2021.2 KFP and AKT information for candidates

2021.2 Key Feature Problem (KFP) and Applied Knowledge Test (AKT): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The latest information is available in our responses to candidates below.

Last updated: 26 March 2021.

Exam delivery information

The 2021.2 KFP and AKT will once again be delivered face-to-face in COVID-safe venues and as a paper-based format.

Yes. Candidates enrolled in the 2021.2 KFP and/or AKT exam will be provided with an electronic PDF copy of the paper-based practice exam after the close of enrolments. The practice exam format is the same as the real exam format.

The exam booklets on exam day are printed and bound, not loose-leaf.

The 2021.2 KFP and AKT will be held in COVID-safe venues nationwide. We aim to have an exam venue within 200 km of every enrolled candidates preferred address, so make sure your address details are up to date with the RACGP. If you are more than 200 km away from a venue, we may be able to make alternative venue arrangements for you.

No, the KFP will run in the afternoon of Friday 9 July 2021 and the AKT will run in the morning of Saturday 10 July 2021.

Venue details, exam time and further information will be sent to you approximately four weeks prior to the scheduled exam date. Your state faculty will provide you with additional information, such as registration time, venue maps, parking information and public transport information in due course after receiving your venue confirmation.

No. As we aren’t using an online delivery method, moving you from one venue to another is not as simple as logging you in to another computer. The timelines for our paper delivery method means that your unique exam paper, labelled with your details, will be in the process of being printed and packaged when you receive your venue confirmation, so it is ready for you at your venue. To ensure you receive a venue close to your preferred address, please make sure that your address details are up to date with the RACGP. 


Exam, enrolment and results dates

Exam dates and enrolment periods for 2021 are available online now.


Enrolment, eligibility and candidacy

Candidates affected by the October 2020 exam cancellations will be able to sit one KFP and/or one AKT at no cost over the next 18 months, up to and including the 2022.1 exams. Please note a free re-sit only applies to the exam you were enrolled in, in October. For example, if you were only enrolled in the 2020.2 KFP exam, your free re-sit only applies to one KFP exam.

To avoid being charged by our online enrolment system, please email examinations@racgp.org.au when you’d like to enrol, and we will organise a manual enrolment for you.

If you were an affected candidate in the 2020.2 KFP and AKT cancellations and chose to withdraw and sit either 2021.2 or 2022.1 instead, you will need to demonstrate eligibility, as normal. Check your eligibility criteria on the policy framework.

Subject to the limitations of the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy, you can suspend your candidacy in any semester in which you do not sit an exam. If you sit the 2021.2 KFP on 9 July, the 2021.2 AKT on 10 July, or the 2021.2 Clinical exam, you cannot suspend the 2021.2 semester.


Exam day

Eating can be extremely distracting for other exam candidates. Many snack foods come in noisy packaging which will rustle or crinkle as you touch it. Many foods have odours, which other candidates may find off-putting or distracting. Some people are particularly sensitive to the sounds of others chewing, especially in otherwise silent environments such as exam conditions.

Unless there is a specific medical reason that you must eat during the exam, we do not allow you to bring food into the exam room. 

You can eat during the registration period and immediately after the exam if you wish to. You can bring one or two clear, unlabelled bottles of water into the exam.

No. We’ll provide a pen for you. We will have ample spare pens at each venue in case your pen stops working. You can keep the pen at the end of the exam if you want or leave it behind – all pens will be disposed of at the end of each day as part of our COVID-safe plan.

No. Our scanning and data management vendor instructs you to use a black ball-point pen. If you choose to use a different writing implement, there is a chance your answers will not be readable for a range of reasons. For example, pencil marks may be shiny, and not be read properly by the scanner. Smudges from erasing pencil can make your intention harder to understand. Erasable ink is designed to disappear when heated, which may occur in transit or during scanning. Inks from fountain pens, markers, and other types of pen are prone to smudge, bleed, or run, which could make your answers harder to read, or may not be compatible with the scanning process. To ensure your responses are clearly recorded, please use the black ball-point pen you are provided on exam day.

If you make a mistake in a multiple-choice question, simply cross it out and shade in a new answer. To re-select a crossed-out answer, re-shade the bubble so that your preferred answer is a circle, with no cross-marks visible. If there is any doubt, a human examiner will review your answer.

If you make a mistake in a written question, neatly cross out your original answer and write your intended answer above it on the same line. If you run out of space, you can write your answer elsewhere on the page, so long as it is clearly identified which question your answer is for.

We will be printing spare exam papers – every venue will have a small number of spare papers available if a candidate needs a new paper because their original paper is damaged during the exam.

For the KFP, in consideration of the paper exam format, 30 minutes of additional time has been added to the existing 30-minute universal allowance already in place for all candidates. 

  • Previous online format – 3.5 hours
  • Paper format – 4 hours

For the AKT, no additional time has been added. The AKT is a multiple-choice exam, and you will only be required to mark bubbles on the answer sheet, not write full answers. The AKT is designed to be completed in 3.5 hours, with an existing 30-minute universal allowance already in place. 

  • Previous online format – 4 hours
  • Paper format – 4 hours

Please take your time when completing the exam paper and try your best to write as neatly as possible. We have added 30 minutes of additional time allowed to complete the KFP. You will receive more information and tips on how to complete the exam paper when you receive your exam details. 

Just like in computer-based exams, we do not require your spelling or writing to be perfect – so long as the examiner can read your writing and understand your intent, marks will be awarded appropriately.

KFP answers do not require full sentences, and you do not need to provide the rationale behind your answer unless it is specifically asked for. The answer booklet contains more than sufficient room to write answers of the appropriate length.

For the KFP:

You will receive spare paper in your exam to make notes. We ask you not to make notes in the exam booklet to ensure clarity for our examiners. The more writing, notes, and annotations there are in the booklet, the less clear it will be for our examiners to know exactly what you intend for your answer to be. Noting that over coding penalties still apply in the KFP (refer to the RACGP Examinations guide), we suggest candidates do not write anything on the page that they do not intend to be considered as part of their exam answer. 

If you wish to underline, circle or flag key information in a question you may do so, but we urge you to take care not to risk confusing your examiner.

For the AKT:

You will receive spare paper in your exam to make notes. You may underline, circle or flag key information and may make notes in the question booklet if you wish to do so. Other than shading in the selected bubbles, it is critical that you do not make any notes or other marks in the answer booklet.


Background information – risks and mitigations

The following information relates to the RACGP’s processes and plans around the delivery of the exam – not your specific experience on the day. We present this information in the interest of transparency.

If our national printing vendor is unable to deliver exam papers for any reason (mechanical failure, COVID-19, staffing issues, insolvency, or other), there are contingencies in place to ensure each delivery can reach its destination before exam day.

Our national printing vendor has its own quality assurance processes to ensure all papers are correctly printed. All papers are individually checked after receipt in each venue two days before the exam. We have contingencies in place to address any errors.

Exam papers are being transported by secure couriers and delivered personally to dedicated and accountable staff at every exam venue. Wherever possible we are using RACGP employees to receive and safeguard papers. In some cases, we are using staff from Training Organisations. All staff responsible for exam papers will receive specific training and must have approved, individual plans for securely storing the papers between receiving them and the day of the exam. All papers are delivered in tamper-evident packaging and checked by RACGP staff before the exam.

The RACGP has well-established procedures for handling incidents in exam venues, and we do not expect this year to be any different to previous years.

We have structured decision-making and escalation processes for any issues that arise, from a room clock stopping through to major threats to the safety of candidates.

All papers are securely stored by RACGP staff who are trained in managing exam arrangements. We are using the highest service level of a globally recognised courier company to ensure papers are transported safely, securely and quickly back to our scanning and data management vendor. 

Every exam paper is uniquely printed with the candidate’s details on every page before the exam. These details are automatically read by the scanners to associate candidates’ answers with their names.

If we need to use generic papers, for example because the candidate needs a replacement booklet, the candidate and the invigilator will work together to enter and verify the candidates’ details on the paper. Both the candidate and an RACGP staff member must check that the details are correct before leaving the exam room.

We are using the highest service level of a globally recognised courier company to ensure papers are transported safely, securely and quickly back to our scanning and data management vendor.

If a paper is delayed in transit, we will start marking the other exam papers while working to recover the delayed exams.

In the extremely unlikely event that a paper is destroyed in transit, the candidate will need to take another exam.

We can’t make copies of the exam papers at the venues. Photocopying or photographing a large amount of exam booklets before transportation for professional scanning is not feasible, and such additional handling creates unacceptable risks.  

As soon as the RACGP receives the digitised papers, they will immediately be stored safely and securely, with all our usual data protection including secure storage and both on- and off-site backups.

These arrangements are consistent with the procedures implemented by other educational institutions, including Australian specialist medical colleges, when delivering paper-based exams at multiple sites.

Hand-completed answer sheets are scanned, and your answers will be digitally recognised. Where the computer cannot confidently identify your answer, human intervention is used to recognise your intent – this is most common when you’ve had to cross out an answer. 

Your answer booklet will be scanned. Multiple choice answers are digitally recognised. Written responses are read by our examiners, who are Fellows of the RACGP.

Answer sheets are professionally scanned, so there should not be problems with the digital version of your answers being hard to read. If a scan is low-quality, the original paper exam can be retrieved and reviewed.

Because our examiners are Fellows of the RACGP, they understand the medical terminology and will work to interpret what you have written. Examiners can refer difficult-to-read handwriting to other RACGP Medical Educators if they are unsure of your intent.

So long as we can understand your intent, marks will be awarded appropriately. The only time you will be penalised for messy handwriting or poor spelling is if your answer cannot be understood at all.