5 Small Things You Can Do to Become More Successful
how to be successful, dental hygiene exam prep

5 Small Things You Can Do to Become More Successful

how to be successful, dental hygiene exam prep

Have you ever wondered what the secret to success is? For most people, it’s not one specific thing. Rather, it’s the result of many daily habits that are repeated over and over. Here are 5 small things you can do every day to ensure that you’re being intentional with your time and spending it on your priorities. And because StudentRDH is the leading dental hygiene boards review online solution, I will specifically talk about being successful in your studying routine. What is out motto? SUCCESS and NOTHING LESS!

1. Set a schedule for the following day.

Take time each evening to write out a schedule for the next day. This helps you maximize every hour you are awake. I recently read that the average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV. Setting a schedule will help you avoid the trap of time-suckers like TV. This goes well with the Pomodoro technique that I described in earlier blogs.


  • Radiology review
  • Finish 10 topics
  • Draft poster content
  • Finish clinical assignment with images
  • Take quiz 1 of radiology on StudentRDH

2. Tackle the scary task first

“Eat a live frog first thing every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

If you’re like most people, there is a task every day you procrastinate because it scares or overwhelms you. This task is your frog, and according to Mark Twain, you should eat it right away in the morning. Is it pharmacology? Most students are terrified of pharmacology, and it is difficult! I completely understand. But don’t put it off! Tackle it.

Eating the frog early in the day gives you a sense of accomplishment, and it’s great to start the day feeling successful.

3. Give yourself deadlines.

If you have less time to complete a task, you’ll likely increase your effort. Think about how clean you can make your house when someone calls and says they’ll stop by in 30 minutes, you figure out a way to make it work! Your effort significantly increases when time is limited.

One way to do this is by using time blocks. Let’s go back to the Pomodoro technique, give yourself 25-minutes to accomplish a goal, and then take a planned 5-minute break. Knowing you have limited time will help maximize your productivity during the 25-minutes work session. Let’s apply that to studying for the dental hygiene boards.


  • Radiology review, finish 10 topics (2 hours; 25 mins x 4)
  • Draft poster content (1 hour before lunch: 25 mins x 2)
  • Finish clinical assignment with images (1 hour after lunch: 25 mins x 2)
  • Take quiz 1 of radiology on StudentRDH and read the explanation very carefully (1 hour; 25 mins x 2).

4. Plan backward.

For the dental hygiene national boards, dental hygiene local anesthesia boards, or dental hygiene regional boards; you have a date for each of those exams. So mark that date on the calendar, and work backwards to make a plan.

plan backward, dental hygiene exam prep

Real example from a student I mentored at StudentRDH: 5 weeks left. There are 17 chapters to study for the National Dental Hygiene boards review at StudentRDH. 17 chapters/5 weeks: 3 chapters/week.

May 12-15 > Pharm
May 16-17 > Nutrition
May 18-21 > Radiology
May 22 > Instrumentation
May 23 > Infection control
May 24-25 > Micro
May 26-29 > Perio
May 30-31 > Ethics
June 1-2 > Head & Neck Anatomy
June 3-5 > Community Health & Research
June 6 > Oral Path
June 7-8 > Embryology & Histology
June 9 > Dental Anatomy
June 10-11 > Medical Emergencies
June 12-13 > Dental Biomaterials
June 14-15 > Medical Conditions
June 16 > DH process of care

Now this is a concrete plan! Credit to Sarah who really made this plan when she was preparing for the boards with StudentRDH.

5. Find an accountability partner.

Tell someone who will help keep you accountable and check in with you weekly to review your progress. It can be your friend, your parent, or anyone who supports you. Show them the concrete plan you have made. And I am always here to support you too! SUCCESS and NOTHING LESS, that is all I want for you. So anything to help, my email is clairej@studentrdh.com!

National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Review by StudentRDH

(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

Follow @studentrdh

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