1. Do I have to take the Fellowship Exam?
Yes, as one of the requirements for the Fellowship Award, members must pass the Fellowship Exam in addition to maintaining three years continuous membership, completing the required 500 hours of approved CE, and attending the AGD Convocation ceremony.
2. Who is eligible to sit for the Fellowship Exam?
Active AGD members who have attained a dental license that has not been suspended or revoked within the past five years and is not currently under probation, suspension or revocation.
3. Do I have to complete my continuing education requirement before I can sit for the Fellowship Exam?
No, a dentist can register to sit for the Fellowship Exam as soon as seven days after becoming an AGD active member.
4. What is the average study preparation time for the Fellowship Examination?
The AGD conducts an annual survey of its examinees to find out how long they prepared for the exam and by what means. It has been determined that the average preparation time for the Fellowship Exam is approximately 40 hours based on the survey results.
5. Is there a best way to prepare for the Fellowship Exam?
Study preparation for an examination is a matter of personal choice as each person prepares differently. That being said, members have the option of: 1) attending a national or local review course; 2) utilizing such study aids as the annual study guide, the study guide supplement, Dental Decks® and/or reference materials; 3) studying with colleagues; and 4) using self-instruction lessons to help prepare. Members should be comfortable with their study choices in order to attain the greatest advantage from the preparation experience.
6. Do I have to attend the review course in order to take the Fellowship Exam?
No, the Fellowship Review Course is offered as an optional course a member can take as a review of general dentistry that may assist in the preparation for the Fellowship Exam. Attendance at the course does not guarantee a member will successfully pass the exam.
7. Do I have to purchase the study guide to take the Fellowship Exam?
No, the study guide is created annually to be a handbook on how to prepare for the examination. It contains the types of question formats and subject matter similar to the exam. It is expected that candidates will draw on their own practical experiences as they take the Fellowship Examination.
8. Are there any examination test questions within the study materials?
No, there are no live test items within any of the study materials nor is there any live test items released during the Fellowship Review Course. Releasing live test items jeopardizes the security of the testing program and therefore puts the program at risk of being compromised.
9. How can I register for the Fellowship Exam?
Eligible members must apply for the examination by submitting a complete exam application by either by mail, fax or scan/email. Exam fees must be submitted by either mailing a check or processing the payment online through PayPal. If the member plans to sit for the exam at the annual AGD Scientific Session, the member must complete the online meeting registration form, register for the exam, and submit the payment online. Members will not be eligible to sit for the exam due to an incomplete exam application or registration.
10. What do I need to bring with me to the examination?
Members will need to bring a government-issued picture ID to the exam. Acceptable forms of identification are Drivers’ License, State ID, Military ID, and Passport. Please note that the name on the ID must match the name given to the AGD. Members will need to provide documentation for any legal name changes completed after the exam application was submitted and before the testing date. Failure to provide documentation of a name change will result in the cancellation of examination appointment.
No other items are needed for the exam. The AGD will provide pencils and erasers for the paper and pencil exam. In addition, time will be called out during the exam to notify you of the remaining testing time. The computerized exam will have a timer countdown on the screen.
11. What should not be brought to the examination?
Members should not bring any type of electronic devices including, but not limited to, cell phones, laptops, PDAs, pagers, tablets, I-watches, Fitbit or fitness tracking device. Electronic devices brought to the exam will need to be checked in with staff, put into a locker, or left with another person not sitting for the exam. Examination results will be deemed null and void if an examinee is found in possession of an electronic device in the testing room.
12. What is the format of the Fellowship Exam?
The Fellowship Exam consists of approximately 252 questions on the exam from 17 different disciplines in dentistry. Questions on the examination consist of multiple choice and complex True/False. Members are given four hours in which to complete the exam.
13. Do I need to sign or agree to the Honor Code at the beginning of the exam?
Yes, the honor code is part of the testing process. The honor code holds the test taker accountable to maintain the integrity of the examination process, to deter any collaboration of dishonest behavior and inform them of the penalties for violating any and all parts of the honor code. It should be noted that members who do not sign the honor code will not have their examination scored by the Examination Council.
14. If I need a break during the exam, am I allowed to take one?
Yes, if you need a washroom break during the exam, you are allowed to leave the room. Please note that it is to your advantage to return to the testing room as quickly as possible as you will not receive additional time for the time you spent outside the testing room.
15. Will I be penalized for not answering a question or for guessing?
The AGD does not penalize for guessing on the exam so it is to your advantage to answer all of the questions before time is called. Leaving a question blank will result in an incorrect answer.
16. Is there more than one correct answer per test question?
No, there is only one correct answer per each exam question. Choose the best possible answer from the options provided. Do not read too much into the possible answers or add/delete information to the answer choices.
17. How many answer choices are there for each question?
The AGD uses a standard of four (4) possible answer choices per question with only one of the four deemed the correct answer.
18. What should I do if I have a question or comment about a test item?
Members are encouraged to submit questions or comments with regards to test questions. For the paper and pencil exam, members should write on the inside cover of the testing booklet and include the question number and their question/comment. All questions and comments are reviewed by the Examination Development Committee during the scoring of the exam. Members taking the computerized version of the exam can add notes during the evaluation.
19. What should I do before finishing my exam?
It is encouraged that all test takers spend the last few minutes of the exam to review their exam to make sure all of the questions have been answered and that all pertinent information has been filled in on the answer sheet for the paper and pencil exam.
20. How is the Fellowship Exam scored?
The Fellowship Examination is norm referenced. Scores are based on the candidate’s total number of correct answers. The annually established minimum pass score indicates a level of dental knowledge appropriate for attainment of the Fellowship Award. Each year’s exam is statistically equated to previous year’s exam, assuring the pass level is consistent so that candidates do not have to compete against each other.
The first administration of the annual Fellowship Exam takes place at the scientific session. Once this has occurred, the answer sheets are sent to the AGD contracted testing company for statistical analysis and scoring. The preliminary scoring is sent back to the Exam Development Committee for their review. It is at this point; all statistical problematic questions are reviewed and it is determined whether these questions are to remain on the exam or will be removed from scoring. Final scoring edits are sent back to the testing company and the answer sheets are re-scored based on the scoring edits. Final statistical analyses are completed and score reports are created for each member that sat for the exam. This information is sent back to the AGD for distribution to the examinees.
21. How long does it take to receive my exam results?
For the paper and pencil examination that is administered at the AGD Scientific Session, the results take approximately 10 weeks. For the paper and pencil examination that is administered at the national fall review course or a constituent review course throughout the year, results take approximately 4-5 weeks. All examination test results are sent out by mail only. Examination results cannot be sent out by fax or email and exam results will not be released over the phone.
For the computerized exam, results will be available approximately 5 minutes after the conclusion of the exam. Members should not leave the testing center without a copy of their score report in hand.
22. I lost my exam results; can I get another copy?
Yes, members can request a copy of their examination score results by submitting a written request. Duplicate test results will be sent out by mail only to the member who requested the results. The AGD will not forward testing results to other any other person or organization.
23. Can I cancel my examination and is there a cancellation fee?
Yes, an examination can be cancelled and a cancellation fee may be assessed.
The paper and pencil version of the exam is fully refundable if it is cancelled five (5) days prior to the testing date. A $50 processing fee is assessed for cancellations less than five (5) days prior to the testing date.
The computerized exam is administered by a third-party testing company who will charge a $25 cancellation fee five (5) days prior to the testing date and/or a $25 rescheduling fee each time an exam appointment is rescheduled. This is the vendor’s policy; the AGD has no jurisdiction over this policy and does not receive any compensation as a result of this policy. Please note that canceling an examination appointment less than five days before the scheduled date will result in forfeiture of the entire exam fee.
It should be noted that the eligibility period for a member applying for the exam is 24-months. If the 24-month period expires and the member has not taken the Fellowship Exam, the entire exam fee is forfeited. The member will need to reapply and submit a new payment to schedule an examination.
24. If I fail to show for an examination, can I roll my funds over to another testing date?
Failure to appear for the paper and pencil examination without prior written notification to the AGD will result in the forfeiture of the entire examination fee. Exam funds can be rolled over to another testing date if the member has sent written notification to the AGD prior to the testing date requesting the rollover of the fee.
Failure to appear for a computerized exam appointment will result in the forfeiture of the entire exam fee. A member must reschedule up to five (5) days prior to the testing date and pay a rescheduling fee of $25 in order to roll the funds to another testing date.
25. If I fail my exam, can I retake the same exam?
No, members are only allowed to sit once for edition of the examination.
26. What do I need to do to sit for the examination again?
If a member was unsuccessful in their attempt to pass the exam, the member will need to resubmit a new exam application and fee to the AGD before they will be registered for a new testing date.
27. What is the AGD’s policy on cheating?
The AGD defines cheating as an irregularity that can take the forms of:1) a/an disturbance/distraction inside or outside the testing area; 2) problem with the testing materials; 3) act of dishonest behavior occurring during the examination 4) or act of dishonest behavior occurring after the examination. All incidents of irregularities are documented by the testing proctor and submitted to the Examination Council for their review. Instances of irregular behaviors may result in testing materials being confiscated at the time of the exam and/or the disqualification of test results. Those incidents requiring a decision as to the proper course of action will be determined by the Examination Council. All decisions by the Examination Council will be final and written notification will be sent to the offending party.
28. How is my exam application fee used within the AGD?
Examination fees are used for a variety of entities including, but not limited to, the:
• funding of the examination committee meetings for the annual development of the exam
• scoring and statistical analysis of the exam
• publication of the examination test booklet
• annual licensing of the testing software
• development and administration of the computerized version of the exam
• annual development of the study materials
• reference material for the development of new test and study materials questions.
29. If I want to contest my test results, who do I contact?
Though there is no formal appeal process for the Fellowship Exam, a member may submit a written request to the Examination Council asking for their consideration to review the matter. The member must provide an explanation regarding why they wish to contest their results. The Examination Council will review each submission with the member’s explanation and the examination/answers in question. All decisions by the Examination Council will be final and written notification will be sent to the member who submitted the request.
30. How do I submit questions, comments, written requests, etc., to the Examination Council?
All submissions should be sent to the Manager of Examinations by email to Education@agd.org or mailed to: Academy of General Dentistry, 560 W. Lake St, Sixth floor, Chicago, IL 60661 – C/O Manager of Examinations.