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Key Feature Problems - KFPs - 'Konfused? Frazzled? Perplexed?'

07 September 2016 - A/Prof Stephen Barnett

As you may have noticed the, Key Features Examination (KFP) produces a lot of discussion, controversy, dissent and "push-back" amongst not only trainees, but also supervisors and MEs. 

The KFP exam is designed specifically to test clinical reasoning. It tends to have high failure rates and many candidates find this exam the most difficult to get through on the first attempt.  We have compiled a few tips for success when tackling this exam.

Tips on approaching the exam

  1. Immerse yourself in the scenario - "feel" what's going on, don't just read the words off the page.  Ask yourself the question: "If this was really happening to me, what would I do next?
  2. Be specific - KFPs are not testing your breadth of medical knowledge; they are asking you to respond to a specific situation.
  3. KFPs assess your "clinical reasoning".  What you decide to do, should make sense and be consistent.  And, remember, it is assumed that you are working in a general practice in the Australian context.
  4. At the end of a KFP examination consisting of 26 questions and lasting 3-4 hours, you should feel like you have been stretched and stressed to the extent of your medical abilities.  Just like a very busy session in general practice!  If you feel that the exam was a walk-over, I would suggest that you haven't really absorbed the scenarios and addressed the questions.

Visit Professor Liz Farmer's blog for more information.

Exam Preparation Courses

Medcast has an exam preparation course that is designed to thoroughly prepare candidates for the KFP exam. Our course are facilitated by an expert Medical education team.  Click here for more information.

A/Prof Stephen Barnett
A/Prof Stephen Barnett

Stephen is a GP Supervisor, Medical Educator, GP academic and Medical Director of Medcast. He has completed a PhD on Virtual Communities of Practice in GP Training.

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