The MCCQE Part I is scored independently of the MCCQE Part II. To be awarded the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), you must pass both the MCCQE Part I and Part II.
The MCCQE Part I contains 210 Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) and 38 Clinical Decision Making (CDM) cases (60-70 questions). Of the 210 MCQs, 35 are pilot questions that are being used for the first time and do not count towards your total scores. Of the 38 CDM cases, eight are pilot cases and do not count towards your total scores. The pilot questions and cases are not identified on the exam; you should try to do as well as you can on every question and case.
The MCCQE Part I is a criterion-referenced exam. This means that those of you who meet or exceed the standard will pass the exam regardless of how well other candidates perform on it.
How MCCQE Part I total scores and subscores are calculated
Your total score is calculated by combining MCQs and CDMs. For both MCQs and CDM questions, each correct answer is scored 1 point and each incorrect answer is scored 0. Some CDM questions, such as a question whose answer includes multiple correct elements, allow candidates to receive more than 1 point. For example, for a question with four correct elements, you can receive up to 4 points. The total score is calculated using both the questions’ individual scores and their level of difficulty.
Your total MCCQE Part I score is reported on a scale from 100 to 400 with a pass score of 226.
The MCCQE Part I assesses your performance with exam questions classified across two broad categories:
- Dimensions of care, covering the spectrum of medical care; and
- Physician activities, reflecting a physician’s scope of practice.
Each category has four domains:
|Dimensions of Care||Physician Activities|
|Health Promotion and Illness Prevention||Assessment and Diagnosis|
|Psychosocial Aspects||Professional Behaviours|
MCCQE Part I subscores are presented graphically to indicate your relative strengths and weaknesses in each of the domains.
For more information on the Blueprint and content weightings for each domain, please visit the MCCQE Part I overview page.
How the MCCQE Part I pass score is established
Every few years, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) brings together a panel of Canadian physicians to define an acceptable level of performance and establish the pass score for the MCCQE Part I through a standard-setting exercise. The panel then recommends its pass score to the Central Examination Committee (CEC) for approval. The CEC, composed of physicians and medical educators from across the country, is responsible for awarding pass/fail results to MCCQE Part I candidates.
In June 2018, the MCC completed a rigorous standard-setting exercise based on expert judgments from a panel of 22 physicians across the country that represented faculties of medicine, different specialties, and years of experience supervising students and residents. For more information on the past MCCQE Part I standard-setting exercise, see the Technical Report on this topic. A report on the June 2018 standard setting exercise, using the same standard-setting method as in the past, will be available later in 2018.
How a MCCQE Part I pass/fail decision is made
Your final MCCQE Part I 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.
How your MCCQE Part I score can be used to assess relative performance
Your total score is reported as a scaled score ranging from 100 to 400 with a mean of 250 and a standard deviation of 30. The mean and standard deviation were set using the results from the April 2018 session. Results from the April 2018 and subsequent sessions will be reported using this scale, allowing you to compare candidate performance across sessions beginning with the April 2018 session.
On this new scale, the pass score that was recommended and approved is 226. This pass score will remain in place until the next standard-setting exercise.
Prior to 2018, there was a different blueprint for the MCCQE Part I. The scale ranged from 50 to 950 with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100. The mean and standard deviation were set using the results from the spring 2015 session.
Because the exams are different and based on different blueprints, you cannot directly compare scores from before 2018 to those in 2018. However, you can compare your performance to the mean and standard deviation that was in place for your exam session.
As an example, an MCCQE Part I score of 310 on the 100 to 400 scale, in place as of 2018, with a mean of 250 and standard deviation of 30 is two standard deviations above that of the group mean from April 2018. An MCCQE Part I score of 700 on the former 50 to 950 scale with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100 is two standard deviations above that of the group mean from spring 2015. These two scores represent similar performance.
How MCCQE Part I results are presented
Each candidate receives two score reports. The Statement of Results (SOR) includes your final result and total score, as well as the examination pass score. Additional information about domain subscores is provided on the Supplemental Information Report (SIR). Prior to 2018, this document was called the Supplement Feedback Report (SFR).