Dentist practical examination


The practical examination is the third and final stage of the ADC assessment process.

Assessments process diagram_Practical examination.png

The Australian Dental Council (ADC) practical examination is the platform for candidates to demonstrate that they are competent to practise safely as a dentist in Australia. The practical examination assesses candidates across the range of the Entry-level competencies of the newly qualified dentist. The competencies can be viewed here

The examination is held over two days; a technical skills day and a clinical skills day. Examinations are held most weeks of the year at the ADC examination centre.

Upon successful completion of the practical examination, candidates are eligible to apply for registration with the Dental Board of Australia (DBA).

You should carefully read the Practical examination handbook for dentists for a comprehensive description of the format and requirements of the practical examination. The handbook can be downloaded here

Timeframe: Approximately six to nine months
Cost: AUD $4,500


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Practical examination application periodApproximately 3 months prior to examination
Notification of application receiptWithin 2 weeks of receipt of application
Notification of allocated practical examination date     Within 6 weeks of practical examination application period
Notification of examination results    6 weeks after examination



Am I eligible to sit the practical examination?

You are eligible to sit the practical examination within three years of successful completion of the  ADC written examination

When can I apply for the practical examination?

The ADC schedules applications for the practical examinations throughout the year. More information on open application periods and how to apply is available here.

Where can I find more information about sitting the practical examination?

The Practical examination handbook for dentists is available to help candidates prepare for the examination. If you are planning to sit the practical examination you should read the handbook carefully. You can download the handbook here.

The handbook contains information about:

  • how to apply and withdraw from an examination
  • the format of the examination
  • what to expect on examination days
  • what will be supplied at the examination
  • what you need to bring to the examination
  • the assessment process
  • examination conduct and other policies
  • the release of results. 

What can I do to prepare for the practical 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. 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.

How do I get my examination results?

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

To be awarded a pass in the practical examination, candidates must pass both examination days in one examination session. 

Successful candidates will be awarded an ADC certificate confirming their eligibility to apply for registration with the DBA. The certificate will be available for download via the candidate portal. 

Successful candidates are eligible to apply for registration with the DBA. Candidates are advised to read the requirements for registration carefully. 

The ADC provides the DBA with a list of successful candidates following each examination.

Result verification

Candidates failing the practical examination may request that the ADC verifies the accuracy of recording of their results. For more information, visit the verifications, reviews and appeals page.  

Appeals process

The ADC has a Practical examination appeals policy

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