Frequently Asked Questions – MCCEE

1. What content is tested on the MCCEE?

The Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) assesses your knowledge in the principal disciplines of medicine:

  • Internal medicine
  • Obstetrics/gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery
  • Preventive medicine and community health

Each MCCEE question also assesses a patient group and a clinician task.

Patient groups include:

  • Child health – issues particular to individuals up to the end of adolescence
  • Maternal health – issues related to pregnancy, childbirth
  • Adult health – issues particular to individuals after the end of adolescence
  • Mental health – biopsychosocial/cognitive issues related to mental health in all age groups
  • Population health and ethics – issues related to groups and ethical behaviours
    • Population issues include immunization, disease outbreak management, population screening and surveillance, health promotion strategies, epidemiology and relevant statistics
    • Ethical issues include boundary issues, impairment of doctors and informed consent

Clinician tasks include:

  • Data gathering – history taking, mental status examination, physical examination, laboratory testing, other modalities (e.g., imaging, EKG, EEG)
  • Data interpretation and synthesis – interpretation and synthesis of gathered data; problem identification, setting priorities and risk stratification; formulation of differential and specific diagnosis
  • Management –– education and health promotion, counselling, psychotherapy, drug and non-drug therapy (e.g., fluid and electrolyte therapy), surgical interventions, radiological interventions, cessation of therapy, rehabilitation, palliative care, interdisciplinary management, family and community care

2. Does the MCC select a certain percentage of candidates to pass and a certain percentage to fail?

No. Your MCCEE results are based solely on whether your score reaches the pass/fail mark of 261. Everybody is judged on the pass score of 261 and not on how well other candidates have performed on the examination.

3. Can I retake the MCCEE?

There is no limit to the number of times you may attempt the MCCEE. If you have already passed the MCCEE, however, you cannot retake the exam in an attempt to obtain a higher score.

4. Will studying for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) help me prepare for the MCCEE?

There are some similarities between the USMLE and the MCCEE. For example, the MCCEE and certain USMLE exams use multiple-choice questions and there is some content overlap between the two exams. However, there are also some important differences between the USMLE and the MCCEE:

  • The USMLE Step 1 tests basic science knowledge that is not explicitly tested on the MCCEE. It is assumed this basic level of knowledge is needed to answer MCCEE questions.
  • While the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and the MCCEE both test clinical knowledge at the level of a physician entering supervised medical practice, the material tested on the USMLE Step 2 CK may be different than the material tested on the MCCEE. For example, the USMLE Step 2 CK assesses knowledge by physician task and disease category while the MCCEE is based on the clinical presentations found in Objectives for the Qualifying Examination, a document published by the MCC.
  • The USMLE Step 3 tests the clinical knowledge of a physician ready for independent medical practice, making it different than the MCCEE.
  • The USMLE and the MCCEE have different scoring and reporting procedures.

5. If I have taken the USMLE, am I exempt from any of the MCC exams?

No. The MCC does not provide exemptions to those who have taken the USMLE. You can check, however, the specific requirements in the province in which you are seeking to practise medicine.

6. Should I take a review course offered by a training facility?

The information offered by review courses has not been assessed or endorsed by the MCC. Instead, we recommend that you review the approved links and material listed on our MCCEE preparation resources page.

7. Should I use an online “ghost bank” of multiple-choice questions?

“Ghost banks” do not contain official MCCEE questions and there is no guarantee that the information in them is correct. In addition, there is no guarantee the questions actually reflect the content of the MCCEE or cover the breadth of content tested by the MCCEE. We recommend you complete a Self-Administered Examination (SAE) instead, or try the MCCEE online demo if you want samples of the types of questions you will see on the MCCEE.

8. How is the MCCEE different from the MCCQE Part I?

The MCCEE and the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I are similar in that both test basic medical knowledge through the use of multiple-choice questions. They are, however, different:

  • Uniquely Canadian content is not tested on the MCCEE but is included on the MCCQE Part I. (For example, questions dealing with Canadian legal issues in the practice of medicine are not included on the MCCEE.)
  • The MCCQE Part I includes a half-day session on clinical decision making. There is no such session with the MCCEE.
  • While the MCCEE is administered at many international test centres, the MCCQE Part I can be taken only in Canada.
  • The MCCEE is a screening tool that allows candidates to assess their readiness to take the MCCQE Part I or pursue further medical education in Canada. For this reason, the pass requirement is less stringent for the MCCEE than for the MCCQE Part I.

9. If I pass the MCCEE, does this mean I have a good chance of passing the MCCQE Part I?

Passing the MCCEE does not necessarily mean you will pass on the MCCQE Part I. If you pass the MCCEE with the minimum score of 261, the probability of passing the MCCQE Part I is only 10%. If you pass the MCCEE with a score of 280, you would have a 30% chance of passing the MCCQE Part I.