Medical Council of Canada

Score interpretation

Score interpretation guidelines

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has prepared comprehensive guidelines to help interpret results from each of its examinations. Please keep the following recommendations in mind when interpreting MCC exam scores.

  • When using MCC exam results, we recommend adhering to the purpose, level of knowledge, skills assessed and intended use of the exam as specified. Secondary use of exam results should be exercised with caution and be in line with the purpose for which the exam is designed. Please note that no assessment tool is designed for all purposes.
  • All MCC exams are criterion-referenced exams for which pass/fail is determined by comparing an individual candidate’s score to a standard (as reflected by the pass score) regardless of the performance of other candidates. Passing means the candidate has achieved the level of knowledge, skills, and attitudes targeted by the exam.
  • The MCC cautions against comparing candidates based on small score differences and discourages using exam scores as the sole basis for selection or other decisions. Small score differences should not be over-interpreted as they may fall within the range of values that might reasonably arise as a result of measurement error.
  • Additional information about a candidate’s performance profile in various competency domains is provided on the Supplemental Feedback Report (SFR). Please note that the subscores as reported in the SFR should not be used to compare candidate performances. They are provided to candidates, in graphical format, as formative feedback on their relative strengths and weaknesses in various competency areas. Subscores (though expressed on the same scale as the total score) are based on significantly less data and thus do not have the same level of precision as the total score.
  • Total exam score should be used rather than subscores.  Subscores are not as reliable as total scores and should not be used to compare candidates. The NAC OSCE and MCCQE Part II OSCE subscores are reported on a different metric than the total score and are thus not comparable across examination forms and sessions.
  • Total scores are placed on the same scale to enable score comparison across forms, over time, and application of the same pass score to candidates who took different forms. All exams are designed to be most precise for total scores near the pass score to support a reliable pass/fail decision. They are not designed to provide score precision along a wide range of the score scale.
  • Selection decisions should not be based on a single assessment tool.  We recommend that you use MCC exam results in conjunction with other sources of information (for example, results from another MCC exam, medical school transcripts, reference letter, other credentials, etc.) to obtain a comprehensive view of a candidate’s qualifications.
  • Depending on the specific purpose and requirements of a selection process, it is generally appropriate to use MCCEE scores (or the MCCQE Part I scores if available and if required) for screening before using the NAC Examination results. It is also appropriate to consider MCCQE Part II results (if available and if required) before the NAC Examination results as the former targets a higher level of clinical skills.
Read more
Read less

Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE)

The MCCEE is a general assessment of basic medical knowledge in the principal disciplines of medicine expected of new medical graduates who are about to enter the first year of postgraduate training in Canada, regardless of where they received their undergraduate training, as outlined by the MCC Objectives. It a four-hour computer-based examination that consists of 180 multiple-choice questions (150 scored questions and 30 non-scored pilot questions).

Each candidate who challenges the MCCEE receives two score reports – a Statement of Results (SOR) and a Supplemental Feedback Report (SFR). The SOR includes a total score and a pass/fail final result. The total score is reported on a scale ranging from 50 to 500 with a mean of 271 and standard deviation of 50. As of May 2017, the pass score is 261 and was established by a panel of physician experts from across the country following a rigorous standard-setting exercise in November 2016. Prior to May 2017, the pass score was 250 on the reporting scale of 50 to 500. For candidates who took the MCCEE prior to May 2017, their final result remains valid.

The MCCEE total scores are equated across examination forms and sessions using statistical procedures. As a result, the MCCEE score distribution is along a wide range of the score scale compared to clinical skills examinations such as the NAC Examination.

When comparing candidates for residency selection, it is generally appropriate to consider the MCCEE results in conjunction with the results from the NAC Examination as well as other relevant information to obtain a comprehensive view of a candidate’s qualifications.

Additionally, please note that MCCEE scores before and after 2008 should not be compared as the test design, test length, scoring method, delivery mode (computer vs. paper & pencil), and reporting scale are different.

Read more
Read less

National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination

The NAC Examination assesses the readiness of international medical graduates (IMGs) for entry into a Canadian residency program. It consists of 12 objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) stations (ten scored stations and two non-scored pilot stations) designed to assess the knowledge, skills and attitudes at the level expected of a recent Canadian medical graduate for entry into supervised clinical practice in postgraduate training programs as outlined by the MCC Objectives, regardless of where they received their undergraduate training.

Each candidate who challenges the NAC Examination receives two score reports – a Statement of Results (SOR) and a Supplemental Feedback Report (SFR). The SOR includes a total score and pass/fail final result. The total score is reported on a scale ranging from 0 to 100 with a mean of 70 and standard deviation of eight based on all candidates who took the exam in March 2013. The current pass score is 65 and was established by a panel of physician experts from across the country following a rigorous standard-setting exercise in March 2013.

NAC Examination total scores are adjusted using statistical procedures to account for differences in difficulty across examination forms and sessions. NAC subscores are on a different metric than the total score and, unlike the total score, are not comparable across examination forms and sessions.

When comparing candidates for residency selection, it is generally appropriate to consider the NAC Examination results in conjunction with the results from the Medical Council of Canada’s Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) as well as other relevant information to obtain a comprehensive view of a candidate’s qualifications.

Read more
Read less

Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I

The MCCQE Part I is a one-day, computer-based exam that assesses the competence of candidates who have obtained their medical degree as part of a requirement for medical licensure in Canada for entering supervised clinical practice in postgraduate training programs. The MCCQE Part I assesses the knowledge, clinical skills and attitudes as outlined by the MCC Objectives.

Each candidate who challenges the MCCQE Part I receives two score reports – a Statement of Results (SOR) and a Supplemental Feedback Report (SFR).  The SOR includes a total score and pass/fail final result.  The total score is reported on a scale ranging from 50 to 950 with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100 based on all test takes who took the test in spring 2015.  The current pass score is 427 and was established by a panel of physician experts from across the country following a rigorous standard setting exercise in fall 2014.

The MCCQE Part I total scores are equated across examination forms and sessions using statistical procedures. The MCCQE Part I score distribution falls along a wide range of the score scale compared to clinical skills examinations such as the MCCQE Part II.

Read more
Read less

Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II

The MCCQE Part II assesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for medical licensure in Canada prior to entry into independent clinical practice as outlined by the MCC Objectives. The MCCQE Part II consists of 13 objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) stations (12 scored stations and 1-2 non-scored pilot stations).

Each candidate who challenges the MCCQE Part II receives two score reports – a Statement of Results (SOR) and a Supplemental Feedback Report (SFR).  The SOR includes a total score and pass/fail final result. The total score is reported on a scale ranging from 50 to 950 with a mean of 500 and standard deviation of 100 based all test takers who took the test that was administered in spring 2015. The current pass score is 509 and was established by a panel of physician experts from across the country following a rigorous standard-setting exercise spring 2015.

Additional information about the total and subscores is provided on the SFR. The score profile in Figure 1 of the SFR displays a candidate’s domain subscores, which provide a measure of a candidate’s relative strengths and weaknesses in four areas. The subscores for the MCCQE Part II are on a different metric than the total score and are not comparable across examination forms and sessions.

MCCQE Part II total scores are adjusted using statistical procedures to account for differences in difficulty across examination forms and sessions.

Read more
Read less