The Best Ways to Get Ready for Your USMLE Step 1 Exam Day

The Best Ways to Get Ready for Your USMLE Step 1 Exam Day

No matter how smart you are, even the most composed medical students get anxious before the USMLE Step 1 exam. The majority of people complete two or three years of education prior to taking the test. However, it’s not an easy one. Your knowledge of medicine is assessed on the USMLE Step 1 exam, and the findings are crucial in deciding the kinds of careers and residency programs you can pursue.

After sleepless nights coupled with months of studying, there is a question most medical students ask prior to a step 1 USMLE test day: “How do I prepare for a step 1 USMLE test day?”. Well, your answer is right here. In this article, we will discuss most of the very much-needed tips you need while preparing for your step 1 USMLE test day.

Test Accommodations

In the early stages of planning for your USMLE step 1 test, what you need to look out for prior to the test is whether you do need certain accommodations. It could be learning, medical disabilities, or disadvantages that might warrant this accommodation. If you need one, you need to go through the guidelines provided on the USMLE site and plan ahead of the test.

What kind of studying should you do prior to your step 1 USMLE test day?

This is a recurring question that most people prepping to write the step 1 USMLE test ask prior to the exams. Well, months before the exams, it is expected that most candidates have a study schedule that will help them stay on the right track.

  • It is important to take practice test questions and maintain a digital study journal where you record the questions you miss. When you reach those sections of your medical coursework, go to your online study log and make a note of where you most need assistance. You can use sites such as Canadaqbank to access practice questions.
  • Focus on what you don’t know. Inasmuch as you need to hold the information you are competent in, avoid devoting a lot of time to areas in which you already possess confidence. Go back each week using your digital study journal to see what still needs improvement. Till you’ve also mastered those areas, devote time to them.
  • Using your mnemonics, this simple trick can help you a long way; by using the first letter of every word, you can create codes that will help you memorize places, things, and people easily.

Create a plan for your breaks.

Before exam day, make a plan for your breaks. Recall that the exam will last eight hours, divided into seven blocks. Your breaks will last for a total of one hour. So, arrange them in a way that suits you the best, or simply organize your breaks in advance of the test day.


Plan for the day of the USMLE Step 1 exam by figuring out your transit plan. When you leave your house or apartment, try to time your departure for when traffic and public transportation are at their busiest. Examine the parking situation and determine whether using a garage or lot will cost you money. Schedules for public transportation vary according to one’s location. Verify whether the buses or trains will arrive at your testing location in time.

Make sure you get to the testing location at least half an hour before the exam. If you intend to drive yourself to the testing site, it’s worth looking into alternate routes. This will enable you to adjust to unanticipated mishaps, construction, and other circumstances.

What you ought to do a day before your step 1 USMLE test

Early Journey

If you have to travel to a different place to take the exam, attempt to arrive early on the day before. The last thing you want is to arrive late and find out there was a problem with your registration right before your exam and have to make last-minute changes to your sleeping arrangements. Always remember that “it’s the early birds that get the worms,” so the earlier, the better.

Eat Properly

It’s important to eat well and properly. So, eat foods that your body system can tolerate. Also, it is not advisable to attempt anything new the day before your USMLE Step 1 exam. In particular, avoid consuming too much coffee. During their USMLE exam preparation, medical students frequently consider what nutritious foods are best to eat.

A well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, protein, and fruits and vegetables is the quick answer to this question. It is also advisable that you avoid spicy foods as well as any food that can interfere with your regular digestion.

Gather everything you’ll need the day before for USMLE Step 1 test

Your scheduling permit and a valid photo ID from the government are essential. You have a copy with you on test day. Make sure to prepare those items the day before and store them in a location you will remember to retrieve them before you depart.

You can also get your snacks and medications should you need them.


Cramming at the last minute always sounds like a smart plan. But you also need to know when to put down the flashcards and call it a night. You could miss your alarm or feel sleepy on the USMLE Step 1 exam if you stay up late or sleep later than usual.

To perform to the best of your ability on the USMLE Step 1 exam, you must be in outstanding physical and mental health. It follows that you ought to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. The USMLE Step 1 test is broken up into many one-hour time slots. Getting enough sleep guarantees that you’ll be focused and able to complete the exam questions in the allotted time.


These tips will help you organize yourself and plan ahead of time so your exams can be a success. You can also add a personal program to help improve your physical and mental shape prior to the exams. It is essential that you consider using CanadaQBank as a helpful study partner as you embark on your adventure to ace the USMLE Step 1 exams. You can successfully prepare for the exam and attain your desired result by adhering to these tips and your approach to your specific needs.

Is it Possible to Work As a Doctor in the USA Without USMLE

Is it Possible to Work As a Doctor in the USA Without USMLE

For many people, working in the Americas and Europe is a dream come true. This also applies to healthcare practitioners such as Doctors who chase after this opportunity because they know it will provide them with better working environments and better pay. Unfortunately, the battle to get certified can be quite difficult and lengthy, as there are several difficult exams and regulatory hurdles to conquer.

The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) and Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) are some examples of the exams taken in the US and the UK. However, the process of applying and preparing for these exams can be quite costly. So it comes as no surprise that some potential doctors may wonder if it is possible to work as a doctor in the USA without USMLE. In the coming paragraphs, we’ll delve deep into this.


The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) requires International Medical Graduates (IMG) to fulfill certain requirements before they can acquire further training and jobs. The USMLE is a three-step exam designed to assess and ensure that you meet the level of competence required to treat the citizens of the United States. This exam tests your readiness, knowledge, and skills to provide safe and effective patient care. Divided into Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 3, these exams range over diverse topics and test your capabilities in more than one way.

Necessity of the USMLE

Passing the USMLE with great scores helps to open numerous doors of opportunity to IMG as there are quite a number of doctors applying and writing the exams with you, so the competition is stiff. Therefore, hospitals and employers are most likely to choose the people with the highest scores and certifications. Here are some more reasons why the USMLE is important:

  1. Integration into the US healthcare system: People who pass the exam demonstrate that they are capable of integrating into the healthcare system, as it assesses your clinical decision-making and communication skills to ensure that you can provide your patients with safe and effective care. The USMLE is a pre-requisite for international graduates to acquire a license to practice in the USA and to participate in specialty exams that grant you Board certification to establish expertise in a specific specialty.
  2. Standardized Assessment of Medical Competence: The USMLE provides a standardized and uniform evaluation of medical competence in applying medical knowledge and principles to patient care. This is helpful to doctors who graduated from medical schools that are not on the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) list, as employers will be able to see how you perform against those who are.
  3. Residency program Admission: In order to be considered eligible for most residency positions in the US, you must have passed all three steps of the exam. Residency programs typically use USMLE scores as a criterion for selecting candidates.
  4. Competitive advantage: Scoring high in the exams will play in your favor as it will allow you to stand out in a river full of recent graduates. It enhances your competitiveness and shows residency programs and employers that you operate at a level higher than average level with a strong foundation of medical concepts and techniques.
  5. Global recognition: The USMLE is recognized worldwide as a measure of medical competence, and passing it provides versatility to your portfolio, allowing you the option to practice or pursue further education in other countries.

Most doctors recommend the use of a trusted and qualified question bank when preparing for the USMLE, as they contain past questions used from actual exams. Really good ones like CanadaQbank also contain features that will accurately simulate actual exam scenarios.

Can doctors work without USMLE?

Doctors do 5 kinds of work: administration, clinical, education, management, and research. In the most technical sense, only clinical work requires you to have passed the USMLE. This does not mean that every job in the other field is now available to you, as certain employers will still value the presence of a pass, but below are some available opportunities:

  1. Clinical Research Positions: Positions are available in research, and these focus on non-clinical roles like conducting research studies and gathering data. These positions are available in academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, or research organizations.
  2. Teaching Positions: IMGs with strong teaching skills and relevant experience in their expertise can find jobs teaching at medical schools, institutions or teaching hospitals. These roles do not involve direct patient care.
  3. Limited Licensure Programs: Some states in the US offer limited licensure programs that allow medical school graduates and those who have passed a comparable exam in their home country to practice in the US under restrictions and supervision, often in underserved regions. These programs are designed to address healthcare shortages and may involve additional assessment, interviews, or specific practice restrictions.
  4. Military services: The US Armed Forces have specific programs to recruit physicians and healthcare professionals trained outside the States. Each branch of the US military has its accession programs for healthcare professionals, and they can offer specific training in exchange for a service commitment of a few years.
  5. Telemedicine Positions: this is an emerging field that offers doctors the chance to provide consultations and remote patient care. However, it is highly limited and regulated and is usually available under public health emergencies or during collaborative agreements, where IMGs may work with licensed physicians or healthcare institutions.
  6. O-1 Visa: Given to individuals who have shown extraordinary ability or achievement in their field, this visa is rarely given and then only to exceptional graduates. This visa allows you to participate in activities that showcase your exceptional skills, but it is not designed as a substitute for medical licensure.
  7. J-1 Visa: This visa category is commonly associated with cultural exchange programs. It includes the J-1 exchange visitor physician category, allowing foreign medical graduates to complete their graduate medical training in the US. They also have the option to work in underserved regions of the US in exchange for a waiver of the two-year home county residency requirement. This can be a pathway to employment, especially in areas with doctor shortages.
  8. Public Health and Policy: There are opportunities for IMGs to contribute to public health initiatives and policy development. This can involve working with NGOs, government agencies, or international health organizations.
  9. Healthcare Administration and Management: IMGs with strong administrative and managerial skills can choose to explore roles in healthcare management. Rather than direct patient care, these positions focus more on the business and operational aspects of healthcare.


While passing the USMLE is an integral step in the path for an international medical student looking to practice freely and fully in the United States, it is not the only way to find employment in the States. There are other alternate routes that you can take to acquire a job and a source of livelihood. Whether your goal is to wait a bit to prepare and raise money for the exam or a retest or to start working and building your career in a non-clinical direction, we hope this article was of use to you.

USMLE Step 3 2024 Exams: What You Need to Know About it

In case you didn’t know, for medical licensure in the United States, there is a three-step exam known as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). In order to provide safe and efficient patient care, the USMLE evaluates a doctor’s application of information, concepts, and principles as well as their basic patient-centred abilities. These are crucial in both health and sickness.

Thus, before anyone can practice medicine in the United States, candidates from all over the world must take the USMLE exam. To schedule their USMLE exam date, candidates may register for the exam at any time that is convenient for them. The candidate can set up the USMLE exam dates for 2024 on the Prometric website once the selected eligibility period has been approved. There is a lot to know, but for the sake of this article, we are going to tell you what you need to know about the USMLE Step 3.

The Requirements for Step 3 USMLE Exams

It is important to know the requirements that should be met before applying for the step 3 USMLE exams

The step 3 eligibility requirements for the USMLE exams include:

  • Achieving passing grades in Clinical Knowledge on Steps 1 and 2;
  • The equivalent of an MD degree from a medical school outside of the United States and Canada that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting the requirements for ECFMG eligibility or a DO degree from a medical school accredited by the LCME or COCA; and obtain ECFMG Certification;
  • Fulfilling all additional qualifying requirements specified in the most recent USMLE Bulletin of Information.

Note that for the new or latest graduates, you have to wait until after the date of your medical school diploma to apply for Step 3. Your application will be cancelled, and some of your money may be lost if you apply before you have graduated. This is because after you graduate, the FSMB may need up to 12 weeks to confirm your degree with your medical school. When choosing your eligibility time, please bear this in mind since free extensions of your selected eligibility period are not offered.

USMLE Step 3 Exam Pattern

The Step 3 exam focuses on how crucial it is to evaluate the expertise and knowledge of doctors who are taking on independent responsibility for giving patients general medical care. The Step 3 test is divided into two days: Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP) on the first day and Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM) on the second.

Also, step 3 consists of computer-based case simulations and multiple-choice questions (MCQs), sometimes referred to as items. The test has six blocks of 38–39 multiple-choice questions that make up the 232 multiple-choice items on the first testing day. Each block of test items has a 60-minute time limit. The test session lasts for about seven hours on the first day, with a 45-minute break and a 5-minute optional lesson. Questions you will see include diagnosis and management, questions also include epidemiology, biostatistics, and foundational sciences.

The second day’s test session lasts for almost nine hours. On this testing day, there will be an optional 5-minute lesson, then 180 multiple-choice questions broken up into six blocks of 30 questions each. You have 45 minutes to finish each block of test questions. A seven-minute CCS (Computer Based Case Simulation) instruction is also included on the second day. Thirteen case scenarios, each with a maximum real-time duration of ten or twenty minutes, come next. Also, know that there is a minimum of forty-five minutes allotted for breaks.

Modifying Your Eligibility Period

You must know that once your application has been filed, you are unable to modify the eligibility period you have selected. However, you should note the following:

  • In the case of a prior eligibility period, the application must be cancelled, and a new one, together with the required fee, must be submitted.
  • You will lose all of your application money if your application has already been accepted. However, your application cost will be partially refunded if your application is denied.

Regarding an extended eligibility period, you have two options: 

  1. File a request for an eligibility extension, which must be filed no later than 25 days after the conclusion of your selected eligibility period and will take effect immediately after or
  2. You cancel your application and file a new one with the appropriate fee

Scheduling an Exam Date

To schedule your exam date, you are expected to register with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) for a scheduling permit in order to set up exam dates. The permit is valid for the dates of your planned tests for three months. You must either request for an eligibility extension or cancel your current eligibility term and choose a new one if you wish to change it.

Your two Step 3 testing days can be scheduled and taken on consecutive or non-consecutive days. But you have to take Step 3 FIP (“Day 1”) first, then Step 3 ACM (“Day 2”). You must book both test dates with Prometric at the same time and location, and the distance between your exam dates cannot be greater than 14 calendar days. You should note that Step 3 is available all year round, with the exception of the first two weeks of January and significant US holidays.

The Costs of Step 3 USMLE Exams

For USMLE Step 3 exams, questions like “What will it cost to apply for a USMLE Step 3 exam?” might boggle your mind, but today you will find your answers here.

First, for scheduling permission in 2024, the FSMB registration price is $925. The charge, which covers the three-month eligibility period, is non-transferable and non-refundable. There will be additional expenses if you need to reschedule your exam date(s) less than 46 days in advance, as stated on the USMLE website. However, other expenses on question banks and the registration fees might cost you a few more dollars.

What you Need on the Test day

  • You’ll need your scheduling permit, either printed or electronic,
  • A government I.D. with your most recent passport and signature on it so you can be identified.
  • It is advised that you wear a comfortable dress to your test centre depending on the weather for the day.


Understanding the intricacies of the USMLE Step 3 2024 exams is vital for aspiring medical professionals. Meeting eligibility requirements, grasping the exam pattern, and managing costs are key considerations. Efficient scheduling and preparation, guided by the outlined details, contribute to successful exam navigation, ensuring a smooth transition to medical practice in the United States. Don’t forget that CanadaQBank can help you prepare for your USMLE Step 3 exam with its vast resources and everything.

The Top 10 New Year Resolutions Every Medical Student Should Make

The Top 10 New Year Resolutions Every Medical Student Should Make

Resolving for the coming year is an excellent approach to start fresh. it’s like pressing “reset.” You get to decide the manner in which you want to approach your goals and set new ones or reexamine existing ones. As medical students and aspiring medical practitioners, it’s important to make resolutions ahead of the new year.

Now, whether these resolutions work or not, it’s still important to make them as they help in clarifying your goals for the year, evaluating the previous goals, and reforming or setting new goals for the year. These goals might act as a guide to help you fulfill your obligation to support your studies. In the coming paragraphs, we will look to explore the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for medical students in this article.

Why should medical students consider making a new year’s resolution?

As a medical student, new year resolutions can be of great help. You can maintain your academic progress, cultivate healthy habits, and progress in your career by making resolutions. They enable you to specify particular goals and identify opportunities for improvement.

These solutions can be crucial for medical students in keeping a balance between their daily lives and their studies. As a result, you become a habitually disciplined person.

Why do new year resolutions fail?

This is a question most people ask often. The real problem here is that the goals or resolutions they made were unrealistic or, rather, relied heavily on hope, simply say, a case of over-optimism.

However, it’s okay to be optimistic, but let your goals for the year be within your reach. Another case is the fact that people tend to overrate themselves and fail to take up desirable traits that can help them achieve their goals for the year. These unrealistic resolutions for the year can hamper one’s ability to achieve any goal for the year. Thus, the Idea here is to set goals that are within your reach. Still, know that It’s okay to take it from day to day and try as much as possible to make resolutions that you can achieve.

10 New year’s Resolutions for medical students:

1. Manage your time properly

It’s important that you create a schedule so you can manage your time properly. Try as much as possible to establish this schedule within the first month of the year so you won’t have your personal life clashing with your studies.

2. Enhance your study habits

Another important resolution for a medical student is to improve his or her study habits. By doing so, you optimize your learning process. So, allocate time for studying, organize your schedule, and seek help when you need it.

3. Self-care

Self-care is very much needed, starting with the basics; a healthy diet, enough sleep, proper cleanliness, and regular exercise is the best course of action. A diet high in fast food, skipping meals, or surviving solely on snacks is a surefire way to lose energy and focus. Alternatively, use the meal prep method to save time by planning and preparing multiple meals at once.

4. Volunteering or shadowing

Volunteering at several outreaches can be a valuable asset and offer you very much needed experience. Not only would you gain experience, but your dedication will certainly help in future endeavors.

5. Attending seminars and workshops

Workshops and seminars are important and are valuable assets to medical students. Here you can learn new skills, get updates as well as gain experience. It is essential that you attend seminars and workshops as it will help you make progress in your career.

6. Stay updated

From books to magazines and online journals to sites such as CanadaQBank. You can stay informed and updated on the latest innovations in the medical field. This knowledge will help you in the ever-evolving medical field.

7. Seek mentorship

You may need a mentor who is a medical doctor or a medical student of a higher level. They tend to offer priceless insights into the medical field. They can provide guidance on patient care, medical school barriers, and the realities of different medical disciplines. Above all, they may offer you knowledge that you won’t discover online or in other places. PS, it’s never too early or too late to get a mentor.

8. Connect with peers

Study motivation, problem-solving, organizational, and time management abilities have all been demonstrated to be enhanced by near-peer education.

Connecting with peers can also prove valuable in the medical field.

9. Prepare for all your professional exams

It is of utmost importance that you prepare for all your exams or tests. Early preparation for tests such as the MCAT and USMLE is important for you as it will help you familiarize yourself with the materials available. Qbanks like the CanadaQBank can help with practice questions. You must remember that thorough preparation will help you gain admission into medical school or get your license.

10. Keep your lifestyle balanced

Most medical students are so invested in the medical field that they often forget that there is life outside the medical field. As much as it is a good thing to be concerned about the field, it’s also important that you find a balance between medical school and your personal lifestyle. You must create a balance between both so you won’t wear out.

Stages in medical school

There are a couple of stages in medical school, from pre-med to becoming a practicing physician, and they include:

So, when making a new year resolution as a medical student, it’s important to consider all these stages.


Making resolutions for the new year can be pleasant or difficult, and It is up to you to decide. Focusing on something you truly desire and are prepared to dedicate yourself fully to is the first step. If you follow through on this, you’ll be well-positioned to maintain your motivation and achieve success. Remember, in your journey to becoming the best medical practitioner, CanadaQBank can and will help you pass your exams more easily with its vast resources.

Navigating the MCCQE1: A Comprehensive Guide to Seamless Application and Triumph


Embarking on the journey to secure a medical license in Canada involves overcoming the pivotal hurdle of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I. This examination stands as a critical milestone for both Canadian and international medical graduates, serving as a litmus test for a candidate’s clinical decision-making skills and core medical knowledge. Administered by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC), the MCCQE1 is offered in English and French, aligning with the MCC Objectives structured under the Canadian Medical Education Directions for Specialists (CanMEDS) roles.

Unraveling the MCCQE1

The MCCQE Part I is not just a regular examination; it’s a gateway to practicing medicine in Canada. This rigorous test evaluates the clinical knowledge of medical graduates, ensuring a robust foundation for residency training. It is a two-part examination, Section A comprises 210 Multiple-choice questions and Section B features 38 Clinical cases. What sets the MCCQE1 apart from the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is its distinct clinical orientation.

Reasons Behind the Surge in MCCQE1 Applicants

The allure of practicing medicine in Canada has been steadily growing, attracting physicians from around the globe. Canada’s reputation as a welcoming hub for international medical graduates, coupled with its diverse and inclusive policies, adds to its appeal. The presence of world-renowned hospitals and research institutions further enhances the country’s charm.

The quality of residency and fellowship programs in Canada is another important factor in this surge as these programs not only provide excellent training but are often government-funded, making them more affordable than comparable programs in other countries. The recent easing of qualification requirements for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) has encouraged this influx, reinforcing Canada’s position as a sought-after destination for medical professionals.

The path to becoming a qualified physician in Canada, once labyrinthine, has now become more accessible. Simplified requirements, including an English language exam, MCCQE Part I, and NAC OSCE, make this an opportune moment to pursue the dream of practicing medicine in a country known for its freedom and quality healthcare.

Demystifying MCCQE1 Eligibility

Eligibility for the MCCQE1 is a stringent process overseen by the MCC. To partake in the exam, a candidate must hold a valid medical license from a recognized medical school. International and Canadian medical graduates certified by the MCC fall within the eligible bracket. Successfully navigating the MCCQE1 opens doors to applying for coveted residency positions across the country.

Navigating the MCCQE1 Application: A Stepwise Odyssey

While the prospect of the MCCQE1 application might seem daunting, a systematic approach can transform it into a more manageable journey. Let’s navigate through the application process step by step:

1. Account Creation:

Initiate the process by creating an account on Once the account is set up, log in to kickstart the application process.

2. Online Registration Form:

Access the online registration form, where vital personal information, educational background, and contact details are provided. Completion of the form marks the next step – submission of the application.

3. Verification of Medical Degree:

Await the verification of your medical degree. Once verified, you join the National Physician Database receiving an official registration confirmation.

4. Exam Schedule and Payment:

Delve into the exam schedule, pick a suitable date, and proceed with the payment process. An email confirmation from the MCC follows, laden with crucial details about the examination.

Pro Tips for a Seamless Registration Process

Effortless navigation through the MCCQE1 exam registration process demands attention to detail. Here are some pro tips to enhance your experience:

1. Medical School Eligibility Check:

Ensure your medical school boasts accreditation from the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) or is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

2. MCCQE1 Eligibility Verification:

Confirm your eligibility, keeping in mind that the exam spans over eighty countries but mandates Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.

3. Understanding School Processes:

Familiarize yourself with your medical school’s processes for obtaining a medical degree to avoid any unwarranted delays.

4. Deadline Vigilance:

Stay vigilant about deadlines. Keeping a watchful eye on timelines ensures a smooth application process devoid of setbacks.

5. Leverage Support:

Amidst the complexities of the application process, remember you’re not alone. Seek assistance from MCC staff whenever questions arise – they are committed to supporting you on your journey.

Understanding Costs and the Elusive Eligibility Window

Cost of MCCQE1 Application:

Despite its pivotal role, the MCCQE1 comes with a reasonable price tag. Priced at $1375, this investment becomes a valuable stepping stone toward preparation for success. Keep in mind that withdrawals post-deadline result in the forfeiture of the fee.

MCCQE1 Eligibility Window:

Upon acceptance, applicants enter a twelve-month eligibility window to take the MCCQE Part I. Strategic planning is imperative to ensure readiness before this window expires. Extending the eligibility window incurs an additional cost of $110.

Number of Attempts:

Candidates are permitted a maximum of four attempts. Failing on the third attempt mandates a twelve-month waiting period before reattempting the exam.

The Day of the MCCQE1: Maneuvering the Exam Landscape

The day of the MCCQE1 can be laden with stress, but a comprehensive understanding of the logistics can alleviate uncertainties. Here’s a breakdown of what to anticipate on exam day:

1. Arrival at the Prometric Test Center:

Ensure you arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled testing time. Armed with the Scheduling Permit obtained during the application process and a valid identification, you’re set for the day.

2. Essential Identification:

Present a valid form of identification – be it a passport, driver’s license with a photograph, or Permanent Resident (PR) Card. Signing a test center log and securing personal belongings in an assigned locker follows.

3. Test Center Protocols:

Receive a marker and laminated writing surfaces during the test. Follow the instructions provided by Prometric Centre personnel, who will escort you to your testing station.

4. Tutorial and Exam Commencement:

Undergo a brief tutorial before commencing the exam. The Clinical Decision-Making (CDM) part is preceded by a 45-minute break, allowing a brief respite.

5. Break Management Strategies:

Manage break time judiciously, avoiding overextension. Returning promptly to the examination room ensures optimal utilization of your allotted time.

CanadaQBank: Your Ally in MCCQE1 Preparation

Preparation is the linchpin for success in the MCCQE1, and CanadaQBank emerges as a robust solution. With a repository of over 2000 high-yield questions, numerous Clinical Decision-Making (CDM) cases, and self-assessment tests, The CanadaQbank provides users with the opportunity and platform to practice stimulated exams created from previous exams.

How to Pass AMC Exams – Part 1 AMC MCQ Comprehensive Guide

How to Pass AMC Exams – Part 1 AMC MCQ Comprehensive Guide

The looming shadow of the AMC Part 1 CAT MCQ exam can cast a long, stressful chill on any medical graduate. But fear not, brave souls! Today, we’ll crack open the vault of knowledge and reveal the secrets to navigating this challenging beast. I, too, once faced this hurdle, and let me tell you, the lessons learned were hard-won. That’s why I’m here to share my battle-tested strategies and resource hacks that helped me conquer the AMC and save precious time (and, let’s be honest, money) in the process.

Ready to dominate the AMC? Scroll down for tips on crafting a personalized study plan and conquer this daunting beast once and for all!

Initiating Early Success

Commencing my preparation during the fifth year of medical school, I realized the significance of a solid foundation for the AMC Part 1 CAT MCQ Examination. Early planning, ideally 4 to 6 months before your scheduled exam, ensures that you have ample time for resource identification, tailored scheduling, and comprehensive coverage.

Choosing the correct examination date is crucial. While flexibility might be limited based on your location, selecting a date that allows you to prepare thoroughly is essential. Avoid procrastination in setting your exam date, as having a defined time frame is motivational.

Decoding Study Duration

The time it takes to conquer the AMC’s CAT MCQ depends on two key factors: your existing knowledge and your free time. If you’re juggling clinical rotations and won’t be able to have prolonged study sessions, a solid 6-8 months of dedicated study is ideal to prevent burnout. Remember, even medical heroes need rest, so schedule breaks to avoid burning out.

Building a Clinical Foundation

Clinical rotations can be a secret weapon against the AMC. By seeing real-life cases, you’ll understand textbook knowledge on a deeper level, making it stick like superglue. Plus, you’ll get used to the types of questions the AMC loves to throw at you. Bonus points for interleaved practice – weave textbook study into your clinical days for ultimate learning power. Don’t worry about turning heads; discreetly use your tablet or laptop during downtime to dive into resources like John Murtagh’s General Practice or CanadaQbank. Every stolen study minute counts!

Exam Preparation for Non-Working Graduates

If you’re not yet immersed in clinical life, don’t fret! Explore extended clinical observations, consider returning home for some hands-on experience, or look for alternative clinical roles. Just remember, while bridging programs can be helpful, they might not offer the same depth of experience as complete rotations for mastering the AMC MCQ.

Resource Selection: Quality Over Quantity

Contrary to the misconception that more resources equate to better performance, I advocate focusing on three or four high-quality resources. Prioritize thorough reviews of selected resources like John Murtagh’s General Practice, official AMC Handbooks, and question banks like CanadaQbank.

Navigating Textbooks Effectively

While numerous preparation books exist, a focused approach is crucial. John Murtagh’s General Practice stands out, offering a comprehensive review of critical subject areas. Even minutiae information can surface as questions, making a detailed understanding imperative. Its alignment with the Australian medical context adds a distinctive edge.

Unraveling the Question Banks

Practice questions are paramount, and the AMC Part 1 CAT MCQ Examination’s multiple-choice nature underscores the importance of question banks. Opt for reputable ones like AMEDEX and CanadaQBank, ensuring detailed explanations accompany each answer. They pool questions from past examinations, and effective utilization involves timed and untimed sessions, progressing from subject-specific to mixed questions.

Harnessing the Power of Flashcards

Anki’s spaced repetition method, employed through concise flashcards, enhances long-term retention. Craft flashcards for questions missed or guessed correctly during reviews, reinforcing key concepts.

Crafting a Study Strategy

Maintaining balance is pivotal; a work-life balance mitigates burnout. Strive for consistent study durations rather than succumbing to unrealistic, prolonged sessions. Customizing breaks, incorporating alternative study materials, and employing varied study formats contribute to a well-rounded preparation.

Managing Exam Anxiety and Timing

Strategically planning breaks during the 3.5-hour AMC Part 1 CAT MCQ Examination is crucial for optimal pacing. Recognizing it as three mini-tests helps maintain focus, emphasizing that wrong answers don’t count against you.

Final Exam Day Tips

Ensuring a good night’s sleep, familiarizing yourself with the exam site, and arriving early are prerequisites. Approaching the exam as an opportunity to earn points, managing time effectively, and avoiding second-guessing contribute to a positive test-taking experience.

Addressing Exam Failures

For those facing retakes, a strategic focus on previously challenging areas, guided by performance profiles, is vital. Utilize feedback to pinpoint weaknesses and refine your knowledge base.

Understanding Failure Reasons

A 53% passing rate emphasizes the need to address common failure causes. These include poor time management, misinterpretation of questions, unfamiliarity with navigating and thinking at a clinical level, and lack of insight into Australian medical and social culture.

Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

Techniques like “cycling” combat time management issues while emphasizing the importance of nonmedical details and thinking like an examiner enhances question interpretation. Practicing with the AMC online mock exam familiarizes you with the exam interface.

The Continuous Learning Journey

Beyond exam success, view your preparation as a continuous learning journey. Stay updated on medical advancements, attend relevant conferences, and engage in lifelong learning to remain a proficient medical professional in the dynamic healthcare field.

Acknowledging Achievements

Celebrate small victories during your preparation journey. Acknowledge your progress in understanding complex medical concepts and applaud your resilience in the face of challenges. Positive reinforcement contributes to a motivated and confident mindset.

Future Aspirations

As you approach the AMC Part 1 CAT MCQ Examination, envision your future as a successful medical practitioner contributing to the Australian healthcare landscape. Your dedication to mastering the exam reflects your commitment to delivering high-quality healthcare in a diverse and dynamic setting.


In conclusion, success in the AMC Part 1 CAT MCQ Examination involves adequate preparation, mindful time management, and strategic exam-taking. By adopting a comprehensive yet targeted approach, aspirants can navigate the complexities and increase their chances of success. Remember, it’s not just about passing but mastering the art of medical knowledge application in the Australian context.

In essence, mastering the AMC MCQ Exams is not merely a milestone; it’s a transformative journey that shapes you into a knowledgeable and competent medical professional prepared to serve the Australian community excellently. Best of luck on your path to success!

Additional Insights

Additionally, consider exploring online forums and study groups to exchange experiences and gain new perspectives. Seek mentorship from those who have successfully navigated the AMC MCQ Exams, and don’t hesitate to adapt your study plan based on evolving needs.

Ultimate Guide to the PLAB 1 Exam

The UK beckons, its hospitals humming with opportunity. But before you don your stethoscope and join the ranks of its esteemed doctors, one hurdle stands tall: the PLAB 1 exam. This isn’t just any test; it’s the gateway to a new chapter in your medical career, a chance to hone your skills on some of the world’s most advanced healthcare stages. But fear not, intrepid medical graduates! This comprehensive guide is your roadmap to PLAB 1 mastery, packed with insights, strategies, and the confidence to conquer every question and claim your place in the UK medical landscape.

Unveiling the PLAB 1 Exam: A Deeper Dive

Unpacking PLAB 1: An Overview

The PLAB 1 exam unfolds as a written odyssey divided into two parts. The first is a journey through 180 best-of-five Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) designed to gauge your aptitude in managing clinical scenarios akin to an FY2 doctor in UK hospitals. The second has 42 Extended Matching Items (EMIs) testing your ability to apply medical knowledge to clinical scenarios.

The challenge lies not just in the quantity but in the demand for a nuanced understanding of clinical knowledge.

Decoding the Question Format

Each question crafts a clinical vignette, vividly depicting patient demographics, presenting complaints, medical history, and relevant exam findings. Your role? To decipher probable diagnoses, choose appropriate investigations, and outline management strategies. Mastery of this format is your key to navigating the intricate terrain of PLAB 1 questions.

PLAB 1 Curriculum: The Roadmap

Aligned seamlessly with the Foundation Programme Curriculum, PLAB 1 touches on general medicine, surgery, gynecology, obstetrics, psychiatry, general practice, and medical ethics. The wisdom lies in focusing your revision on bedrock concepts, as the exam consciously avoids delving into specialist-level content.

Navigating Eligibility and GMC Online

Before plunging into the exam whirlpool, ensure you tick the eligibility boxes. PLAB 1 is exclusively for medical graduates with an acceptable Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ). It would be best to meet the good character and fitness to practice requirements.

Your gateway to PLAB 1 bookings and essential account management lies in creating a GMC Online account. Online application through the GMC website involves submitting documents, paying fees, and providing references. The process can take several months, so it’s crucial to start well in advance of your desired test date. Check the General Medical Council (GMC) website for the latest list of eligible qualifications.

English Proficiency: A Prerequisite

Demonstrate your linguistic prowess by passing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with a score of 7.0 in all bands. Specific score benchmarks apply, necessitating thorough preparation. If your medical alma mater echoes English, let your degree speak as the eloquent proof.

Booking Your PLAB 1 Odyssey

With English language evidence endorsed, embark on booking your PLAB 1 expedition. The current financial toll for this venture rests at £255, a sum payable through international-friendly debit or credit cards.

Navigating PLAB 1 Logistics

Dates and Venues: The Scheduling Saga

PLAB 1 dances to a quarterly beat, gracing both UK and international centers, with applications opening in February and August of each year. Keep your compass aligned with the GMC website, a treasure trove of exam dates and venues. The UK provides a home ground with venues in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, and Sheffield. Internationally, choose from 24 locations spread across 15 countries.

Deciphering Results and the Art of Passing

Results unveil themselves approximately six weeks post-exam, accessible through your GMC Online account. Each MCQ in Part 1 carries one mark, and a minimum of 114 marks (63%) is required to pass. While the EMIs are scored on a scale of 0-5, and a minimum total score of 180 is necessary to pass Part 2. The passing score, a product of the meticulous Angoff method, reflects the competence anticipated from doctors entering Foundation Training. It is best to aim for the sweet spot within the 60-65% range.

The Passing Rate Enigma

The passing rate, a chameleon in constant flux, responds to factors like resource accessibility, candidate influx, and the unpredictable dance with external elements such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past five years, the average passing rate stands at 69.4%, a figure poised for further evolution with the impending alignment with UK MLA requirements in 2024.

Strategies for Triumph

Art of Exam Techniques

Unlock your potential with strategic insights:

  • Identifying Weaknesses and Focusing on Targeted Revision: Analyze your strengths and weaknesses through practice questions and mock exams. Prioritize revising areas where you struggle, but don’t neglect your strengths entirely.
  • Time Management Mastery: Create a realistic study schedule that balances dedicated study time with breaks and other commitments. Utilize tools like calendars and planners to stay organized and on track. Don’t linger on challenges.
  • Mock Exams and Self-Assessment Techniques: Regularly take mock exams under timed conditions to simulate the real exam experience and identify areas for improvement. Analyze your performance on mock exams and use them to refine your study approach. CanadaQBank is a platform that offers all these features to aspiring doctors.
  • Building Mental Resilience and Managing Stress: The PLAB 1 can be stressful. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises to manage anxiety and maintain focus during exam preparation and the exam itself.
  • Utilizing Different Learning Resources: Diversify your learning methods to cater to your preferred learning style. Textbooks, online platforms, video lectures, and practice questions all have their strengths.
  • Read the Question thoroughly: Discern essential information swiftly as you watch for trigger words. Remember, nuances matter, so try to pick up on subtle language cues.
  • Avoid Blank Answers: Tentative answers are better than blanks; revise if time permits.

Remember a thorough understanding of the PLAB 1 structure, content, and expectations is crucial for developing a successful study plan and tackling the exam with confidence.

Tips for Specific Question Types

  • Best-of-Five (MCQs): Carefully read the question stem and all answer choices before selecting the most likely answer. Eliminate obviously incorrect options and rely on your medical knowledge to make an informed guess if necessary.
  • Extended Matching Items (EMIs): These questions present clinical scenarios with multiple options for diagnosis, investigation, and treatment. Read the scenario carefully, analyze the information, and choose the most appropriate response based on your medical knowledge and clinical reasoning skills.
  • Station Tests (OSCEs): These practical assessments involve demonstrating your clinical skills in simulated scenarios. Practice role-playing with colleagues or instructors to refine your communication skills, physical examination techniques, and decision-making abilities.

PLAB in the UK MLA Era

PLAB and UK MLA: A Symbiotic Coexistence

As the curtain rises on the UK Medical Licensing Assessment (UK MLA), PLAB holds its ground for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in 2024. While the exam structure undergoes minimal metamorphosis, the focus of the quality assurance process ensures alignment with the MLA content map. The PLAB blueprint might witness tweaks, but your current PLAB preparation remains a steadfast companion.

The Final Stretch

Crafting a Journey Beyond PLAB 1

Success isn’t merely about accumulating knowledge; it’s a tapestry woven with strategic preparation threads. Stay attuned to updates, master your time, and step into the PLAB 1 arena with unwavering confidence. Your passage into the UK healthcare system commences here. May the journey be as enriching as the destination. Best of luck!

Resources and Information Sources

  • The GMC website provides comprehensive information about the PLAB 1, including application forms, eligibility criteria, and past exam papers.
  • Reputable online resources like CanadaQBank offer preparation materials, practice questions, and mock exams. Be sure to utilize them as you prepare to write your exams.
  • Consider attending PLAB preparation courses or joining online study groups for additional support and guidance.

USMLE Step 1 Practice Question Types

The USMLE Step 1 looms large, a towering hurdle on every medical student’s path. This isn’t just another exam; it’s a gateway to your future, and with proper preparation, you can unlock it with confidence. But where do you begin?

It isn’t just about cramming facts. Step 1 demands a deep understanding of diverse question types, a keen eye for the evolving focus, and the ability to navigate the intricacies of each category. From “Most Likely” masterpieces to Multimedia mysteries and Chart conundrums, we’ll crack the code on them all.

In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll demystify the exam, equip you with valuable insights, and reveal the strategies you need to tackle every question precisely. Forget one-size-fits-all approaches – we’ll help you tailor your prep to your unique learning style and keep you motivated until you cross that finish line.

The Shifting Landscape of USMLE Step 1

The landscape of the USMLE Step 1 underwent a seismic shift with the transition to pass/fail grading in early 2022. This transformative change brought about a recalibration of the exam’s content, notably elevating the importance of applying basic science concepts and communication competencies.

Gone are the days of agonizing over three-digit scores. Now, Step 1 reports pass or fail, emphasizing broader knowledge and clinical reasoning over rote memorization. The exam now focuses more heavily on clinical skills and patient management. It will increasingly assess your ability to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues while navigating ethical dilemmas in a clinical setting, thus reflecting the evolving priorities of medical education.

These changes have caused Residency programs to consider a broader range of factors, including Step 2 CK scores, letters of recommendation, and clinical experiences when making their selections.

The changes have sparked lively debate, with some praising the shift towards clinical skills and others concerned about potential unintended consequences. However, one thing is clear: Step 1 has evolved, and future medical students need to adapt their preparation strategies accordingly.

Understanding question types, practicing clinical reasoning, and honing communication skills are crucial. Resources like CanadaQBank’s targeted qbanks and the latest NBME forms can be invaluable allies as you practice. They ensure your focus resonates with the current nuances of the exam.

As we navigate this evolving terrain, we must recognize the diminishing role of systems-based practice and patient safety questions in Step 1. Diagnosis and management questions, once integral to Step 1, now find their place in USMLE Step 2.

The Often Overlooked Art of Communication

Amidst the sea of scientific knowledge, one aspect that often takes a backseat is communication. Some students perceive it as “common sense” or “low yield,” potentially undermining its significance in the exam. Surprisingly, communication-related questions constitute a notable 6-9% of the Step 1 exams, according to the USMLE testing outline.

While it might be tempting to rely on intuition for such questions, dedicating time to their preparation can prove invaluable. Crafting empathetic statements, navigating open-ended inquiries, and knowing when to seek additional information or medical records are skills that can set you apart. Investing time in honing these communication competencies contributes not only to exam success but also to the development of a well-rounded medical professional.

Unraveling USMLE Sample Question Categories

Decoding “Most Likely” Step 1 Questions

The quintessential “most likely” question, often phrased as “Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?” reigns supreme in the USMLE Step 1 exam. These questions typically unfold within the context of complex clinical cases, demanding a holistic understanding of the presented information.

Efficiently tackling these questions involves a strategic approach. Commence by immersing yourself in the stem question – the heart of the case. This initial reading provides a roadmap, guiding your focus on whether the emphasis lies on diagnosis, biochemical correlates, anatomy, or other aspects. A brief scan of the answer choices complements this, forming a preliminary framework.

As you delve deeper into the case, the art lies in identifying 3-5 key clues. Distracting details may lurk, relevant to incorrect answer choices, underscoring the importance of assembling all clues and treating the case as a cohesive whole. This methodical unraveling of complex clinical scenarios is pivotal for success in “Most Likely” questions.

Navigating Multimedia Step 1 Questions

Multimedia questions, characterized by radiologic or pathologic findings, videos, or audio snippets of physical exam maneuvers, can be stressful and panic-inducing. The key to dominating these questions is maintaining composure amid the multimedia onslaught. Reading the stem first, before delving into multimedia content, is a foundational strategy.

Start by immersing yourself in the actual question before skimming through the answer choices. This provides a preliminary understanding of what to look for in the question stem. Then, you view the multimedia file for about 15 seconds to not be weighed down. Recognize patterns, interpret findings, and weave a coherent narrative within the question’s constraints. Whether deciphering a cardiac physical exam or interpreting a pathological image, recognizing clues within the stem enhances your ability to navigate the complexity of multimedia questions.

Mastering Chart Step 1 Questions

Chart questions present information in a visually overwhelming format, often featuring a plethora of arrows and data. Overcoming the initial intimidation involves adopting a systematic approach. Start by taking a deep breath to release any tension that can come with being bombarded by the chart, and then look towards the column you’re most familiar with and judiciously employ the process of elimination.

Chart questions demand a nuanced understanding of cause and consequence. Amidst the array of arrows and data points, getting entangled is easy. Taking your time and methodically approaching chart questions can unravel the complexities, preventing confusion and ensuring accurate responses.


In essence, preparing for USMLE Step 1 is a multi-faceted journey that extends beyond the confines of textbooks and review materials. It’s about developing a comprehensive understanding of medical concepts, honing diagnostic skills, and fostering effective communication – skills that will serve you well beyond the confines of the exam room.

As you navigate the depths of USMLE Step 1, remember that success is not just about answering questions correctly but about embodying the qualities of a competent and compassionate medical professional. With each question you tackle, envision yourself not just as a test-taker but as a future healer equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact in the world of medicine.

Ensure you check out our Qbanks at CanadaQBank for a comprehensive and up-to-date compilation of practice questions.

PLAB Part 2 Exam Guide

Introduction to the PLAB Part 2 Exam

The PLAB Part 2 exam stands as a significant milestone for international medical graduates (IMGs) who aspire to practice medicine in the United Kingdom. Serving as a rigorous assessment of clinical skills and competencies, this examination ensures that candidates meet the high standards expected of doctors entering their second year of the Foundation Programme.

Unveiling the PLAB Part 2 Exam Format

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

The PLAB Part 2 exam adopts the format of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), comprising 18 meticulously crafted scenarios. Each scenario, meticulously designed to mirror real-life clinical encounters, spans a duration of eight minutes. These scenarios encompass a wide array of medical situations, ranging from patient consultations and physical examinations to the execution of essential medical procedures and the resolution of ethical dilemmas.

Key Components of the OSCE

  • Patient Consultation: This segment assesses candidates’ communication skills, proficiency in patient history-taking, and their ability to devise appropriate management plans based on the gathered information.
  • Physical Examination: Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence in performing thorough and relevant physical examinations, showcasing their clinical acumen and diagnostic abilities.
  • Practical Skills: This component evaluates candidates’ proficiency in executing essential medical procedures, such as administering injections, obtaining blood samples, or conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Ethical and Professionalism Scenarios: Candidates are scrutinized on their capacity to navigate complex ethical dilemmas with professionalism, integrity, and empathy, reflecting the ethical standards expected of medical practitioners.

Eligibility and Registration Process

In order to embark on the PLAB Part 2 journey, candidates must first fulfill certain eligibility criteria and complete the registration process meticulously outlined by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Steps to Register for PLAB Part 2

  1. Create a GMC Online Account: Candidates are required to create an account on the official GMC website to initiate the registration process.
  2. Book Your Exam: Upon meeting the eligibility requirements, candidates can proceed to schedule their exam date through the GMC Online portal. Given the high demand, it’s advisable to secure a slot promptly.
  3. Pay the Exam Fee: Completion of the registration process necessitates the timely payment of the exam fee, thereby confirming the booking.
  4. Prepare Your Documents: Essential documents including a valid passport, GMC reference number, and PLAB Part 1 results must be readily available for submission.

Preparing for Triumph: Strategies for Success

Effective preparation serves as the cornerstone for triumphing over the challenges presented by the PLAB Part 2 exam. Here are some invaluable strategies and resources to aid candidates in their preparation journey:

Study Materials and Resources

  • Clinical Skills Textbooks: Resources such as “Clinical Skills for OSCEs” authored by Neel Burton offer comprehensive guidance on navigating the diverse array of scenarios encountered in the PLAB Part 2 exam.
  • Online Courses: Platforms like CanadaQBank provide tailored PLAB 2 preparation courses, featuring an array of instructional videos and practice questions to augment candidates’ learning experience.
  • Peer Practice: Forming study groups with fellow candidates facilitates collaborative learning and enables the practice of scenarios, fostering a conducive environment for constructive feedback.
  • Mock Exams: Participating in mock OSCEs serves to simulate the exam environment, allowing candidates to acclimate to the pressure and receive invaluable feedback on their performance.

Key Areas of Focus

  • Communication Skills: Proficiency in clear, empathetic communication is paramount. Candidates must practice articulating diagnoses, treatment plans, and procedures in language accessible to patients.
  • Clinical Procedures: Hands-on practice with common medical procedures, encompassing venipuncture, catheterization, and suturing, is essential to cultivate proficiency and confidence.
  • Ethical Decision Making: Familiarizing oneself with the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines equips candidates with the requisite framework to navigate ethical quandaries with poise and integrity.

Navigating Exam Day: Tips for Success

What to Bring

  • Passport: The primary form of identification utilized for exam registration.
  • Booking Confirmation: A printed copy of the exam confirmation email serves as proof of registration.
  • Comfortable Attire: Professional attire conducive to mobility is recommended, as candidates transition between examination stations.

Exam Day Tips

  • Arrive Early: Punctuality is paramount. Aim to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam time to mitigate any unforeseen delays.
  • Maintain Composure: Employ relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, to quell nerves. Remember, examiners evaluate candidates’ ability to navigate real-life scenarios with composure and professionalism.
  • Thoroughly Review Instructions: Each station presents unique instructions; therefore, candidates must meticulously peruse them before commencing.
  • Manage Time Effectively: Be cognizant of time constraints at each station, allocating sufficient time for each task to ensure completion within the designated timeframe.

Post-Exam Endeavors: Navigating the Path Forward

Receiving Results

Candidates typically receive their examination results within a four-week timeframe following the conclusion of the exam. Results are disseminated via email notification and can be accessed through the candidate’s GMC Online account.

Next Steps After Success

Successfully navigating the PLAB Part 2 exam unlocks the pathway to GMC registration, thereby enabling candidates to commence their medical practice journey in the United Kingdom. It is imperative to ensure all requisite documentation, including proof of medical qualifications and English proficiency, is in order.

Embarking on the Retake Journey

In the event of an unsuccessful attempt, candidates are encouraged to engage in a reflective analysis of their performance, identifying areas warranting improvement. While the GMC permits multiple exam attempts, a mandatory waiting period of three months must be observed between successive attempts.


In conclusion, the PLAB Part 2 exam serves as a rigorous yet indispensable evaluation for international medical graduates seeking to embark on their professional journey in the United Kingdom. By acquainting themselves with the exam format, embracing effective preparation strategies, and approaching the examination with confidence and diligence, candidates can position themselves for success.

For comprehensive study resources and additional guidance, consider exploring platforms like CanadaQBank, which offer tailored preparation materials to empower candidates on their PLAB Part 2 journey.

Secrets to Passing The MCCQE1

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) is Canada’s chosen method for assessing both local and international medical graduates on their readiness to attain certification as medical professionals. These exams are designed to assess a candidate’s competence in disseminating their medical and clinical knowledge and skills into practical patient care.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that the exam can be quite difficult. With so much material and ground to cover, studying for the exam can be an intimidating and overwhelming task, and many potential candidates fall victim to mismanagement of time. In this article, we hope to help you avoid these mistakes by giving a brief explanation of the MCCQE Part 1 before we let you know our secret and effective steps to passing the MCCQE1 exams.

Overview of the MCCQE

The MCCQE is a two-part examination designed to assess the medical knowledge and clinical skills of prospective doctors. It is divided into Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 1 tests your knowledge in a standardized computer-based multiple-choice questions format, while Part 2 evaluates clinical skills and the ability to integrate medical knowledge into clinical practice. Part 1 is a comprehensive test that is distributed over seven content areas, namely Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Behavioral Science, Clinical Medicine and Procedure, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, but places emphasis on your clinical decision-making skills.

The questions are presented in a clinical format and require candidates to integrate information, make a diagnosis, and then give a treatment or management plan. Part 1 occurs multiple times a year and lasts for several hours, giving you enough time to answer all 210 individual questions, and the passing score for the exam is 226 on a scale of 100 to 400. It may be adjusted periodically, but the MCC will always provide information on its websites before every exam.

Steps to take to improve your chances

  1. Know the exam content and format: Familiarize yourself with the structure and format of the MCCQE. This includes knowing the number and types of questions, time constraints, and overall exam layout, as they will let you make accurate plans.
  2. Create a well-structured study plan: Develop a realistic study guide that will cover all relevant topics and is aligned with your learning style and schedule. Considering the MCC objectives, set goals, share the material into digestible chunks, allocate enough time for each topic, and set aside some time to review what you have learned a week before the exam.
  3. Utilize High-Quality Resources: Selecting the resources you use to study for your exam is very important as there are many study resources available on the internet that are marketed towards the MCCQE but not all of them are ranked equal. Such resources include textbooks, question banks, practice tests, and review books. One such question bank is the CanadaQBank, which provides detailed answers and explanations and allows you to generate questions in a number of customized formats, including one that stimulates a real exam.
  4. Stay organized and focused: Maintain a well-organised study space, as this will minimize distractions and allow you to prioritize your tasks. Feel free to utilize items and techniques that can increase your focus, but keep in mind that, unfortunately, no matter how much we try to deny it, most people need to schedule short breaks as it is very normal to lose focus during study sessions.
  5. Practice Active Learning Techniques: Perform active learning techniques as this will promote deeper understanding, retention, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Engage actively with the material by using mnemonics, creating flashcards, making summaries of concepts, and teaching the material to others to solidify your knowledge.
  6. Join a study group or seek guidance: Consider forming a study group with peers to discuss concepts, share strategies and motivate each other during the downtimes. You can also seek additional guidance from experienced mentors and tutors who have gone through the stage. This will allow you to garner feedback and understand different perspectives as you prepare.
  7. Focus on weak and high-yield topics: Prioritize studying topics that have a higher probability of appearing on the exam; this can be assessed by going through past exams and finding the most frequently tested concepts. You should also identify and prioritize your weaker areas, which will be discovered as you practice questions.
  8. Master test-taking strategies: This exam requires a well-plotted strategy to ensure you perform effectively during the exam under timed pressure. While carefully reading the questions, practice eliminating obviously wrong answers and making educated guesses when necessary. Knowing how much time you allocate to each question is critical to completing all the questions within the time limit.
  9. Stimulate the exam environment: To fully prepare yourself for the exam setting, practice mock exams under exam-like conditions. Familiarize yourself with the testing software to minimize surprises on test day. The CanadaQbank provides users with the opportunity and platform to practice stimulated exams created from previous exams.
  10. Take care of yourself: While preparing, it can become very easy to neglect yourself as the exam date draws nearer. This can result in an increase in anxiety and other negative emotions, which can negatively impact your health and ability to learn. To counter this, try to keep a balance between study and self-care, take time out of your day to exercise, eat healthy meals, engage in activities that reduce stress, and ensure you have a decent amount of sleep.
  11. Stay updated with guidelines: Keep abreast of the current medical landscape in your country of choice (Canada), and note the current medical guidelines and best practices. This is important because the MCCQE1 assesses your ability to work in real-life scenarios, and up-to-date candidates will be in a better position to answer.


There is no magic way to allow you to have a smooth and easy MCCQE1 exam. It all depends on your knowledge and ability to implement this knowledge. Your level of preparedness will thus determine how well you do, and this can be improved by going to CanadaQbank, a platform dedicated to assisting medical students with their exam preparation.