GP training: Useful resources when preparing for the AKT

Dr Branavan Anandasundaram highlights useful resources that GP trainees can use to prepare for the AKT exam.

(Photo: Eva-Katalin/Getty Images)
(Photo: Eva-Katalin/Getty Images)

While there a wealth of resources out there, the following are a list of resources which I personally used for preparation, and greatly helped in building a broad knowledge base for the AKT.

I have run through some of their key benefits to help other trainees assess whether this will be a useful tool in your revision.

RCGP Essential Knowledge Updates. This is available free and it includes highly informative summaries on a number of topical areas across specialties such as hypertension, drug dependence, Parkinson’s disease.

RCGP Essential Knowledge Challenges. This is the RCGP's online applied knowledge test that helps GPs to assess their existing knowledge and highlight learning needs. Following each topic, you will be able to answer questions in the form of patient scenarios, which are at an appropriate difficulty compared with the exam. These are best used in conjunction with the Essential Knowledge Updates.

RCGP AKT Examiner summary reports (can be accessed here). These are really useful for your preparation as they not only outline high yield topics that commonly recur in the exam, but also areas that trainees struggle with. These reports span as far back as 2007 and I would recommend looking through these early, to make sure you know which topics you need to personally prioritise.

NICE and SIGN guidelines. Rather than just reading guidelines in isolation, once you have seen a patient with a certain condition such as type 2 diabetes, maybe try and see if you can correlate the case to the NICE guidance. I often found this learning to be the most efficient way of contextualising the information and committing it to long-term memory.

RCGP Self-Test. This is an excellent free resource developed for trainees and RCGP members. I found the questions to be at a similar difficulty to those in the exam and I practised a number of timed mock exams on here to mimic the pressure I would face in the exam. New questions are constantly added every month in line with emerging guidance and it is possible to compare your scores to your peers to see how you are faring.

Online question banks. The options here are vast and it ultimately comes down to choosing one that matches your learning needs. Avoid sticking to one bank alone as your brain will become ‘programmed’ to answer questions from a particular style, and therefore less adaptable in the real exam.
Administrative section

The Oxford Handbook of General Practice. The first six chapters are very useful for the administrative section in the exam, and I would advise reading through some of the key principles such as GP contracts, death certification and QOF data. If you are on a GP rotation in the lead-up to the exam, supplement this knowledge with some practical experience as the exam aims to test real life challenges. Think about how you may go about filling out insurance reports/medical certificates and find out about practice procedures such as infection control and new patient registration.

DVLA guidelines. MIMS has an excellent summary of DVLA guidelines in an easy-to-read table format and I found this a good way of summarising the key points to tell patients.

UK Civil Aviation Authority guidance on assessing fitness to fly. This has a lot of useful information on fitness to fly and I would familiarise yourself with this during your preparation.

Medical Statistics Made Easy. This book summarises the majority of statistical principles and offers detailed worked examples. I would advise going through this in conjunction with the RCGP curriculum guide, to ensure you have considered all the curriculum areas. In the exam you will be expected to apply your knowledge of the key graphs, interpret confidence intervals and have a working knowledge of epidemiological studies, so good practice is key to help you tackle the challenging scenarios in the exam.

  • Dr Branavan Anandasundaram is an ST3 GP trainee in London

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