The time between sitting the RACGP Fellowship exams and receiving your results can be an anxious time to wait. Did you pass? How do your results compare to those of your peers? If you passed, congratulations!

You can look forward to the next stage of your journey in General Practice. If you did not pass the exam, it can take some time to absorb and process this outcome. Firstly, allow yourself time to grieve, be kind to yourself, and then shift your focus back to preparing for a future exam attempt.

The RACGP provides candidates with a public exam report released at the time of the results, reflecting on where candidates could have improved, providing valuable insights which may be applied to future exams. Whether you are sitting the AKT or KFP for the first time or re-sitting the exam, it is recommended that you pay close attention to the advice given.

Here are our 5 key takeaways from the :

1. Pay close attention to the key features of the case to help you formulate a problem representation in the KFP

Read the clinical stem once through, then read it again to ensure you have identified the key features presented. Is it an urban, rural or remote setting? How old is the patient? Who are you, in this scenario, a contractor GP, supervisor or practice owner? What are some pertinent key features that help define what the problem is being presented? Being a written exam on paper lets you underline these features with your pen to create a clear problem representation.

2. Read the question carefully to understand what is being asked of you

This is a common error in both the AKT and KFP exams. As is often the case with each exam round, in the 2024.1 KFP exam, some candidates did not clearly read the question and understand the task, such as the “most important provisional diagnosis,” instead interpreting this as the “most likely provisional diagnosis”. Answers to these two questions will likely vary depending on the key features in the clinical stem and any red flag features.

The “most important provisional diagnosis” is the one you do not want to miss, which still must fit within the clinical scenario. Another common error in the 2024.1 KFP exam report was failing to identify the specific wording in questions about investigations and whether it is asking for the initial investigations, further investigations or diagnostic investigations. Consistent with patterns from previous rounds of the KFP, candidates who provided “blanket” responses instead of specific, clinical scenario-adapted ones tended to score lower.

3. Review your answers to avoid ‘overcoding’ and ‘grouping’ in the KFP

Overcoding and grouping are two different, yet commonly made mistakes in the KFP and the 2024.1 KFP report highlighted that this is an ongoing issue for many candidates. Overcoding results from candidates providing more than one response on a single line, or providing more responses overall than what is asked for. Providing responses that contain the words ‘and’, ‘or’, use slashes, commas or ‘+’ symbols risk overcoding. Overcoding results in an overcode penalty and for some people, this could mean the difference between a pass and a fail! 

Another prevalent issue in the 2024.1 KFP exam was the tendency of candidates to offer similar answers, a factor that contributed to their underperformance. This is called “grouped” responses and it does not demonstrate the breadth of knowledge that is required in the KFP.

4. Provide specific answers

Many candidates provided responses that were too vague to score marks in the KFP. Just as in clinical practice, it’s important to give tailored lifestyle advice, including the exact amount of weight-bearing exercise suitable for a patient. Another common theme in the 2024.1 exam report highlights candidates failing to provide detailed information about who they are referring to, what the referral is for, or providing vague educational advice about the patient’s condition. Treat the KFP patients as real patients!

5. Be familiar with common medicolegal and ethical dilemmas

Medicolegal and ethical dilemmas are often presented in both the AKT and KFP and these questions are commonly done poorly, including in the 2024.1 round of exams. Consider some of the common medicolegal topics and the articles from Avant, MDA National, MIGA, MIPS and TEGO are a great place to start for some bite-sized medicolegal articles. They make for an easy lunch-time read too! 

In summary, the AKT and KFP exam reports that are released with each round of exams often have common themes to their advice. Upcoming exam candidates will gain valuable insights around the types of questions presented, in addition to the RACGP examiners’ expectations.