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Eligibility and application

Learn about the eligibility requirements and applying to take the NAC Examination as an international student or graduate.

Eligibility requirements

To take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination, you must be a graduate from, or a student who is expected to complete all medical degree requirements within 12 months of the date of the exam from:

  • A medical school outside Canada or the U.S. that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and identified by a Canada Sponsor Note indicating it is an acceptable medical school in Canada; or
  • A U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine

Limited exam attempts

You can take the NAC Examination a maximum of 3 times, regardless of if you passed or failed your previous attempt(s). Only your most recent result on the examination remains valid indefinitely and does not expire.

The NAC Examination cannot be taken in consecutive sessions (for example, a candidate who took the May 2023 NAC Examination will only be able to retake it at again in May 2024 or later).

Exam centres

The NAC Examination is held twice a year at a limited number of exam centres across Canada. During the application process, you will be asked to choose up to 3 exam centres in order of preference. The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) will make every attempt to accommodate your centre preference(s) during the centre assignment process. You can change your preferences until the centre choice change deadline. Candidates will receive a message in their physiciansapply.ca account approximately 6 weeks before the exam to confirm which exam centre they have been assigned.

How to apply for the NAC Examination

If you meet the NAC Examination eligibility requirements, you can apply for the exam through your physiciansapply.ca account. You need to apply between the application opening and closing dates of the specific session you would like to take the exam. If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one.

  1. Log into your physiciansapply.ca account.
  2. Click on Examinations from the main menu, then on Apply for an exam.
  3. Select the NAC Examination from the list of available exams. The NAC Examination will only be listed if you are eligible and the application period is open.
  4. Follow the steps to complete your application, including selecting your centre preferences.
  5. Submit payment for your NAC Examination application fee.
  6. If you have not previously submitted a Student attestation form or if there have been changes to the expected completion date of medical degree requirements since your previous exam application, such as the MCCQE Part I, you will need to send a copy to the MCC following the instructions on preparing your documents.
  7. If you have not previously done so, follow the instructions on preparing your documents to send a Certified Identity Confirmation form and a certified copy of an acceptable identity document to the MCC by email ([email protected]).
  8. Please allow up to four weeks for your documents and application to be processed. Once the documents are approved, you will receive a message in your account that your application is complete. If the MCC has previously reviewed all the necessary documentation, you may receive notification that your NAC Examination application has been accepted sooner.
  1. If you have not already done so, create a Source Verification Request (SVR) for your medical degree through your physiciansapply.ca account. You will send a copy of your medical degree to the MCC with the documents outlined in step 5 of these instructions. You can proceed with the exam application as soon as you have submitted and paid for the SVR of your medical degree.
  2. Click on Examinations from the main menu, then on Apply for an exam.
  3. Select the NAC Examination from the list of available exams. The NAC Examination will only be listed if you are eligible and the application period is open.
  4. Follow the steps to complete your application and submit payment for your NAC Examination application fee.
  5. Following the instructions on preparing your documents, send the below documents to the MCC by email ([email protected]):
    1. a certified identity confirmation form
    2. a certified copy of a valid, non-expired passport
    3. a copy of your medical degree
  6. Approximately within a week, you will receive a message in your physiciansapply.ca account to confirm your documents were received.
  7. Please allow up to 4 weeks for your documents and application to be processed. Once your documents are approved and the status of your medical degree is reviewed and accepted in your physiciansapply.ca account, you will receive a message that your application is complete.

If the MCC has previously reviewed all the necessary documentation, you may receive notification that your NAC Examination application has been accepted sooner.

Test accommodations for the NAC Examination

If you have a documented functional limitation and associated accommodation need, you can request a test accommodation when you submit your NAC Examination application. Keep in mind that exam applications that include a request for test accommodations will only be processed once all the eligibility requirements have been fulfilled and all the required supporting documentation has been received.

CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match

If you want to apply for the 2024 Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) R-1 Main Residency Match and provide results for both the MCCQE Part I and the NAC Examination, you can choose to take the NAC Examination and the MCCQE Part I in the order that you prefer.

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