Competence in undergraduate oral surgery involves assessment of the students' knowledge, practical skill and attitude. The assessment of practical skills can be achieved using a formative assessment method such as the structured clinical operative test (SCOT) which uses a checklist for the assessment of a clinical task. The aim of this study was primarily to determine whether SCOTs could be integrated into the oral surgery undergraduate course, and secondarily to collect feedback from both the students and the staff on this assessment. A validated checklist was used by trained examiners to assess the performance of 49 students in their second clinical year undertaking simple exodontia. Feedback was collected from the students by questionnaire and from the staff by interview. The SCOT was well received by both students and staff. The main problem highlighted by the students was the perceived inter-examiner variability and by the staff, the disruptive effect on the clinics. The checklist must be objective enough to prevent misinterpretation. Despite these limitations, the SCOT provides a more objective assessment and serves to highlight weaker students, allowing them to be targeted for closer supervision and instruction as well as providing the students with a tool to measure their progress in oral surgery. The use of peer assessment by students may alleviate the burden on the staff.