Calculating Alcohol Units for MRCGP AKT Exam

Dr Geraint Preest, Clinical Section Editor at BMJ OnExamination, gives you some hints and tips for calculating alcohol units.

This has been highlighted by The Royal College of General Practitioners from the April 2016 MRCGP AKT Exam as one of the key areas causing candidates difficulty.

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Calculating Alcohol Units - Video Transcript

We thought we’d give you some tips for candidates sitting the AKT component of the MRCGP exam.

The tips we are going to use today are from the Royal College feedback from April 2016.

Here is a really easy way of to work out the number of units in a bottle of alcohol.

First of all you take the alcohol by volume, which is usually expressed in a percentage, then you multiple that by the volume of alcohol in ml, divide that by 1000 and that gives you the number of units of alcohol.

If we use an example of a bottle of lager, this bottle of lager is 5.1% and is 330ml bottle so you multiply 5.1 by 330 that gives you 1,683 which you then divide by 1000 to give 1.7 units.

It is a really important point when you are sitting your exam, the Royal College of General Practitioners say time and time again that candidates need to do a reality check when they are doing calculations in the exam, now very often these calculations are quite straightforward and if we use the example of calculating the number of units in a bottle of alcohol when you divide your figure by 1000 just make sure you have your decimal point in the right place, if you are looking at the number of units in one bottle of lager and your calculation comes out at 17 units then you know you’ve made a mistake.


Calculating Alcohol Units - More Info for MRCGP AKT Exam Revision

Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week

NHS Change4Life Guidelines (External Site)