Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)

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.

Whilst candidates will be eligible to attempt the AKT at any point during their time in GP speciality training, it is anticipated that the most appropriate point, and that providing the highest chance of success, will be whilst working as a GPStR in the final year of their speciality training programme (ST3).

Format of the test
The test takes the form of a three-hour and ten minute 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 college website gives some examples of the types of questions asked.

Applying to sit the AKT
Candidates can sit the exam on at various times during the year. The application process is in three stages.
1) Register for the MRCGP through the RCGP website, then
2) Apply online to sit the test on the next available date. The applicable fee must be paid, normally online using a credit card. Candidates have the opportunity at this point to register any disability and request a reasonable adjustment, for example additional time to complete the test. Applications are confirmed in an automatically generated email that gives the telephone number of the Pearson VUE contact centre.
3) Book a test by phoning Pearson VUE and choosing a test centre. Details of centres and their locations are available on the Pearson VUE website.

Click here for more information via the RCGP website