Format and Content


The Dental Specialty Core Knowledge Examination (DSCKE) will be delivered electronically at Prometic test centres.

The examination consists of a combination of 95 - 100 single-answer and multiple-answer multiple choice questions administered in a 3-hour session.


Questions in the examination may include radiographic images, photographs of models, or photographs of patients and a patient case history if applicable. The blueprint below shows the content areas and approximate percentage of questions in each area. 

One Correct Answer Sample Questions

For questions that indicate only ONE correct answer, always choose the MOST appropriate answer for each question.

Bluish-grey discolouration of the crown of a tooth following trauma is due to

  1. external resorption.
  2. pulpal hemorrhage.
  3. discoloured composite restoration.
  4. chromogenic bacteria.


One or More Correct Answer

For questions that have one or more correct answers, indicated by the direction “Select ONE OR MORE correct answers”.  Select all answers that are correct. The minimum score for any question is ‟0” (zero). The maximum score for any question is 3 (three). Part marks will be awarded if some, but not all correct answers are selected, provided no incorrect answer is selected.  Marks will be deducted for incorrect responses, but no question will receive a score less than ‟0” (zero). Some answers are neither definitely correct nor incorrect and have been given a value of ‟0” (zero).  Selecting one of these answers will not affect the score given to a participant. But, if a definitely incorrect answer is selected the participant will receive a ‟0” (zero) score for the entire question. 

The following is an illustration of the scoring system.  The score for each answer is given to the left of each answer.

Question: 1 (Select ONE OR MORE correct answers.)

There is radiographic evidence of caries on the

Value                                                           Value

 -1        A.      distal of tooth 2.3.                        .2        G.      distal of tooth 2.6.

 -1        B.      mesial of tooth 2.4.                      .2        H.      mesial of tooth 2.7.

  0        C.      distal of tooth 2.4.                        -1        I.       distal of tooth 2.7.

 .2        D.      mesial of tooth 2.5.                      -1        J.       mesial of tooth 2.8.

 .2        E.      distal of tooth 2.5.                           0       K.      distal of tooth 2.8.

 .2        F.      mesial of tooth 2.6.

Answer:  for full mark

Sample questions for the DSCKE are available in the Reference Material and Resources section of the website.


The NDEB updates examination and assessment 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).

DSCKE Protocol

Download the 2021 DSCKE Protocol.

Passing Standard

The DSCKE is an admission test used by Dental Specialty Assessment and Training Programs (DSATP). There is no defined passing score, but a score of less than 75 indicates you may have significant difficulty completing a DSATP.

You can take the DSCKE two times.

Appeals and Rescores

Details for appeals and rescores are found in the Appeals section of our website.