The first of two rounds of sittings for the Family Medicine MC-FP exam are just weeks away. Whether you are preparing to take the exam in April or further in the future, here are three of our top tips for your preparation.
1. START STUDYING EARLY
We, along with the ABFM, suggest starting your studying no later than three months prior to your exam. Preparing for your exam should be equated to a marathon, not a sprint. You need to pace yourself to cover the full breadth of material for the exam. Cramming is NOT the way to go.
2. MAKE A PLAN, BE DELIBERATE
You’re busy and life is unpredictable. However, your upcoming exam may very well be one of the most important events in your life. It’s crucial to come up with a study plan and be very strict with sticking to it.
We suggest designating three days a week in which you will dedicate 60-90 minutes of deliberate and uninterrupted studying. These days should be ones you can commit to on a regular basis. We also suggest you schedule this time early in the day before you start seeing patients. As opposed to studying after you have completed seeing patients, your mind will be fresh and the information you intake will have a greater likelihood of sticking with you.
Finally, you want to be deliberate in the topics and disciplines you are studying. The ABFM makes the MC-FP exam blueprint available to you, and your investment of time should follow it. We actively monitor changes in exam blueprints and adjust our SmartBank content as needed. Additionally, we make it easy for you to create practice tests whose content mirrors the most recent blueprint.
3. UTILIZE YOUR IN-TRAINING EXAM
As long as you are in an ACGME accredited Family Medicine residency program, the ABFM gives you access to your previous in-training exams (back to 2008). You are permitted to log into the ABFM website to download the test, images and critique. Even though the in-training blueprint differs from the MC-FP, it is still extremely valuable to review content that was on a previous exam.
Keep in mind, the in-training and MC-FP exams are NOT the same. Some say if your score on your in-training exam equals what is considered a passing score on the MC-FP, you actually only have a 50 percent chance of passing the boards. This is why it is so important to be deliberate in your studies while following the correct blueprint.