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CICM First Part Exam Resources
By Patricia Hurune
The CICM First Part exam is an overwhelmingly large undertaking, given the depth and breadth of the syllabus that trainees are expected to cover. With the curriculum change in 2014, it has also become the only primary exam accepted for CICM training, so there is no way out. This is a list of some of the resources that I came across from various sources as I prepared for the exam. I have tried to list them in one place in the hope that future primary candidates can quickly sift through them and decide which resources best suit your study style. This list is by no means exhaustive I would imagine, and if anyone has any other hidden gems that may be of help, then please pass them on to your state or territory trainee rep so that they can be added to the list.
The RAH primary short course (Adelaide)
This 5 day course has been running annually since 2008. It is a basic science courses aimed at ANZCA and CICM primary exam candidates. It is a well established course held at the beautiful Ayers House. It incorporates interactive lectures as well as mock viva practice.
The 2015 course was held in May, and dates for 2016 are yet to be announced.
This course is very popular and therefore it is worth getting your applications in early to secure a spot.
Information about the course as well as registration can be found at:
Cost for 2015 was $1100. Prices may change in future courses therefore please check.
Mater CICM Short Course in Brisbane
This annual 5 day course is in its second year. It covers various topics from the CICM primary syllabus using a series of didactic and interactive lectures. It gives great perspective on the depth and breadth of the knowledge expected of candidates presenting for the CICM primary exam.
The 2015 course took place in July and cost $770. Please confirm new pricing prior to next year’s course.
Details of the upcoming course can be found
the CICM website.
Enquiries can be directed to Daphne,
Victorian Primary Exam Course for CICM (VPECC)
The inaugural one day course is expected to run on the 10th of October 2015 at the ANZICS house in Melbourne.
The focus is on study technique, exam preparedness and topics of difficulty. I expect some respiratory and cardiovascular concepts will be demystified. It will also include draft written questions and mock viva stations.
Course details can be found on
Registration for the course at :
. Hurry as this is almost booked out.
Cost to attend is $400
CICM website -
previous exam reports
Reports on every exam paper since the start of the exam in July 2007. These highlight the commonly asked questions and a brief summary of the expected answer content. It also details the pass rate of each question by individual question. Poorly answered questions are fair game, and worth practicing.
This fabulous educational and reference resource features an interactive syllabus with notes to study from as well as previous exam questions.
Subscription is required to access these resources. It is worth checking with your institution as you may have access to departmental membership, otherwise individual subscriptions are also available at $225 per year.
Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog (
While this is not a dedicated CICM primary exam website, it is very useful with short notes on the pharmacology of most drugs that you will be expected to know for the exam.
ICU Primary Prep Website (
As the name suggests, it is a resource for CICM primary exam candidates.
Started by Chris Anderson after his primary exam, it has recently been updated by Judith Askew a recently successful candidate. It features some model answers to the previous exam questions.
Anaesthesia Education Website -
A website by Kerry Brandis
The physiology and pharmacology SAQ section covers content relevant to both ANZCA and CICM primary exam
Primary SAQS Website -
A website by Amanda Diaz, an ANZCA candidate who uploaded her exam prep answers to help future trainees.
Given the overlap between some of the ANZCA and CICM primary syllabus content, a lot of useful model answers can be found on this website
Recommended texts are listed in the CICM primary syllabus found on the CICM website
Kerry Brandis Physiology Viva Book - very useful book. Details on ordering the book can be found at :
Dr Podcast -Features podcast for the FRCA primary exam. This includes basic sciences and the difficult physics concepts relating to equipment and measurement that are part of the CICM primary syllabus. They also have a book that can be purchased online.
Last but far from least, colleagues that have undertaken the primary exam are an invaluable resource. They may have tips, tricks and other resources that were useful to them.