Comprehensive Overview of ADC Exam Syllabus | Academically

Comprehensive Overview of ADC Exam Syllabus

Jun 13, 2024 8 minutes
ADC Exam Syllabus

Key Takeaways

  • The ADC Exam syllabus provides a comprehensive overview of the essential dental topics that candidates must be familiar with.
  • By studying the ADC Exam syllabus, candidates can develop a structured study plan and focus on the key areas necessary for success in the exam and their future dental careers.
  • The syllabus recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of dentistry, incorporating subjects such as endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, prosthodontics, radiology, restorative and pediatric dentistry.

The ADC (Australian Dental Council) Exam is a critical milestone for dental professionals seeking registration and licensure in Australia.

Aspiring dentists must demonstrate their proficiency in a wide range of dental knowledge and skills to meet the rigorous standards set by the ADC. 

To succeed in the ADC Exam, it's crucial to fully grasp the ADC Exam syllabus. In this blog, we will delve into the critical components of the ADC Exam syllabus, highlighting its core subjects and providing valuable insights and takeaways. 

By familiarising themselves with the syllabus and focusing on the critical areas outlined, candidates can approach their exam preparation with clarity and confidence, setting themselves up for success in pursuing dental registration in Australia.


The ADC Exam syllabus provides a roadmap that outlines the essential dental topics and areas of expertise candidates are expected to master. 

It encompasses various subjects, from dental anatomy and oral pathology to radiology, prosthodontics, and more. The syllabus is designed to equip candidates with the comprehensive knowledge and practical skills required to excel in their dental careers and provide exceptional patient care.

Through a detailed exploration of the ADC Exam syllabus, candidates gain insight into the specific focus areas and the depth of knowledge required to successfully navigate the exam. 

From understanding the intricacies of dental anatomy to developing proficiency in diagnosing oral diseases, the syllabus serves as a comprehensive guide, ensuring that candidates are well-prepared to meet the demands of the ADC Exam.

About the ADC written examination

The ADC written examination is an essential step in the ADC assessment process following the initial assessment. To be eligible for the written exam, candidates must have a complete and valid initial assessment.

The written examination takes two consecutive days and is held twice a year, usually in March and September. 

It consists of multiple-choice questions presented in a scenario-based format. You will be given a scenario related to dental practice in Australia, and you will need to answer several multiple-choice questions based on the information provided in the scenario.

The purpose of the assessment format is to evaluate your knowledge of the science and practice of dentistry, as well as your clinical judgment and reasoning skills relevant to dental practice in Australia. It provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of how to apply dentistry in an Australian context.

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Written Exam Syllabus

The ADC assessment process aims to maintain a consistent standard that aligns with Australian-qualified dental practitioners. 

To achieve this, the content of the written examination is developed based on the expected competencies of a dental practitioner who has recently graduated from an ADC-accredited dental program in Australia. 

The examination assesses candidate's knowledge and skills against these competencies to ensure they meet the expected standards of dental practice in the country.

ADC written examination blueprint 

DisciplinesTarget % of questions
Dental emergencies




General medicine (inc. medical emergencies and special needs dentistry)


Infection prevention and control 


Oral medicine and pathology


Oral surgery


Paediatric dentistry and orthodontics


Pain and behaviour management




Preventive dentistry




Removable prosthodontics 


Restorative dentistry (inc. fixed prosthodontics)


Subdisciplines (assessed across multiple disciplines)Target % of questions




About the Practical exam

Once you have completed and passed the written examination, you become eligible to apply for a place in the practical assessment, provided that you adhere to any relevant application deadlines.

Typically, a pass in the written examination remains valid for three years starting from the date you were notified of your examination result. It's important to note that this timeframe allows you a sufficient window to proceed with the practical examination while your written examination results are still valid.

Practical examination Syllabus

The practical examination primarily assesses the competencies outlined in Patient Care, specifically in clinical information gathering, diagnosis, management planning and clinical treatment and evaluation.

To ensure consistency and clarity, the examination is carefully aligned with these competencies, creating a blueprint that forms the foundation of the practical examination. This blueprint serves as a structured framework that guides the content and structure of the practical examination, ensuring that all relevant aspects of patient care are appropriately evaluated.

Practical examinations are held over two consecutive days and consist of:

  • a technical skills day
  • a clinical skills day

A technical skills day covers the provision of evidence-based patient-centred care and may include tooth preparation and /or restoration related to:

  • conservation
  • endodontics
  • fixed prosthodontics

A clinical skills day covers the demonstration and assessment of the professional

Competencies like:

  • clinical information gathering
  • diagnosis and management planning
  • clinical treatment and evaluation

ADC Practical examination blueprint

DomainsExamination DayMethod of Assessment
Clinical information gatheringClinical skills dayOSCE (objective structured clinical examination)
Diagnosis and management planningClinical skills dayOSCE (objective structured clinical examination)
Clinical treatment and evaluationTechnical skills dayOSCE (objective structured clinical examination) and Technical Task


Through the ADC Exam syllabus, candidates gain clarity on the content and structure of the exam, allowing them to prepare strategically and confidently. 

By recognising the specific areas of focus and the depth of knowledge required, candidates can tailor their study plan, ensuring thorough preparation and a better chance of success in the exam.

Embarking through the ADC Exam syllabus is a significant step towards achieving dental registration and licensure in Australia. With the proper preparation and guidance, the journey can be smooth sailing. 

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Q. What is the ADC exam for?

Ans: The ADC exam, or the Australian Dental Council Exam, is a licensure examination for overseas-trained dentists seeking to practise dentistry in Australia.

Q. Can a foreign dentist work in Australia?

Ans: Yes, foreign dentists can work in Australia, but they need to complete the ADC examination, which assesses the competence of overseas-trained dentists. Upon passing the exam and fulfilling other necessary criteria, foreign dentists can apply for registration with the Dental Board of Australia, which allows them to practice dentistry there.

Q. Is the ADC exam difficult?

Ans: The difficulty of the ADC (Australian Dental Council) exam can vary for individuals based on their preparation, background, and familiarity with the exam format. It is considered a challenging exam as it assesses the competency of overseas-trained dentists who wish to practice in Australia.

Dr. Akram Ahmad
Dr. Akram Ahmad
about the author

Dr. Akram Ahmad is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer with over 10 years of teaching and research experience across various subjects of medicine in India, Malaysia and Australia. He is an educationist and a medpreneur with extensive knowledge of the global healthcare diaspora. Through his articles, videos and engaging sessions, he always aims to impart unexplored knowledge about the healthcare world to interested students and professionals.