Non-urgent advice: Some basics

The Applied Knowledge Test is a MCQ summative assessment of the knowledge base that underpins independent general practice. 

The AKT is a computer-based test of three hours and ten minutes duration comprising 200 question items. That’s about 57 sconds per question! It is delivered four times a year (usually October, January, April or July) at Pearson VUE professional testing centres across the UK.

You will have to reserve your spot on fourteen fish up to 12 months in advance of your planned examination date. You can cancel or adjust your reservation date at any time up to 8 weeks before the examination date. You will then also have to book the exam.

Approximately 80% of question items will be on clinical medicine, 10% on critical appraisal and evidence based clinical practice and 10% on primary care organisation and management issues (including administrative, ethical, regulatory and statutory frameworks).

The GP Curriculum gives an overview of the topics you should be aware of for the AKT.

If you have Dyslexia, please tell the RCGP exam office, because you may be entitled to extra time (up to 40 minutes).

Non-urgent advice: Some top tips

The AKT can be taken during or after the ST2 stage of GP training. A maximum number of four attempts will be permitted, a 5th might be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Best time is probably end of ST2 or beginning of ST3. Remember, you need some GP experience as there are GP-orientated questions!

1. Pick the right time for you for the exam, no one else can.

2. Discipline. Start preparation in plenty of time. An hour a day for 6 months is worth it!

3. Make notes and concentrate more on your weak areas.

4. As you do real consultations with patients, write down any clinical areas you feel you need to brush up on. Either read it there and then, after surgery or schedule it. 

5. Consider attending an AKT preparation course early on

6. Read latest guidelines- especially Asthma, COPD, DM, DVLA, stats, Paediatrics etc.

7. Read the Examiners feedback on the last 2-3 years of AKT exams. This can be found on the RCGP’s website. They often give you clues about what previous trainees have struggled with. Questions from these areas of difficulty are often repeatedly tested.

8. The exam is tough as there are many questions, pace yourself, highlight questions you want to come back to and leave yourself at least 10 minutes at the end.

Statistics page on GP Notebook is very good

Non-urgent advice: Useful Links/Educational resources