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Revised Written Examination Format of ADC

The September 2021 written examination will take place on 13 and 14 September 2021. The success in examination of Australian Dental Council depends on the rigorous practice. Once you understand the format of the written part 1 examination, the type & pattern of questions, you can easily crack it.

ADC Written Examination Format

The part 1 ADC exam will have 4 sections that will be conducted in 2 days. Two section will be held in one day. There will be a break for rest between two sections. The whole ADC part 1 exam will be conducted in two consecutive days. To make it further clear you can see below in fig 1 in a diagrammatic representation.

adc written exam format
Fig 1. Structure and timings of ADC written examination format.

Each section will have 70 questions of which 56 will be scenario based. Remaining 14 question may vary in type that you will come to know later on in our various courses. There will be five options and you will have to chose one best correct option as your answer. Thus, there will be total 280 questions in ADC part 1 written examination. Out of 280 questions, 40 questions will have no marks which means they will not be scored. The ADC has put them there for calibration and testing purpose. It means 240 questions will be marked or scored and you will be declared pass or fail based on the marks obtained on scored questions. Scored and unscored questions will be unknown to you. This means you should treat all 280 questions as scored questions, as you do not know which question will contribute towards your success. The duration of each section will be of 70 minutes.

Blue Print of Written Exam

The written examination blueprint describes the content covered and the approximate percentage of questions allocated to each content area. The written examination blueprint is shown in table 1 given below.

adc written exam blueprint
Table 2. ADC written exam blue print. (Source: ADC handbook for written examination) Click to see full image.

Passing Requirements of ADC Written Part 1 Examination

To pass the written exam, you must pass in each of four cluster separately. See below to understand the clusters in a better way.

  • Cluster 1: It encompasses professionalism and health promotion aspect.
  • Cluster 2: It is related to the clinical information gathering.
  • Cluster 3: It will check your ability of making diagnosis and management planning.
  • Cluster 4: it will check your ability to perform clinical treatment and its evaluation.

To pass each cluster separately, you need to achieve either “A” or “B” grade. If you get grade “C” or “D” it means you failed the ADC part 1 written exam. The meaning of different grades are as given below

Grade A: Your score was more than 10% above the passing score. You got a clear pass.
Grade B: Your score was within 10% above the passing score. You got a close pass.
Grade C: Your score was within 10% below the passing score. You got a close fail.
Grade D: Your score was more than 10% below the passing score. You got a clear fail.

So, getting a grade C or D means the ultimate result is same for you, as you need to retake the part 1 written exam to be eligible for part 2 practical examination.

The ADC does not set a passing mark and it has a complex mechanism of evaluation that you can see in the written examination hand book if you are interested.

Getting your results

Written examination results are usually available within six weeks of the examination but may take longer. You will be notified when your written examination results are available and how to access your results.


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