If you studied outside the United Kingdom or European Economic Area (EEA) and are looking for a way to practice medicine in the United Kingdom, this article is for you. We are here to give you all the details about PLAB, what it is, what it entails, and the requirements.
Firstly, PLAB stands for Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board. PLAB ensures that you have at least the same level of knowledge and ability as a UK doctor in their second-year foundational program. This exam is for anyone who did not get their medical degree in the UK, EEA, or Switzerland. You will have to pass the exam before you can practice medicine in the UK, regardless of whether you are a UK citizen or not. However, if you have a postgraduate degree that the General Medical Council approved, you can be exempted from the PLABs.
Requirements for the exam
So, now that you have a general overview of what the PLAB entails, it is essential to know the requirements that candidates will need before writing the exams.
- A medical qualification/degree from your country
- An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7.5 or grade B in the OET (Occupational English Test). The test is to check your level of understanding of English.
Where Can the Exam Be Taken
You can take the PLAB in many locations overseas and in the United Kingdom. These locations include Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Australia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Egypt.
What Does the PLAB Exam Entail?
The exam has two parts – PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. Both facets of the exam are not just dependent on your ability to remember medical facts; instead, the questions will come from your understanding of the current UK medical practice.
This part of the test contains 180 multiple-choice questions. These questions will focus on the current best practices in the UK regarding their provision of service and available equipment in the hospitals. The questions will also cover all the cases that a second-year medical trainee of the Foundational Program should know and have experienced. You will be given one mark for any answer you get correctly and zero for each incorrect one. There is no fixed pass mark, but it is usually from 120-126 and varies year to year.
One of the best ways to make sure that you ace this part is to go through the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines. These guidelines give you the best possible evidence-based recommendation for health care in England. Thus, it would be best if you had them at your fingertips.
You can take this part of the exam in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Sri Lanka.
This part is a three-hour test divided into at least ten stations, and each of these stations carries simulated patients and scenarios. You would be expected to apply your real-life knowledge of care and clinical judgments in these stations. It is an objective structured examination used to access clinical skills, such as communication, evaluation, and interpretation of results. All the stations will be at least 8 minutes long, and just like part 1, the test will be structured at the level of a second-year medical trainee in the Foundational Programme. You have to make sure that you pass at least ten stations to complete this part successfully.
It is essential to note that unlike Part 1, which can be done in several countries, Part 2 can only be done in Manchester, United Kingdom.
How to Schedule Your Exam
Before you can book a PLAB exam, you must have a relevant overseas medical qualification. Also, you should have an IELTS score of at least 7.5 or a grade B for the OET (this can be done in the My Tests sections of your GMC (General Medical Council) online account).
To schedule your exam, you must have a GMC account. When you get it, go to your GMC account and check all the available dates to write the exam to book a date. Booking Part 1 costs £240. After booking, you will get a verification email. Exam dates and venues are in high demand and limited, so be sure to follow instructions carefully to avoid anything falling through the tracks.
If you are outside the UK, there are several oversea locations where you can write Part 1 of PLAB, such as Egypt, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka, Canada, Sudan, Ghana, UAE, Nigeria, and South Africa. After you have booked online, contact the British Council in the area that you choose to receive more details about the venue.
After you have passed PLAB 1, you will be eligible for PLAB 2, held in Manchester in the UK. Just like Part 1, you will have to book online, and then you will receive a confirmation that shows you the exact place you will be accessed.
Note that the cost of both parts of the test is around £1114.
Preparing For the PLAB
It is advisable to prepare for about 4-8 months before the date you are scheduled to write the exam. This is where CanadaQBank question bank for the PLAB 1 comes in.
The CanadaQBank has over 3400 of some of the best MCQs you would need to prepare for the exam. Each of these MCQs would cover a different part of a Part 1 topic from the tested areas and provide detailed explanations for each of the topics. What is best about this is that it is accessible 24/7. The subjects covered range from Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Dermatology, Oncology, General Surgery, Infectious Disease, and a host of others.
It is an efficient and affordable way to practice the questions easily under simulated exam conditions. There are different subscription prices tailored to whatever your need is. The prices are:
- $95 – 1 month
- $135 – 2 months
- $ 175 – 3 months
- $250 – 6 months
- $335 – 9 months
- $395 – 12 months
Do not be left behind; take advantage of the services of CanadaQBank.