The LMCC Study Plan

What's the best way to study for the LMCC? (Photo:Fanz)

I’m on my final stretch of medical school with only the LMCC exam to write. For those that are unfamiliar with the certification process, when you graduate from medical school in Canada, you are required to write the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE Part I). Part II, which is in an OSCE format, comes later during your PGY2 of residency.

The Challenge

There is only one goal when writing the LMCC and that is to pass the exam. That pass mark is set at 390, and scores range from 50 to 950 (MCC Scoring). How well or poorly you did doesn’t matter as long as you pass.

And for a $900 exam, you want to only write it once.

The MCCQE Outline

How does one study everything they have learned in medical school for one single exam?

The answer is you can’t possible know everything cold (objectives). But the secret is to know how the exam was written and what topics you must cover. You see the exam material tests you on six areas of medicine including

1. Internal Medicine
2. Surgery
3. Pediatrics
4. Obstetrics and Gynecology
5. Psychiatry
6. CLEO (Considerations of the Legal, Ethical and Organizational Aspects of the Practice of Medicine)

Obviously some of these subjects like Internal Medicine are much more extensive than the others. However, the test is weighted equally between all six subjects. Meaning that each of those subjects is worth 1/6 of the exam and they will all have the same number of questions allotted to each.

The LMCC Strategy

Knowing that each part is weighted equally, the only rational way to approach studying for this exam is to study the highest yield subjects first. To maximize your efforts you should spend the most time on sections which cover the least amount of information.

The order you should approach this exam is to study (1) CLEO (2) Psychiatry (3 & 4) Peds & OBSGYN, (5) Surgery and completely ignore (6) Internal Medicine.

And although you may think knowing how to treat a heart attack or read an ECG is important – and it is in a clinical setting – you will get much more points studying about occupational hazards and different types of study design.

MCCQE Study Materials

Almost everyone studies exclusively from Toronto Notes, which was originally a study guide for the LMCC! Looking at the Table of Contents, the high yield topics of CLEO consists of 2 chapters, Psych – 1 chapter, Peds 1- chapter, Obsgyn – 2 chapters. Surgery has 9 chapters and Internal Medicine has a whooping 13 chapters, almost as much as the rest combined.

I also had some friends who tried Essentials for the Canadian Medical Licensing Exam and Canada QBank with poor reviews, so I would recommend against them.


So for the last few weeks, I have been ignoring my chosen field of specialty (Internal) and have been reading exclusively the other five topics. The result has both refreshing and frustrating at times.

It has been good to refresh my memory on a lot of topics I had forgotten. It’s been almost a year and a half since I last did obstetrics, so a quick refresher was nice. I even learned something new about health care and public health in Canada. But it’s also been frustrating because the topics that I intrinsically am interested in – Cardio, Pulm, Nephro, Rheum, etc – are also the ones that are the lowest yield.

In a way, the LMCC will not prepare me at all for a residency in Internal Medicine.

But I think I’ve resigned myself to that fact. Afterall one of the perks of being in Internal is little to no off service rotations for the next few years. Now… if there only wasn’t a Part II…

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18 Responses to The LMCC Study Plan

  1. Kevin says:

    you got this! I’m sure you’ll do well

  2. […] see how I studied for the MCCQE Part I, check out my post on My LMCC Study Plan) Related […]

  3. Nasrin says:

    Hello there,

    I came across your blog while looking for some tips on QE1 CDM section. I am an IMG and ,unlike you, need a very good score on the exam to be eligible for the limited spots for IMGs:(
    I am really amazed by your performance on the exam and would like to ask your advice for preparing for it(especially the CLEO and CDM parts) if you don’t mind. I’ve got a very good score on MCCEE exam (I know it doesn’t apply to Canadian graduates) and hope to have a similar result on QE1 too.
    I’d be rather thankful if you kindly let me have your advice on the mentioned sections. I will get in touch with you through email to ask my specific questions if you let me so:)

    • ckpatel says:

      Hi Nasrin
      congratulation of your good performance on MCCEE
      I would like to get your advice regarding study material and plan you followed, i would be much grateful as i am just starting preparation!


  4. Jazzyg says:

    Any advice for MCCEE2? especially when your PGY1 years doesn’t really provide time to read….apart from my dedicated netflix time

    • medaholic says:

      MCCEE2 is much easier as you’ll have lots of practice seeing patients. Just spend a month before the test reading and doing OSCE stations for unfamiliar specialties.

  5. AZIN says:

    Hi there,

    I really need your advice, although I know it is almost over 2 years from your post. I am really interested in your performance. As an IMG the score of MCCQE1 is really important to me. If you don’t mind would you please guide me on the study materials you mentioned above.I’d appreciated if you send to my email please.
    Best Wishes,

  6. Zohra says:

    I would like to ask for advice I want to do the (LMCCI). Exams. I am not a Canadian . Where else can I do the exams

  7. Andrea says:


    I would like some advises regarding how to prepare MCQEpart1. In particular I was wondering which test do (canadian Qbank or USMLEworld 2CK?).


  8. seena says:

    Read ur posts , can u pls update and advice how to prepare mccqe–1 as i am planning to migrate . which books or site need to be referred..and how to go about it?

  9. Saad says:

    I am an IMG and want to know about the study material which REALLY WILL help me in getting a good score in my MCCQE 1 exam

  10. Jana says:

    Hi Medaholic
    i was wondering if you can send the practice questions from the previous years for Qe1 exam. this is my Email :

  11. Zed says:

    Hey buddy! If you could also pass on any questions from old exams for practice sake, that would be MUCH appreciated =)

  12. Victoire says:

    I’m an international medical doctor. Please I would like to know more on how to prepare the MCCLQE and which resources to uuse.thank in advanced

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