Scoring

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I is scored independently of the MCCQE Part II. To be awarded the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), you must pass both the MCCQE Part I and Part II.

The MCCQE Part I contains 196 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and 45-55 clinical decision-making (CDM) cases (approximately 80 questions). Of the 196 MCQs, 52 are pilot questions that are being used for the first time. Following the statistical calibration, we decide whether to count these questions towards candidates’ total scores. Of the 45-55 CDM cases, approximately 65 questions are scored and those remaining are pilot questions not used in calculating your total score. The pilot questions and cases are not identified on the exam; you should try to do as well as you can on every question.

The MCCQE Part I is a criterion-referenced exam. This means that those of you who meet or exceed the standard will pass the exam regardless of how well others candidates perform on it.

How MCCQE Part I scores and subscores are calculated

The total score is calculated by combining MCQs and CDMs. For both MCQs and CDM questions, each correct answer is scored 1 point and each incorrect answer is scored 0. Some CDM questions, such as a question whose answer includes multiple correct elements, allow candidates to receive more than 1 point. For example, for a question with four correct elements, candidates can receive up to 4 points. The final total score is calculated taking into account the individual score for questions and the level of difficulty of each question.

Your total MCCQE Part I score is reported on a scale from 50 to 950.

MCCQE Part I subscores are presented graphically to indicate your relative strengths and weaknesses in the following areas:

  • Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Population Health and the Ethical, Legal and Organization Aspects of Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery
  • Family Medicine
  • Clinical DecisionMaking (CDM)

All of the subscores include scores from only MCQs, with the exception of the Family Medicine discipline subscore and the CDM subscore. The Family Medicine discipline subscore includes scores from both MCQ and CDM questions, whereas the CDM subscore is only made up of scores from CDM questions.

How the MCCQE Part I pass score is established

Every few years, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) brings together a panel of Canadian physicians to define an acceptable level of performance and establish the pass score for the MCCQE Part I through a standard-setting exercise. The panel then recommends its pass score to the Central Examination Committee (CEC) for approval. (The CEC, composed of physicians and medical educators from across the country, is responsible for awarding pass/fail results to MCCQE Part I candidates).

The most recent standard-setting exercise was conducted in fall 2014. The panel recommended a pass score of 427. This pass score was approved by the CEC and has remained in place since the spring 2015 session. The pass score will remain in place until the next scheduled standard-setting exercise occurs, which will be for the spring 2018 examination.

For more information on the MCCQE Part I standard-setting exercise, see the Technical Report on this topic.

How a pass/fail decision is made

Your final MCCQE Part I result (e.g., pass, fail) is based solely on where your total score falls in relation to the pass score. A total score equal to or greater than the pass score is a pass, and a total score less than the pass score is a fail. This means that all candidates who meet or exceed the pass score will pass the MCCQE Part I regardless of how well other candidates perform.

How your score can be used to assess relative performance

Using the spring 2015 MCCQE Part I results, a scale of 50 to 950 was established to have a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100. Results from the spring 2015 and subsequent exam sessions are reported using this scale, allowing us to compare candidate performance across sessions beginning with the spring 2015 session. This means that a score of 600 is one standard deviation above the spring 2015 reference group mean (500 + 100).

How MCCQE Part I results are presented

The Statement of Results (SOR) includes your final result and total score, as well as the examination pass score. Additional information about discipline and CDM subscores and comparative information is provided on the Supplemental Feedback Report (SFR). A sample of the SOR and a sample of the SFR, containing mocked-up, random data, depict how information is presented to exam candidates. Both the SOR and the SFR are available through your physiciansapply.ca account.