Meeting the Assigned Requirements

Assessment criteria are explained in detail in the NCA’s current Policies and Guidelines.

Once an assessment is complete, there are three ways NCA applicants may demonstrate competency in assigned subject areas. These are:

  1. by successfully completing NCA challenge exams;
  2. by completing assigned subjects at a Canadian law school; and
  3. by a combination of option 1. and 2., that is, by meeting some assigned requirements by writing NCA challenge exams and the remainder by completing the courses at a Canadian law school.

In order to be eligible to register for NCA challenge exams, you must have first received your assessment report.

Completing NCA Challenge Exams

In deciding whether or not you prefer to take NCA challenge exams over taking courses at Canadian law school to meet your assigned requirements, here are some important factors to keep in mind:

Cost:  $340 CDN plus applicable taxes per exam payable by credit card only. Please note:  Costs are subject to change without prior notice.

Frequency of Exams:  Four times a year according to the existing NCA’s 2016 Exam Schedule.

Registration:  Applicants must pre-register for NCA exams.  Registration opens approximately 4-6 weeks before the deadline for registration for the corresponding session, which is listed in the 2016 Exam Schedule.  Registration will not be accepted after the prescribed deadline for each session. Payment is by credit card ONLY.

Studying for NCA Exams:  NCA challenge exams are self-study exams.  Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own course material that is outlined in the NCA Syllabi, and for developing their own course of study. The NCA also offers practice examinations. Some Canadian law schools offer support courses or programs for NCA subjects; the current list of courses and/or programs is available here.

Exams are fact-based, open-book, and three hours long in duration. You must use pen or paper in the NCA booklet, or pad provided.

Exam Results:  Examinations are graded on a pass/fail basis (i.e. 50% is considered a pass). Results will be released approximately 10 – 12 weeks from the date of the last scheduled exam of each session.

Exam Locations:  Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver.   In suitable circumstances, applicants may be able to arrange to write examinations in other locations, both within Canada and in other countries, at their expense (further information can be obtained from the Examinations Department at ).

Retakes:   You may re-write NCA challenge exams twice (first attempt and two re-writes).  If you are unsuccessful after three attempts, you may request a fourth attempt subject to the requirements in section 1.4.5 of the current NCA Policies and Guidelines.

For more detailed information on NCA challenge exams, please consult Exam Rules and our FAQs.

Studies at a Canadian Law School

If the NCA assessment requires studies at a Canadian law school, the number of subjects will depend on the applicant’s legal education and professional experience.

Studies at a Canadian law school are often mandatory for students from non-common law jurisdictions, who have had minimal or no exposure to common law, and to anyone who has completed their qualifying law degree by distance education.

If you are required to attend a Canadian law school to meet your assigned NCA requirements, or if you are considering attending Canadian law school rather than taking NCA challenge exams to meet your assigned requirements, here are some important factors to keep in mind:

Choice of Law School: It is the responsibility of NCA applicants to research Canadian law schools and choose the one they wish to attend to meet their NCA requirements.  Some schools do reserve spaces for NCA applicants while others do not.

Application to Law School: It is also the applicant’s responsibility to apply to law school.  Any questions regarding cost of studies and admission requirements should be directed to the law school.

Mandatory Pre-approval: Applicants who intend to complete courses at a Canadian law school must have the NCA pre-approve their selected courses to ensure they satisfy the requirement they wish to meet.

Course Completion: Once you have successfully completed courses at a Canadian law school, you MUST arrange for that law school to send official transcripts to the NCA, so the information can be included in your file.