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A Guide to Canadian MCCQE Part I Exam

ACAlpina ChariFeb 7, 2024

What is the MCCQE Part I Exam?

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I is a standardized test conducted to assess the medical knowledge and clinical decision-making capabilities of medical students who will be completing their medical degree in Canada. The test is administered at the end of medical school as a national standard across Canada. The graduates must pass the MCCQE Part I to fulfill the eligibility requirements of the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). LMCC is granted by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and is a mandatory requirement of Canadian medical regulatory authorities for a medical license within their province or territory. 

MCCQE Part I is a computer-based test administered in one day in more than 80 countries worldwide. Applicants can take the exam at a Prometric test center nearby or via remote proctoring on a first come first served basis. The exam is conducted four times a year in two sessions: morning and afternoon sessions. Candidates have to answer 210 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in the morning session followed by three and a half hours of clinical decision-making (CDM) component which consists of 38 cases with short-answer write-in questions. 

Overview 

Conducting Body  MCC
Total Duration  9 hours 
Number of Sections  2 (MCQs and CDM)
Duration of MCQ Section  4 hours 
Duration of CDM Section  35 hours 
Application Portal  physiciansapply.ca account
MCCQE Part I application fee CD $1,420 

MCCQE Part I Objectives 

The MCCQE Part I is based on the MCC Examination Objectives that describe the attributes expected of medical graduates entering residency in Canada. These objectives fall under the physician role laid out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ CanMEDS (Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists) framework. This framework is used extensively to develop questions for the MCCQE Part I and the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination.

The objectives are categorized into two parts:

  1. Dimensions of care (covers the spectrum of medical care including health promotion and illness prevention, acute care, chronic care, and psychosocial aspects)
  2. Physician activities (includes physician’s scope of practice and behaviors like assessment, management, communication, and professional behavior)

Note: The NAC exam is a national, standardized exam to enter the Canadian residency program. MCC has canceled MCCQE Part II  from June 2021 and has replaced it with the NAC exam. 

MCCQE Part I Format and Duration

The entire duration of the MCCQE Part I is nine-hour long and includes the following;

  • Check-in, including sign-in, security check (if the exam is taken at a Prometric test center), or a room check (for a remotely proctored exam)
  • A tutorial and a video on how to use the exam application to answer questions and test security
  • Four hours for the MCQ session in the morning 
  • 45-minute lunch break (optional)
  • Three and a half hours in the afternoon to complete the CDM component 
  • An optional survey 

MCQ section: four hours 

You have four hours to finish the 210 MCQs in the first segment. To finish all the questions, you need to allow an average of one minute and eight seconds for each question. You have the option to flag and revisit any question. You cannot come back to this section after leaving the MCQ section. Only questions that are completed will be deemed right.

CDM section: three and a half hours 

You will receive three and a half hours to complete the CDM section which includes 65 to 75 CDM questions. There will be 38 cases that you will be provided with about these topics. There will be one to four questions in each situation. Each case should take five minutes and thirty seconds on average. Certain cases may take longer or less time than average. There is no time restriction for each case. During the CDM portion of the test, you can mark questions inside a case and come back to them later. You cannot access this section again after leaving the CDM section. Questions that are not completed will be deemed wrong.

Every right response receives one point for MCQs and CDM questions, whereas every wrong response receives zero points (raw scores). Certain CDM questions allow candidates to obtain more than one point, such as when the answer contains many accurate items.

The exam application will keep track of the time remaining. Once the exam is underway, there is no way to stop the exam application clock. The applicant will be alerted when thirty, fifteen, and five minutes are remaining in each exam segment. The exam is over once they submit the exam or run out of time, whichever comes first. 

Eligibility for MCCQE Part I 

To be eligible for the MCCQE Part I exam, the applicant must be a graduate of, or a student who is expected to complete all requirements to graduate from

  • A medical school accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS)
  • A United States School of Osteopathic Medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association
  • A medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and identified by a Canada Sponsor Note indicating it is an acceptable medical school in Canada

Only four attempts will be allowed per candidate.  You will need to wait a year from the time you receive the results of your third attempt to reapply for the exam for the fourth or last attempt. If you are a student you can apply up to 15 months before your expected date of graduation. Your eligibility window will start 12 months before the anticipated graduation date if your application is approved. Only during this time can you make an appointment for the exam. 

How to Apply for the MCCQE Part I?

If your eligibility is fulfilled, you can apply for the MCCQE Part I exam at any time by making an account at physiciansapply.ca account. The next step is to log in to your account, fill in the information, and pay the application fee. The following fees are required to be paid by the candidate through either Visa, MasterCard and prepaid or secured credit cards.

Fee type  Amount in Canadian dollars (non-refundable)
One-time setup fee $320
Source verification request $220
File transfer service $62 (per document transfer)
MCCQE Part I application $1,420 

Any and all MCC fees are liable to change at any time. The fee amount is updated on an annual basis. If you qualify for a refund, the money will be credited to the credit card you used to make the purchase or to your physiciansapply.ca account. Any money in your account that is not utilized will be lost.

The next step is to upload relevant documents like 

  • A Certified Identity Confirmation form
  • Identity document
  • a student attestation form
  • A copy of your medical degree (if you are an international medical graduate)

Once the documents are uploaded, you will receive a confirmation. It may take 4 weeks for your documents and application to be processed. Once it is accepted and processed, you will receive a message in your account to confirm that you can schedule your exam appointment with Prometric or through remote proctoring. 

Scheduling 

Applicants can schedule the exam only if their application has been accepted. Upon the acceptance of the application, they will have a 12-month eligibility window to schedule and write the MCCQE Part I at an available Prometric test center or through remote proctoring. The exam appointments are based on a first-come, first-served basis and are offered multiple times a year. Scheduling sessions open 5 months prior to the start date of a session. 

If you are taking your exam at a Prometric center, you will receive a 16-digit confirmation number as soon as you book your exam appointment. You will need this number to check the specifics of your appointment on the Prometric website, reschedule, or cancel it. They will also send you reminders for your appointment roughly seven days before the appointed time.

If you think you are not ready to write the MCCQE Part I within your eligibility window, you can extend your eligibility window once by an additional 12 months. However, this must be done within 60 days of the expiration date of your eligibility window. You can even cancel your appointment if you do want to answer the exam. 

You can cancel or reschedule your appointment by contacting Prometric, either online or by telephone. Depending on whether you cancel or reschedule, your refund amount will differ. 

Results and Scoring 

The MCCQE Part I results are given out by MCC eight weeks after the exam. The MCC follows a rigorous scoring system and a robust quality assurance process to assess a candidate’s performance. Multiple levels of verifications are put in place before the release of the final results. Applicants will receive an email and a message in their physiciansapply.ca account stating that they can check the final result (for example, pass, or fail). After the email or message has been received, the applicant will receive the Statement of Results (SOR) that will contain the final result and total MCCQE Part I score as well as the passing score for the examination. The Supplemental Information Report (SIR) will also be included which provides additional feedback on the exam performance, including your sub scores in comparison to other candidates. Decisions made by the MCC in this regard are final and cannot be challenged.

The exam’s overall score is determined by adding the 38 CDM cases and 210 MCQs. It is reported on a scale from 100 to 400 with a pass score of 226. A score less than the pass score is considered a fail and a score greater than the pass score is a pass. The Exam Oversight Committee (EOC), which is made up of medical professionals and educators from around the nation, is in charge of determining the scores. Passing indicates that the applicant satisfies the requirements for a medical license in Canada, including demonstrating the requisite knowledge, abilities, and attitudes to engage in supervised clinical practice.

Conclusion 

The MCCQE Part I serves as a benchmark for assessing the readiness of medical graduates to embark on their clinical careers in Canada. It not only evaluates candidates’ theoretical knowledge but also their ability to apply this knowledge in practical clinical scenarios, thus preparing them for the complexities and challenges they will encounter in real-world healthcare settings. It signifies a significant achievement for medical graduates, demonstrating their readiness to progress to the next stage of their medical training and practice. Moreover, The MCCQE Part I serves as a testament to their dedication, hard work, and commitment to upholding the highest standards of medical professionalism and patient care in Canada. The physician who passes MCCQE Part I and meets the other criteria laid down by MCC can be enrolled in the Canadian Medical Register as an LMCC and receive a Certificate of Registration to start practicing medicine in the country. If you are interested in learning more about the MCCQE Part I exam then you can get in touch with Gyanberry’s admissions experts. You can contact them by booking a free video appointment at your convenience!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I standardized test to apply for a medical license in Canada. 

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) is responsible for conducting the MCCQE Part I exam for medical students in the country.

The MCCQE Part I exam consists of two components: 210 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and three and a half hours of clinical decision-making (CDM) component which consists of 38 cases.

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