Format and Content

The Written Examination is administered in two books of 150 multiple choice questions.  Each book is given in a 150 minute session.


The sessions are held in the morning and afternoon of one day.

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


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

The Written Examination blueprint below shows the content areas and approximate number of questions in each area.

Book I: 150 questions

50 questions:

  • Health Promotion/Population
  • Health
  • Relationship of General/Oral Health
  • Scientific Literature
  • Records
  • Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology
  • General Biochemistry/Cariology
  • Oral Microanatomy
  • Oral Embryology

50 questions:

  • Anxious Patient

  • Abuse & Neglect

  • Occupational Hazards

  • Periodontics

  • Pharmacology

  • Growth & Development

  • Physiology

50 questions:

  • Radiology

  • Informed Consent

  • Prevention

  • Anatomy

  • Microbiology/Immunology

  • Pathology/Medicine

Book II: 150 questions

50 questions:

  • Fixed Partial Denture/Removable Partial Denture

  • Dental Emergencies

  • Medical Emergencies

  • Ethics & Jurisprudence

  • Trauma

  • Pediatric Dentistry

  • Implants

50 questions:

  • Operative Dentistry

  • Endodontics

  • Orthodontics

  • Dental Anatomy/Occlusion

  • Special Needs Patient

50 questions:

  • Infection Control

  • Local Anesthesia

  • Therapeutics

  • Oral Facial Pain

  • Oral Surgery

  • Geriatric Dentistry


Released Questions

The NDEB releases assessment and examination questions for personal use. You can find the released questions in the Reference Material and Resources section of the website.



In 2009, the American Association of Endodontists adopted new endodontic terminology. The NDEB is aware of these changes and is currently updating the terminology used in its examination/assessment questions. Consistent with the manner that dental programs and textbooks adopt terminology changes, the NDEB will adopt new terminology over a period of time; therefore, examinees should be aware of both the previously used and recently updated terminology in endodontics.

The NDEB is aware of the most current guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis as published in North America and in the reference texts used in Canadian Dental Programs.


Written Examination Protocol

Protocols contain important information regarding the Written Examination. This document should be read carefully.

Download the 2018 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.


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 assessments and examinations. 

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

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


Appeals and Rescores

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

Read more…

Compassionate Appeal

What is a Compassionate Appeal?

If you feel you were disadvantaged by a personal circumstance beyond your control during an examination, you can request a Compassionate Appeal. Compassionate Appeals must be received in writing within one week of the examination.

Where can I find more information?

For detailed information regarding the Compassionate Appeal Process view the NDEB By-laws & policies regarding assessments and examinations.

Manual rescore

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.