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Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) assesses aspects of clinical judgement, including diagnosis, treatment planning, prognosis, treatment methods, and clinical decision making.

Format and Content

In 2021, the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) will be administered in a booklet format.

The OSCE includes two sessions administered on the same day. Each session will include 50 MCQs and one constructed response question.

OSCE questions will require that you review the information provided (e.g. case history, dental charts, photographs, radiographs) and answer multiple response type questions. Each multiple response type question will have up to 15 answer options and one or more correct answers. For constructed response questions, you will be required to review the information provided and write an acceptable prescription for a medication commonly prescribed by general dentists in Canada.

OSCE items are developed based on the Competencies for a Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada.


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).

OSCE Protocol

Protocols contain important information regarding the OSCE including the examination blueprint. This document should be read carefully.

Download the 2022 OSCE 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 the results is available.

Read more

Passing Standard

In order to ensure the consistency of scores on all the 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 regarding the processes used to select questions and analyze and test equate examinations visit Scoring and Equating.


You can take the OSCE a maximum of three times.

Appeals and Rescores

Future of the OSCE

In 2023, the OSCE 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 Date5 - 6 March 2022 Registration Deadline16 January, 2022 21:00 EST
Registration is closed

Written Examination and OSCE

Exam Date28 - 29 May 2022 Registration Deadline27 April, 2022 21:00 EST
Registration open date: 26 January, 2022 09:00 EST