Dentist written examination


The written examination is the second stage of the ADC assessment process.  Candidates must hold a complete and valid initial assessment to be eligible to sit the written examination.

Assessments process diagram_written examination.png

The written examination is a multiple-choice question examination held over two consecutive days. It is held twice per year, usually in March and September.

The questions are in a scenario-based format. This means a scenario is provided to you that is relevant to dental practise in Australia, and you are asked to answer several multiple-choice questions based on the information provided in the scenario.

The assessment format is designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate you ‘know how’ to practice 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.

The written examination is delivered in partnership with Pearson VUE. This allows the examination to be delivered via computer at various test centres around the world.

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

Timeframe: Approximately five months
Cost: AUD $2,000


Swipe for more >
Written examination application period     Approximately 3 to 4 months before the examination
Authorisation to test emails sent    8 weeks before examination
Pearson VUE bookings open    8 weeks before examination
Pearson VUE bookings close    5 weeks before examination
Notification of examination results    6 weeks after examination
Application for verifications and appeals close    28 days from notification of results


September 2021 written examination

The September 2021 written examination will take place on 13 and 14 September 2021.

The application period for this examination is from 31 May to 18 June 2021. Candidates with a valid initial assessment are eligible to apply for this examination.

The application period page has more information regarding the September 2021 written examination and application period.

The ADC has announced the implementation of the revised written examination for general dentistry. This will replace the previous written examination for general dentistry from September 2021.

Further information regarding the changes to the ADC written examination can be found here.

Am I eligible to sit the written examination?

To be eligible to apply for a written examination you must have successfully completed the initial assessment process.

When can I apply for the written examination?

Two written examination sessions are scheduled each calendar year. These are usually held in March and September.  

Written examination application periods are advertised on the ADC website and usually occur three to four months before the examination date.

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. 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.


2.1 Submit an application 

Applications for the written examination can only be accepted during published written examination application periods. 

To apply for a written examination, you must complete and submit a Written examination application form, along with the relevant supporting documentation and full payment.

The application should be downloaded and printed as a hard copy prior to completion. Please make sure that you are using the current version of the application form.

The application form contains detailed guidelines to assist you in completing the form.


All supporting documentation must adhere to the ADC certification of document guidelines. The guidelines can be downloaded here. Incorrectly certified documents will result in delays, or in the application being declined. 

Post your application and supporting documents to the address specified on the application form. You will receive an email notification when your application has been received.

Once your application has been assessed, you will receive an email from the ADC advising of the outcome of your application.


There are three possible outcomes:


  1. Your application was successful and you are authorised to sit the written examination.
  2. Your application is incomplete and you are required to submit additional information or resubmit payment during the application period.
  3. Your application was unsuccessful because either you are ineligible to sit this written examination or that a complete application was not received during the application period.


2.2 Book a written examination

If your application is successful, the ADC will issue you with a Written examination authorisation letter. This letter contains information on the opening of your booking period and instructions on how to book your examination venue through the Pearson VUE booking system.

At the beginning of the booking period Pearson VUE will email authorised candidates an Authorisation to test email. This email provides login details for the Pearson VUE system and describes the process for booking an examination venue. Examination dates and venues will be available via the booking system.

You must book your examination venue during the booking period. 

Bookings are open for approximately three weeks from the date of the Authorisation to test email. Some examination venues have very limited capacity and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. You are required to select the same examination venue for both days of the examination. 

An indicative list of venues for the dentist written examination can be found here. Available venues may be subject to change at short notice.

During the written examination, all candidates will be required to abide by the terms in the candidate rules agreement. A copy of the candidate rules agreement for the written examination can be found here

Once a booking is completed, you will receive an email from Pearson VUE confirming the time, location and requirements for your examination. Pearson VUE will issue a reminder email seven days prior to the examination. 


Other important information

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 Notification of withdrawal from an ADC examination form to the ADC, along with any relevant  supporting documentation.

If the date of the examination is imminent, you may submit your intention to withdraw via email and subsequently post your withdrawal form and supporting documentation. A withdrawal is considered confirmed upon receipt of all required documentation. The ADC will respond to you in writing.
The ADC Withdrawal Procedure  contains further information regarding with 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.