2021.2 KFP and AKT information for candidates


Date: 10 July 2021

Time

Message

4.15 PM AEST

The 2021.2 Applied Knowledge Test has now finished across Australia.

We thank all of our candidates, venue staff and the exams teams who made it all possible.

12.30 PM AEST

Candidates are now sitting the paper-based 2021.2 Applied Knowledge Test in every state.

Candidates at the ICC in Sydney were delayed for less than one hour due to COVID testing and are now underway.

10.15 AM AEST
The AKT is now underway in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania and NSW venues except the Sydney International Convention Centre.
Sydney ICC candidates are again being tested to mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 case entering the venue.
9.00 AM AEST

Wishing good luck to all candidates in today’s 2021.2 Applied Knowledge Test. Candidates should make sure they arrive at the time given in their venue confirmation emails, including those who will undergo rapid PCR COVID-19 testing again at Sydney’s ICC venue.

All times are in your local time. Candidates start writing at 10.00 am

 

 

Date: 9 July 2021

Time

Message

7.40 PM AEST

The 2021.2 Key Feature Problem exam has now finished across Australia. To all candidates, thank you for your hard work and good luck if you're sitting the Applied Knowledge Test from 10:00 am (local time) tomorrow. Your venue confirmation email tells you what time you need to get to the venue.

NSW Health will be delivering another round of Rapid PCR COVID-19 tests tomorrow for the Sydney ICC, but arrival times for candidates at that venue remain unchanged.

4.00 PM AEST
Candidates are now sitting the paper-based 2021.2 Key Feature Problem in every state.
2.00 PM AEST

The KFP is now underway in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania and NSW venues except the Sydney International Convention Centre.

For all candidates sitting the KFP at the Sydney ICC, NSW Health has rolled out a rapid PCR COVID-19 test as a precaution. All candidates have been tested and returned negative results. They are entering the exam room now, about 1 hour behind the rest of NSW.

Candidates in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia are reminded to get to their venue with plenty of time to spare. Socially distance and wear masks when required.

2021.2 Key Feature Problem (KFP) and Applied Knowledge Test (AKT): Exam day information


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

Last updated: 8 July 2021.


The KFP, AKT and COVID-19


To keep candidates, staff and their communities safe, we will require every exam candidate to make a COVIDSafe attestation on arrival at the exam venue.

The national attestation is below. If a state or territory brings in specific requirements for a different attestation / declaration, you may be asked to complete that instead.

In order to sit the exam, you must confirm that you:

  1. are free from symptoms related to COVID-19
  2. are not awaiting results from a COVID-19 test which was undertaken because you had symptoms
  3. have not had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days (except in the course of duties while wearing appropriate PPE)
  4. are not currently required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with state directions
  5. have not attended any COVID-19 exposure site
  6. have not worked in or volunteered at a hotel quarantine site and/or other port of entry in the last 14 days
  7. have not been released from hotel quarantine in the last 14 days

It can be difficult to tell if your symptoms are due to allergies or another chronic condition, or due to COVID-19. In line with national advice from the Department of Health, you should stay home and get tested:

  • when you first get the symptoms, and
  • if your symptoms are unexpected, seem different or worse than usual, or do not respond to your usual medication.

The following won’t stop you sitting the exam:

  • you have symptoms which are unrelated to COVID-19, are expected, and are responding to your usual medication
  • you are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test if you were only tested as a precaution, not because you were displaying symptoms (so long as you can complete the attestation questions prior to your exam).

If you can’t complete the attestation, you will be asked to leave the exam venue and we will support you to sit next semester.

There are significant consequences for making a false attestation.

These may include:

  • your details being reported to the public health unit in your state
  • referral to the Medical Board of Australia for professional misconduct
  • voiding of your exam result and / or termination of RACGP membership under the Academic Misconduct Policy.


State direction/venue requirement

The RACGP must comply with any state direction or venue COVIDSafe plan which requires face masks to be worn as a condition of entry and participation in the exams. We will notify you directly by SMS if wearing a face mask is mandatory at your venue. Details are also listed in the ‘State and Territory updates’, below.

The below advice applies to all venues where face masks are required. Please read the advice carefully to ensure you are aware of the processes in place before your exam. We know that all candidates are experienced health care workers who are accustomed to wearing face masks for long periods, and will do the right thing to protect the safety of other candidates, staff and their communities.

Face masks must be worn in accordance with the following Department of Health guidance at all times:

Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.

Consequences of non-compliance

We trust in our members to understand the reasons why face masks are a requirement for some venues. However, in order to ensure community safety, we want to clearly advise of the process that will be followed should any candidate not follow the mandatory requirements.

If a candidate refuses to wear their face mask in accordance with the state/venue requirement, the invigilator will allow them an opportunity to comply before formally cautioning them two times. If they continue to breach the directions, for community safety, the invigilator will pause the exam for all others in the room and the candidate will be asked to leave the exam venue. If they refuse to leave, the invigilator will take action to report the violation to state authorities in order for them to be exited from the venue. If this occurs, their exam will be counted as an attempt towards their candidacy under the Fellowship Exams Attempts policy and they will forfeit their exam fee. Once they have left the venue, the exam will re-commence for all other candidates, who will be given additional time to compensate for the interruption to their exam.


We’re working with Chief Health Officers in every state and territory, with an aim to ensure the KFP and AKT can run safely under a range of restriction levels. The exact adjustments we may need to make will depend on the restrictions imposed at the time.

Read on for your state-specific information, below. If you have specific questions about the COVIDSafe delivery of the Fellowship exams, you can email us at examinations@racgp.org.au


Australian Capital Territory

At the moment, no candidates are affected by restrictions on movement in the ACT. All of our venues have COVIDSafe plans including maximum densities, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, and limited numbers of candidates per exam room.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the ACT. The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


New South Wales

The New South Wales Ministry of Health has confirmed that attending the KFP and AKT exams is a reasonable excuse to enter Greater Sydney or to leave home in Greater Sydney during the current stay-at-home order. Your pre-exam venue confirmation email can be used to evidence this reason if required.

The current stay-at-home orders in place for Greater Sydney continue to apply. This means if you enter Greater Sydney from a regional area, you will be required to stay at home for 14 days from when you leave Sydney. This is not a quarantine or self-isolation requirement, and you may still leave home with a reasonable excuse, including shopping, going to work, accessing childcare, and more. For a complete list, see the list of reasonable excuses. You should monitor the NSW Health website in case this requirement is lifted earlier than 14 days.

All exam venues adhere to the NSW Health COVID directions, including mask-wearing, one candidate per 4m2, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, limited numbers of candidates per exam room, and COVIDSafe plans in every venue. You will be required to wear a mask in your exam venue.

The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


Northern Territory

The five-day Northern Territory lockdown lifted on 2 July, with some restrictions continuing until 1 pm on 9 July. With the KFP & AKT on 9 and 10 July, at this stage we do not foresee these restrictions impacting the exams.

In the Northern Territory you need to wear a mask whenever physical distancing can’t be maintained. This means:

  • Masks are mandatory on arrival and during registration.
  • Once you’re seated in your exam venue with physical distancing, it’s optional to wear your mask.
  • Put your mask back on to move around the venue or if you can’t maintain physical distancing.

All of our venues have COVIDSafe plans including maximum densities, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, and limited numbers of candidates per exam room, and we will initiate discussion with the CHO to ensure the exams can run under a range of restrictions.

The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


Queensland

On 1 April 2021, Queensland Health advised the RACGP that scheduled exams conducted by Medical Specialist Colleges are captured under the definitions of a permitted purpose for movement in restricted areas (i.e. attending educational instruction that cannot be reasonably obtained in a person’s place of residence.

This means that the KFP & AKT can proceed during periods of lockdown or increased restriction on movement. We’re confident that the exams scheduled for 9 and 10 July can go ahead, even if the current lockdown is extended to other parts of Queensland.

We have proactively reduced the number of candidates in each venue and density has been reduced to one candidate per 4m2. You will be required to wear a mask in your exam venue in Brisbane or Townsville, and all of our venues have COVIDSafe plans in place.

The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


South Australia

At the moment, no lockdown or restrictions on movement have been announced in South Australia. All of our venues have COVIDSafe plans including maximum densities, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, and limited numbers of candidates per exam room, and we’re in discussion with the CHO to ensure the exams can run under a range of restrictions.

We will continue to monitor the situation in SA. The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


Tasmania

At the moment, no lockdown or restrictions on movement have been announced in Tasmania. All of our venues have COVIDSafe plans including maximum densities, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, and limited numbers of candidates per exam room, and we’re in discussion with the CHO to ensure the exams can run under a range of restrictions.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Tasmania. The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


Victoria

Victoria has further eased restrictions this week, so we’re confident the KFP and AKT exams can run.

The rules around mask-wearing in Victoria have also eased, but masks remain mandatory in indoor, public-facing spaces such as our exam venues.

Current advice from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria is that specialist medical college exams could proceed during the recent circuit breaker restrictions with appropriate infection prevention and control measures. All of our venues have COVIDSafe plans including maximum densities, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, and limited numbers of candidates per exam room.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Victoria. The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


Western Australia

With the KFP & AKT on 9 and 10 July, at this stage the exams are not affected.

The RACGP was granted an exemption to run the KFP & AKT during restrictions in Western Australia in February 2021, and we will pursue a similar exemption through the CHO if any restrictions are put in place for the exams days this semester.

All of our venues have COVIDSafe plans including maximum densities, a COVIDSafe attestation on registration, and limited numbers of candidates per exam room. Candidates in Perth will be required to wear masks.

We will continue to monitor the situation in WA. The latest information will always be posted to this page, and we’ll send candidates emails and text messages as critical updates are posted.


The RACGP has contacted state and territory Departments of Health with an aim to ensure that both entrance assessments and Fellowship exams can continue safely under COVIDSafe restrictions. We know how hard our members work to prepare for exams, and we know the impact any delay would have on member wellbeing and the delivery of healthcare to the community. We'll update this page with the latest information as it comes to hand.

If members are affected by a lockdown, we have a range of supports in place to mitigate the impact and avoid flow-on consequences – see ‘What if I can’t get to the exam venue?’, below. 


No, we can't provide an alternate exam date.

There are a range of reasons that candidates in an area might be unable to attend an exam: COVID-19 lockdown, natural disaster, or another wide-scale emergency.

In such a scenario, we can’t delay the exam for everyone. Hundreds of GPs have planned work, study, families, conferences, weddings, holidays and every other aspect of their lives around the exam dates. Delaying their exam due to an emergency in another part of the country is not feasible.  

Allowing some candidates to sit the exam a few days or weeks later raises significant issues around equity and exam security. This would be an unacceptable compromise to the fairness and validity of the exam. 


If your region is not in lockdown but you are personally required to isolate, please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances

If there is no way for you to sit the exam, we will work with you to try to mitigate the impacts.

The RACGP can: 

  • Transfer your enrolment to the 2022.1 exams with no additional fees
  • Suspend your candidacy under the Fellowship Exam Attempts Policy
  • Approve extensions for AGPT (where appropriate and in consultation with your training organisation and other relevant organisations) 
  • Give supporting evidence to any agency or organisation that requires you to sit exams, including: 
    • Ahpra 
    • Department of Health 
    • Medicare 
    • Department of Home Affairs 
    • Training organisations 
    • Workforce agencies 
    • Employers 

If you have specific needs for additional support, we can work with you individually. 


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 on 3 June 2021. 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 in the week commencing 7 June 2021. In the following week commencing 14 June 2021, 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. 

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