How do I Know if I am Eligible for the MCCQE Part 1 Exam?

As a foreign medical graduate looking to leave your home country, there are a couple of questions you’d love to have answered. Questions like, am I eligible to sit for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1?

Your concerns are not invalid, and in this article, we will address some of those questions and concerns about your eligibility status regarding the MCCQE Part 1 Exams.

What is an MCCQE Part 1 exam?

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 is an assessment designed to evaluate whether a candidate’s competency in clinical decision-making and critical medical knowledge is on par with the level of a Canadian medical student completing their degree.

After graduating and passing Part 1 of the MCCQE, candidates usually begin supervised practice.

For anyone hoping to practice medicine in Canada, passing the MCCQE Part 1 exam is crucial. The majority of jurisdictions require passing this exam in order to gain a medical license. It proves your ability and readiness to offer patients high-quality medical care. Furthermore, a high score on the MCCQE Part 1 can improve your residency application and provide access to a range of professional options within the Canadian healthcare system.

The MCCQE Part 1 is administered at the conclusion of medical school because it is the national benchmark for medical schools across Canada, in addition to the formal accreditation processes of the undergraduate and postgraduate education programs.

We will share the requirements for the exams as well as tips needed for you to succeed in the MCCQE Part 1 Examinations.

Eligibility and Requirement for the MCCQE Part 1 Examinations

The MCCQE Part 1 Examination is undoubtedly a daunting task for most medical students and a step towards a successful career. However, there are a few criteria to be met.

You must have graduated from or be a student who is projected to graduate from one of the following to be eligible to apply for the MCCQE Part 1 Examinations:

  • A medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools and designated as an approved medical school in Canada by a Canadian Sponsor.
  • An accredited United States School of Osteopathic Medicine recognized by the American Osteopathic Association.
  • A medical school recognized by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS).

Candidates who meet the requirements can schedule their exams once their data has been processed.

Which Candidate is eligible to write the MCCQE Part 1 Examination?

There are various reasons why Foreign medical graduates or international physicians would love to join the Canadian medical workforce.

One of the reasons is that Canada is perceived as home to many of the world’s top medical and research facilities. Canada provides high-quality residency and fellowship programs to Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) or International physicians. Additionally, the government subsidizes these programs, making them affordable and available compared to other countries.

Moreover, Canada provides updates in medical advancement and technology, hence making the job of the physician easy.

The responsibility of creating eligibility criteria lies with The Medical Council of Canada. The requirement for writing the MCCQE Part 1 Examination includes possessing a medical degree or working towards having one from a recognized and accredited medical institution. Candidates are also required to be state citizens or possess a Canadian permanent green card.

The eligibility criteria include:

  1. Proving that you are either a Canadian citizen or you possess a permanent green card
  2. Graduating from an accredited medical school

These requirements will help the Medical Council of Canada select only qualified candidates without the fear of any candidate’s educational background or Visa protocols.

When do I apply for the MCCQE Part 1 Examination?

There is no specific time to apply, and as a matter of fact, medical students in Canada have the luxury of applying anytime, either as medical students or graduates, as required by the Medical Council of Canada.

How to apply for my MCCQE Part 1 Exams

If you are a medical student or graduate within Canada, here are the steps you need to follow for a successful application:

  • Once you log in to your account, select Examinations from the main menu.
  • Click Apply for an exam.
  • Subsequently, complete the application and pay the MCCQE Part 1 application fee.
  • Finally, send a Certified Identity Confirmation form and a certified copy of an acceptable identity document to the MCC via email ([email protected]), and you will receive a message in your account confirming that your documents were received.

For Foreign Medical Graduates

It is essential to know if your medical institution is among the accredited schools. Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to apply:

  • Go into your account on
  • From the main menu, select Examinations. Next, select Apply for an Exam.
  • To submit your application, follow the instructions in your account.
  • Pay the entire application fee for MCCQE Part 1.
  • Once you have prepared your documents according to the guidelines, submit the following files to ([email protected]) at the MCC:
  • A certified copy of a valid identification document, a Certified identification Confirmation form, and an Attestation Form for Students.

A notice confirming the receipt of your papers will be sent to you through your account. It is also noteworthy that not more than four weeks will be required to process your documents, and when it has been processed, you get to schedule your Exam date.


You can apply for test accommodation for the MCCQE Part 1 if you have a documented functional restriction and an accompanying accommodation need. It should be noted that exam applications requesting test accommodations may take up to nine weeks to process, provided that all eligibility conditions are met and all necessary supporting evidence is received.


The tips mentioned above give you an insight into what you need to know about your eligibility status and information regarding the eligibility criteria for the MCCQE Part 1 exams with the aim of helping you succeed as you progress in your career. Certain sites like CanadaQBank can help you with a comprehensive question bank while also simulating practical questions and scenarios prior to the exams, allowing you to understand the underlying concepts.

MCCQE Part 1: Effective Time Management

MCCQE Part 1: Effective Time Management

If you’re a foreign medical graduate and looking to work in Canada, you’ll definitely need to write the MCCQE exam. It’s Canada’s way of assessing you. But despite everything, this exam can be quite challenging. The trick is to find a way to manage your time, and that’s what this article covers.

In the coming paragraphs, we’ll delve into effective strategies to help you stay organized and prioritize efficiently.

So, let’s dive in!

Understanding the Exam Format

The MCCQE is a computer-based exam consisting of two main components: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Clinical Decision Making (CDM).

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) Component

The MCQ component is the first part of the MCCQE Part 1 exam and encompasses 210 questions. Out of these questions, 35 are pilot questions that have no impact on your final score. It is important to tackle all the questions diligently, as the pilot questions are seamlessly mixed with the rest. Each MCQ presents you with five answer choices, and you must select the correct response. This component spans a 4-hour session without any breaks.

During the exam, you will have all the MCQs displayed on your computer screen. You are permitted to navigate between questions and flag any uncertainties for later review. Some questions might involve interpreting images like X-rays or ECGs, requiring careful analysis. Don’t fret! The normal lab values will be provided when necessary. Remember, there is no penalty for providing incorrect answers, so it is wise to respond to all the questions, even if you feel unsure. Once the 4-hour time limit elapses, you must submit your answers, as no changes can be made after that.

Clinical Decision-Making (CDM) Component:

The CDM component of the MCCQE Part 1 exam assesses your ability to make clinical decisions by presenting you with 38 case scenarios. Each case is accompanied by 1-4 questions, resulting in a total of 60-70 questions across all cases. These questions may require you to provide short-written answers or make selections from a menu. You will be given 3.5 hours to complete this component.

Similar to the MCQ component, all CDM cases and their associated questions are accessible on the computer screen. You are free to navigate through the questions during the exam. Just like the MCQs, there is no penalty for answering incorrectly in the CDM component. It is crucial to respond to all the questions within the given time limit. However, it is important not to provide excessive responses, as they might result in a zero score. Pay close attention to the specific instructions for each case, as neglecting them may lead to a loss of marks.

Scoring System

To pass the MCCQE Part 1 exam, you must achieve a minimum passing score of 226, as determined by the MCC. Your final score will be based on your performance in both the MCQ and CDM sections. Each MCQ question carries one mark, while the CDM questions vary in marks depending on their complexity. Meeting the passing score corresponds to answering 60-70% of the questions correctly.

It’s noteworthy that the MCCQE Part 1 exam does not adopt a curve or percentile-based scoring system. The scoring standard remains uniform throughout the year. Your individual score report will provide you with graphical profiles that allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses. These profiles can be compared with the valuable self-assessment features offered by CanadaQBank, enabling you to gain valuable insights and enhance your exam preparation!

Managing Your Time for the MCCQE Exam

Preparing for the MCCQE Part 1 exam means you ought to manage your time effectively to ensure you cover all the necessary content and practice adequately.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your study time:

  1. Get Familiar with the Exam Format:

Take some time to understand the structure of the MCQ and CDM components. Know how many questions you’ll face, the time limits for each section, and any specific instructions. This knowledge will help you plan your study schedule wisely.

  1. Utilize the Resources of CanadaQBank:

Take advantage of the valuable resources provided by CanadaQBank, including their extensive question bank, self-assessment tools, and high-yield clinical decision-making cases. These materials align perfectly with the MCC objectives and will help you measure your progress and identify areas for improvement.

  1. Master Time Management During Practice:

When using practice tests or question banks, challenge yourself to complete the questions within the set time limits. This will help you improve your speed and accuracy, simulating the real exam conditions.

The MCCQE1 exam is time-limited, so practicing under time constraints is crucial. You can simulate exam conditions by completing mock exams or utilizing practice questions with strict time limits. This will help you get accustomed to working efficiently within the allocated time and improve your ability to manage pressure effectively. Regular practice will enhance your confidence and speed during the actual exam.

  1. Focus on Important Topics:

You should identify the high-yield topics that commonly appear in the MCCQE1 exam. Prioritize your studying and allocate more time to these areas. This way, you’ll maximize your chances of success in the exam.

A well-structured study schedule is essential to optimize your preparation for the MCCQE Part 1 exam. Make sure to down the content into manageable sections and allocate specific study periods for each. You should also create a timeline coordinating with your commitments and dedicate sufficient time for practice sessions. Finally, prioritize topics based on your strengths and weaknesses to make the most of your study time.

  1. Review and Analyze Your Performance:

After completing practice questions or exams, review your answers and critically analyze your performance. You should pay attention to areas where you made mistakes or felt less confident. Then, dedicate additional study time to those topics to strengthen your understanding.

Note: Effective note-taking can help you organize thoughts and information efficiently. Develop a system that works for you, such as using abbreviations, symbols, or keywords to capture key points quickly. Using mnemonics is particularly very helpful.

  1. Seek Clarification and Assistance:

If you encounter difficult concepts or questions that you find challenging, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from mentors. Or you can use the CanadaQBank to help clarify difficult-to-understand concepts. This will make you learn fast and thus make your  studying faster

  1. Eliminate Distractions:

You must minimize distractions to maintain focus and manage your time efficiently. To do this, find a quiet study space and limit interruptions as much as possible. Don’t be scared to leave your comfort zone if where you’re going to is a better place to study. However, make sure your study materials are organized and readily accessible. Consider using productivity apps or techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, to maintain focus and work in dedicated bursts of high productivity


The MCCQE1 exam is challenging, but you can pass it. First, understand the exam format, develop a study schedule, practice with time constraints, and prioritize and plan efficiently. Remember to stay calm and focused, removing distractions and  seeking feedback. Also, don’t forget to taking care of your well-being so you’ll be well-equipped to maximize your performance. With effective time management and CanadaQBank at your side, your MCCQE Part 1 exam will be a breeze!

Is the MCCQE1 Exam Challenging to Pass?

Is the MCCQE1 Exam Challenging to Pass?

The question as to whether the MCCQE1 exam is challenging to pass or not isn’t a straightforward one. This comprehensive exam assesses the medical skills and knowledge of those wishing to become residents of Canada.

However, it’s not all about medical knowledge. It’s also about assessing the critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills of medical examinees when it comes to applying medical knowledge. So, it’s not just your average examination, and thus, it can be perceived by some as challenging

What does the MCCQE1 entail?

The MCCQE Part 1 is a comprehensive national examination administered at the end of medical school in Canada. It is a computer-based test that spans a single day. The morning session allows four hours to complete 210 Multiple-Choice Questions, while the afternoon session focuses on Clinical Decision-Making and provides three and a half hours to answer short-menu and short-answer write-in questions related to 38 cases.

The exam evaluates your performance based on a blueprint that encompasses two main categories:

  • Dimensions of care, which assesses the full range of medical care
  • Physician activities, which reflect the scope of a physician’s practice and behaviours.

Each category comprises four areas.

What makes the MCCQE1 exam different?

Preparing for the MCCQE1 Exam poses significant challenges, mostly due to the coverage of the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) objectives. These objectives cover high-yield topics that are essential for success in the board exam. Adequate coverage of these objectives is essential, as failing to do so greatly reduces your chances of passing the MCCQE1 exam.

Unlike international medical board exams like the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), the MCCQE1 exam has distinct characteristics.

The MCCQE1 is clinically oriented and aligns with the Canadian Medical Education Directions for Specialists (CanMEDS). CanMEDS, developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. It also outlines the attributes and skills of a competent physician. The MCC objectives are based on the CanMEDS framework, encompassing management strategies, clinical diagnostics, problem-solving, preventive medicine, and ethics.

Mistakes to avoid when preparing for the MCCQE1

1.   Not making full use of Question Banks

Questions banks are your best friends when preparing for your exams. A good example is CanadaQBank. These have access to the best questions and answers.

One of the biggest mistakes when using the CanadaQBank is overlooking the question explanations. The true value of CanadaQBank lies in its high-quality explanations. These questions serve as practice for clinical reasoning, and pattern recognition—And test-taking skills required to achieve a high score on the MCCQE Part 1 exam. Simply answering the questions and skimming over the explanations won’t suffice to master the MCC objectives.

You should know that each question in CanadaQBank is meticulously designed based on the MCC objectives, offering different perspectives. It presents different options, followed by a detailed explanation of the correct answer and why the other options are incorrect. Understanding the reasons behind the incorrect options is crucial for comprehending and covering the MCC objectives. Moreover, it enhances your differential diagnosis and clinical decision-making abilities.

2.   Not using the right textbooks

Finding a comprehensive textbook covering the entire MCC objectives list can be challenging. Different textbooks may cover varying objectives or provide varying degrees of coverage for the same objectives. Some textbooks may lack detailed management algorithms or key treatment points, moving on to the next medical condition swiftly.

Also, the MCC objectives list is continuously evolving and updating to incorporate medical advancements. This dynamic nature means that textbooks, once considered sufficient for MCC objectives, may no longer meet the updated requirements.

Given these challenges, candidates should shift their focus to bullet point textbooks with concise explanations as their primary study resource. These textbooks have condensed the need-to-know information for each medical condition, enabling faster preparation for the board exam. Popular choices in this category are American textbooks like First Aid or Master the Boards. However, it’s important to note that these textbooks are not specifically tailored for the MCCQE1 exam. Studying from non-MCCQE1-specific textbooks can lead to confusion and frustration due to the exam’s unique nature and requirements.

3.   Not managing time well

Procrastination is a powerful force that can affect anyone, anytime. It’s like having a voice inside your head that constantly suggests engaging in other tasks instead of studying. It convinces you that cleaning your room or accomplishing something else right now is more important than studying. The voice excels at rationalizing, making you believe that you can always study later or that reading a particular chapter can wait until tomorrow.

When you subscribe to a study resource such as CanadaQBank, you’re given a specific time frame to complete, review the question bank, and assess your progress before the MCCQE1 exam. It’s crucial to know how to overcome procrastination when it threatens to hinder your academic progress.

Effective time management is key. You can’t simply go with the flow and hope to have enough time and energy for studying after spending time with friends. Create a study schedule that allows sufficient time for completing your assignments. When you have limited study time, make the most of it by dedicating yourself to reading and absorbing as much as possible.

4. Not cultivating the right attitude

To combat procrastination and stay focused, you need to be motivated. Motivation is a powerful tool in combating procrastination. Stay motivated to stick to your study plan and increase daily productivity.

To resist temptation, minimize distractions. If you find it difficult to focus at home due to the presence of family members or roommates, consider studying in a library where you’ll have fewer distractions.

Effective time management revolves around planning ahead and adhering to your plan. Establish good study habits by organizing both your study space and schedule. Learning how to stay on track, minimize distractions from people and technology, and reduce procrastination will lead to success.

Finally, attitude plays a crucial role in preparing for the MCCQE1 exam. Maintaining a positive attitude and surrounding yourself with supportive individuals can greatly enhance your motivation and drive to engage in activities that contribute to your exam success.


So, is the MCCQE1 challenging? Yes, it is, but it’s not impossible to pass. Thousands, if not millions, of people have written and passed it. So, you definitely can. With the right study plan, motivation, and CanadaQBank at your side, it would be a breeze.