The Written Examination tests your knowledge and understanding of the scientific bases of oral
health care and your ability to apply that knowledge - in the general area of pre-clinical health sciences (medical and oral). You should be able to discuss a wide range of issues of relevance
to oral health in the biological, physical (including biomaterial sciences) social and clinical
The Written Examination is generally held twice a year in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin.
The Written Examination consists of two papers:
is 3 hours
assesses your knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of contemporary clinical
dentistry and how to apply that knowledge. In this paper some questions may require you to
demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate current knowledge.
includes essay and short-answer questions
You should note the difference between the following three terms frequently used in the
Discuss: examine by argument. Involves logical critical appraisal of an issue.
Describe: description of characteristics
Write (brief) notes on: short sentences or phrases. Tables, lists and/or diagrams may
The last two terms are often used in questions that enable you to demonstrate your breadth of
is three hours
includes 1 hour of 50 MCQs
includes 2 hours of visual material in the form of images illustrating clinical conditions and
questions requiring short written answers
Your script will be assigned a number and it will be marked anonymously by a team of
All marginal candidates will have their scripts re-evaluated by the principal examiners.
Papers 1 and 2 are scored out of 100 and are of equal value.
To pass the Written Examination you must gain a score of at least 50% in each paper.
You will be required to resit any paper in which a score of less than 50% was obtained.
You will normally be informed of the results of the written examination within 3 weeks of
If you have gained a partial pass under the old written examination system (which ceased in
June 2001) you should note the following:
Passes in the previous written examination are valid for three years
Candidates current status Under new system
- partial pass in paper 1 Sit papers 1 & 2
- partial passes in papers 1 & 2 Sit paper 2
- partial passes in papers 1 & 3 Sit paper 1
- partial pass in paper 2 Sit papers 1 & 2
- partial passes in papers 2 & 3 Sit paper 1
- partial pass in paper 3 Sit paper 1& 2
A pass in the Written Examination is normally a prerequisite for the Clinical Examination.