Medical Council of Canada

MCCQE PART I FAQ

MCCQE Part I FAQ

GENERAL QUESTIONS

At what point in my career should I be taking the MCCQE Part I?

After you have obtained your medical degree and before entry into supervised clinical practice in a postgraduate training program. You may also apply as a medical student if you are fully expected to complete all requirements to graduate by:

  • November 30 of the same calendar year (for the spring session)
  • March 30 of the following calendar year (for the fall session)

Complete application information can be found on this web page.

Do international medical graduates need to take the MCCQE Part I to apply for a residency program through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS)?

This will depend on the requirements of the program(s) to which you are applying and when you will be applying. Starting in 2019 for the 2020 CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match, the MCCQE Part I will replace the MCCEE as the prerequisite for international medical graduates applying for postgraduate medical education in Canada. Please refer to the CaRMS website, or contact CaRMS, for details about your situation.

When can I apply for this examination?

Each examination session (spring and fall) has an application period with a final deadline. Applications received after the main deadline are subject to a late fee of up to 50%. See this web page for the current examination session application window, fees, and deadlines.

You can request to receive an email notification when registration opens for the next examination session by submitting your email address at the top of the MCCQE Part I web page. The MCC will send this notification to your email address and not through your physiciansapply.ca account.

SUBMITTING YOUR EXAMINATION APPLICATION

What if I can’t get all my documentation together by the application deadline?

The deadline is for your online application and payment only. We ask that you submit the required documentation within approximately ten business days after you apply and pay.

Which documents do I need to send?

All application requirements are provided on this web page. Your required documentation will depend on whether you are a student or medical graduate, where you obtained your medical education, and/or what documentation you may have previously submitted.

How long will it take for my application to be approved?

It takes up to three weeks for applications to be processed. If the system determines that all documentation required to confirm your examination eligibility has already been reviewed and accepted by the MCC, you may quickly receive a communication confirming acceptance of your examination application.

What happens after I have applied?

MCC staff will assign you a centre taking into account your centre preferences. Approximately two months prior to the examination session, you will receive a message through your account confirming your examination centre. You will also receive information regarding the date scheduling period for the examination, as well as the dates available for each centre. During the date scheduling period, you will be able to choose one of the dates available for your assigned centre.

Approximately two weeks after the scheduling period, we will send you a message through your account regarding your exam package, with instructions on how to view and print it. It will include a Personal Identification Number (PIN), which is required to log onto the computer on exam day.

What if I submit my application after the deadline?

After the main deadline, late application fees will apply, based on how late your application is made. This web page provides late fee details.

After the final deadline, applications will no longer be accepted.

PLANNING AND SCHEDULING YOUR EXAMINATION

Exam date
What is the date of the examination?

The examination dates are available on the MCCQE Part I web page. When you are applying for your examination, you will be asked to select up to three examination centres of your choice.

Two months prior to the examination, you will receive a message through your physiciansapply.ca account confirming the location of your examination centre. You will also receive information regarding the scheduling period for the examination, as well as the dates available for each centre. During the date scheduling period, you will be able to choose one of the dates available for your assigned centre.

What do I do if I can’t write the examination on certain dates?

If you have a significant conflict, you may submit a consideration request to not be scheduled on a specific day, with supporting documentation, before the specific date indicated on the scheduling web page. If your request is approved, a pre-scheduling fee will be applied.

More information is available on this web page.

Exam location
How do you decide what examination centre I will be assigned to? If I applied early, will this improve my chances of getting the centre I prefer?

When you apply to take the examination, you are asked to indicate three preferred examination centres. We consider many factors and do our best to give everyone their first choice; however, this is dependent on the number of available spaces at the centre and the number of requests for that centre. Applying early does improve your chances of being assigned to your top choice. It is not an advantage to provide only one choice.

Can you tell me the location of my examination centre now, before I receive my exam package?

No. The information provided within the examination package is prepared by the centre where you will be taking your examination. The packages will be available within two to four weeks prior to the examination period. You will receive a message in your physiciansapply.ca account when your package is available.

Your examination package will include: your Personal Identification Number (PIN), required to log onto the computer on exam day; the exam location and time; instructions for arrival, dress code, conduct, check-in procedure, and so on.

Can I change my examination centre or date?

After you have been assigned to a centre and/or scheduled your examination date, you may submit a request for consideration of a centre or date change (within the session you applied for). There is no guarantee that a change can be made. A change fee will apply if the requested change can be accommodated.

Please consult this web page for details.

Postponing or withdrawing
I paid for the examination but I would like to postpone it to the next session.

You cannot change examination sessions or transfer your payment to another session.

For example, if you applied to the spring session and wish to delay taking the examination until the following fall session or beyond, you will need to withdraw your application and reapply when you wish to take the examination. A partial refund would be provided if the withdrawal is submitted before the withdrawal deadline date. After the withdrawal deadline date, the examination fee would be forfeited.

Information about withdrawing is provided on this web page.

PREPARING FOR THE EXAMINATION

What is the best way to prepare for the examination?

The MCC provides a variety of examination preparation resources on this web page. The resources include:

  • Clinical decision-making tips
  • Information about write-in questions
  • Suggested reference materials
  • …and more.

Keep checking the web page frequently, as new resources will be added throughout 2018.

Should I use the MCCQE Review Notes (Toronto Notes) for studying?

The Toronto Notes are published by the graduating class of the University of Toronto and are a collection of information that these students feel is relevant. The information within has not been surveyed or ratified by the MCC and therefore, this document is not a publication that is endorsed by the MCC.

Should I take a review course offered by a training facility?

The information offered within these review courses has not been surveyed or ratified by the MCC; therefore, these courses are not endorsed by the MCC.

Should I use one of the “ghost banks” of multiple-choice questions available on the Internet for studying?

These “ghost banks” are not official MCC questions and there is no guarantee that the information within a question is correct. In addition, there is no guarantee that the questions in a ghost bank are reflective of the content from the MCCQE Part I, or that the ghost bank covers the breadth of content on the examinations.

The MCC continually monitors ghost banks to ensure that they do not include content from past examinations that could have been reproduced from what candidates remembered of the examination questions. All examination materials (including the questions comprising the examination) are the property of the MCC and are protected by copyright.

DAY OF THE EXAMINATION

What to bring
What do I bring to the examination room?

Your Entrance Card is required for you to be granted access to the examination room.

No other documentation or electronic devices, such as calculators, watches, or handheld devices, are allowed in the examination room.

No books or paper materials are allowed in the examination room. You will be provided with a whiteboard and marker that you can use to jot down notes during the examination.

What if I lose my Entrance Card?

Your Entrance Card can be printed at any time from your physiciansapply.ca account.

Scheduling your examination-day travel
What time should I arrive at the examination centre?

Please arrive at the examination centre at least half an hour before the examination start time. If you have never been at the examination site before, we recommend that you plan to visit it before your examination day.

If you arrive late to the examination, you will not be given extra time.

When may I leave the examination?

Your Entrance Card package will provide you with details of your exam time and location. The package will be sent to you within two to four weeks prior to the test period.

The examination centres do their best to start the examinations on time, but there is no guarantee, as unexpected events (technical, weather) occasionally arise.

If you are able to answer all questions from the morning session or all of the questions in the afternoon session before the end of the allotted time, you can leave the examination room early.

What if my flight is delayed and I don’t get to the examination on time?

We would recommend flying in the day prior to your examination. If you cannot attend your examination due to an emergency, the examination centre will proceed with the examination and will note your absence. As soon as you are able, you must call the MCC Service Desk at 1-613-520-2240.

Exam languages
May I take the examination in any language?

You may take the examination in either English or French at any centre. However, staff and technical support may be limited to a specific language. Support at the centres will be offered as follows:

  • In both official languages in the Ottawa and Montreal centres
  • Primarily in French in the Quebec and New Brunswick centres
  • Primarily in English in all other centres
May I switch languages during the examination?

No. You will be required to take the entire examination in the language that you initially choose on the morning of the exam.

Do the French centres only offer the examination in French?

No. The examination may be taken in either English or French at any centre. However, staff and technical support may be limited to a specific language. Support at the centres will be offered as follows:

  • In both official languages in the Ottawa and Montreal centres
  • Primarily in French in the Quebec and New Brunswick centres
  • Primarily in English in all other centres
Personal belongings
Are there lockers? Will my bags be stored in a safe place?

Each examination centre is different. The Entrance Card package will provide you with details. In general, we recommend bringing very few personal effects with you apart from the piece of ID that is required to access the examination room.

May I bring my own ear plugs to cancel out distracting sounds in the examination room? Are ear plugs provided?

You are welcome to bring your own small ear plugs, and some examination centres do provide them. Large headsets are not allowed.

May I bring a water bottle?

Clear water bottles without labels are allowed in some examination rooms.

Since your exam is taking place in a laboratory, they may not permit water bottles, but will permit you to access them by request. Remember that, if you take a break, that time is not given back to you for the examination.

May I wear a watch? Are there clocks in the examination room?

Watches are not allowed. There is a clock in each examination room.

Lunch and breaks
Are there breaks?

There will be a lunch break between the morning and afternoon sessions.

You may take breaks during the examination. We encourage you to take a stretch break periodically during the examination.

If you request a washroom break, you will be accompanied to the washroom by a proctor.

Please note that you are not given extra time to compensate for taking a break.

How long is the lunch break?

The scheduled lunch hour is 60 minutes. Start time is determined by the examination centre staff and how well the schedule is being followed. If you finish the morning session early, then you will have a longer lunch break.

May I leave the examination facility for my lunch break?

Yes. You must return at the time the examination centre staff specifies. They will inform you of the return time before you leave for lunch.

May I eat my lunch at the examination facility?

Yes. Please keep in mind that there is no refrigeration available at the examination centres.

Should I bring my own lunch?

We recommend that you bring a lunch.

May I bring my own snacks to eat at the computer?

Most laboratories may not permit food, but will permit you to access snacks by request. Remember that, if you take a break, that time is not given back to you for the examination.

Writing the examination
Do you provide the normal lab values?

Yes, when relevant to the exam question, these are provided directly in the MCQ or CDM item or case.

How much time do I have to answer the questions?

There is a total of 210 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in the morning session. You are given a total MCQ session time limit of four hours.

For the afternoon clinical decision making (CDM) session, candidates are presented 35 cases and a maximum total of 70 questions. You do not have a time limit for each case but are given a total testing time of 3 ½ hours for the CDM component. We therefore recommend that you spend no more than an average of three minutes per question.

Cases with three or more questions may require more than the average amount of time, and cases with only one question should require less than the average amount of time.