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 OSCE blueprint below shows content areas and approximate number of questions in each area.
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 2019 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.
If you feel you were prevented from demonstrating your ability during the examination because of a serious health circumstance or unanticipated circumstance during an examination, you can request a Compassionate Appeal.
If the circumstances beyond your control occur before the administration, you must withdraw. A withdrawal fee of 25% of the examination/assessment fee will be charged for withdrawal after the registration deadline date but before the testing date provided well documented evidence of illness or documentation of circumstances beyond your control is provided at the time of withdrawal.
How do I submit a Compassionate Appeal?
Where can I find more Information?
The Compassionate Appeal Info Sheet provides an overview of the process. You can also find information in the NDEB By-laws.
What is a manual rescore?
Two NDEB staff members perform a manual rescore by comparing the answers on your answer score sheet with the master score sheet. In most circumstances, this process confirms that no errors were made during the scanning and electronic scoring process. Candidates are notified of the result of their manual rescore by email within four weeks from the time of request.
How do I request a manual rescore of my examination?
Manual rescores are available to candidates who have failed the examination. Although it is unlikely that a result will change after a manual rescore, eligible candidates can request a manual rescore of their examination within three months of the release of results. Manual rescores are requested through the “Other Services” tab in your NDEB online profile.
Candidates cannot review their examinations or scoresheets.