Types of Board Questions

You will be required to take more than just the national boards in order to get your license for dental hygiene and local anesthesia. The following categories describe questions that are most commonly used. Make sure you understand and study content in all of these formats. Your professors will often try to use these formats as well so be sure to ask them any time you find yourself confused on wording.

Complete the statement

Here the question will start with a true statement. You will have to find the answer that completes the rest of this statement.

Example: The outer membrane layer of a neuron is called the…?

a. Myelin Sheath

b. lipid bilayer

c. lamina dura

d. albuminal links

Standard Multiple Choice

The question is a full question and asks for one answer.

Example: Which of the following is another name for cranial nerve number 7?

a. Facial Nerve

b. Vagus Nerve

c. Accessory Nerve

d. Trigeminal Nerve

Negative Statement

This question will ask you do think counter intuitively. Usually the question will have the words “execpt, without, least likely, etc”

Example: All of the following are facial muscles except…?

a. Sternocleidomastoid

b. Temporalis

c. Nasalis

d. Obicularisoris

The truest or best statement

The answer section of this question may have answers that can be considered right, however there is an answer out of all of the choices that is considered the most right.

Example: Primary dentition has a pattern of eruption, it is important to know this pattern because…?

a. In order to note anomalies

b. In order tell the patient’s age

c. In order to tell the parent what to look out for

d. In order to chart them correctly

True or False

These questions have been very common in tests and are typically used in all educational grade levels. They tend to make a statement and ask if it is true or not. Sometimes you will be responsible to make the statement true if this were a short answer response question as well as a true or false questions. Thankfully that is not very common on the boards and they tend to use a multiple choice format for this section.

Example: Permanent molars replace primary premolars.

a. False

b. True

Make the Statement True

Like the true or false question, this type of question will make a statement in which you need to determine if it is true or false. However the statement may have multiple parts and you must determine which part is true or false. Usually these statements will have only 2 parts.

Example: There are 12 cranial nerves, 5 out of 12 nerve control eye movement.

a. The first statement is true while the second is false

b. Both statements are true

c. Both Statements are false

d. The first statement is false while the second is true

Cases and Photos

I have to be honest, there is a whole section on cases and I can make a separate post just on this category! Not to worry, I’m working on courses with plenty of these! Here are some of the most common ones on the boards:

  • X-rays where you will have to find decay
  • Panoramic where you will need to indicate the type lesion or describe the lesion
  • Patient chart where you will need to read their medical history for contraindication in your treatment
  • Patient chart to narrow down intra-oral lesion type

Hierarchy or ordered form

This category is fairly common in tests. They will ask you to categorize information in a list such as most likely to least likely, a cascade of events, best treatment options to worst, etc

Example: When giving an IA block, the structures anesthetized will be progressive. List the following teeth in order of first to last to be anesthetized.

a. Molars, Premolars, Canines, Anterior

b. Anterior, Canines, Premolars, Molars

c. Anterior, Canines, Molars, Premolars

d. Molars, Premolars, Anterior, Canines


As the name suggests you will have to match like concepts or items. This format could be done in a few ways but the directions on how to answer will always be the same. The formatting of the question could include two lists of statements or concepts in which you must use a numbering or lettering system to organize the like categories.


First Cranial NerveOptic Nerve
Second Cranial NerveOculomotor Nerve
Third Cranial NerveOlfactory Nerve

Multiple Answers

This question is popular in survey questionnaire and is known for its capacity to have more than one answer. The question will often include a line that says “choose all that apply” or something similar to that.

Example: The muscles of mastication include…, choose all that apply

a. masseter

b. buccinator

c. obicularis optis

d. nasalis

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