The Infection Control Exam is part of the Dental Assisting National Board or DANB’s certification process for several of the credentials. If you are seeking your Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), or National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) credentials, you will have to take this exam. Many states, employers, and institutions require one of these DANB certifications perform the proper duties in this field as a professional.
Who is Eligible?
The DANB has no eligibility requirements for you to sit for the ICE itself. However, if you are taking this as part of another exam such as the CDA or NELDA, there may be a number of requirements to fulfill. These may need you to have a specific amount of on-the-job training, experience, or a specific degree, as well as be enrolled or have participated in a dental assisting program or education at some time.
It is important to check with your specific school, employer, or dental program to ensure that you are eligible and taking the right exams to gain certification.
There is a $250 fee for this exam. Applications can be completed and submitted at any time online, by fax, or through the mail. Your exam fee is due at the time of application.
When and Where is it Taken?
The ICE is administered on computers at Pearson VUE testing facilities located throughout the U.S. and worldwide. These testing sites are typically open Monday through Friday with the possibility of Saturday testing sessions as well. A complete list of available dates, times, and locations will be provided to you during your ICE registration.
Choose a testing session that is convenient for you. However, it is important to note that space is limited. Therefore, registration for your preferred exam appointment should be completed as soon as possible. Seating is filled on a first come, first served basis.
If you should need to reschedule or cancel your exam appointment for any reason, you may do so by contacting Pearson VUE at least 48 hours before your original exam. Changes cannot be made after this time period and will result in you forfeiting your exam fees and having to reschedule for another day.
Special accommodations are available upon request for those with disabilities and who may not be able to test under normal conditions. This request must be made during the application process and will require the proper supporting documentation.
What Should I Bring?
It is crucial that you arrive at least 30 minutes early for your exam appointment. This will allow you to complete the proper check-in and identification processes before your exam begins and to make sure you are ready. Anyone who arrives late will not be allowed to test that day and will forfeit their exam fee.
You will be required to present at least one form of personal identification such as a driver’s license, passport, state ID, or military ID. This must contain your signature, full name as it appears on your application, and a recent and recognizable photo. If your ID has any missing or incorrect information, you will need to present another one or will not be allowed to test that day.
No personal belongings are allowed in the testing area and should be left in a designated locker or your vehicle for the duration of the exam. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Paper, pencils, and study materials
- Cell phones and/or electronic devices
- Food and drinks
- Hats, sweatshirts, or baggy outerwear
If these items are found on your person, you will be dismissed, and your scores voided. Scratch paper and pencils will be provided for you at the testing site.
What is Covered?
This exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions divided into four main sections or domains. You will have a total of 75 minutes to complete them all. These questions will test your ability and knowledge in regard to national infection control practices.
Below is a brief summary of each domain and the amount of weight it is given.
Standard Precautions and the Prevention of Disease Transmission (20% of exam)
Reviewing medical history, recognizing infectious diseases and patient risks, proper hygiene practices before, during, and after surgeries and oral procedures, the proper use of PPE for patient and co-workers
Prevention of Cross-contamination during Procedures (34%)
Maintain aseptic conditions, cleaning and disinfecting of laboratory and equipment before and after clinical treatments, use of aseptic techniques regarding radiographic images
Instrument/Device Processing (26%)
Processing reusable dental tools and instruments, monitoring and maintaining processing equipment and sterilizers
Occupational Safety/Administrative Protocols (20%)
Occupational safety standards and guidelines, documenting and maintaining policies and programs for infection control and safety
The exam is computer-adaptive, meaning it is designed to adapt to your knowledge and skill level. Your answer to each question will determine the difficulty of the following one. For example, if you answer an item correctly, the next question will be slightly harder. The opposite is also true, meaning the exam can more accurately determine your ability level.
How is it Scored?
Your score is calculated as a raw score (number of correctly answered questions) and is then converted to a scaled score based on the difficulty of those questions. Exam scores can range from 100 to 900 with a minimum of at least 400 to be considered passing.
Your score report will be given to at the end of your exam at the testing site. This will include your overall pass/fail status, scaled score, and a brief explanation of your performance. You may choose to have this sent to institutions/state boards.
You are able to apply for a retake if you do not meet the requirements through DANB.
How Can I Prepare for the ICE?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by
- tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!