and requirements.

When preparing for your exam, it’s crucial to utilize a variety of resources to cover all content areas effectively. Practice tests are particularly valuable for familiarizing yourself with the exam’s format and timing, while detailed study guides and courses can help deepen your understanding of key concepts.

Tips for Exam Day

To excel on your DANB CDA exam day and ensure you’re in the best position to pass, it’s essential to employ a range of strategies leading up to and on the day of the exam itself. Here’s a compilation of the best tips from various reputable sources:

Before Exam Day

  • Understand the Exam’s Adaptive Nature: The DANB CDA exam adapts its difficulty based on your answers. It’s designed to determine your level of knowledge rather than simply score you based on the percentage of questions answered correctly. Consequently, the test becomes harder as you answer questions correctly, aiming to find the limit of your knowledge. This means that passing the exam requires you to answer enough questions of a difficulty level that matches or exceeds the set pass point​​.
  • Utilize Official Resources and Study Materials: Begin your preparation by reviewing the official exam outline and utilizing recommended study materials, such as dental assisting textbooks. The DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of DANB, offers online practice tests and review courses tailored to the exam. These resources can help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and content, ultimately boosting your confidence​.
  • Adopt Effective Study Strategies: Tailor your study approach to suit your learning style, whether it’s visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Incorporate techniques like chunking, where information is broken down into manageable pieces, and ensure your study time is treated with the same commitment as a job. It’s also important to take regular breaks to maintain focus and avoid burnout​​.
  • Practice with Purpose: Engage in practice tests not just to test your knowledge but also to familiarize yourself with the exam’s format and pace. Reviewing questions you get wrong is crucial to understanding where your weaknesses lie and focusing your study efforts on those areas. Look for resources that offer detailed explanations for each answer and track your progress over time​​.

On Exam Day

  • Prepare Physically and Mentally: Ensure you are well-rested, have eaten, and are dressed comfortably to maintain focus during the exam. Bring necessary identification and arrive at the test center with ample time to spare. A positive mindset can also significantly impact your performance, so take a moment to visualize your success before starting the exam​.
  • Manage Your Time Wisely: Although the exam is adaptive and can be challenging, most candidates finish with plenty of time left. Read each question carefully and thoroughly, as there are no trick questions. Aim to answer questions based on best practices, and remember, taking your time can help you better assess each question without feeling rushed​​.
  • Review and Reflect: Once you’ve answered a question, you cannot return to it, so make sure you are confident in your choice before moving on. This approach requires you to be decisive and trust in your preparation and knowledge.
  • Stay Focused: Choose a quiet, distraction-free environment for your studies, and apply this principle on exam day as well. Minimize any potential disruptions and ensure you’re in a mental state conducive to concentration and recall​.

Remember, success in the DANB CDA exam hinges not just on your knowledge and skill but also on your ability to prepare effectively and manage the pressures of the exam environment. Adopting these strategies will help you approach the exam with confidence and poise.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After completing the DANB CDA exam, it’s important to follow a comprehensive strategy to manage post-exam anxiety, improve future performance, and prepare for the next steps in your career. Here are some tailored strategies based on insights from various forums and resources:

  1. Managing Test Anxiety: Anxiety related to exams doesn’t necessarily end with the completion of the test. It’s crucial to address any lingering anxiety to ensure it doesn’t impact your performance in future exams or professional scenarios. Techniques such as visualization, meditation, deep breathing, and maintaining a positive perspective can be incredibly effective. Regular practice of your chosen stress reduction technique can help you manage anxiety not just for exams, but in your professional life as well. If you find yourself struggling significantly, consider seeking support from a mental health professional.
  2. Reflecting on Performance and Seeking Feedback: Reflection on your exam performance is essential. Consider what areas felt challenging and why. If possible, seek feedback on your performance to identify specific areas for improvement. This can guide your study or professional development plan moving forward.
  3. Continual Learning and Improvement: Regardless of your exam outcome, continual learning is key in the healthcare field. Engage in continuing education and professional development opportunities. This not only helps you stay current in your field but also prepares you better for any future exams or certifications. Participate in online forums or study groups, as discussing material with peers can enhance understanding and retention​​.
  4. Preparation for Possible Retake or Next Steps: If you’re awaiting results and considering a possible retake, start planning your study schedule early. Focus on areas of weakness and consider different study methods or resources that might offer better results. If you’ve passed and are looking toward the next steps in your career, research opportunities for advancement and additional certifications that could broaden your skill set and improve job prospects​​.
  5. Networking and Professional Development: Utilize online forums, professional associations, and networking opportunities to connect with others in your field. This can provide valuable insights into career advancement, continuing education, and other certification opportunities. Networking can also offer emotional support and guidance from those who have been in your shoes.

Remember, the period after an exam is a critical time for reflection, relaxation, and planning for the future. Utilize available resources, including study materials, forums, and professional networks, to navigate this time effectively.


  1. “CDA Exam.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/exams/exam/cda-exam.
  2. “View DANB Exams.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/exams/view-danb-exams.
  3. “Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).” DANB, https://www.danb.org/.
  4. “Earn Dental Assistant Certification.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/certification/earn-dental-assistant-certification.
  5. “Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).” DANB, http://www.danb.org/.
  6. “4 Effective Studying Tips for Your DANB Exam.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/news-blog/detail/blog/4-effective-studying-tips-for-your-danb-exam.
  7. “Courses/Exam Prep.” The DALE Foundation, https://www.dalefoundation.org/courses/exam-prep.
  8. “CDA Exam Prep.” The DALE Foundation, https://www.dalefoundation.org/courses/catalog/course/cda-exam-prep.
  9. “7 Best Strategies for Passing the DANB CDA Test.” Golden Egg Apps, https://www.goldeneggapps.com/7-best-strategies-for-passing-the-danb-cda-test/.
  10. “How Much Do Dental Assistant Classes & Certification Cost?” Stepful, https://www.stepful.com/post/how-much-do-dental-assistant-classes-certification-cost.
  11. “How to Become a Dental Assistant.” Stepful, https://www.stepful.com/post/how-to-become-a-dental-assistant.
  12. “CDA Practice Test.” Mometrix Test Preparation, https://www.mometrix.com/academy/cda-practice-test/.
  13. “CDA Practice Test – DANB Practice Exam.” Tests.com, https://www.tests.com/practice/CDA-Practice-Test-DANB-Practice-Exam.
  14. “Certified Dental Assistant Practice Test.” DANB101, https://danb101.com/certified-dental-assistant-practice-test/.
  15. “DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Practice Tests.” Exam Edge, https://www.examedge.com/dental/danb/cda/danb’s-certified-dental-assistant-cda-practice-tests.cfm.
  16. “DANB Test Practice.” iPrep, https://www.iprep.online/courses/danb-test-practice/.
  17. “Tips for Taking the DANB Exam.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/news-blog/detail/blog/tips-for-taking-the-danb-exam.
  18. “Prepare for DANB Exams.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/exams/prepare-for-danb-exams.
  19. “I Only Passed One of My Three DANB Tests. I’ve…” Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/DentalAssistant/comments/11y9q6b/i_only_passed_one_of_my_three_danb_tests_ive/.
  20. “How I Passed the DANB Exam! (And You Can Too!)” YouTube, 23 Mar. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-4k7BMAj5Y.
  21. “Essential Tips for Test Anxiety.” Grand Canyon University, https://www.gcu.edu/blog/gcu-experience/essential-tips-test-anxiety.
  22. “PA DAs with Their DANB.” Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/DentalAssistant/comments/10pkat0/pa_das_with_their_danb/.
  23. “Low In-Service Exam Score.” Student Doctor Network, https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/low-in-service-exam-score.1462594/.
  24. “CompTIA A+ Practice Test.” Career Employer, https://careeremployer.com/test-prep/practice-tests/comptia-a-practice-test/.
  25. “Is the DANB CDA Exam Hard? Any Study Tips?” Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/DentalAssistant/comments/14ta4tv/is_the_danb_cda_exam_hard_any_study_tips/.
  26. “Study Tips for the DANB Exam.” YouTube, 5 Apr. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1yce8yx_4I.
  27. “4 Important Details to Know About DANB Exams.” Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), https://www.danb.org/news-blog/detail/blog/4-important-details-to-know-about-danb-exams.
  28. “Secrets of the CDA Exam Study Guide.” Chegg, https://www.chegg.com/textbooks/secrets-of-the-cda-exam-study-guide-1st-edition-9781609716066-160971606X?preSelection=Buy.

All Posts

career employers editorial process

Here at career employer, we focus a lot on providing factually accurate information that is always up to date. We strive to provide correct information using strict editorial processes, article editing and fact checking for all of the information found on our website. We only utilize trustworthy and relevant resources. To find out more, make sure to read our full editorial process page here.

Leave a Comment