• The Review Course in Family Medicine

The CCFP Exam: FAQs

We’ve identified 10 of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Certification Examination in Family Medicine:


1. What is the format of the exam?

There are two components of the CCFP exam:

a) A written component consisting of computer-based short-answer management problems (SAMPs) b) An oral component consists of five, 15-minute simulated office oral (SOO) interviews. From November 2021 the SOO will be delivered in a fully virtual format.


2. What is the best way to score good marks on SAMPs?


Always read the question and follow any instructions carefully, and provide the number of answers requested - giving specific answers (that fit best with the case and the question) rather than general answers on the topic.


3. Which guidelines should I study?

The CFPC advice is: “candidates should always answer according to what represents the most accepted good practice in of family medicine at the time of the examination. They will never be penalized for staying current.”


Remember - the exam is marked by physicians who should be aware if there are conflicting guidelines.


4. Is it better to answer parts of a question that we know, or go to the questions that we can answer in full first?


Answer all questions as best you can. Do not leave a question blank because you cannot get any marks for that question. If you write something down, you might get some parts right, and score some points.


5. What is the code of conduct for the Virtual SOO?

Although you may be sitting an examination in your own home, the same requirements of professional conduct apply as if you were taking the exam at a test centre. The examiner or proctor may stop any candidate suspected of misconduct, issue a warning or even expel the candidate from the examination.


Examples of offences include:

· Moving out of the examiner’s sight without approval

· Having unexpected external events occur, such as a second person entering the room

· Using or possessing prohibited items such as books, notes, or additional electronic equipment

· Helping or receiving help from another candidate

· Writing down or attempting to capture any details of the exam questions


6. Can I breastfeed/pump breast milk at the exam?


While you cannot bring your baby to the exam, the CFPC will attempt to find a private space at the exam centre for you to express breastmilk. Breast pumping devices of all types must be pre-approved by CFPC to be allowed into any of the computerized test delivery examination sites and are only admitted into the private test accommodation rooms.


To request these arrangements; we strongly recommend you contact them BEFORE you register for the CCFP exam. In our experience, and according to the CFPC, no test centres provide refrigerators for storing expressed milk. Check with the CFPC and be prepared to bring your own portable cooler.


7. How do I familiarize myself with the new virtual SOO platform?


The CFPC provides resources to help you become familiar with the virtual SOO examination, including a Candidate Guide, instructional video and simulated office oral overview and Q & A (webinar).


8. How is the CCFP exam scored?


Candidates are scored on their overall performance on the SOOs and their overall performance on SAMPs. Candidates must obtain a passing score on both the SAMP and SOO components to receive certification in the College of Family Physicians (CFPC). The minimum passing score for each of the two components are different for each sitting of the exam, and in each case, is approved by the Board of Examinations and Certification.


9. When will I receive my exam results? Approximately eight weeks after the examination. You will receive an email notification when the results are available to access online, and a formal notification of your results by mail. 10. Will I receive feedback about my performance on the exam?


Results are reported as pass or fail. You will receive a result on each of the two components (written and oral) and an overall result. You must be successful on both the written and the oral components to achieve certification.

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