CCFP Exam Prep

Cautionary Tales and Good Advice

Form a study group – do this early in your residency. Consider including colleagues from a variety of backgrounds.

Early methodical preparation is worth the effort.

Be sure to recognize and pay heed to the stress inherent in preparation for this high stakes exam! Focus on good rest, exercise, and nutrition in the days leading up to your national exam.

Your Site Faculty for Assessment and Evaluation is a resource person for you. They may have some experience in the writing of Mock SAMPs!

Consider creating a Mock SAMP for any academic presentation you do.


Creating a good SAMP is challenging. Many older “SAMP -like” questions are in circulation. ALWAYS be cautious about the content and style of an older “SAMP-like” question – they are often woefully outdated and are not good representations of the exam you will be writing.

Exam Specific Advice

Be selective: look at the specific scenario, and at exactly what the question requires – is it about the patient scenario in the stem? Less likely, but possible is a question about the “best” or gold standard.

Know your guidelines: Use national, i.e. Canadian not provincial, guidelines. Questions may test your knowledge of guidelines published up to the end of December of the year before you write your exam.

The stem of the question sets the scenario – most often ‘your office’, occasionally, in an Emergency Department. Think of the practicalities of the scenario – have your mindset match this. How would you treat a patient in your office?

Read the entire question through, as some of the later points may shed light on the earlier ones

Know that the correct answer to any question may hinge on the exact meaning of very few words. This may be particularly challenging for Residents whose first language is not English. Get help early.

Please visit the CFPC website for additional resources and frameworks to help you prepare for the exams.