Dentist written examination


The written examination is the second stage of the dental practitioner assessment process. It determines you ‘know how’ to practise dentistry in Australia by assessing your: 

  • Knowledge of the science and practice of dentistry, and 
  • Clinical judgement and reasoning skills relevant to dental practice in Australia. 

Assessments process diagram_written examination.png

We deliver the written examination in partnership with Pearson VUE at various test centres around the world. It is held twice a year, usually in March and September. 

You should carefully read the Written handbook for general dentistry for a comprehensive overview of the written examination format and requirements.  

We do not recommend or endorse any proprietary or informal courses advertising as preparation for the written examination. These courses are developed and run without ADC input. We cannot be held responsible for the quality of training or advice provided through these courses.  

Validity: 3 years
Timeframe: Approximately five months
Cost: AUD $2,000


2.1 Apply for a written examination place 

To sit the written examination, you must: 

  • have a valid initial assessment, and 
  • meet the eligibility requirements of the designated examination dates. 

If you meet the eligibility requirements a written examination application link will appear on your ADC Connect profile when the application period opens. 

Submit your application and pay the application fee. Once payment is processed, you will receive an email to confirm your application has been received.

2.2 Book a written examination venue 

In the weeks following your successful application you will receive an Authorisation to Test email from Pearson VUE outlining when you can log into the system to book your examination venue.  

You must book your examination venue during the booking period. You must select the same venue for both examination days.  

If you have problems logging into the Pearson VUE system or booking your examination contact Pearson VUE immediately.  

Written examination venues document lists the venues frequently used for the written examination. Some venues have limited capacity and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Venues are subject to change at short notice.  

You will receive an email from Pearson VUE confirming the time, location, and requirements for your examination once your booking is complete. Pearson VUE will issue a reminder email seven days before the examination.  

2.3 Sit your written examination

The written examination is a computer delivered, multiple-choice question examination held over two days. All equipment and supplies you need to complete the examination are provided by the venue. 

You are required to follow the terms of the Candidate Rules Agreement during the written examination. 

You must bring two forms of ID as authorisation to sit the examination. You may present either: 

  • two forms of Primary ID, or 
  • one form of Primary ID and one form of Secondary ID.  

More information about ID types is available in the Written handbook for general dentistry

2.4 Receive your written examination results

Your written examination results will be released via ADC Connect approximately six weeks after your examination date.  

A pass in the written examination is valid for three years and there are no limits on the number of times you can attempt the examination.  

More information about how the written examination is graded is available in the Written handbook for general dentistry

Other important information

What can I do to prepare for the written examination?

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. This information is available via the assessment publications page.

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 sitting the written examination?

The assessment publications page has a suite of resources to help candidates prepare for their written examination. These include:

  • The written examination handbook for general dentistry
  • The professional competencies of the newly qualified dentist (the Competencies).
  • Candidate rules agreement for the written examination.
  • Examination withdrawal procedure.
  • Candidate misconduct policy
  • Written examination appeals policy
  • Verification of written examination results policy

How do I get my examination results?

Written examination results will be released via the ADC candidate portal. Results are released approximately six weeks after the examination date. 

Further information regarding the passing requirement for the written examination can be found in the Written examination handbook for general dentistry.

A pass in the written examination is valid for three years and there are no limits on the number of times you can attempt the examination. 

How do I withdraw from a written examination?

To withdraw from a written examination, you must complete and submit a withdrawal request via your ADC Connect account.

If you are unable to submit this form via ADC Connect, please contact us.

The ADC Withdrawal Procedure  contains more information about the procedure for withdrawing from a written examination, including detailed information regarding eligibility for a partial refund.

Verification of results

Candidates failing the written examination may request the ADC verify the accuracy of recording of their results. More information on the verification of results is available on the verifications, reviews and appeals page.

Appeals process

The Appeals policy for the written examination provides more information regarding the appeals process for the written examination.

To find out more about the ADC appeals process, visit the verifications, reviews and appeals page.