MCCEE Exam Vs USMLE: What Are The Main Differences?

MCCEE exam vs USMLE is two popular medical examinations in the US. In this article, we will help you find out the most suitable exam.

May 13, 2022

Before distinguishing between the MCCEE exam vs USMLE, you need to know under what circumstances you can apply for these two certifications. To practice medicine in the United States or Canada after graduating from Windsor Caribbean Medical School, you must first meet a number of requirements. Provided you are originally from a city in the United States, such as Miami, San Juan, or Atlanta, you may be able to practice medicine there if you meet the requirements.

If they desire to practice medicine in the United States, international medical graduates (IMGs) must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). If you were born and raised in Canada, you may choose to establish a permanent residency in the nation where you were reared. To be able to practice medicine in Canada, you must be a graduate of an international medical school.

Whether you are from the United States or Canada, deciding on a residency place may be a challenging issue. If you are aware of the differences between the USMLE and the MCCEE, making a decision between the two exams may be less difficult. One of these tests is required in order to be able to give medicine in one of these countries after graduating from the WUSOM program.

 mccee exam vs usmle

MCCEE exam vs USMLE: General information

What is the MCCEE exam?

The 4-hour computer-based MCCEE (which stands for the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination), which is delivered in both two international languages (which is English and French in particular), is administered in over approximately 500 monitoring stations. All overseas medical school graduates, global healthcare candidates in their last medical year, and U.S. orthopedists who have a passion for sitting for the MCC Qualifying Examinations must pass the MCCEE as a prerequisite to taking the MCC Qualifying Examinations.

In the MCCEE, candidates are evaluated on their basic medical knowledge in the most significant areas of their chosen profession. As well, for new medical graduates who are about to begin their first year of postgraduate study or practice, this test will evaluate those who are about to begin their first year of postgraduate study or practice. There are five possible answers to each of the 175 multiple-choice questions on the computerized MCCEE, but only one of them is correct for each question.

The MCCEE includes sections on children’s health, maternal health, adult health, mental health, and population health/ethics. Subjects such as general practice and other exam topics will be covered in the questions.

For the purpose of becoming eligible to take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination, graduates of medical schools outside of Canada and the United States are referred to on this site as International Medical Graduates, as well as graduates of U.S. Schools of Osteopathic Medicine, must first pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination and then pass the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination. Individuals having specialization qualifications in Canada and the US may be exempted from evaluation under certain circumstances.

What is the USMLE exam?

The USMLE examination program, which is organized by both the Federation of State Medical Boards (also known as FSMB for short) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (also known as NBME for short), is required for doctors who want to practice medicine in the United States. The test is divided into three stages.

States have the right to impose new requirements for testing and/or licensing on top of what is already in place. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who want to practice medicine in the United States must first pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (which is also known as COMLEX for short).

The capacity to apply one’s knowledge and abilities to the care of one’s patients is evaluated on the USMLE. Doctors are also evaluated on their ability to identify the most critical patient-centered skills that are required in both good health and sickness.

Each year, medical educators and clinicians from all around the United States and its territories collaborate to develop new exam materials for use by students and residents. A minimum of two committees must evaluate and approve test items and cases before they may be approved or rejected by the board. As part of this scheme, state medical boards will administer a single exam to all prospective medical professionals across the United States. As of 2021, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree will no longer be required for doctors.

For anyone wishing to practice medicine in the United States, the USMLE is a requirement. The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) conduct the USMLE jointly (FSMB). The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is divided into three sections: Step 1, Step 2 CK (clinical knowledge) and Step 2 CS (clinical skill), and Step 3.

It is required for the International Medical Graduates to first pass the USMLE 1 and 2 exams before the process of proceeding to the next level of education and training. All IMGs are subjected to three rounds of screening, just as they are subjected to three rounds of screening for AMGs (American Medical Graduates). The first, second, and CS tests must be passed with the highest possible result in order for a doctor to be accepted to residency training.

The USMLE exam is used to assess a doctor’s competency to practice medicine in the United States. An increased GPA signifies an increased possibility of getting admitted into a difficult major.

Exam stages


  • MCCEE Part 1

It is a computer-based exam that assesses applicants’ capacity to join supervised therapeutic interventions in postgraduate training after earning their medical degree. Part I of the MCCEE is administered to candidates after they have completed their medical degree. This section of the exam will assess a participant’s knowledge in the following broad categories: 

  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • The legal, ethical, and structural components of psychiatry medicine, as well as public health, are all discussed.

196 multiple-choice questions must be completed in three and a half hours during the morning session (which is divided into 7 sections, each of which has precisely 28 questions). During the afternoon session, which is scheduled for four hours, participants will be asked to make clinical decisions using a short menu and short-answer questions with written responses.

A total of up to 55-60 clinical decision-making instances, each with 1-5 questions, may be found in the clinical component, for a total of up to 80 total questions. Time constraints apply to this component, which is limited to four hours. This CDM component is intended to assess the ability to deal with a large number of issues and make medical decisions. Each candidate will get a summary of a case in which one or more test questions will be administered, each of which will analyze an essential component of the case’s resolution.

Clinical data collection and scheduling; diagnosing patients, and writing prescriptions are all tasks that may be assigned to the candidate. Patients’ care should be the foundation for all choices made by decision-makers. Every question has a write-in option, which may be used to answer it.

  • MCCEE Part 2

Candidates are examined on their knowledge, abilities, and dispositions during the three-hour Objective-Structured Clinical Examination, which is required for medical licensing in Canada before they are allowed to practice independently.

In this test, you will be required to complete a number of clinical stations that will last between five and ten minutes each. Clinical concerns are presented in brief written statements at each station, and the applicant is urged to complete activities such as taking a focused history, executing a targeted medical evaluation, or evaluating and treating the patient’s obstacles, among others. Candidates may be requested to study x-rays or even other diagnostic tests, make a diagnosis, and/or issue admission orders once they have completed the interview.

General medicine and health care abilities are covered in detail in Part II of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination. These subjects include pediatrics, gynecology, preventive care, health care settings, psychiatry, and surgery, to name a few.


mccee exam vs usmle

  • USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 is a one-day test that is normally taken at the completion of the second year of medical school. This phase examines your knowledge of the basic sciences that support medicine and its application. The basic sciences addressed include anatomy, biochemistry, behavioral sciences, microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology, to name a few.

Nutrition, genetics, and lifespan are among the themes covered, with multiple-choice questions asking you to identify the patient’s ailment or the inquiry that was advised. The cost of taking the USMLE Step 1 examination is $880. You will be required to pay an extra $185 if you are studying for the test from a country other than the United States.

Multiple-choice questions (also known as MCQs) are used in the USMLE Step 1 examination. These questions are developed by USMLE commissions, which are workforce members, assessors, and doctors who have shown exceptional proficiency in their respective domains. Individuals appointed to the committee are chosen to ensure that the group has wide representation from the academic and permitting sectors in both the U.S. and Canada.

It is the goal of Step 1 of the USMLE to examine students’ ability to apply core medical knowledge. It is arranged and developed in this manner. A few questions in each section test the examinee’s data finance skills, but the vast majority of the inquiries require the examinee to convert between real and synthetic data, as well as to detect microscopic pathology and ordinary instances and unravel challenges using fundamental scientific principles.

The material of USMLE Step 1 is not meant to be used to improve instructional programs in medical schools. It makes it possible to create tests in a flexible manner that can swiftly adapt to new subjects, growing material areas, and alter emphasis. The categorizations of chemicals, as well as the area of their use, are subject to change. The most effective preparation for the USMLE Step 1 exam is the broad-based study that results in a solid shared understanding of concepts and norms in the core sciences across all participants.

  • USMLE Step 2

Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a 2-day test that is typically taken during the fourth year of medical school. In this case, there are two components to it. You will be required to answer multiple-choice questions on clinical sciences like surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology in the first section of the exam (known as Clinical Knowledge, or CK). It is your responsibility to assess and diagnose actors who are posing as patients in the second course, which is known as Clinical Skills (CS).

In order to get a license to practice medicine, a person must pass the USMLE Step 2 examination. On the USMLE Step 2 examination, there are two types of tests:

  • Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) comprises 370 multiple-choice questions (9 hours) and a clinical knowledge examination on the second step.
  • Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) measures your ability to practice acquiring information from 12 patients, assessing patients, recording illness outcomes, and communicating findings to patients.

Because it has been in existence for such a long time, the Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) is more relevant and popular with practically all candidates. As a consequence, in the diagram below, we’ll focus on this kind of test in particular.

With a focus on health promotion and sickness prevention, the USMLE Step 2 assesses a candidate’s ability to integrate therapeutic knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical scientific foundations into the planning and understanding of treatment under supervision, with a focus on the integration of therapeutic knowledge, skills, and understanding of clinical scientific foundations. USMLE Step 2 guarantees that clinical scientific standards and vital patient-centered skills are given the attention they need, setting the framework for the safe and competent practice of medicine under supervision after passing the first two parts of the exam.

The USMLE Step 2 test takes one day to complete. Each section lasts 60 minutes and is examined in a single 9-hour session split into eight parts. The number of questions on each item will vary depending on the exam, but will never exceed 40 on any given test. 318 things will be included in the general exam, with no more than 318 items allowed. In addition, there is a 45-minute break and a 15-minute optional educational exercise incorporated into the testing process.

Finish a piece of testing or the optional instructional activity before the time permitted expires in order to improve the amount of time available for rest periods between tests.

  • USMLE Step 3

It is customary for Step 3 to be conducted after the first year of residency. It is a two-day examination. This is the last stage in deciding whether or not you are ready to practice general medicine without supervision in a clinical setting. Step 3 is similar to Step 2 in that it is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. There will be multiple-choice questions as well as computer simulations of care delivery in this section.

It is a 7-hour multiple-choice test identical to the USMLE Steps 1 and 2 on the first day, Fundamentals of Independent Practice. (Knowledge of Clinical Practice.) It is broken into six 60-minute portions, with a 45-minute rest in between. It evaluates medical diagnostic competence, interpersonal skills, scientific abstract and pharmaceutical advertising comprehension, as well as scientific abstract and pharmaceutical advertisement comprehension.

On the second day, Advanced Clinical Medicine examines your knowledge of patient care as well as your grasp of how diseases grow over time. This is broken down into 198 multiple-choice questions and 13 computer-based care scenarios, each of which takes 10-20 minutes to complete on average. This nine-hour exam is divided into four 45-minute parts and is divided into four 45-minute blocks. During this day, you will be put through your paces in terms of care management, diagnostics, and medical decision-making.

Scoring system

USMLE scoring system

The results of the USMLE are made available on the internet, and administrators issue scorecards to candidates that include their individual scores. All applicants are also told by the authorities that the findings of the investigation are now accessible for viewing or downloading. When the results of Step 3 are made public by the organization’s leadership, the FSMB sends out notices to its members. The results of the examination are supplied three to four weeks following the examination and are recorded in electronic form.

The necessary scores for Step 1 and Step 2 are 194 and 209, respectively (clinical knowledge). Step three should result in a score of 196 or above. In Step 2, you will only get a Pass/Fail grade (Clinical Skills).

MCCEE scoring system

The participant gets four hours to complete 180 multiple-choice questions (MCQs), of which 150 have been scored and 30 have not. In order to pass, the applicant must have a minimum score of 250 on a scale ranging from 50 to 500 points. Candidates who pass the MCCEE the first time are not permitted to retake the exam if they have previously passed it the first time.

Exam requirements

USMLE examination requirements

There are a variety of USMLE requirements that international students should be aware of, including:

  • Applicants will be contacted via email if a scheduling authorization becomes available after the completion and submission of the application procedure.
  • To schedule an appointment, visit the Prometric website.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of your exam scheduling authorization.
  • Review the exam’s ethical requirements in their entirety, adhere to all instructions at the testing center, and bring a copy of their scheduling permissions as well as identification with them to the testing facility. No further members of their family or friends are permitted to accompany them to the testing location.
  • It is permitted to use soft-foam earplugs as long as they do not include any unauthorized accessories, such as a microphone. For the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills test, only a headset and a white lab coat are authorized to be worn by the candidates. Never write anything on laminated note boards before going to the CIN (Candidate Identification Number) and starting the session with that number.
  • You can attempt Clinical Knowledge in any sequence, but you must complete Step 3 after you have completed Steps 1 and 2.

MCCEE examination requirements

Registration for the MCCEE Part I is restricted to recent college graduates or candidates who are on track to graduate from one of the following institutions:

  • An institution of higher learning that has been recognized as an acceptable source of medical education in Canada by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS)
  • An institution of higher learning that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools with a Canada Sponsor
  • American Osteopathic Association-accredited schools of osteopathic medicine located in the United States of America are all examples of acceptable sources of medical education in Canada.

Exam accommodation

mccee exam vs usmle

Accommodations for MCCEE

Students with a verified functional handicap and a corresponding accommodation need may be allowed to attend MCCEE. You’ll find instructions on how to request a test accommodation on this page. Please wait up to nine weeks for your request to be completed when all necessary documents have been submitted. Once you have been granted test accommodations, you will be able to arrange your MCCEE exam appointment.

  • Exam eligibility has been established.
  • The Internal Review Committee for Testing Accommodations at MCC conducted an investigation into the request for testing accommodations.
  • The coordination of test accommodations has been accomplished between MCC and Prometric.

A test session with Prometric, the company that the MCC has contracted to administer the exam in question, must be planned at least five months in advance of the exam date. When determining when to apply for the MCCEE, bear in mind that the application will take nine weeks to complete, which will allow you to book an appointment within your desired time window of availability.

Test accommodations may or may not be offered during exam visits that are designed to aid with delivery. Even while we will do everything in our power to meet your schedule choices, we cannot promise certain test centers, remote proctoring, or exam dates in advance. During regular exam times, the vast majority of test accommodations are not accessible to students. When your test accommodation request has been examined and approved, you will be given instructions on how to change or cancel your current exam appointment and reschedule it.

Accommodations for USMLE

If you have been denied admission to or dismissed from medical school, you are unable to sit for the USMLE, even if you are presently appealing the decision. Please double-check with the organization that registered you for the test before submitting your application; if you believe you have been correctly registered, please double-check again before taking the USMLE. It’s possible that you may be accused of participating in an unusual activity if you neglect to notify the organization that registered you for your examination of your change in status. This might have a negative influence on your testing procedure and findings.

Accommodations that are reasonable and appropriate for people with recognized disabilities are made available in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You must stay at the testing site in order to be able to participate in the testing schedule. While adopting USMLE accommodations may aid a candidate in more effectively presenting their knowledge and abilities, it does not guarantee that the applicant will pass the test or achieve a certain score on the examination.

If a person’s capacity to work is severely diminished when compared to the majority of the population, and evaluation of their present impairment is used to determine whether or not they are capable of working. Documentation is necessary in order to determine what, if any, modifications should be made to the examination sitting and the setting for the disabled person during the test. It is necessary to provide an explanation for the suggested convenience, as well as supporting evidence that clearly indicates the benefit impedance. This is critical in terms of the examination’s surroundings and historical context, among other things.

This information will be useful to applicants, assessors, and anyone else involved in the process of maintaining the request for accommodations in the future. In order to get supporting evidence, it is recommended that people requesting accommodations send a copy of these guidelines to their evaluator, treating professional, and others.

Other differences

Exam duration

One of the advantages of choosing the MCCEE rather than the USMLE is that it requires less time investment. The MCCEE comprises 180 multiple-choice questions and takes four hours to complete. The USMLE is substantially more difficult and is organized into three stages: preliminary, intermediate, and final. The first phase consists of an eight-hour test with a maximum of 240 multiple-choice questions.

You would have to be onsite for 12 15-minute patient encounters during Step 2, which is a nine-hour exam with up to 318 test items. Following that, you must be present for another nine-hour exam with up to 318 test items. Step 3 is a two-day exam consisting of up to 433 questions and 13 case scenarios that will take approximately 16 hours to finish in total.

Covered subjects

The USMLE Step 1 test will evaluate your scientific knowledge and comprehension. While the MCCEE doesn’t quite specifically test you on this subject, you will need it in order to pass the exam. Overall, the USMLE is more comprehensive than the MCCEE in terms of the subject matter covered. While the MCCEE is not as rigorous as, for example, the USMLE Step 2 test, it does contain a clinical expertise evaluation component.

Above is all the related information regarding the differences between the two exams: MCCEE exam vs USMLE. We hope that this article can help you find out the most suitable exam, which can be a proper stepping stone for your process of entering the medical field.

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