The Applied Knowledge Test is a summative assessment of the knowledge base that underpins independent general practice in the United Kingdom within the context of the National Health Service. Candidates who pass this assessment will have demonstrated their competence in applying knowledge at a level which is sufficiently high for independent practice.

Format of the test

The test takes the form of a three-hour multiple-choice test of 200 items. It is computer-based and delivered at 150 Pearson VUE professional testing centres around 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. All questions will address important issues relating to UK general practice and will focus mainly on higher order problem solving rather than just the simple recall of basic facts.

The AKT can only be taken during the ST2 stage of specialist training or later. However, those who commenced specialist training on or before 1 August 2009 will be permitted to take the AKT during the ST1 stage of their specialist training.  A pass in the AKT prior to 1 August 2010 is valid for 3 years, passes after this date have non “expiry date” however from 1 August 2010 candidates will be permitted a maximum of 4 attempts to pass the AKT.

Most trainees choose to undertake this towards the end of their ST2 year.  This gives the opportunity to benefit of learning from hospital jobs while giving plenty of time for the CSA in ST3.

There are lots of web based resources you may find useful in preparation here: Useful Websites Other useful resources suggested by previous trainees include the first 20 pages of the BNF.