Format and Content
The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a station type examination held in a morning and afternoon session. You will have five minutes to answer the questions at each station.
There are two types of questions in the OSCE. Most stations have two questions and require the candidate to review the information supplied (e.g., case history, dental charts, photographs, radiographic images, casts, models, videos) and answer extended match-type questions. Each extended match-type question will have up to 15 answer options and one or more correct answers. Some stations require the candidate to review the information supplied 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.
OSCE items are developed based on the Competencies for a Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada.
The NDEB updates examination and assessments questions on a regular basis as new knowledge becomes available.
The NDEB is aware that the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) published a new disease classification in the Journal of Periodontology in June 2018. All NDEB examinations and assessments will use the previous AAP classification (1999).
The NDEB will notify examinees when the new disease classification is incorporated into its examinations and assessments.
NDEB examinations and assessments use the terminology adopted by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) in 2009.
The NDEB is aware of the most current guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis as published in North America and in the reference texts used by Canadian Dental Programs.
Protocols contain important information regarding the OSCE. This document should be read carefully.
Download the 2020 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 results is available.
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.