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When you can expect your TDM Examination results and how to understand them.

Receiving your TDM Examination results

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has a highly rigorous scoring system and a robust quality-assurance process in place to ensure that each candidate’s performance is properly assessed. Before final results are released, multiple levels of verification are conducted to ensure they are accurately reported.

Results will be available to the Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) programs approximately 8 weeks after the examination date. Your results letter will also be uploaded to your physiciansapply.ca account. You will receive a notification by email and a message in your physiciansapply.ca account stating that you can verify your results through your account.

The Therapeutics Decision-Making (TDM) Examination only has a pass/fail result. No scores are reported to the candidate or the PRA program.

Learn about the PRA programs

To prevent fraud and to protect confidentiality, your TDM Examination results are only available in physiciansapply.ca and never given over the phone or by email.

Note: The MCC conducts a post exam quality-assessment review and adjusts the scoring framework for an exam if and where the MCC determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, it is necessary and/or appropriate to ensure the validity or integrity of the examination. The MCC’s decisions in this regard are final and are not subject to appeal.

Validity of results

Only your most recent result will be valid regardless of previous pass/fail results.

Results are valid across jurisdictional PRA programs that require the TDM Examination, no matter which province you took the TDM Examination. Candidates are required to declare previous TDM Examination attempts at time of application.

A pass result will be valid for a period of two years. If your result is close to expiring or has reached expiry, you will need to retake the exam to be considered once more for a PRA program. You are allowed a maximum of two pass results.

Extension of the TDM Examination result validity period

Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on candidates and PRA programs, the MCC and PRA programs have decided to extend the TDM Examination result validity period from two to three years for the exam sessions directly affected by the pandemic.

If you received a pass result from one of the following exam sessions, your result validity period has already been extended to three years:

TDM Examination session

Winter 2021 (January 12, 2021)
Spring 2021 (June 29, 2021)

Expiry date for the result validity period

January 31, 2024
June 30, 2024

Understanding your TDM Examination result

Pass/fail result

Your final TDM Examination 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 you will pass if you meet or exceed the pass score regardless of how well other candidates perform.

Only the pass/fail result (not the total score) will be reported to PRA programs and candidates. This is to discourage using the TDM Examination scores to rank or compare candidates based on small score differences.

How the exam is scored

Your written responses to the TDM Examination questions are evaluated by physician markers. Physician markers are trained to use the pre-established and validated answer keys, established by the TDM Examination Committee, and follow a standardized marking process that is supported through orientation, practice, and discussion.

All the cases, and embedded questions, are marked twice by two physician markers. They are marked independently (without consulting each other). Any differences in marking are resolved by a third marker (usually a physician subject matter expert who was involved in developing the exam and answer keys). Marking data is entered electronically and reviewed by following a stringent, quality-assurance procedure.

The scoring is done through two independent but parallel processes using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS®). The results from the two processes are compared and must match before being released to the PRA programs and exam candidates.

Criterion-reference exam

The TDM Examination is a criterion-referenced exam. This means that a pass or fail result is determined by comparing your individual performance to a performance standard, but not to the performance of other candidates.

When an exam is criterion-referenced, the only thing that really matters is your performance relative to the passing standard. For the TDM Examination, passing is considered as “acceptably competent.” A passing candidate who scored a few points higher is not necessarily more “acceptably competent” than someone who passed with a few points lower, or vice versa.

How the TDM Examination pass score is established

Every few years, the MCC brings together a panel of Canadian physicians to define an acceptable level of performance and establish the pass score for the TDM Examination through a standard-setting exercise.

In March 2018, the MCC completed a rigorous standard-setting exercise with a panel of eight family medicine physicians from across the country. The panel recommended a pass score that was approved by the National Assessment Collaboration PRA Committee.

The Exam Oversight Committee comprises physicians and medical educators from across the country and is responsible for awarding pass/fail results to the TDM Examination candidates.

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