Information about the 

The AKT exam, otherwise known as the 'The Applied Knowledge Test' is a summative exam or assessment that focuses on the knowledge element required to be an General Practitioner (GP) in the UK within the National health service (NHS). This exam tests your application of knowledge of the MRCGP curriculum demonstrating sufficient competencies for independent practice.

Passing the AKT is a core component to pass your MRCGP training and without it candidates will not be able to obtain there completion of training certificate. 

From the 1st of August 2010, the AKT exam can be set by candidates only during their ST2 and ST3 stage of their MRCGP training. Statistics suggest the greatest chance of passing the exam would be during your GP registrars (GPStR) year i.e. ST3 year. 

Format of the AKT Exam

The AKT exam comprises of a 3 hour long multiple choice assessment that includes 200 questions. It is held in Pearson VUE professional centres across the UK (often used to assess people for their theory driving exam) and utilises their computer systems to deliver the exam. 

Up to 8/10 or 80% of all questions in the AKT exam are focused on clinical medicine whilst the remaining 20% are subdivided to 10% on appraisal and evidence based clinical practice as well as 10% on health health informatics and administrative issues. The exam does not simply assess for recall of simple facts rather assess your ability to problem solve. 

Changes to the AKT exam

From October 2014 the AKT exam will be extended by 10minutes to permit candidates to have a longer period to complete the exam. This has been agreed with the GMC and was introduced after Professor John Norcini was commissioned to perform an independent review of the AKT exam by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). It was suggested this may help some candidates who may be less proficient in the English language to have more time to comprehend the more challenging questions. Whilst the RCGP have agreed to introduce this change they report that there is no evidence to suggest that extending the time for the AKT exam would result in addressing the differences in pass rates between UK and international graduates for the MRCGP AKT exam. 

Further additional time is available if candidates volunteer a declared disability i.e. dyslexia prior to sitting the AKT exam

There will now be an online calculator available during the AKT exam to perform simple calculations accurately and in a timely manner.  

Sitting the AKT exam
The AKT exam is available 3 times throughout the year including October, January and April. First you must register with the RCGP website to sit the exam online and book an available centre and date. Once your fee is paid (via debit/credit card) you will receive an automatic email confirming your exam date and details. 


We recommend considering siting your AKT exam towards the end of your ST2 year so that most of your learning can be kept fresh for your preparation for the MRCGP CSA exam. It is important you give yourself sufficient time to prepare for this exam as it is quite challenging from the knowledge recall point of view. With many of these question based exam, practice is crucial to familiarise yourself with the type of questions you will expect to encounter. Make sure you are unto date with the latest NICE guidelines, NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries, DVLA medical guidelines for professionals, BNF or SIGN management protocol.

There are several useful online resources that you can use including pass medicine, pastest which also offer reasoning to the answers offered. There are also a number of e-Learning modules for general practice that you should familiarise yourself with. InnovAiT also has lots of useful articles and sample questions for the AKT