6 Common Mistakes Students make in MCCQE1 Exam

According to some physicians, standardized testing to obtain board certification is more of a test of “test-taking skills” than clinical knowledge. However, we believe the most well-prepared candidate will both be knowledgeable about the examination material as well as aware of some test-taking “tips and tricks.” One can’t simply deny the fact that examinations go a long way in determining the level of medical knowledge and accuracy of clinical decision-making of their applicant. So, it is imperative to prepare well for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 exam and work on test-taking strategy.

Working hard to prepare for the examination is insufficient; one must prepare smartly. Most medical students have a poor understanding of which study tactics are most effective and routinely prepare for tests using inefficient learning strategies. So even when medical students think they’re studying effectively, the methods they’re using are actually not as useful as they believe. Later on, we will go over these strategies.

Most medical students make mistakes while preparing for examinations, and most of the time, these mistakes are caused by pressure and stress, but they can also be caused by ignorance or a lack of a proper study plan. Here, we will try to cover common mistakes made during preparation for the MCCQE 1 exam. In addition, we’ll provide you with tips on how to address them. Let’s start with the first mistake:

1. Starting too late with Ace QBank for the MCCQE1 preparation.

starting too late for mccqe1


People are apprehensive about starting their MCCQE1 preparation with too many questions. They claim they aren’t prepared to take on a Question bank (Qbank) as challenging as Ace Qbank. They would rather concentrate on reading the textbook and covering the MCC objective before beginning Qbank. This is a terrible mistake! Here is why?

As a result, the best way to prepare for MCCQE1 is to start early with a question bank (Qbank) in your preparation to familiarize yourself with the exam format, cover the MCC objectives more thoroughly, and, last but not least, practice test-taking strategies. Ace Qbak stands out among other question banks since it is designed based on the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) objectives, includes time and tutor modes to help you practice your strategy and pace your studying, and also provides several self-assessments to assess your progress and strategies before the actual exam.

Another unique thing about Ace Qbank is the interface that has been built with you in mind, and it is user-friendly. The interface allows you to custom create as many question blocks from any discipline you like with any tag name you like without any restriction. So you don’t need to wait for the question of the discipline to finish in order to start the next discipline. You can cover multiple disciplines simultaneously.

Don’t worry about creating a mass either; the Ace Qbank interface is smart and works with you. It would not let you create a question block without giving the question block a tag name. For instance, you create 25 questions block from cardiology and name the block Cardio 1; the interface immediately lets you know how many unanswered questions you have left from the cardiology discipline. Now, you have a choice to create another cardio question block or move on to another discipline like urology, pulmonology……any discipline you feel like working on and doing questions from. The other good thing is that it asks you which mode you like; you question block on Tutor mode or Time mode.

The earlier you expose yourself to challenging case scenarios, the more effective your question-based learning will be later on.

2. Not reading all explanations in Ace QBank for MCCQE1 Exam.

The huge mistake one could possibly make while utilizing the Ace Qbank is to skim over question explanations. Ace Qbank’s actual value lies in its high-quality explanations. These questions are prompts and vehicles for practicing the pattern recognition, clinical reasoning, and test-taking skills that you need to score high on the MCCQE part 1 exam. However, simply answering Ace Qbank questions and skimming over the explanations is insufficient to gain mastery of the MCC objectives.

The questions in Ace Qbank are designed based on the MCC objectives and we tried to tackle every objective from a different perspective. Each question has five options, followed by an in-depth explanation of the correct answer and why the other options are not correct. The incorrect options are wrong for a reason; knowing why each potion is not correct to the presented question is extremely helpful to understand and cove the MCC objectives. In addition, it also helps you with differential diagnosis and clinical decision-making down the road. 

The MCCQE1 exam is a standard computer-based exam; questions are logical, and passing the exam is feasible if someone prepares for it properly. However, properly preparing for a competitive exam such as the MCCQE part 1 exam takes time. We have included many summary tables, algorithms, and summary points to make preparation time shorter and more efficient. Combining all of these with a board-proven textbook for additional clarification on the MCC objectives is the perfect preparation strategy, and scoring well on MCCQE part 1 should be no problem.

3. Not using the right textbook for the MCCQE1 preparation.

Different textbooks are arranged side by side.

Studying for the MCCQE part 1 Exam is a challenging task. The medical licensing exams are supposed to measure your knowledge and skills when it comes to medical practice. Using a textbook to prepare for a test is a good idea, but sometimes you need to be careful about the one you choose. This means that when you are taking this exam, the textbook that you use should be one that is designed for this exam (Cover the MCC objectives). If you are not using the right book, then you are not giving yourself the best chance to pass. So for those planning on taking the MCCQE1 exam, be sure to use a textbook containing the latest update.

Many used so many different books to prepare for the MCCQE1 exam that they couldn’t even remember which one was the best. They wasted time trying to get through books that were not well written. Not only did they spend too much time trying to understand what they were reading, but it also did not help them learn the material. They finally settled with Toronto Notes. Not only was it well-organized, but it also covered everything they needed to know for the exam.

We consider the Ace Qbank to be a tool for highlighting or animating the content of Toronto notes. Anybody who has tried to go through a random chapter of Toronto notes as a narrative understands how tough it is. Based on feedback from International Medical Graduates (IMGs), we discovered that connecting Toronto notes to Ace Qbank is an extremely effective method for making the book content stick, and It’s one of the most effective ways to learn Toronto notes. On the other hand, Having a copy of the Toronto notes available to annotate is essential for optimal preparation for the MCCQE1 exam. Prepare to turn the pages! 

4. Procrastinating on learning new content for the MCCQE1 exam.

Procrastinating on learning new content for the exam


Procrastination is really powerful. Anyone, at any time, can become a victim of this. It’s as if a voice inside your brain keeps coming up with excellent ideas for things to do right now rather than study: I really should clean up this room before I study, or I can study anytime, but today is the only chance I have to accomplish X. That voice is also extremely excellent at rationalizing: “I don’t really need to read that chapter right now; I’ll have plenty of time tomorrow at lunch…”

When you purchase a subscription, you have a certain amount of time to finish, review the question bank and assess your progress before the MCCQE1 exam. It is an asset to know how to combat procrastination when it threatens to hinder you from completing your academic assignment.

Time management: You can’t just “go with the flow” and hope that you have enough time and energy left over for studying after spending time with friends. Prepare a study schedule that will give you enough time to complete your assignment. When you have only a limited time to study, make the most of your limited study time by reading as much as possible. 

Motivation: it is one of the most effective ways to combat procrastination. Staying motivated helps you to follow your study plan and increase your productivity during the day.

Avoid temptations: Reduce temptations if you can’t resist them. You need to consider studying in a library if you get distracted by the possibility of talking to your spouse, roommate, or family members because you study at home.

Questions answered wrong should not be taken lightly; these are the weak area that needs to strengthen and need your immediate attention. Investigate by reviewing the explanation of the wrong answered questions and try to figure out whether it was the knowledge (something you did not know) or you were speeding (did not pay attention). Procrastinating when it comes to learning new content never had a good ending in the academic world. 

The core of time management is planning ahead of time and then sticking to your plan. To establish the best study habits, organize both your space and your time. Learning how to remain on track, avoid distractions from people and technology, and minimize procrastination will bring success. In contrast, attitude is the most important factor determining success in preparing for the MCCCQE1 exam. Maintaining a good attitude and surrounding yourself with positive individuals can help you stay motivated to do the activities that will help you succeed in the exam.

5. Working through the Ace Qbank once only for the MCCQE1 Exam.

Ace Qbank MCCQE1

You’ll get the most out of your subscription if you get to work on questions right away after creating a question block. Your chance of finishing Qbank and reviewing it several times will be much higher. A review allows you to refresh your memory on what you just read and process key concepts, and when you feel confident, try self-assessment to evaluate your progress. If any question is answered wrong in the assessment, scroll down in explanation; you find the question’s objective in the reference section and make sure you review that objective.

The unique advantage you have with Ace qbank is that the questions in self-assessments are different from those you have worked on in qbank but designed based on the MCC objectives. Merely for accurate assessment of performance.

6. Inadequate preparation time for the MCCQE1 exam.

taking a nap in the middle of studying

Preparation time should be dedicated time. Cut out the distractors; many students intend to study but easily get distracted with surfing the Internet, checking social media, watching YouTube videos, or receiving a text message. If you don’t absolutely need your cell phone for your study, why not put it on silent mode or turn it off. Notifications of text messages, emails, or social media updates can all serve as a major distraction to your studying. We neither endorse nor encourage cramming for the MCCQE1 exam.

You’ll have to schedule your study time properly. Plan out your study time. Make a list of the subjects you plan to study, along with a time frame for each. Leave room for breaks and “free time.” Your life and studies will be easier to manage. Following a schedule gives you structure, which improves your efficiency and reduces your stress.


As you study, keep your goals and priorities in mind, and prioritize what is most important to you. Time management is primarily a way of balancing priorities in order to achieve all of your goals. When you manage your time properly, you don’t have to entirely disregard certain goals in order to achieve others. In other words, registering for the MCCQE1 exam does not require you to give up your life, but you may need to focus on managing your life more efficiently and setting priorities in order to pass the MCCQE1 exam as a basis for time management. The objective of time management is to complete three hours of learning in three hours while still having time for your life.

There are thoughts that often blow up any time management:

Obsessive thoughts:

Be aware of obsessive thinking when studying for the MCCQE1 exam. If you find yourself obsessing on your incapacity to answer questions, the volume of material, or your ability to pass the exam, try distracting yourself with something else to think about. Keeping your attention on a limited task, such as the objective you’re presently studying, can assist you from allowing obsessive ideas to distract you.


Negative thoughts:

Negative thoughts and feelings are difficult to avoid. In contrast, negative self-talk that “I can’t pass this exam” increases exam stress and is unproductive.

Be aware of these two thoughts, they will blow up your time management if you let them, but the best antidote for them is a combination of self-confidence, a positive attitude, and motivation. Remember, there have been many ahead of you, so the MCCQE1 exam is possible! 

Need Help With Your MCCQE 1 Exam Preparation?

Proper preparation is essential for success on the MCCQE1 exam, and you should make every effort to earn the maximum possible score on the MCCQE 1 exam. If you’re having trouble keeping to your study plan or if certain objectives are challenging for you, get the help you need to pass the MCCQE 1 exam on the first attempt.

Ace Qbank has got your back with over 2000+ high yield questions, many Clinical Decision-Making (CDM) cases, and several self-assessments available to challenge and push you to your limit.

To facilitate preparation for the MCCQE 1 exam, we developed the Ace Qbank based on the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) objectives. Our team reviews the question bank regularly based on current guidelines and recommendations, and we implement any changes we make as soon as possible to enhance your learning experience. Our objective is to keep the information up to date and in compliance with medical standards of care to avoid surprises during the test. At Ace Qbank, we’ve got you covered.

We invite you to sign up for the Ace Qbank demo today and see the difference our elite question bank makes!

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