AKT exam 2020.1: Tips for candidates to improve outcomes

Morgan Liotta

18/03/2020 3:31:16 PM

The bi-annual Applied Knowledge Test public exam report outlines details about the recent exam and highlights areas in which the cohort could improve.

Pile of study books
The RACGP releases two AKT exam reports each year to assist candidates in their preparation.

The RACGP Fellowship (FRACGP) Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) is a three-hour online exam. An additional hour is granted to all candidates to allow extra time for those for whom English is a second language and for slow readers and/or typists.
The AKT comprises 150 questions incorporating two different questions types – single best answer and modified extended matching.
A public exam report released following the AKT exam details statistics including the pass rate, the mean score of the cohort and the reliability of the exam.
The most recent 2020.1 AKT exam had an overall pass mark of 65.5% and a pass rate of 76.3% from a total of 1021 candidates who sat the exam. The pass rate is historically quite stable, with only small variation from exam to exam.
Some common areas of the 2020.1 AKT exam where candidates could improve:

  • Ensure up-to-date knowledge of ‘red flags’ and appropriate further management of an emergent situation.
  • Understanding the key principles underpinning research literature to provide the best care for patients by remaining up to date in their clinical knowledge.
  • Be aware of new guidelines and prepare for exams by understanding current recommended screening practices.
  • Be aware of the different presentations of disease and epidemiology of pathology in patients from different biopsychosocial backgrounds.
The RACGP recommends the following advice for candidates when preparing for and sitting the exam:
  • Read each question carefully and remember that all of the information provided is likely to be important.
  • Read widely, including journals, medical textbooks, common general practice publications, and a broad range of guidelines (including those published by the RACGP).
  • Remember that learning just the first step in an investigation or management does not demonstrate depth of knowledge. For example, a first-line blood pressure medication may be contraindicated, requiring knowledge of the second-line or third-line choice.
  • Identify gaps in clinical knowledge and develop a learning plan to improve areas of need. This is ideally completed through identifying knowledge that may be weak, or lacking, when working every day seeing patients.
This guidance may also support candidates who are preparing for the other FRACGP exams – the Key Feature Problem (KFP) exam and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
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