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Exam day 

What to expect on the day you take the MCCQE Part I.

Arrival/check-in procedures

Consult the check-in details and instructions for the modality of the exam you have chosen, including information about what personal items you need, what you can bring and what you cannot have with you during your exam.

I am taking my exam:

Duration of the MCCQE Part I

Each exam appointment is 9-hour long and includes:

  1. Your check-in, including your sign-in, security check, and, if you are taking a remotely proctored exam, room check.
  2. A tutorial on how the exam delivery application works and a video on test security.
  3. Four hours in the morning to complete a multiple-choice questions (MCQs) component.
  4. An optional 45-minute lunch break.
  5. Three and a half hours in the afternoon to complete a clinical decision-making (CDM) component.
  6. An optional survey after each of the MCQ and CDM components.

If you have a pre-approved test accommodation that requires you to have additional time to complete the exam, the time will be allocated to both the MCQ and CDM components.

In April 2025, the MCC will implement a new assessment model for the MCCQE Part I. The clinical decision-making component will be removed and the 9-hour exam appointment will be shortened to a 6.5-hour exam appointment with a scheduled 45-minute optional break.

Taking notes during the MCCQE Part I

You will be able to take notes during the exam using the tools provided:

  • At a test centre: you will have access to a dry erase board.
  • Through remote proctoring: you will have access to an electronic scratchpad.

If you are disconnected during your remotely proctored exam, scratchpad notes will be lost. This is important to consider when deciding if you will take your exam at a test centre or through remote proctoring. If you choose a remotely proctored exam, you must find a location with reliable Internet connection to take the exam.

Managing time during the exam

Progress and time tracking

The progress bar tracks answered questions throughout the entire exam. It is cumulative from section to section and does not restart in a new section. For example, if all the questions are answered, your progress bar should indicate approximately 74% when finishing the MCQ section and 100% after finishing the CDM section. The progress bar does not include survey questions.

The exam application will also track how much time you have left. The exam application clock cannot be stopped once you begin the exam. You will receive warnings as you approach 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes before the end of each exam section. Your exam is over when you submit the exam or run out of time, whichever happens first.

If a delay occurs between questions or while items are loading, the test timer stops and only starts when an item loading is fully rendered. No exam time is lost.

When the exam is over, a notice confirming that you have completed the MCCQE Part I will be displayed on the computer screen. The notice of completion will also be emailed to you once you have completed your exam. This notice will not include your total score or final result.

MCQ section | 4 hours

In the first section, you have 4 hours to complete 210 MCQs. On average you should allot 1 minute and 8 seconds for each question to complete all the questions. You can flag and return to questions at any point during the MCQ component of the exam.

Once you leave the MCQ section, you will not be able to return to this section. Any incomplete questions will be marked as incorrect.

Starting in April 2025, the MCCQE Part I will be shortened and the clinical decision-making component will be removed. The exam will consist of 230 multiple-choice questions divided into two sections of 160 minutes.


CDM section | 3.5 hours

In the second section of your exam, you have 3.5 hours to complete 65 to 75 CDM questions. These questions will be related to 38 cases that will be presented to you. Each case will contain 1 to 4 questions.

On average, each case should take 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Since some cases have more questions than others, they may require more or less than the average amount of time.

You do not have a time limit for each case. You can flag questions within a case and return to them at any point during the CDM component of the exam.

Once you leave the CDM section, you will not be able to return to this section. Any incomplete questions will be marked as incorrect

Taking breaks

Optional lunch break

There is one optional 45-minute break that will start once you complete and submit the MCQ component. You may take less than 45 minutes if you wish to start the CDM component early by clicking Resume Test, however, this does not give you extra exam time. If you have not ended the optional break early, after the 45 minutes elapses, the timer for the CDM component will automatically start.

You can also choose to end this break at any time by clicking Resume Test. If you do so, any remaining time from the optional break will be lost.

For exam security reasons, in both exam modalities you must exit the exam room during the optional 45-minute break. During this break you can access food, cell phones, non-water beverages and/or medication. Ensure you allow time to complete the security check-in process upon returning to your exam.

Unscheduled breaks

You can also take unscheduled breaks during the exam to access food, non-water beverages and/or medication. Unscheduled breaks must be managed within the allocated exam time as the timer on your exam will continue to count down. No outside contact is allowed during the exam session, including during an unscheduled break.

To take an unscheduled break:

  1. Notify a Prometric staff member as instructed at the beginning of your exam.
  2. Leave the exam room. The timer on the exam will continue to count down during your break.
  3. Complete the routine security scan and the sign-in process to re-enter the exam. This is estimated to take between 3 and 5 minutes.

What to do if you experience an exam day incident

Technical difficulties

Notify Prometric staff immediately if you experience technical difficulties during the exam, as they may be able to assist you. If you are taking a remotely proctored exam and are experiencing technical difficulties, visit the Prometric technical support page.

Reporting exam day incidents

The MCC recognizes that, in some instances, candidates may experience exam day incidents (procedural irregularities or extenuating circumstances, such as illness) that may have a negative effect on their exam day performance.

If you choose to start the exam, it will count as an attempt, even if you cannot finish it, and your application fee may be forfeited.

It is important to notify site staff immediately of all exam day incidents.

In addition to notifying staff on exam day, all exam day incidents (procedural irregularities and extenuating circumstances) must be reported to the MCC through your physiciansapply.ca account within 7 days of your exam.

The MCC will not investigate exam day incidents reported more than 7 days after your scheduled exam appointment. Candidates who do not report incidents within the 7-day timeframe will not be eligible to request a reconsideration after results have been released. Survey responses are not monitored for incident reports and are only intended for candidates to provide general feedback.

Conduct and behaviour

You will be monitored by Prometric staff when taking the exam. Prometric will video record (with or without audio) the invigilation of the MCC exam in accordance with the MCCQE Part I Terms and Conditions you accepted at time of application. At test centres where video cameras are installed, notices will be posted informing you that the session is being recorded. Any personal information captured in these recordings will be treated according to the MCC Privacy Policy.

Speaking to anyone other than Prometric staff during your exam appointment is prohibited, and access to any communication or transmitting devices, including phones or tablets, during the exam is not permitted.

You must complete the MCCQE Part I on your own; providing or receiving assistance with completion of the MCCQE Part I is prohibited and is a breach of the MCCQE Part I Terms and Conditions. If you appear to be giving or receiving information during the exam, the Prometric staff member in charge of the exam can immediately terminate your exam. Prometric staff members must make a full report of all such occurrences to the MCC.

All MCCQE Part I materials, including the content and questions comprising the MCCQE Part I, are protected by copyright and are to be kept confidential. You are permitted to use the MCCQE Part I materials solely for the purpose of completing the MCCQE Part I. You must not disseminate, reproduce, share or reveal to others the exam materials and content, in whole or in part, at any time in any way, even after the exam ends. Comparing exam content and question themes with your colleagues, sharing content with future exam candidates and posting content online are considered breaches of confidentiality.

Any breach of the MCCQE Part I Terms and Conditions will be considered irregular behaviour for which the MCC may take appropriate action, in accordance with the MCCQE Part I Terms and Conditions you accepted at time of application.

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