We know most of you are in serious study mode at this point and are well on your way in preparing for the CCFP exam!!!
Our team has sent out a quick survey to our previous course attendees who have successfully passed the 2020 and 2021 CCFP exams – we compiled tips and tricks that helped them pass the exam. Read on to get their PASSING THE CCFP EXAM secrets!
Here are the top five tips:
1. Trust Yourself. You know a lot more than you think you do!
- The CCFP exam is written by physicians who are well aware of what residents are expected to know by the end of their residency. Although they may throw a curveball at you here and there, the exam is not designed to fail qualified candidates… but rather ensure that you are on par with your peers in your general medical knowledge.
2. Scheduling: Be organized!
- Most candidates reiterated that pacing yourself in studying is key. Most people start studying 4-5 months prior to the exam date; November/December for the Spring exam and July/August for the Fall exam. The final 6 weeks is when most residents say they really ramp up their studying and focus on areas that are particularly difficult (e.g., review guidelines, review treatment algorithms, etc.). Most residents study 1-2 hours per day in those final 6 weeks and 4-5 hours during weekends before the exam date. However, as we mentioned in point #1 – your preparation for the CCFP exam begins when you enter the residency program. It is key to ensure that you read up on cases during residency and in practice as this truly solidifies your medical knowledge.
3. Don’t forget about yourself. This is really, really important!
- Let’s be real – all of us have pulled all-nighters, neglected our diet, and skipped regular exercise now and again for the sake of cramming a few more hours of studying for that big exam during undergrad, post-graduate school, and even medical school. However, it is clear that maintaining a regular sleep and exercise schedule as well as eating healthy, well-balanced meals improves performance. Be mindful and make sure you have a good work-life balance…
4. Come up with a plan of how you will tackle each CCFP topic! There are 105. Start planning…
- The CCFP lays out its objectives for all candidates to review. Review them and decide each day which objectives you will tackle. Be strategic. One of the residents we interviewed said “I combined themes and topics together – for instance, one day I would study Anxiety and Depression key features, and another day I would combine Diabetes and Hypertension”. Review the more challenging topics like ACLS, Hyperlipidemia, and Hypertension the week before the exam to ensure it is fresh in your memory for exam day. Whether you use the Family Medicine Exam Prep Course to work with you to review each objective, or you study alone/with a study buddy, planning is key!
5. Resources, resources, resources!
- There are several websites that are available to prepare for the CCFP exam. Here are a few that other residents have used BUT be careful! Although these are excellent resources to start off, unfortunately, some of them may be outdated (several of our successful candidates pointed this out). At the Family Medicine Exam Prep Course, we set several hours aside each day to review each topic and have a designated team that looks at the most recent guidelines to ensure you are getting the most up-to-date material for your exam.