Approved participants can register for the Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (AFK), by logging on to their online profile.

Format and Content


The AFK is administered in two books of 150 multiple-choice questions. Each book is given in a three hour session. The sessions are held in the morning and afternoon of one day.

The AFK Protocol provides specific details regarding the format and scheduling of the assessment.


The assessment Blueprint outlined below shows the content areas and approximate percentages of questions in each area. 

Biomedical Sciences
Oral Microanatomy
Oral Embryology
Growth and Development
General Biochemistry/Cariology
Applied Clinical Sciences
Pharmacology 13%
Orthodontics 6%
Pediatric Dentistry
Geriatric Dentistry
Special-Needs Patient
Oral Facial Pain
Dental Emergencies
Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology
Scientific Literature
Health Promotion/Population Health
Relationship of General/Oral Health
Local Anesthesia
Medical Emergencies
Oral Surgery
Medical Emergencies
Operative/Single Crown 11%
Dental Anatomy/Occlusion
Infection Control
TOTAL 100%

Sample Question

The following example illustrates the format of the question stem and distractors of assessment questions.

1.  The most appropriate antibiotic for infections of pulpal origin is

  1. penicillin V.         
  2. lincomycin.
  3. erythromycin.
  4. tetracycline.


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 Endodontics 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 and of guidelines published in North America and in the reference texts used in Canadian Dental Programs.

AFK Protocol

The Protocol contain important information regarding the AFK. This document should be read carefully.

Download the 2017 AFK Protocol in PDF format.


Assessment results 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 participants.

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. Results 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 assessment, the NDEB uses a test equating procedure. This procedure correlates a standardized reference assessment with the current version of the assessment 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 assessments and examinations please download Information on Test Equating and question selection

You can take the AFK a maximum of three times. 

Appeals and Rescores

Compassionate Appeal

What is a Compassionate Appeal?

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

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. Participants 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 assessment?

Manual rescores are available to participants who have failed the assessment. Although it is unlikely that a result will change after a manual rescore, eligible participants can request a manual rescore of their assessment within three months of the release of results.  Manual rescores are requested through the “Other Services” tab in your NDEB online profile.

Participants cannot review their assessments or scoresheets.