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Written Examination

Written Examination

The Written Examination assesses basic science knowledge and applied clinical science knowledge and judgement at the level of a beginning dental practitioner in Canada. Examination content is developed based on Competencies for a Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada.

Format and Content

The Written Examination consists of two 150 minutes sessions administered in the morning and afternoon of one day. The Examination contains 300 single answer multiple-choice style questions.


The NDEB updates examination questions on a regular basis as new knowledge becomes available.


Examinations administered in 2021 will use the 2018 American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) disease classification. The 1999 AAP old term may be included in brackets after the new term when applicable.

Example: supracrestal tissue attachment (biologic width).


The Protocol contains important information regarding the Written Examination including the examination blueprint. This document should be read carefully.

Download the 2022 Written Examination Protocol in PDF format.


Score sheets are electronically scanned and processed. Results are then verified manually at least three times. An additional verification is done of all results close to the passing score before they are released to candidates.

A test equated, re-scaled score of 75 or greater is reported as a Pass. A test-equated, re-scaled score of less than 75 is reported as a Fail and will include the test-equated, re-scaled score. No further breakdown of results is available.

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Passing Standard

In order to ensure the consistency of scores on all versions of the examination, the NDEB uses a test equating and rescaling procedure. This procedure correlates the established passing score on a standardized reference examination with the current version of the examination and determines the standardized mark. The NDEB maintains a standardized passing score of 75 on all examinations.

For more information about the processes used to select questions, analyze and test equate examinations visit Scoring and Equating.


You can take the Written Examination a maximum of three times.

Appeals and Rescores

Future of the Written Examination

In 2023, the Written Examination will be replaced by the NDEB Virtual OSCE. This new examination will combine the existing Written Examination and OSCE into one examination delivered electronically in a single day.

Upcoming Examination Dates

Written Examination and OSCE

Exam Date28 - 29 May 2022 Registration Deadline01 May, 2022 21:00 EST
Registration is closed

Written Examination and OSCE

Exam Date19 - 20 November 2022 Registration Deadline05 October, 2022 21:00 EST
Registration open date: 27 July, 2022 09:00 EST