I have been hesitating for the longest time to take my CMFAS exams. I felt that there was no need for such qualifications in my current job, but also mostly because I doubted my own ability after graduating for more than 8 years, I haven’t been using my brain much since.

Some time early last year I thought of putting myself up for this challenge but the start of the covid-19 pandemic changed the dynamics in how things were operational. I decided to give myself more time and when things got better this year, I signed myself up.

It was a big leap of faith because I was unsure of what to expect and also, instead of having physical textbooks to read, we were just given e-books to download. The 4 basic/main papers to complete were the M5, M9, M9A and also Health Insurance (HI).

There is no particular order to complete them and also there are no limits to the number of attempts. However each exam is about $100-$120 so unless your pockets are really deep, it will be better to sufficiently prepare yourself before the exam day.

I know people who crammed several exams within the same week but my personal experience is that I took the exams a week apart from each other. This allows me sufficient time to go through the entire textbook from cover to cover, and for me to take note of the key concepts for each module. Some modules have online lectures in the SCI website but as I went through the textbook, I realized that I can actually skip some of the chapters for the online lectures. However to truly test your understanding, for the final step of your revision, you will need to go through the mock papers.

I spent about 3-4 days for my M5 and M9, averaging about 5-6 hours a day, so that probably gives you a gauge of how long you will need to prepare. For M9A and also HI, I only spent 2 days because they are relatively easier. (HI is super easy if you already know the key concepts of Singapore’s healthcare, it’s only all the numbers and limits that you need to remember.) On average for each module, it took me about 8-10 attempts for the mock papers before I felt confident enough, and even so, for my M5 and M9 exams, there were questions in the actual exams that weren’t in the mock papers. Those will shake you off a little because the answer choices are closely similar to each other.

I am not sure how efficient my studying strategies are, but at least they worked well for me. I passed all my papers on my first attempt. I will eventually go on to take the other exams such as M8 and M8A, but for now I am done with the main 4.