The MRCGP (Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners) is an essential qualification for general practitioners in the UK. The MRCGP consists of three parts: the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), the Simulated Consultation Assessment (SCA) and the Workplace-Based Assessment (WPBA). The AKT is a crucial component of the MRCGP and tests a candidate's knowledge of clinical medicine, statistics and evidence-based practice.
In this blog, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the AKT exam, discussing the following:
Table of Contents
1. What is the format of the AKT exam?
The AKT Exam is a 3-hour computer-based exam that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. The questions are presented in a single paper and cover a wide range of topics relevant to general practice.
The exam is divided into two sections, each consisting of 100 questions. Candidates have three hours to complete the entire exam, with a one-hour break between the two sections. The questions are presented in a variety of formats, including single best answer, extended matching questions and multiple true/false questions. The questions are weighted equally, and there is no negative marking for incorrect answers.
The AKT is designed to test a candidate's knowledge of clinical medicine, evidence-based practice, statistics and critical appraisal. The exam is intended to assess a candidate's ability to apply this knowledge to the practice of general medicine.
2. How often is the AKT exam offered?
The AKT exam is offered four times a year, typically in February, April, July and October. However, the exact dates may vary from year to year, so it's best to check our AKT exam dates page for the most up-to-date information on the exam schedule. It's worth noting that candidates are required to register for the exam several weeks before the test date, and registration deadlines are typically several weeks before the exam date.
3. What is the pass rate for the AKT exam?
The pass rate for the AKT exam can vary from exam to another and from year to year. The latest published statistics are available on our AKT feedback reports, which can be found on our AKT exam preparation page.
It is important to note that the pass rate may also depend on other factors such as the preparation level of the candidate, the quality of training and the difficulty of the exam.
4. How to register for the AKT exam
To register for the AKT exam, you need to follow these steps:
- Create an account: If you don't have an account, you need to create one on the RCGP website. Go to the "Login" section and click on "Create an account."
- Check eligibility: Make sure you are eligible to take the exam. You must have completed the required period of training and have a current, valid primary medical qualification.
- Check the exam date and location: Visit the RCGP website to find the exam dates and locations that suit you.
- Apply for the exam: Once you have checked your eligibility and found a suitable exam date and location, you can apply for the exam online. Log in to your RCGP account and select the MRCGP AKT application form. You will be required to pay the exam fee at this stage.
- Receive confirmation: You will receive confirmation of your exam booking via email.
If you encounter any issues during the registration process, you can contact the RCGP for assistance.
5. What is the cost of the AKT exam?
The cost of the AKT exam can vary depending on a number of factors, such as where you take the test and whether you are a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). In the UK, the current fee for the AKT for non-members of the RCGP is £1,746, while members pay a reduced fee of £1,298.
It's important to note that fees can change over time, so it's worth checking the RCGP website or contacting them directly for the most up-to-date information on costs. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with rescheduling or retaking the test, so it's important to be aware of these potential costs as well.
6. How to prepare for the AKT exam
To prepare for this exam, there are several steps you can take:
- Review the AKT exam syllabus to understand what topics the exam covers.
- Use study resources such as StudyPRN, which offers a range of materials, including mock exams, video tutorials and revision notes.
- Create a study schedule that allows you to cover all the necessary topics thoroughly. Make sure to allocate enough time for practice tests and revision.
- Consider joining a study group or finding a study partner. This can help you stay motivated and provide a space to discuss difficult topics.
- Finally, make sure to take care of yourself during the preparation process. Eat healthily, get enough rest and take regular breaks to avoid burnout.
By following these steps, you can increase your chances of success in the MRCGP AKT exam.
7. What is the content of the AKT exam?
The AKT is one of the exams required to become a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) in the UK. The AKT exam tests a candidate's applied knowledge and understanding of clinical medicine and its associated specialties, as well as the ability to interpret evidence and data.
The content of the exam includes:
1. Clinical medicine: This section covers a broad range of topics related to clinical medicine, including cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, endocrine, neurological and musculoskeletal systems.
2. Evidence-based practice: This section covers critical appraisal of evidence, research methods, epidemiology, statistics and health informatics.
3. Administrative issues: This section covers topics such as ethics, law, confidentiality, patient safety and quality improvement.
The AKT exam aims to test the candidate's knowledge, analytical skills and their ability to apply their knowledge to real-world clinical scenarios. The exam is designed to assess a candidate's readiness for general practice, and to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective care to patients.
8. Are there any recommended study materials?
There are several resources available for the AKT exam preparation.
As mentioned previously, one such resource is StudyPRN, who offer online courses and study materials specifically tailored to the AKT exam. They have a range of options to suit different learning styles.
Other popular resources include the official MRCGP AKT syllabus and the Oxford Handbook of General Practice, which is a comprehensive guide to primary care.
It's important to note that while study materials can be helpful, it's also important to develop a study plan and approach that works best for you. This may involve a combination of different resources, as well as consulting with colleagues or seeking guidance from experienced GPs.
9. Is there a specific language requirement for the AKT Exam?
Yes, there is a language requirement for the AKT. The exam is administered in English, so candidates must have a sufficient level of proficiency in the language to be able to understand and answer the questions.
The General Medical Council (GMC), which oversees the MRCGP qualification, requires candidates to have a good standard of English, which is typically demonstrated through a test of English language proficiency such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET).
Candidates who have completed their medical education in a country where English is not the first language may also need to demonstrate their language proficiency through an additional test such as the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test before being able to take the MRCGP AKT.
10. Are there any specific eligibility criteria for taking the AKT Exam?
Yes, there are specific eligibility criteria for taking the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners Applied Knowledge Test (MRCGP AKT). The criteria are as follows:
- Applicants must have completed a primary medical qualification that is acceptable to the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom.
- Applicants must have completed at least two years of postgraduate training, one of which must be in a programme approved for general practice training.
- Applicants must be registered with the GMC and hold a current licence to practise medicine in the UK.
- Applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, an approved GP specialty training programme in the UK.
- Applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, the required assessments for the MRCGP, including the Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA) and the Simulated Consultation Assessment (SCA)
It is important to note that these criteria may change from time to time, so it is always best to check the official MRCGP website for the latest information.
11. What is the passing score for the AKT Exam?
The passing score for the AKT exam may vary slightly between exam sittings, as it is determined by the performance of candidates taking the exam on that particular day. However, as a general guide, the current recommended pass mark is set at 67 out of 117.
It's important to note that the AKT exam is a knowledge-based assessment, designed to test a wide range of topics relevant to general practice, and it is one of the components required to achieve membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) in the UK. Candidates are required to demonstrate a good understanding of the principles and practical aspects of general practice in order to pass the exam.
12. How soon can I retake the AKT Exam if I fail?
According to the regulations set by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), candidates who fail can retake the exam after a minimum of 28 days from the date of the failed attempt.
However, it's important to note that the number of times a candidate can retake the AKT exam is limited to a maximum of four attempts in total. If a candidate is unsuccessful after four attempts, they will not be allowed to take the exam again and will have to apply for an alternative route to complete the MRCGP qualification.
It's also worth considering the preparation required for retaking the AKT exam, including identifying areas of weakness, developing a study plan and seeking additional support or resources if necessary. It's important to take the time needed to adequately prepare for the retake to maximise your chances of success.
13. How is the AKT exam graded?
The AKT exam is graded on a scale of 0-200. The pass mark for the exam is set by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) based on the difficulty of the questions in the exam.
The scoring for the AKT exam is based on the number of correct answers. Each correct answer is awarded one point, and there is no negative marking for incorrect answers or unanswered questions. The total number of correct answers is then converted into a percentage score, which is used to determine the candidate's overall grade.
In summary, the AKT exam is a pivotal examination for general practitioners in the UK, assessing their knowledge in clinical medicine, statistics and evidence-based practice. With 200 multiple-choice questions and specific eligibility criteria, preparation plays a vital role in success. Adequate preparation, including the use of study materials, is crucial to meet the recommended passing score. Understanding the exam's format, requirements and content and diligently preparing for it, are key to achieving the MRCGP qualification.