Cursive Examination


Candidates agree to preserve the confidentiality of the National Dental Specialty Examination in any discussion related to it before, during and after its administration. All parties are therefore strictly prohibited from disclosing, reproducing or publishing any examination content or materials.

Format and Schedule

The format and schedule of the cursive examination are specific to each specialty. For more information on the format of the cursive examinations in your specialty, please visit the Specialties section, click on your specialty and on the “Examination Structure” tab at the bottom of the landing page.

Candidates should be prepared to utilize the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (FDI) tooth-numbering system at the examination. For more information regarding the FDI system, please consult the candidate study guide at the bottom of the “Examination Structure” page.

The Admissions Department will communicate the details of candidates’ personalized schedules as they become available.


Registration staff will provide candidates with the details of their examination room and assigned seat. Candidates must bring a valid piece of government-issued photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license matching the personal information submitted at the time of application. Candidates may be refused entry should there be any discrepancies with their identification and the information supplied to The Royal College of Dentists of Canada at the time of application.

Registration staff will provide candidates with the nametag that must be worn while they are on site and will confirm the details of the seat assigned to them in the examination room. Once candidates have confirmed that they are no longer in possession of any prohibited items, they may proceed to the examination room.

Candidates who arrive after their designated registration time may be prevented from entering the examination room.

Personal Belongings

Electronic devices of any kind, including calculators and smart watches, are not permitted on site.

Candidates may bring necessary personal items, such as medication, tissues or ear plugs, provided that they are stored inside a clear Ziploc bag that remains on top of their desk at all times. As temperatures may vary throughout the day, candidates are welcome to bring a light sweater or additional layers for their comfort.

Outside beverages that are not stored in clear containers are subject to the approval of monitoring staff. Out of consideration for their colleagues, candidates are asked not to consume foods in the examination room that may be distracting to others.

During the Examination

There will be assigned seating in the examination room. Candidates will complete the cursive examination on printed notebooks, from which pages cannot be removed. Ink pens and note paper will be provided. Notes and draft paper cannot be removed from the examination room under any circumstances.

The time remaining in the examination will be projected on a screen at the front of the room.

The examination room will be monitored throughout each session. Invigilation staff will be present to assist candidates with procedural matters only.

In the event of any interruptions during the examination, a staff member will make an announcement to provide instructions on the steps to follow.


Candidates may request an unscheduled break for restroom use by signalling an invigilator at any time during their examination, with the exception of the last 15 minutes of the session. No time will be added in compensation for any break taken during the examination.

Breaks are scheduled in between each examination session. There will be a mid-day break between morning and afternoon sessions. Candidates are expected to return to their seat in advance of the start of their next session.


Candidates caught in the possession of prohibited items, or engaging in behaviour that contravenes the examination process, will be immediately expelled.

Post-Examination Survey

Candidates will have the opportunity to provide feedback through an online survey on a variety of topics following the examination. Individual responses will remain confidential, and results will be used to improve future examination sessions.