Format and Content


The 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.

Question and Answer Framework

The Question and Answer framework for the OSCE is available 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.

Passing Standard

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

Manual Rescore

What is a manual rescore?

Within three months of the release of results, you can request a manual rescore of your Examination. 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.

How do I request a manual rescore of my examination?

Manual rescores are requested through the “Other Services” tab in your NDEB online profile. 

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 make a request for a Compassionate Appeal to the NDEB. 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 Appeals Process view the NDEB By-laws & Policies regarding Assessments and Examinations

OSCE Protocol

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

Download the 2016 OSCE Protocol in PDF format.