Applied knowledge test (AKT)

The UK’s medical schools will work together, through the Medical Schools Council, to develop, for our approval, an AKT that is constructed centrally, delivered locally, and approved and quality assured by us. It will have a common format, test standard, delivery process and policy framework.

We will:

  • Define the range of professional skills, knowledge and behaviours a candidate needs to have achieved to be ready to practise medicine in the UK
  • Approve procedures to compile test questions and papers, set standards and run exams
  • Take corrective action if, through our quality assurance processes, we consider that standards are not met
  • Be responsible for using information and data from the UK exams to apply a consistent approach to the assessment of international medical graduates.

You can find out more about the AKT in our joint statement with the Medical Schools Council.

AKT requirements

The AKT requirements specify the requirements that each assessment provider’s AKT must meet. They’re an evolution and expansion of the AKT delivery standards that were shared with medical schools in 2019 and have been informed by our ongoing engagement with schools and independent assessment experts.

By meeting the requirements, an assessment provider is demonstrating the quality, consistency and fairness of their AKT to a standard that we require for the AKT to count towards a candidate’s MLA.

In order to support medical schools in meeting the requirements, we are preparing additional information and guidance on creating, preparing and submitting a return and will publish these here once available.

The requirements were first published in March 2021 as an annex to Assuring readiness for practice: a framework for the MLA.

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