Our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is to ensure the safety of our candidates and all involved in our exams. We have worked collaboratively with stakeholders to make the changes necessary for the delivery of the NAC exam with physical distancing and other personal protective measures, as per the guidelines set by local public health authorities, put in place at the available examination centres.
For the September 2020 session, due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures in place, where physical examination is indicated, candidates will not be performing physical examinations for this session but will be expected to verbally describe to the physician examiner what manoeuvres they would perform and explain what they would be looking for.
Application and eligibility
To take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination, you must have graduated or be 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; or
- A U.S. School of Osteopathic Medicine
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Applying for the NAC Examination
You can apply for the NAC Examination during designated periods through your physiciansapply.ca account. You will only be able to apply if you meet the eligibility requirements. For approximate application dates, see NAC overview.
During the application process, you will be asked to choose up to three exam centres in order of preference. You do not have to take the exam in the province where you will be applying for residency.
We will make every attempt to accommodate your centre preference(s). If you choose only one centre, your likelihood of being assigned to it does not improve.
If you are a student
You may need to submit a Student Attestation Form if you have not previously submitted one or if there have been changes to the expected completion date of medical degree requirements since your previous exam application.
If you are a graduate
Your medical degree/diploma must be in progress of source verification or have been successfully source verified.
If the MCC has previously reviewed all the necessary documentation, you may receive quick notification that your NAC Examination application has been accepted. Otherwise, please allow up to three weeks after your documents have been received for your application to be processed.
Reapplying for the NAC Examination – Limited exam attempts
You can take the NAC Examination to a maximum of three times overall, regardless of whether you passed or failed your previous attempt. Only your most recent result on the examination remains valid indefinitely and does not expire. As of 2018, the NAC exam cannot be taken in consecutive sessions (for example, a candidate who will take the September 2020 NAC exam will be able to retake it at the earliest in September 2021).
Accessibility and test accommodations
If you have a documented disability or special need, you may be able to receive accommodations to help you take the NAC Examination. Visit the accessibility and test accommodations page to learn more.
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 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 the June 1-September 20, 2020 session or the October 26-November 8, 2020 session. Since it appears file review for the 2021 R-1 first iteration match will begin approximately in early February 2021, taking the MCCQE Part I in the Oct-Nov session should allow enough time for you to receive your results and apply.
- You must also apply for the September 2020 NAC Examination in June 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 graphic for the 2021 CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match