Application and eligibility
Postponement of MCCQE Part I – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
As the COVID-19 situation in Canada and abroad continues to evolve rapidly, we have postponed the April 15-May 15, 2020 Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I.
By postponing, we are seeking to ensure that we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to be mindful of the impacts of this virus on the medical community, and to ensure the safety of all involved in our exams.
We continue to closely monitor the situation and will communicate the timing of new examination schedules as soon as reasonably possible. Please check mcc.ca and physiciansapply.ca websites for further updates.
MCCQE Part I
There are now more opportunities to take the MCCQE Part I – four times per year in 2019 and up to five times per year in 2020 versus the previous frequency of twice a year.
We are also delivering the MCCQE Part I in Canada and internationally in over 80 countries through our vendor Prometric. Prometric is an internationally recognized firm with more than 20 years’ experience in exam development and administration for professional sectors. This change to Prometric ensures broad access for candidates to take the MCCQE Part I.
Application to the MCCQE Part I
If you meet the eligibility requirements indicated below, you can apply for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I at any time. To apply for the MCCQE Part I, you must open an account at physiciansapply.ca or log into your existing account and submit all of the requested documentation. For exam dates, see Examination at a glance.
If the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has previously reviewed all the necessary documentation, you may receive quick notification that your MCCQE Part I application has been accepted. Otherwise, please allow up to three weeks for your application to be processed.
Note: An exam application that includes a request for test accommodations will require up to nine weeks processing time, once all of the eligibility requirements have been fulfilled and Candidate Affairs receives all of the required supporting documentation.
After your application is accepted, you will have one year to take the MCCQE Part I at a Prometric test centre. This one-year period is called the eligibility window. Your eligibility window expires once you take (or withdraw from) the exam.
You can apply to the MCCQE Part I as a medical student or graduate.
Your medical school must be:
- Accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) (in the U.S.); or
- Identified by a Canada Sponsor Note in the World Directory of Medical Schools; or
- Accredited as a U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine.
When you apply, your physiciansapply.ca account will guide you through the process and indicate the documents that you need to submit as part of your application.
To be eligible as a student:
As a student, you are eligible to apply up to 15 months prior to your expected date of graduation. Once your application is approved, you will have a 12-month eligibility window to schedule an exam appointment. During this eligibility window, you may schedule an appointment as soon as six months prior to the first date of an exam session.
To be eligible as a graduate:
Your medical degree/diploma must be in progress of source verification or have been successfully source verified.
If you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG), a U.S. graduate, or a graduate from a U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine, and ONLY if you have not already done so, you must create a Source Verification Request (SVR) through your physiciansapply.ca account, and submit a copy of your final medical degree diploma.
Note: Completed source verification of the diploma (verification returned – passed) is required for eligibility to apply to the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II.
Reapplying for the MCCQE Part I
If you previously applied as an international medical student (IMS), a U.S. medical student, or a student from a U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine and your expected date for completion of medical degree requirements has changed since you first submitted your student attestation form, you must submit a new form.
If you previously applied as a student and are now a graduate, you must submit a copy of your final medical degree (diploma) to the MCC and a SVR through your physiciansapply.ca account. If you previously applied as a graduate and you have already submitted your final medical degree diploma for source verification, you are not required to resubmit the diploma.
Canadian medical students or graduates are typically not required to submit additional documents as re-applicants to the MCCQE Part I.
Limited exam attempts
You may take the MCCQE Part I up to a maximum of four times. You cannot and will not be able to retake the exam if you have a pass result. A one-year waiting period will be required between the third and fourth attempt. After four attempts, in exceptional personal circumstances, you can request to the Central Examination Committee for special permission to make a fifth attempt.
Exam attempts before 2018 do not count towards the total limit; the count will start in 2018. As well, a result of “no standing” will not count as an attempt. However, failing or a status of “denied standing” will be considered attempts.
Accessibility and test accommodations
If you have a documented disability or special need (requiring additional time, access to assistive equipment, medication, breast pumps, food, etc.), you may be able to receive test accommodations to take the MCCQE Part I. If you identify a need for test accommodations within your online application, you may not schedule an exam appointment until the:
- Exam eligibility requirements have been satisfied
- MCC Test Accommodations Internal Review Committee has reviewed the request
- Coordination of test accommodations between MCC and Prometric has been completed
Please allow up to nine weeks from the time the required documentation has been received to process your request.
Standard exam appointments do not support the delivery of most test accommodations. If you request a test accommodation after your exam application has been accepted, you may be instructed to cancel an existing exam appointment.
Exam appointments that support the delivery of test accommodations are subject to availability. While every attempt will be made to accommodate your scheduling preferences, specific exam centres and dates cannot be guaranteed.
Are you an international medical student or graduate (IMG) and want to apply for the 2021 CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match?
If you want to apply for the 2021 Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) R-1 Main Residency Match and provide results for both the MCCQE Part I and the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination, you can choose to take the NAC exam and the MCCQE Part I in the order that you prefer.
For students graduating in spring 2021, the timing to apply and take both of these exams for the match process is as follows:
- You will be able to apply for the MCCQE Part I 15 months from the date you are expected to fully complete all medical degree requirements (graduation date)
- If you are graduating in spring 2021, you can apply to take the MCCQE Part I in July or September 2020. The September 2020 session is the last session for you to take the MCCQE Part I if you wish to provide your results in time for file review for the 2021 R-1 first iteration match.
- You must also apply for the September 2020 NAC Examination in May 2020
- Results from the September 2020 NAC Examination will be provided in time for the CaRMS application process for the 2021 R-1 Residency Match
Please note that if you are an IMG and wish to apply to a postgraduate medical training program in Québec, you must have received prior recognition of equivalence of your Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) from the Collège des médecins du Québec. In addition, in order to be eligible into the regular quota, the Québec government requires that you respect the definition of “resident in Québec” of the ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.
Timeline for the 2021 CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match
How to extend your eligibility window
If you do not think you will be able to take the MCCQE Part I within one year, you can extend your eligibility window once by an additional 12 months. This involves paying an administration fee. If the exam fees have increased since you originally applied for the MCCQE Part I, you will also need to pay the difference. These fees are non-refundable.
Two months before your eligibility window expires, you will receive a message in your physiciansapply.ca account with instructions on how to extend your eligibility window.
If you do not extend your window at that time, you will receive a second reminder one month before the expiry date. After that second reminder, if you have not extended your window and not yet taken the MCCQE Part I, you will be withdrawn automatically and given a partial refund. For more details about refunds, see the Fees page.
You can only extend your eligibility window once.
If you want to apply for the MCCQE Part II
You must take and successfully pass the MCCQE Part I before you can apply for the MCCQE Part II.
Note: Completed source verification of the diploma (verification returned – passed) is required for eligibility to apply to the MCCQE Part II.