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Exam day

Watch what to expect on Exam Day

What to expect on exam day: FAQs

How do I dress for the examinations?
There is no official dress code, but business attire is the norm.
Should I bring my lab coat?
There is no need for a lab coat. If you choose to wear one, it must not identify you or your institution (e.g. university hospital crest, etc.).
What do I need to bring to my examination?
You must bring a government-issued photo ID with signature (i.e. passport, driver’s license or provincial health card). Please refer to your candidate appointment letter for discipline-specific requirements.
What do I need for my written examination?
Everything that is required will be provided at the examination centre including calculators, scrap paper, ear plugs and clinical laboratory test references values. Pencils will only be provided for the MCQ. Pens will be provided for those writing the SAQ. Please note that for the SAQ exams, you are allowed to bring your own pen, if you prefer.

Should you need to use the facilities during the oral exams, you may do so during the appointed break station, if applicable, or before the information session. Should you need to use the facilities during the exams, please advise the examiner(s) in your station. Any time lost during the station will NOT be added at the end.
Is there somewhere for me to store my luggage?
Yes, there will be a designated area for you to store personal belongings.
Can I breastfeed while participating in a Royal College exam?
The Royal College recognizes how challenging it can be to balance new parenthood with the examination schedule. While you cannot bring your baby to the examination, we will attempt to find a private space at the examination centre where you can pump milk before/after the three hour written examination, and/or before/after the Oral/OSCE examination.

Please contact by January 13, the year of the intended examination, to inquire/request use of this space.
If I pump breast milk before/after the exam, is there somewhere onsite where I can store the milk?
Yes. Pumped breast milk can be stored at any of our current exam locations in Ottawa (e.g. the Royal College and La Cité). All buildings have easy access to refrigerators. You can speak to anyone at registration, the Exam Lead or the Team Lead, Exam Logistics and a Hall Monitor will escort you from the exam floor to the designated room.
What is your policy on access to menstrual products during a Royal College exam?
You may bring menstrual products to the exam. Alternatively, a hall monitor can temporarily store these products in their vest pockets and provide them to you, when needed.

What am I not allowed to bring to my examination?
All electronic devices including cell phones and digital/smart watches will be collected during registration and are not permitted in the examination rooms. Candidates who wish to wear a watch for their own timekeeping purposes are encouraged to wear an analog (non-digital) watch. Digital and/or smart watches are prohibited.

If study materials, laptops or tablets are securely packed in a suitcase or laptop bag, the candidate may be permitted to leave them in the designated area for personal belongings. Electronic devices will be supervised at all times and returned to the candidate at the end of the examination. For the SAQ exams, whiteout stripes or liquid paper are not permitted. In the event that you need to cross out your initial answer, you can rewrite your new answer below.
Is lunch provided for the OSCE, oral and practical examinations?
For the OSCE, oral and practical examinations, lunch is not provided for candidates unless otherwise stated in your candidate appointment letter.

If your exam is at the Royal College site, you may visit one of the local restaurants that is within walking distance.

If your exam is at La Cité site, there is a cafeteria but local restaurants are at some distance. Please note that snacks, coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks and water are available on the oral exam floor. However, these are not permitted inside the exam rooms.

If I am travelling from out of town, when should I plan to arrive?
Do not book a flight the day of your exam. There may be unforeseen circumstances that delay the exam (e.g,. weather).

Identification requirements

You must bring a piece of government-issued photo identification with signature to your exam. Examples of acceptable identification include a passport, driver’s licence or provincial health card. Documents must be in either English or French.

An admission card will be presented to you at the exam site during your registration. A representative of the Royal College will ask you to sign it in his/her presence.

Conflict of interest

Alleged conflict of interest between a candidate and an examiner

If you perceive a conflict of interest with an examiner, you must report it immediately to the Royal College Credentials unit at before the exam or to Royal College personnel during the exam session.

Every effort will be made by the chair and the members of the exam committee to ensure that there is no conflict of interest between a candidate and an examiner. No one examiner has the ability to pass or fail a candidate. Only the Royal College exam committees are empowered by the Royal College Assessment Committee and by the Council of the Royal College to make final decisions on the exams of all candidates, following procedures approved by the Royal College Assessment Committee and the Council (Section VI, 6.14. Policies and Procedures for Certification and Fellowship booklet).

Royal College personnel will review the allegation with the chair of the exam committee, following the procedures approved by the Royal College Assessment Committee. Such allegations not reported before or during the exam session will not constitute grounds for review of the exam at a later time.

Candidate conduct

If a candidate is suspected of having violated the rules of conduct or of behaving in a fraudulent manner during an exam, the case will be dealt with by the Royal College official in charge of the exam, in accordance with the directives of the Office of Specialty Education. The candidate may be excluded from the exam, have his or her results invalidated and be subject to further action by the Royal College.

Exam confidentiality

During registration at the exam site, each candidate signs a statement respecting the confidentiality of the exam. Candidates are warned that if this confidentiality is breached, exam results may be voided and the Canadian licensing authorities shall be fully informed.

The exam questions are protected by copyright and are the intellectual property of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Any reproduction or other disclosure of these exam questions in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. The Royal College will take all available disciplinary measures and legal actions against any candidate or others who violate this confidentiality provision.

Clinical Laboratory Tests – Reference Values

Contact us:; Telephone: toll-free 1-800-668-3740 ext. 278 or 419 or 613-730-6278; Fax: 613-730-8261

We recognize exams are a stressful experience and that we are in unprecedented times. The Royal College is committed to communicating with you in a respectful, professional and civil manner. Similarly, we ask the same courtesy is provided to our employees. Thank you!