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MCCQE 1

Qualifying Examination Part I

Candidates attempting the MCC Qualifying Examination Part I

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

DatesFeeApplication deadlinesExamination centres
Fall 2012C$900Main application deadline:  
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
(up to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time)

Late applications
Atla. – Calgary, Edmonton
B.C. – Prince George, Vancouver, Victoria
Man. – Winnipeg
N.B. - Moncton
N.L. – St. John’s
N.S. - Halifax
Ont. – Hamilton, Kingston, Mississauga, Ottawa, Toronto
Que. – Montréal, Québec
Sask. – Saskatoon
Week 1:  
Monday, October 29 to 
Friday, November 2 

Week 2:
Monday, November 5 to
Friday, November 9

The centres are subject to change.

Clarification regarding examination dates, centres and language:

  • All centres for the fall 2012 session will run a minimum of one day.

  • The number of days a particular centre runs depends on the maximum daily space capacity and the demand for that centre.

  • The number of days and specific dates a centre runs vary from centre to centre.

  • The specific days a centre runs depend on a number of factors including availability of their computer labs, and may not necessarily be consecutive days.

  • It is anticipated that the majority of the centres will mostly run on days in weeks 1 and/or 2; however, this is based on a number of factors including demand and space availability.

  • The examination may be taken in either English or French at any centre. However, staff and technical support may be limited to a specific language. Centres in Quebec will offer support primarily in French, whereas centres in the rest of the country offer support primarily in English. The exceptions are the Ottawa and Montreal centres, which offer support in both official languages.

Proposed future MCCQE Part I dates

SessionProposed dates (to be confirmed)
Spring 2013April 22 to May 10, 2013
Fall 2013Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, 2013

Apply

To be eligible for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I, you must be:

  • graduate or student* from a Canadian medical school that is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). 
    OR
  • graduate or student* from a U.S. medical school that is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
    OR
  • an international medical graduate or student* from an approved medical school, or a graduate or student* from a U.S. school of osteopathic medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association,and who holds a valid pass standing on the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE). An international medical graduate or a U.S. osteopath who has been granted an exemption from the MCCEE based on Canadian or American board specialty certification is also eligible for the MCCQE Part I.

    * 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 are a graduate, your medical degree credentials must be in the process of being source verified through the MCC/PCRC.

    If you meet the above eligibility criteria, click here for your Application Steps.

    Late applications for the fall 2012 Qualifying Examination Part I

    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.

    Scheduling

    Selecting a centre

    • During the online application process, you must select up to three examination centres, in order of preference.
    • The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) makes every effort to provide you with a space at one of your requested centres; however, it cannot guarantee you assignment to one of these centres.

    Confirmation of centre assignment

    • Once MCC staff has assigned centres for all accepted candidates, these candidates will be sent a communication to confirm availability of centre assignment information online and the expected mailing date of Entrance Card packages.
    • A notice will also be posted on the MCC website.
    • Entrance Card packages are mailed to accepted candidates approximately seven (7) weeks prior to the start of the examination session and include instructions on how to schedule your examination for a specific day at your examination centre.

    Scheduling the examination date online

    • The MCC cannot guarantee that you will be able to schedule your examination on a specific day within the examination period.
    • You will be required to schedule your examination date through your MCC-Online account during the designated Part I scheduling period.
    • Each centre has restrictions based on the size of its computer lab and the number of days it can provide the examination.
    • Even if your assigned centre is only running for one (1) day, you must schedule your examination date online in order to obtain your Personal Identification Number (PIN), which is required to log onto the computer on the examination day.
    • If you do not schedule your examination date during the designated Part I Scheduling period, an MCC staff member will manually assign you to one of the remaining available days at your assigned centre (a scheduling fee may be charged to your account).

    Request for scheduling

    • In the event of a significant conflict (for example, another examination, overseas travel restrictions, etc.), a candidate may request consideration, in advance of the designated Part I Scheduling period, to not be scheduled on a specific day.
    • You cannot ‘change’ examination sessions. If you are assigned a centre, date and time to take the examination in the fall session, and wish to delay taking the examination until the following spring session or beyond, you will need to withdraw your application and reapply when you wish to take the examination.
    • Notice of such a conflict, with supporting documentation and payment of the C$90 pre-scheduling fee, should be submitted once confirmation of centre assignment is obtained and the dates available at each of the centres are known.

    Examination centre changes after centre assignment

    Deadlines, fees, procedure for centre change requests

    • After you have been assigned to a centre, a request for a centre change (within the session you applied for) will be considered, provided that a written request is submitted to the MCC by Friday, October 5, 2012, for the fall 2012 session and space is available at the requested centre.
    • A C$90 centre change fee will apply if the requested change can be accommodated.
    • If the change is made, you will be required to return your Entrance Card before the new centre’s Entrance Card will be issued.
    • When submitting a centre change request, you should keep in mind that if the Part I Scheduling period has already begun or has ended, the dates available at the requested centre will likely be very limited.

    Examination date changes after the date has been scheduled

    Deadlines, fees, procedure for date change requests

    • A request for a date change will be considered provided that a written request is submitted to the MCC no later than Friday, October 5, 2012, for the fall 2012 session and space is available on the requested date.
    • A C$90 date change fee will apply if the requested change can be accommodated.
    • If a centre change is required to accommodate the requested date change (and only if you approve this change), only the C$90 centre change fee will apply.

    Withdraw

    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.

    • You can request withdrawal of  your application by completing and submitting theWithdrawal Request form (fall 2012) or by submitting a communication through your MCC-Online account (from your account, place your cursor over Personal on the menu bar, and then click on Correspondence, and Add to send a communication to the MCC). If you submit your withdrawal request through your MCC-Online account, please consult the Withdrawal Request form (see above) so that you will be aware of the information you must confirm as part of your withdrawal request.
    • You may request that the reimbursed fees be returned to you (e.g., refund) or that the funds remain on your account at the MCC. The next time you apply for the examination, any money on account would be deducted from the total examination fee owing.
    • If you do not specify that you would like the reimbursed funds returned to you, the money will remain on account until your next examination application or until you request a refund. Please note, however, that candidate funds that have been in an inactive state shall be forfeited as of December 31, four (4) full calendar years following the year of receipt of the candidate fee.

    * 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.

    Late withdrawal or absence on the day of examination

    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:

    • The MCC is notified no later than the scheduled date of the examination.
    • The reason for the absence is a circumstance beyond your control (i.e., illness or other emergency).

    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.

    Reference material and resources

    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.

    Examination demo

    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.

    Click here to access the MCCQE Part I MCQ demo.
    Click here to access the MCCQE Part I CDM demo.

    Instructional video

    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.

    Scoring

    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.

    Reference books

    The Medical Council of Canada has compiled a list of reference books that may be helpful to you in your studies.

    Candidate instructions

    Candidates are encouraged to review the instructions for the examination:

    Frequently asked questions

    Candidates are encouraged to read the frequently asked questions about the
    MCCQE Part I.

    Scoring

    Overview

    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.

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    How are scores calculated for the multiple-choice question component?

    Scores are calculated using a weighting system. More difficult questions contribute slightly more in the calculation of scores and easier questions contribute slightly less.

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    How are scores calculated for the clinical decision-making component?

    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).

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    How are overall scores calculated for the MCCQE Part I?

    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.

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    How do I interpret my MCCQE Part I total 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.

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    How is a pass/fail decision made?

    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.

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    What will appear on the Statement of Results?

    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.

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    What will appear in candidates’ MCC-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.

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    What is the Family Medicine sub-score?

    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.

    Results

    How results are communicated
    Fails
    Rescore requests
    Appeals

    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.

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    Fails

    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.

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    Rescore Requests

    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:

    1. Rescoring by the MCC
    2. Rescoring with the candidate present at the MCC’s office

    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.

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    Appeals

    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.


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