The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE Part I) is a one-day, computer-based test that assesses the competence of candidates who have obtained their medical degree, for entry into supervised clinical practice in postgraduate training programs. The MCCQE Part I assesses knowledge, clinical skills, and attitudes as outlined by the Medical Council of Canada’s Objectives.
The candidate is allowed up to 3 ½ hours in the morning session to complete 196multiple-choice questions. The candidate is allowed 4 hours in the afternoon session for the clinical decision making component, which consists of short-menu and short-answer write-in questions.
Examination at a glance
The centres are subject to change.
Clarification regarding examination dates, centres and language:
Proposed future MCCQE Part I dates
To be eligible for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I, you must be:
* Students must be fully expected to complete all requirements to graduate on or before November 30 of that calendar year for eligibility to the spring MCCQE Part I session, and on or before March 30 of the following calendar year for eligibility to the fall MCCQE Part I session. More information on applying for the MCCQE Part I as a student.
If you meet the above eligibility criteria, click here for your Application Steps.
Online application after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time ET on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 and up to 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Fee: C$1,350 (includes a 50% late fee)
Candidates applying online after Tuesday, July 10, 2012 must ensure that they respect the 10 business day deadline for submitting the required paper documentation to the MCC.
Note: Depending on the date of receipt of the paper application, an online application submitted after Tuesday, July 10, 2012 may or may not be processed in time to be included in the main centre assignment. In this case, the candidate would be assigned a space at one of the remaining available centres.
Online application for the fall 2012 MCCQE Part I will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Applications for the fall 2012 session will no longer be accepted after that date.
Selecting a centre
Confirmation of centre assignment
Scheduling the examination date online
Request for scheduling
Deadlines, fees, procedure for centre change requests
Deadlines, fees, procedure for date change requests
If you withdraw your application for the MCCQE Part I, you will be provided a partial refund* of the examination fee and any late fee paid,only if a written notification of withdrawal is received by the MCC no later than Monday, August 13, 2012 for the fall 2012 session.
* A withdrawal administration fee of C$217 is withheld. Any other administration fees paid in the course of the examination application are non-refundable.
Transfers to a later session are not permitted. You must withdraw and re-apply when you wish to take the examination.
For the Withdrawal Request form (spring 2012), click here.
If you withdraw after the deadline for withdrawal or you are absent on the day of examination, you will not be entitled to a refund of the examination fee paid, nor any portion thereof. Very exceptionally, a partial refund* of the examination fee and any late fee paid may be authorized when:
In addition to the withdrawal request form (see links above for the appropriate session), you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s report or, in the case of a death in the immediate family, a copy of a death notice) within two (2) weeks following the scheduled examination date. Otherwise, all fees paid will be forfeited.
* A withdrawal administration fee of C$217 is withheld. Any other administration fees paid in the course of the examination application are non-refundable.
Note: If a partial refund is authorized and your Entrance Card has already been issued, the Entrance Card must be returned to the MCC before a refund can be processed; otherwise, the refund will be delayed until after the examination session.
Self Administered Qualifying Examination Part I
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) offers the Self Administered Qualifying Examination Part I (SAE - QEI), an online, 96 multiple-choice question practiceexamination intended for individuals wishing to test their level of preparedness for the MCCQE Part I. Multiple forms are available at any given time. The Self Administered Qualifying Examination Part I does not cover all material in the MCCQE Part I and is not meant to take the place of the MCCQE Part I, however it does provide a sample of the type and style of questions that may be found in the MCCQE Part I and can serve as a study aid. Following completion, feedback is immediately e-mailed to the participants regarding the number of correctly answered questions and a comparison of their performance to those of other MCCQE Part I participants.
Please note that unlike the MCCQE Part I examination, the SAE - QEI does not contain a clinical decision making component. While there are plans to develop a future version of the SAE - QEI that will contain clinical decision making items, at present the SAE - QEI can only be used to prepare for the multiple-choice component of the MCCQE Part I.
The MCC is pleased to offer demonstration versions of the multiple-choice question (MCQ) component and the clinical decision-making (CDM) component of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE Part I). You must be using Internet Explorer (version 6 or higher) or Firefox (version 3 or higher).
The MCCQE Part I Online Demo provides a demonstration of how our computer-based examination operates. You will be able to familiarize yourself with the computer-testing environment and learn about each feature before using them in the actual examination. The MCCQE Part I Online Demo includes 28 questions in the MCQ section and six cases in the CDM. Please note that the correct answers are provided and that your answers to these questions will not be scored. The last screen of the demo shows the Item Reviewing feature that replicates what you will see on the actual examination.
The MCC has created demonstration videos for both the MCQ component and the CDM component. They are offered in both French and English. Candidates are stronglyencouraged to view these two videos prior to the examination to become familiar with the examination interface and functionality. Please be advised that each instructional video clip is roughly 20 minutes long for a total of approximately 40 minutes of viewing time. There will be no time available to view these videos on examination day.
Candidates are encouraged to review how the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I is scored. Please review the Scoring section.
Objectives for the Qualifying Examination
Using the Objectives for the Qualifying Examination as a study guide may be helpful for examinees taking the Qualifying Examination Part I. Note that the Objectives are organized in terms of clinical presentations. Under each clinical presentation is a set of learning objectives that are exactly what you, as an examinee, have to know for any of the Medical Council of Canada examinations.
When studying for an examination, systematically go through each clinical presentation and carefully read the related objectives. If you feel that your knowledge or skills related to a given objective is weak, then you know that this objective needs further study and will require you to consult a medical reference/textbook. The MCC test committee members use the clinical presentations and learning objectives listed in this resource when creating test questions. By reading and familiarizing yourself with the Objectives, you will be able to deepen your knowledge of the information that is required for all of the MCC examinations.
The Medical Council of Canada has compiled a list of reference books that may be helpful to you in your studies.
Candidates are encouraged to review the instructions for the examination:
Frequently asked questions
Candidates are encouraged to read the frequently asked questions about the
How are scores calculated for the multiple choice-question component?
How are scores calculated for the clinical decision-making component?
How are overall scores calculated for the MCCQE Part I?
How do I interpret my MCCQE Part I total score?
How is a pass/fail decision made?
What will appear on the Statement of Results?
What will appear in candidates’ MCC-Online accounts?
What is the Family Medicine sub-score?
The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE Part I) is scored independently of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II (MCCQE Part II); the scores are not combined for the purpose of awarding the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). The candidate must pass both the MCCQE Part I and Part II.
MCC examination scores are reported in a standard score format, which are distributions typically scaled to have a predetermined mean and/or standard deviation. A candidate's pass/fail standing is based on where his or her standard score falls in relation to the pass/fail mark established for the examination. A candidate's performance is judged in relation to the pass score for the examination and not judged on how well other individuals have performed on the examination. Candidates can, however, compare their performance to other candidates' because standard scores also provide information on where a candidate stands in relation to other candidates.
The MCCQE Part I results are reported on a standard score scale that ranges from 50 to 950. The pass mark is set at 390. The mean score may vary from one administration to another and is reported in the candidates' Statement of Results. The standard deviation is set at 100 for all administrations.
Scores are calculated using a weighting system. More difficult questions contribute slightly more in the calculation of scores and easier questions contribute slightly less.
There is a maximum of one point per question. Some questions, such as a question whose answer includes four correct elements, allow you to receive partial marks, in this case 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 or 1.
After scoring each question, the MCC scores each case, which may have between one and five questions. A case score is calculated using the average of all questions included in the case. Scores are also calculated for groups of cases covering the different disciplines (Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Psychiatry as well as Population Health, Ethical, Legal and Organizational Aspects of Medicine).
The total score is calculated by combining the multiple-choice question and clinical decision-making component scores. However, the multiple-choice question component counts for 75 per cent of the score, while clinical decision making counts for 25 per cent of the score.
To compare your score to other candidates’ scores, please refer to the graphical representation of scores below. This figure also shows the relationship between MCCQE Part I standard scores and other commonly used scores such as percentiles and Z scores.
(Adapted from F.G. Brown. Principles of Educational and Psychological Testing. Hinsdale, Illinois: The Dryden Press Inc., 1970)
A score of 500 on the MCCQE Part I is close to the 50th percentile meaning that half of the people who attempted the MCCQE Part I scored higher and half scored lower. A score of 400, which is one standard deviation below the mean, falls at the 15.9th percentile; meaning that 15.9 per cent of the candidates who took the MCCQE Part I scored below that mark and 84.1 per cent of candidates scored above it. Similarly, a score of 600, which is one standard deviation above the mean, falls at the 84.1th percentile; meaning that 84.1 per cent of candidates who took the MCCQE Part I scored below that mark and 15.9 per cent of candidates scored above it.
A candidate’s standing (i.e. whether someone passes or fails the examination) is decided using the total examination score. Therefore, strong performances in some disciplines may compensate for weaknesses in others.
The Statement of Results includes the candidate’s examination standing and total score as well as the score that was required to pass the examination. Prior to 2010, additional information/feedback may have appeared on the Statement of Results. Starting in 2010, this additional information has been included in the supplemental feedback report that is made available through candidates’ online accounts.
Starting with the 2010 examinations, the MCC is providing a copy of the Statement of Results as well as a supplemental feedback report through candidates’ MCC-Online accounts. The MCC has prepared a help file to assist candidates in interpreting their MCCQE Part I online supplemental feedback report.
Candidates now receive Family Medicine sub-score graphs in their supplemental feedback report. These graphs are created from the responses to questions identified as assessing core family medicine knowledge and skills. This means that some questions used to generate a sub-score in Psychiatry, for example, could also contribute in the generation of a sub-score in Family Medicine. The MCCQE Part I has not incorporated new content in order to generate the Family Medicine sub-score; rather, existing questions from the current question bank were identified as being relevant to the Family Medicine discipline.How results are communicated
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) sends candidates a Statement of Results by mail. The Statement of Results includes the candidate’s examination standing and total score as well as the score that was required to pass the examination. A copy of the Statement of Results letter is made available through the candidate’s MCC-Online account. Additionally, candidates can obtain supplemental feedback through their online accounts. The MCC provides examples of the Statement of Results and the online supplemental feedback report for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE Part I). The MCC has also prepared a help file to assist candidates in interpreting their MCCQE Part I online supplemental feedback report.
Examination results are confirmed by the MCC Central Examination Committee, which meets in June for the spring administration and in December for the fall administration. Candidates will be notified of their results by mail within 15 business days of these meetings. Candidates will also be able to check their pass/fail standing through their MCC-Online account. Shortly after the pass/fail standing is released, candidates will also be able to access additional information through their MCC-Online accounts including a copy of their Statement of Results and their supplemental feedback report.
To prevent errors or fraud and for reasons of confidentiality, results cannot be given over the phone, by fax or by email.
Candidates should ensure that the mailing address the MCC has on file is up to date so that the Statement of Results will be sent to the correct address. The MCC must receive an address change at least two weeks before the mailing of result packages. The exact deadline for submitting address changes will be specified in the candidate’s Entrance Card package for the examination. If a candidate does not submit a change in address, he or she will be required to wait for the original result package to be returned to the MCC so that it can be redirected to the new address. To make an address change, please visitUpdating your personal or contact information.
Candidates applying to an organization that requires submission of certified copies of the online supplemental feedback report can request that the MCC send certified copies. There is an administrative fee for this service.
The MCC does not limit the number of times a candidate may attempt the MCCQE Part I. However, candidates with a pass standing on the MCCQE Part I cannot retake the examination.
Only candidates who have failed the MCCQE Part I can request a rescoring of their examination; candidates with a pass standing are not eligible for the rescoring service. Rescore requests must be submitted by Sept. 1 for the spring exam, or by March 1 for the fall exam. Requests will be accepted upon receipt of a written request and a credit card payment of the applicable fee. Be advised, however, that all standings are verified at least three times before being sent to the candidates. Borderline results (i.e., those within a close range of the passing score) undergo increased review.
Candidates can choose between two rescoring options:
Given the additional scrutiny that the MCC gives to borderline results, it is unlikely that rescoring the examination will produce a change in result. Three potential outcomes can occur as a result of the rescoring of the examination: no change in score, change in score but no change in the fail standing, or change in score and change in fail to pass standing. If the rescoring produces a change in score or a change in score and standing, the candidate will be required to return the original Statement of Results to the MCC and a new one will be issued to the candidate.
Any MCCQE Part I candidate who has been denied standing, including any denial of entry to future examinations, or who considers that the results of an examination have been prejudiced by the conduct of the examination may appeal to the Appeals Committee. Candidates cannot seek to appeal the content of the examination.
Any candidate wishing to launch an appeal must notify the Executive Director in writing within 45 days of the decision of the Central Examination Committee. For more information on the appeal process for the MCCQE Part I, please review the MCC bylaws.