Examination Protocol

The National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) may be administered in either of Canada’s official languages, English and French. The examination language that applicants choose at the time of application may not be changed after the closing of application window.

For specialty-specific examination structure, please visit please visit the Specialties section, select your specialty and click on the Examination Structure tab at the bottom of the page.
Specialty-specific examination structure, topics for review and study guides are available by navigating to your specialty page from the Specialties section and clicking on the Examination Structure tab at the bottom of the page. Please consider that the candidate study guides illustrate the format in which questions may be posed, but do not constitute a blueprint for the content that will be featured on the day of the examination.

The College does not administer preparatory courses or provide copies of examinations from previous years.
The Admissions Department will communicate personalized examination schedules as soon as they are available. Examination schedules are subject to change at any moment, up until the day of the examination.
Candidates are encouraged to make travel arrangements that will permit them to remain on site until the end of day on the date(s) of their examination.
Candidates must register once they arrive on site in order to enter the secure area. To do so, candidates must bring a piece of government-issued photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. 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.

As temperatures may vary throughout the day, candidates are welcome to bring a light sweater or additional layers for their comfort.

All electronic devices, including smart watches, are strictly forbidden on site. Candidates caught in the possession of prohibited devices or engaging in behaviour that contravenes the integrity of the examination process will be immediately expelled.

To consult specialty-specific requirements, please visit the Specialties section, select your specialty and click on the "Examination Structure" tab at the bottom of the page.

After the Examination

Following the examination, candidates will have the opportunity to provide feedback through an online survey on a variety of topics. Individual responses will remain confidential, and results will be used to improve future examination sessions.
Results will be posted to myNDSE within 45 days of the examination; only a pass or fail notice will be published. Unsuccessful candidates will receive a performance report outlining the areas of their performance that may benefit from improvement.
Candidates who fail the examination may initiate a Formal Review of their examination results when procedural irregularities negatively impacted their performance. The Admissions Department will consider requests for a Formal Review completed within 15 calendar days of the communication of examination results. A request is deemed to be complete when it includes: i) a written statement that clearly outlines the alleged procedural errors, and ii) payment for the corresponding administrative fee. Petitions may be sent as an email attachment to admissions@rcdc.ca. Payments may be completed online with Visa or Master Card provided that an online invoice has been requested from admissions@rcdc.ca in advance of the deadline.

As part of this review, the College will consider the candidate's statement outlining the alleged procedural irregularities, available documentary evidence such as Observer records and examiner notes, and examination marks. The policy document Statement of Policy and Procedure: Formal Reviews outlines in the detail the procedures associated with such requests.