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. It is delivered three times a year at 150 Pearson VUE professional testing centres across the UK.
Approximately 80% of question items will be on clinical medicine, 10% on critical appraisal and evidence based clinical practice and 10% on health informatics and administrative issues.
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.
Best time is probably end of ST2 or beginning of ST3. Remember, you need some GP experience as there are GP-orientated questions!
There are various resources available to prepare for AKT exam – as a scheme we run some HDR sessions focussed on AKT, you should be reading the NICE CKS guidelines and BNF
You can also apply for the FourteenFish AKT package which helps not just to improve knowledgeabase but also provides excellent practice mock exams. You can learn more about this on this link
HEE recommend the following course for AKT preparation https://aktprep.co.uk . This course is run by Prof Neal Maskrey and Dr Nick Price.
Non-urgent advice: Some top tips by previous trainees
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 !! If like me, you are a stress head, dont leave it to the last 1 month as you will have no free time and will make you very nervous!
3. Make notes and concentrate more on your weak areas. Slow and steady- listen to your instincts, work more on your weak areas – I did the DVLA guidance, Stats questions, Paediatrics more than other areas as I felt they were my weak areas and it really paid off- I scored 96% on stats!!
4. Read latest guidelines- especially Asthma, COPD, DM, DVLA, stats, Paediatrics etc.
5. Exam is tough as too many questions, pace yourself, highlight questions you want to come back to and leave yourself at least 10 minutes at the end.
Dr Chris Cates website is quite useful for Statistics for AKT https://www.nntonline.net/
Another useful resource for preparation is RCGP GP Self Test which is available to you for free and the format of questions is quite similar to AKT. https://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/course/index.php?categoryid=56
RCGP created a document summarising findings from AKT results in October 2020
Here is a useful video from Dr Mark Coombs providing some key tips on how to pass the AKT exam.