CRFSC Exam Study Tips

by Alexander Vostrykov

Every year more than 20,000 Canadians attend CRFSC and/or CFSC course and exam. To get your restricted gun license you need to pass 2 theoretical tests (50 questions each, 80% passing score) as well as practical exams. The course is not complicated, though requires some preparation. To speed up the process and to maximize your chances and score, I came up with the following tips and advice:

  1. Start preparing 2 to 1 week before your exam (on one hand you don't want to forget anything, but on the other hand you want to avoid an information overload).
  2. If you found an unknown term - find out what it is. Otherwise you may face it on your exam.
  3. If you theory is on Friday evening and practice and exams are on Saturday, make sure you don't have to cook your dinner on Friday (you will get home quite late).
  4. Good sleep is important!
  5. The cornerstone of the exam is ACTS and PROVE. Learn its meaning by heart, and practice. If you can't practice with real arms at home, at least watch videos and visualize the process. At practical exam you need to ACTS and PROVE you gun all the time. For example, instructor says: "Put the gun on the table!" - you ACTS&PROVE it and only then place on the table. And so on.
  6. At home spend some time to train different shooting positions. Highly unlikely that you will be asked to demonstrate prone position, but very likely, say, kneeling position. Also, don't forget to train a proper two-handed pistol grip.
  7. Train proper field carries. At the course it will be important that, say, in ready carry you point the muzzle in the safest direction (not necessarily it will look like at a picture in the course textbook).
  8. One thing you should know about keeping your trigger finger out of trigger. The only 100% guaranteed way is to keep it outside the trigger guard and attached to the trigger guard. It is in our nature to catch an object with the finger as long as the object is within the reach. Keep this in mind if you have a delusion that keeping the finger out of trigger but inside the trigger guard is safe enough.
  9. Don't hesitate to ask instructors. Your full understanding is a key to success.
  10. At the practical course you should practice as much as possible. Squeeze all what you can from these hours. Make sure that you can perform all of the firearm manipulations without thinking.
  11. At the exam, while doing firearm handling, bear in mind that your instructor and other people around can move, so be attentive and adjust your muzzle direction accordingly.
  12. Avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine. Alcohol is not only strictly prohibited at the course, but even if you drink after the course, it negatively affects your learning.
  13. Other people may say that CRFSC exam is very easy. Don't get tricked by wording. PAL license exam is simple, not easy, especially in the case if you had no firearm experience prior to the course. So, don't relax too much and do your best. Classical high-school attitude may not work here.
  14. Read CRFSC Manual. Don't just read like a fairytale, but try to get the hang of the questions you may be asked. Read a chunk of text and pose some questions to it. Or use online resources like
  15. If you have military training under your belt, leave it at home. This is a basic safety course. So, don't try to cross an obstacle with a loaded gun or some sort of that.

I hope this will help. And may the PAL license be with you!