Practical examination questions

Where can I find out more about the procedure on examination day?

The Practical examination handbook provides detailed information on the format and conduct of the practical examination. The latest edition of the handbook can be found here

What can I do to prepare for the written and practical examinations?

The ADC strongly advises candidates to use the information published by the ADC (e.g. handbooks and information packages) as their definitive source of examination preparation material. You can access these resources here.

The ADC does not recommend or endorse any proprietary or informal courses which advertise as preparation for the ADC written or practical examinations. Such courses are developed and run without input from the ADC. The ADC cannot be held responsible for the quality of training or advice provided at such courses.

Where can I find more information about the scoring process for the practical examination?

The ADC is committed to helping candidates understand all stages of the dental practitioner assessment process. 

To assist candidates, the ADC has published the ADC assessment process: An overview of the ADC assessment and examinations process for overseas qualified dental practitioners. A comprehensive guide, this document provides detailed information on the design of the written and practical examinations, as well as an overview of practical examination scoring and borderline regression. 

The guide is available here

Is there someone I can talk to about reading my practical examination results?

There are a number of resources available to help candidates understand the practical examination process, including the ADC assessment process: An overview of the ADC assessment and examinations process for overseas qualified dental practitioners guide which can be downloaded via the publications and forms page, here.

If you cannot find an answer to your question, contact the ADC via the contact us page

Please keep in mind, we are unable to provide you with your combined cluster scores, your scores for each task or station, or any feedback on your examination performance. 

What if my preferred bur/material/instrument is not on the list of supplied equipment for the practical examination?

The list provided in the ADC practical examination information package describes the materials, burs and equipment that will be available to you on your technical skills practical examination day. You can view the information package here

Whilst you are likely to have preferred burs, materials and instruments, those available to you on both examination days are consistent for all candidates and are adequate to achieve a pass mark for each task. We do not accept requests for additional burs, materials and instruments. 

From time to time we may make amendments or additions to the list. We will endeavour to inform you of any changes as soon as possible. 

Burs, instruments and materials available on the clinical skills day will not be published as tasks are changed regularly. 

I’ve passed the practical examination. How can I apply to practise as a dentist?

Once you have successfully completed the ADC practical examination, you will be awarded an ADC certificate (general dentist) which will be available for download via the candidate portal.


You are then eligible to apply to the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) for registration. Visit the DBA website for more information regarding registration.

I passed a number of clusters in my last practical examination, but I failed overall. Can I get credits for the clusters I passed?

No. The ADC does not offer credits or exemptions for previous practical examination attempts. 

I failed the practical examination. Can I apply to sit the examination again?

There is no limit on the number of times you can sit the practical examination within the three year validity of your written examination. 

The ADC offers a number of application periods throughout the year. You are eligible to apply for a place during the application period if you hold a valid written examination and meet the criteria for that application period. 

When will my practical examination results become available?

Practical examination results are released approximately six to eight weeks following your examination date. 

In some instances, there may be a delay in the release of your practical examination results. Should this occur, the ADC will notify candidates of any potential delays. 

Do I have to complete both days of the examination in order to pass?


To obtain a pass in the practical examination, you must achieve a pass in both days of the examination.

What happens if I am late for my examination?

You will be provided with registration times for both examination days. You should allow sufficient time to get to the examination centre in case of any transport or other delays.

We cannot guarantee that you will be able to enter a practical examination if you arrive after the start time. Late entry will be at the discretion of the convenor. No additional examination time will be granted.

Can I find out more information about the types of tasks in the practical examination?

The Practical examination handbook is a guide for the practical examination. It includes information regarding the conduct of the practical examination and about the type of tasks you may be expected to complete during the examination. You can view the handbook here

What does the practical examination assess?

The practical examination is designed to assess clinical competence and uses simulation to assess this. Practical examination tasks are designed to reflect common and/or important real-life scenarios.

What is the content of the practical examination based on?

The content of the practical examination is based on the expected competencies of a recently qualified Australian dental practitioner at the point of graduation from an ADC accredited dental program.

You can view the competencies here.

Am I eligible to sit the practical examination?

You are eligible apply for a practical examination if you hold a valid written examination pass (subject to any other eligibility requirements that may apply).

A pass in a written examination is valid for three years from the date of notification of the examination result.

I’ve withdrawn from my practical exam; can I reschedule my examination for another time?

No, examinations cannot be rescheduled for another time or transferred to an alternate examination date.

If you wish to sit an examination at another date, you need to withdraw from your current exam and submit a new application form and payment during the next application period.

How can I withdraw from the practical examination?

If you wish to withdraw from a practical examination, you must submit a Notification of withdrawal from an ADC examination form directly to the ADC.

You can download the form here

If your date of examination is imminent, you may submit your form via email and subsequently post your completed form and supporting documentation to the ADC. A withdrawal is considered confirmed upon receipt of hard copies of all required forms and documentation via post.

The ADC will respond to you in writing. 

Does the ADC grant exemptions from practical examination requirements?

The ADC cannot grant exemptions from the requirements of the practical examination under any circumstance.

I have a medical condition which requires me to take medication at specific times. Does the ADC have accommodations for this?

If, due to ill-health, disability or other reason, you believe you require an accommodation to assist you in completing the examination you should put your request in writing to [email protected] prior to your practical examination.

Please note, the ADC may deny requests for special consideration if doing so will affect other candidates or the integrity and validity of the examination.

Where is the practical examination held?

From July 2018, all practical examinations will be held at the ADC examination centre at Level 6, 469 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, Australia.

How many days does the practical examination last for?

The practical examination is held over two days and consists of a clinical skills day and a technical skills day.

Candidates will be divided into two groups of 12 and will complete one element on day one and will move onto the second element on day two. Candidates must complete both days during one examination session.

We advise candidates to be prepared to sit either the technical or clinical skills day on the first day of the examination.

Is there a limit on the number of people sitting the practical examination?

Yes. Each two-day practical examination will assess a maximum of 24 candidates.

How many times can I sit the practical examination?

There are no restrictions on the number of attempts at the practical examination. However, your knowledge of the practise of dentistry must be current so you are required to pass the practical examination within three years of successfully passing the written examination.

If you do not pass the practical examination within this time, you will be required to re-take and pass the written examination before becoming eligible to reapply for the practical examination.

Can I submit a practical examination application form outside of the assigned application period?


The ADC has assigned practical examination application periods to allow all candidates an equal opportunity to apply for, and sit, the practical examination. Applications submitted outside the designated application period will not be processed and candidates will be directed to reapply.

Will the ADC notify me of the success of my application?

You will be notified when the ADC receives your application.

The outcome of the assessment of your application will be sent to you via email.

Successful applicants will be notified of their allocated practical examination date via the candidate portal within six weeks of the closing of the application period.

Where can I find more information on the practical examination dates and application periods?

Examination dates and application periods are available on the practical examination for dentists page

I’m an eligible candidate, how do I apply to sit a practical examination?

Eligible candidates can sit a practical examination by completing the practical examination application form relevant to your profession and submitting the hard copy form and relevant documentation to the ADC via post within the designated application period.

Candidates should observe the application periods and requirements published on the ADC website. 

We cannot accept:

  • electronic applications
  • incomplete or incorrect applications
  • applications without payment
  • applications received outside the designated application period
  • applications from candidates ineligible to sit a practical examination.