What Is the AKT Exam?

The Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) is the first half of the two-part UKMLA® exam. It’s a computer-based assessment consisting of 150 to 200 multiple-choice questions, primarily in single-best-answer format, that will test your ability to apply medical knowledge in different scenarios. It replaces PLAB 1 and must be taken by both UK medical students and international medical graduates (IMGs).

AKT Exam Dates

Testing dates for the AKT exam depend on whether you’re a UK medical student or IMG. UK medical schools will guide their students through the test-taking process, while IMGs need to schedule the AKT as they currently schedule the PLAB.

Below are the GMC’s upcoming PLAB 1 test dates and closing dates:

Exam Date Overseas Closing Date UK Closing Date
2 November 2023 21 September 2023 19 October 2023

PLAB blueprint switches to MLA content map

15 February 2024 4 January 2024 1 February 2024
23 May 2024 11 April 2024 9 May 2024

Book the AKT Exam

For IMGs, AKT exam booking can be done through your GMC account. Before you set up an account, ensure you meet AKT exam eligibility requirements, which include holding an acceptable overseas primary medical qualification and being proficient in English.

AKT Exam Fees

UK medical students do not need to pay extra to take the AKT exam because passing it is a graduation requirement. However, university-specific resit fees may apply.

For IMGs, current AKT exam fees are equivalent to PLAB 1 fees:

PLAB 1 Fees
Exam Section Bookings from April 2022 - March 2023 Bookings from 1 April, 2023
PLAB 1 (AKT) £247 £255

Visit the GMC’s website for the latest PLAB fees, including cancellation guidelines.

AKT Exam Topics

The content covered on the AKT exam may vary slightly depending on where you take your exam (your specific medical school or a GMC testing facility). Nonetheless, the general topics are required to align with the new MLA content map to guarantee uniform standards are met.

Of the UKMLA exam’s three primary content map domains, Areas of Clinical Practice and Areas of Professional Knowledge are particularly relevant to the AKT. The third, Clinical and Professional Capabilities, is tested more heavily on the CPSA, but may have elements examined on the AKT.

Areas of Clinical Practice

This domain involves the context of delivery of care, and includes the following:

  • Acute and emergency
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Child health
  • Clinical haematology
  • Clinical imaging
  • Dermatology
  • Ear, nose, and throat
  • Endocrine and metabolic
  • Gastrointestinal including liver
  • General practice and primary healthcare
  • Infection
  • Medicine of older adult
  • Mental health
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neurosciences
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Perioperative medicine and anaesthesia
  • Renal and urology
  • Respiratory
  • Sexual health
  • Surgery
  • All areas of clinical practice (i.e., death and dying, family history of possible genetic disorder, incidental findings, and adverse drug effects)

Patient Presentations and Conditions are two other content map domains that fall under Areas of Clinical Practice. Read more in the MLA content map.

Areas of Professional Knowledge

This domain involves the generic areas of professional, clinical, and scientific knowledge as applied to patient care, and includes the following:

  • Allergy and immunology
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
  • Genetics and genomics
  • Histopathology
  • Human factors and quality improvement
  • Laboratory haematology
  • Medical ethics and law
  • Microbiology
  • Psychological principles
  • Social and population health

AKT Exam Results

UK students will receive their AKT results from their medical school, while IMGs can expect to receive an email about their results from the GMC six weeks after taking the exam. The GMC will not release individual student scores, or seek to rank schools or students based on their results. Although, the GMC will share information, with appropriate context, with the intent to improve medical education and training.

How to Pass the AKT Exam

Your medical school curriculum is the first and most obvious resource to study from for the AKT exam. UK medical schools are aware of the MLA content map and what students need to know to pass. However, many UK medical students, and especially IMGs, choose to supplement their learning with 3rd-party materials and study tools. The UWorld AKT question bank is a popular choice considering over 90% of US medical students use the company for their USMLE curriculum and exam-prep needs.

Try the UWorld AKT Question Bank for Free

Sign up for a 7-day free trial to check out the many enhanced features you’ll have immediate access to in our AKT QBank. From advanced performance analytics to integrated study tools, you’ll have everything you need to excel on exam day and during your clinical rotations.

Frequently Asked Questions

UK medical students will start taking the AKT exam in their penultimate or final year of study with the 2024-2025 graduating class. IMGs will see PLAB 1 meet AKT exam requirements in 2024.
UK medical students are required to take the AKT through their university at no additional cost to them. IMGs must schedule the AKT, which is equivalent to PLAB 1, through the GMC for £255.
The AKT exam is a graduation requirement for UK medical students. As such, failing the AKT will require you to resit based on your medical school’s policies. IMGs who fail the AKT need to book the exam again, and are subject to the GMC’s PLAB retake policy.

Read More about the UKMLA and UWorld

The UWorld AKT question bank features high-yield AKT questions with innovative learning tools. Explore our full product and pricing options.
Practise free AKT-style questions prepared by doctors, featuring in-depth rationales and vivid illustrations that bring difficult clinical concepts to life.

What Is UWorld Medical?

UWorld is trusted by over 90% of US medical students to deliver licensing and board exam preparation. See how we got here by learning our history.
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