The AKT (Applied Knowledge Test) is one of the assessments required to gain Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) and can be taken in ST2 or ST3 years of GP training. It is available 3 times each year, in October, January and April. Most candidates sit the exam for the first time at some point in ST2.
The examination questions are all drawn from the GP Curriculum, and the test is completed on computer at a Pearson Vue professional testing centre (there are centres all over the UK).
The exam lasts for 3 hours and 10 minutes and consists of around 200 questions. You can mark questions for review later to go back over those that you are unsure of.
The pass rate is variable and based on a set pass standard for each exam, with a variable pass mark that has ranged from as low as 67% to as high as 71.5% (average is around 68%). The pass rate has a long term mean of just over 73%.
The majority of questions are Extended matching questions (EMQs) and Single Best Answer questions (SBAs). Other question formats include Multiple Best Answer (MBA), Algorithm questions, seminal trial questions (focusing on important research relevant to primary care), picture questions, video questions and short answer questions.
The makeup of the exam is:
- 80% – Clinical medicine relevant to GP
- 10% – Critical appraisal / evidence based practice
- 10% – Health informatics and administrative issues
The panel of examiners produce a report after each sitting outlining key areas that canidates performed poorly at, and this is very helpful in highlighting important topics to include in your revision. You can access the reports from the RCGP website.