Enhancements to the NAC Examination: Standard-setting exercise will coincide with the March 2019 exam session

Enhancements are being made to the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination. There will be a standard-setting exercise following the first implementation of the new enhanced NAC exam in the March 2019 exam session. Enhancements to the exam are part of the MCC’s and the NAC’s commitment to ensuring that current best practices in assessment are integrated into examination development and delivery.

Enhancements are being made to the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination. There will be a standard-setting exercise following the first implementation of the new enhanced NAC exam in the March 2019 exam session. Enhancements to the exam are part of the MCC’s and the NAC’s commitment to ensuring that current best practices in assessment are integrated into examination development and delivery.

The purpose of the NAC exam

Each year, international medical graduates (IMGs) from approximately 100 countries involving over 400 international medical schools take the NAC Examination, which assesses the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to enter postgraduate training in Canada. The NAC exam is overseen by the NAC Examination Committee (NEC) which is comprised of physicians and experts in medical education and assessment.

What is standard setting?

Standard setting is a process used to define an acceptable level of performance in the domains assessed by an examination.

How MCC will continue to guide stakeholders through the NAC standard-setting exercise and outcomes

Residency programs/medical educators: Guidelines will be provided on how to interpret changes to the reporting of candidate results following the 2019 standard-setting exercise.

Candidates: Those taking the March 2019 NAC exam session will be the first cohort to experience the enhanced exam and receive results following the standard-setting exercise. The MCC and the NAC will provide information resources to help candidates interpret the new score scale, including an updated Supplementary Information Report, and updated content on the NAC exam Scoring page on mcc.ca.

Please be advised that in the sessions when standard setting is done, the extra steps to complete the exercise require a delay in the date of the results release. In the case of the NAC exam, the impact is anticipated to be minimal as the timing of the standard-setting exercise will still allow candidates to receive results well in advance of the opening of the 2020 CaRMS R-1 Main Residency Match process.

We invite your questions and comments, and we will continue to keep you informed about key developments every step of the way.