Format and Content

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

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

The OSCE Protocol provides specific details regarding the format and scheduling of the examination.


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. This document should be read carefully.


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.


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 assessments and examinations. 

For more information regarding the processes used to select questions and analyze and test equate examinations, please download Information on test equating and question selection

You can take the OSCE a maximum of three times.

Appeals and Rescores

There is a compassionate appeal process and a rescore process available for candidates who took the OSCE.

For more information, refer to the Appeals section of our website.