The Commission on Dental Competency (CDCA®) Assessments

cdca dental hygiene assessment

What is the CDCA?

The CDCA (The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments) is an organization that administers the ADEX® (American Board of Dental Examiners) Dental Examination. The ADEX exam is designed for dental hygiene students about to complete their dental hygiene training and graduate dental hygienists. The National Board Examinations (NBDE or NBDHE) are not prerequisites for the CDCA exam.

Career outcomes

Passing a CDCA examination is an important step in obtaining licensure to practice dental hygiene. Once exam scores are reported, candidates who pass an APEX/CDCA exam may then apply for their license with their respective state board.

Who is eligible?

Dental and dental hygiene candidates who have graduated from an accredited program are eligible to take the APEX/CDCA Examination.

Exam overview

The CDCA dental hygiene exam consists of two examination components that vary in length and location:

  • Computer Simulated Clinical Examination (CSCE) is a two-hour, computer-based examination that take place at a Prometric Testing Center.
  • The Patient Treatment Clinical Examination (PTCE) is a four-hour, clinical examination that takes place at a clinical examination site. Students will take this exam at the Goodwin University Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Both parts of the ADEX Dental Hygiene Examination (computer-based and clinical) must be completed within 18 months.

Exams are scored on a pass/fail basis. Once exam scores are calculated, the CDCA reports the scores to an online database for all CDCA member state boards to access.

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