Are you wondering if MCCQE prep courses for international students are worth it? In short: yes, they are! In this blog, we are going to elaborate on that answer. We will discuss the challenges that international students face when they are preparing for the MCCQE, and how prep courses can help. We will also give you some tips on finding the best MCCQE prep courses for international students so that you can maximize your chances of acing these difficult exams and becoming a licensed physician in Canada.


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Article Contents
9 min read

Why is the MCCQE especially challenging for international students? How can an MCCQE prep course for international students help How to find the right MCCQE prep course for international students Conclusion FAQs

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations (MCCQE) are components of the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), which is required to become a licensed physician in Canada. The first exam is designed to assess the critical medical knowledge and clinical decision-making of future resident doctors in the country. Whether they are just finishing medical school in Canada or they are International Medical Graduates (IMG) hoping to pursue their residency in Canada.

Why is the MCCQE especially challenging for international students?

The MCCQE is a difficult exam that is hard to prepare for, in general. Many students who went to medical schools in Canada also find MCCQE prep courses beneficial because of it’s challenging nature. However, there are specific challenges that international students and IMGs face when they are trying to prepare for these exams. 

While many medical concepts and practices are universal, there are nuances in patient interaction, terminology, and expectations for patient care. This is not to say that one healthcare system is better than the other, or that the medical education in Canada is better, but simply that it is different. The MCCQE will test you on some of those universal concepts, but also many of the ones that are affected by those nuances.

This is mainly because the MCCQE is based on the MCC Examination Objectives, which are organized under the CanMEDS roles. These roles are a set of competencies that Canadian physicians are expected to master in order to provide adequate patient care. Depending on where you completed your medical degree, as an international student, you may be unfamiliar with the roles identified by the CanMEDS framework. This means that even though you may have mastered some of those competencies, without the right information and guidance, you may not know how to demonstrate that in a clinical setting.

Furthermore, it can be very difficult to get electives and clinical experience in the US and Canada as an IMG. One of the many reasons for this is that in Canada, there are many restrictions placed on international graduates. For example, in the province of Ontario, international students may not examine or speak to a patient, even under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. This means that they can only observe in a clinical setting. This makes the MCCQE additionally challenging because the students do not have as much Canadian clinical experience to draw from as student who attended one of the medical schools in Ontario, for example.

It is also worth noting that English is not the first language for many international students which presents an additional challenge. And even for those who completed their medical studies in English, there are sometimes differences in pronunciations, nouns, and phrasal verb usage that you need to learn and familiarize yourself with. For example, a student from the United States would need to familiarize themselves with the Canadian way of spelling or phrasing certain words.

Last, but certainly not least, the format of the exam may also be unfamiliar to you depending on your background. For example, the morning session of the exam consists of 210 Multiple-Choice Questions, where students are expected to choose a single best answer of 5 choices. While Multiple choice questions are very popular in North America, this format of questioning is not used worldwide. Depending on their background, some international students may not have the strategies needed to tackle questions in this format. 

How can an MCCQE prep course for international students help

An MCCQE prep course for international students is typically offered by academic consultants or residency match services who understand the unique challenges that international students face when preparing for this difficult exam while also starting to prepare for residency applications. These courses can help students in many ways, including the following: 

Preparatory material

As an international student, you may have medical school course notes and textbooks that you can refer back to for studying, but then you would need to spend time deciphering which aspects of your notes may not be applicable to Canadian healthcare. Students already take upwards of six months to study for MCCQE, so if you have to review your preparatory materials to edit them first, you would need to spend even longer doing so. Then you will still need to spend additional time looking for supplemental study materials. 

Working with an MCCQE prep course for international students would make this process a lot easier on you as your course instructor would not only provide you with study material, but they would also teach you high-yield study techniques that will allow you to get the most out of those textbooks and webinars. 

Furthermore, because this material will be provided to you by a professional who knows this process inside and out, you can rest assured that you are actually using valuable information to study. On the other hand, when you are preparing on your own, you'd have to spend hours doing the research before making an informed guess and hoping for the best. 

Practice material

MCCQE prep courses for international students can also provide practice materials. Good prep courses will be able to give you homework and practice tests using the different question formats that you will encounter on the actual exam. 

Keep in mind that the format and instructions of the test will significantly influence your success, so it is important that you get to know the test before you have to take it. Prep courses give you practice material that will allow you to familiarize yourself with the exam format and identify any areas of concern while you still have time to work on them. It is also a great way to establish your baseline and find out what concepts you may need to review or learn. 



Test-taking strategies

MCCQE prep courses for international students can give you tips and strategies to help you perform better during the exam. For example, they may teach you how to use the elimination method correctly when you get stuck on a multiple-choice question, or they may give you some homework to help you improve your patient assessment skills.  

This is an especially great benefit of working with an MCCQE prep course because it will help you ace this particular exam, but many of the tools that you will learn will also be helpful to you as you prepare for other exams such as the NAC OSCE, for example. 

Time management

Remember that the MCCQE is a timed exam. This means that you are not only tested on your ability to recall medical information and procedures but also on how fast you are able to do so. Students often do not know how to prepare for this aspect of the MCCQE, which can cause them to run out of time before they complete their tasks or rush through certain parts of the exam because they do not have enough time. 

An MCCQE prep course for international students will factor this into your preparation. So, as you study during residency and complete practice tests or assignments, you will also be learning how to manage your time to ensure that you know how to prioritize and not waste time on specific questions.

How to find the right MCCQE prep course for international students

An MCCQE prep course can be well worth the investment if you want to ace the exam and improve your chances of getting into residency programs as an IMG. That said, if you are going to trust a prep course to help you prepare for such an important step in your career, you need to ensure that it is the right one. So, while you are looking for an MCCQE prep course for international students, we recommend that you pay attention to the following:

The quality of the prep course

It may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. You are enrolling in a prep course because you want someone to help you, so you need to be able to trust that you can rely on the course instructor's expertise. We recommend that you take the time to look into the company or instructor offering the prep course you are considering. Learn what their philosophy is and what kind of credentials they have, as this information can tell you a lot about whether or not the instructor will actually be able and willing to help you. 

For example, here at BeMo, we only hire about 5% of the advisors that want to work with us because we only want instructors who believe in helping students as much as we do and who are qualified to do so. If you're still wondering if BeMo academic consulting is worth it, then we encourage you to take a look around our website and read more about our philosophy. Or, you can reach out to our team for a free consultation during which we can answer more of your questions. 

The reviews of the prep course

If students have a good experience with a prep course, they tend to say something. It is, therefore, important that you look for independent reviews of the MCCQE prep course that you are considering. This will give you an idea of what to expect from them, and it will help you determine whether they are worth the cost or not. Pay attention to what the previous students have to say, but also how many of them there are. This will help you determine how much experience this company or individual has with helping students

The format of the prep course

The MCCQE can be taken online, so international students take it at different points in their academic journey. Traditional candidates are typically preparing for the MCCQE while trying to ace the hardest rotations in medical school or after graduation when they are starting to work on application components like their residency personal statement. This means that students have a lot on their plates while preparing for the MCCQE. Thus, it is important to look for a course that will not interfere with your commitments and disrupt your life more than necessary. 

We recommend looking for an online MCCQE prep course for international students so that you do not have to commute to it. Furthermore, an online prep course allows you to start studying for this exam before actually landing in Canada. 

You should also consider the way that the prep course is taught. Courses taught in one-on-one sessions are ideal because they usually involve a more personalized service where you can rest assured that you are being given advice and guidance based on your specific needs and not just general guidelines. These prep courses will also typically include practice tests and assignments that your instructor can then give you personalized feedback on to ensure that you are getting the most out of your course. 

The cost of the prep course

Lastly, we have to consider the cost of the MCCQE prep course for international students. Professional services cost money; there is just no way around that. However, you need to consider the value of what you will be getting for your money. For example, some prep courses may seem cheaper because they charge a specific amount per session. In contrast, others have a comprehensive package that may seem more expensive but will offer you more sessions to ensure that you are ready for the exam.

Additionally, you should look for a prep course that is very transparent about the cost of their services and that is willing to offer flexible payment options such as payment plans.

Conclusion

Preparing for the MCCQE is not easy, especially for international students. Considering the importance of this exam, and the high level of competition to get into top residency programs, it is important that you do well. To maximize your chances of acing this challenging exam, you should consider investing in an MCCQE prep course for international students as they can give you the tools that you need to succeed. Make sure you take the time to research the prep courses that you are considering and look for one that offers personalized service and that has a proven track record of helping students. If you follow the tips that we have outlined above, then you will find an MCCQE prep course for international students that will help you put your best foot forward and increase your chances of getting into an IMG-friendly residency program.

FAQs

1. What exactly is MCCQE

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination is one of the exams required to become a licensed physician in Canada. It is comparable to the USMLE in the United States.

2. How difficult is the MCCQE?

It is quite challenging. The MCCQE is a comprehensive exam that many students need months to prepare for. However, if you give yourself enough time to study and prepare, you can do well on this challenging exam.

3. Why is the MCCQE especially difficult for international students?

It can be especially difficult for international students because of the differences in medical training, the exam format, and the extra layer of anxiety that international students have to deal with.

4. What should I look for in an MCCQE prep course?

You should look for a prep course with success stories and good reviews, that offers one-on-one sessions and personalized feedback.

5. What are the CanMEDS roles?

The seven roles identified by the CanMEDS framework are Medical Expert (the integrating role), communicator, collaborator, leader, health advocate, scholar, professional. These are the roles that Canadian physicians are expected to master.

6. Do all International students have to write the MCCQE?

All international students who intend to pursue residency and become licensed practicing physicians in Canada, then you will need to take the MCCQE.

7. How do MCCQE prep courses help international students

They help students by providing them with test-taking strategies and helping them get more familiar with the expectations for medical care in Canada.

8. I am an international student. Can I still pass the MCCQE without a prep course?

You can, but it will be difficult. Some students are able to manage just fine without the help of a prep course, while others find that they need additional support and professional guidance. You should consider how comfortable you are with the material you’ll be tested on and the format of the exam. If you feel that you could benefit from some added help, then a prep course is worth looking into.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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2 Comments

Chinedu

I have tried and failed MCCQE1 3X. It is difficult for me and I don't know why. Can you help me cos I have use ACE Qbank, Canada Qbank and MCC online prep materials and still failed. I don't know what am doing wrong?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Chinedu! Thanks for your question. Please reach out to us for a free strategy call. We can discuss how to help you.

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EB

Good day I want to inquire about the course you offer for MccQe1. Looking forward to getting your feedback. Regards

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BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi EB! Please contact us for a free strategy call so we can discuss how to help you!

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