PLAB vs AMC Exams: A Comprehensive Comparison

For medical practitioners considering relocation choosing the right county is so important. However, this choice involves careful consideration of several factors. Among these factors is the qualification exam and process that allows you to practice medicine in your chosen destination legally.

That’s why in this article, we will comprehensively compare the PLAB and AMC exams, two prominent assessments that facilitate medical practice in different countries— Canada and Australia.

We will explore both exams under the following headings

  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Format and Content
  • Fees
  • Assessment Process
  • Passing Rates
  • Recognition and Licensure
  • Challenges and Considerations

But before we proceed, let’s explain what the PLAB & AMC are.

What is PLAB?

PLAB is an acronym for the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test, and it is conducted by the General Medical Council (GMC). The United Kingdom uses it to assess if immigrant doctors seeking to practice have the proper knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective medical care to their citizens.

What is AMC?

AMC stands for the Australian Medical Council, a body that assesses and accredits medical practitioners in Australia. The AMC conducts a series of examinations designed to evaluate the knowledge, clinical skills, and professionalism of candidates seeking registration to practice medicine.

Eligibility Criteria

First on our list are the pre-requirements needed to be eligible to take the exams in these countries.

The AMC requires,

  1. Proof of identity includes a valid passport and a government I.D. This is to verify that you are who you say you are and that you are a registered citizen of that country
  2. You must present your degree and the official transcript from your university.
  3. Immigrating doctors are usually required to have some years of experience working in a hospital or clinic. A letter of recommendation and experience letter would be required.
  4. Medical Registration Certificate. This will prove that you are eligible to practice medicine in your home country.

 

However, to qualify for the PLAB, requires,

  1. You must have completed and obtained your medical degree from an institution listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.
  2. You must have taken an English proficiency test (IELTS or OET) and passed with the necessary scores.
  3. You must be eligible to practice medicine in your home country.
  4. It is required that you have completed 12 months of internship at a teaching or approved hospital to obtain complete registration,

Format and Content

The next thing to discuss is the format of both exams. Both exams are divided into parts. PLAB is divided into two,

PLAB 1 is a written test comprising 180 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within 3 hours. Each question starts with a scenario followed by a question and assesses your understanding of basic medical sciences, clinical medicine, and ethics.

PLAB 2 is a practical review that evaluates your clinical skills, including communication, history-taking, physical examination, and clinical management. The idea here is to reflect real life and comprises 18 clinical scenarios that last 8 minutes each.

On the other hand, the AMC exams are divided into two

  • CAT mcq questions
  • Clinical examination.

The Computer Adaptive test is an MCQ numbering 150, and it tests your knowledge in general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology.

The clinical examination is a practical assessment that evaluates your clinical skills in patient care and communication, review, and diagnosis. It has 20 stations and takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes. The clinical exam has a choice called the workplace-based assessment pathway (WBA); it has a cactusmeraviglietina.it limited spot and is open to doctors employed at one of ten sites accredited by the AMC for this purpose in Australia.

Remember, you can always rely on CanadaQBank to help you pass your PLAB or AMC.

Fees

Of the two examinations, PLAB is the less expensive option. PLAB 1 costs about AUD 492 (£ 255), while the AMC MCQ costs AUD2,920(£ 1,515). PLAB 2 costs AUD 1,799 (£ 934), and the AMC Clinical examination is about AUD 3,730(£ 1,934).

Assessment Process

PLAB 1 exams are run four times a year in the UK and abroad. You can take the test 4 times but must undergo an extra 12 months of clinical training to be allowed a 5th and final try. PLAB 2 is held only in the U.K., and the venues available will be shown when you register online. Also, PLAB 2 must be done within two years of passing PLAB1.

AMC CAT exam is held on multiple dates every month worldwide, and you have an unlimited amount of trials. However, the clinical exam can only be taken after completing the CAT exam. Note that it can also be taken online. This format was been developed to account for health restrictions especially following the pandemic.

Passing Rates

The pass rate for both exams paints an interesting picture, but you must remember that the AMC is geared towards new medical practitioners while PLAB is aimed at the more experienced.

Over the last five years, PLAB has maintained a 65% pass average for PLAB1, and PLAB 2’s pass average is 69%. The AMC, on the other hand, has an average pass rate of 63% for the MCQ, but it drops for the clinical exam to an average of 28%. However, the workplace based assessment (WBA) of the has a pass rate of 99%.

Recognition and Licensure

Passing your PLAB exam allows you to apply for complete registration and grants you a license to practice, and this should be done within two years of passing PLAB 2. With this, you can begin working as a doctor once the GMC gives you approval.

Australia is a bit different in that you must first get an employment offer before being granted a provisional license that will allow you to complete a 12-month internship where you prove your competence. This can be done after passing your AMC CAT exam, helping you reduce your time. Once you have completed both parts of the exam plus your trial year, you are eligible to work in Australia.

Challenges and Considerations

Both exams come with their challenges. The AMC is quite expensive, and as its pass rate has shown, it may require multiple attempts. To avoid overspending, past successful AMC test takers recommend preparing for three months – 1 year.

PLAB allows a max of 5 attempts, so it is prudent that you pass. Experts recommend spending 1.5-4 months preparing for the exams, as seen in the previous pass rates.

Conclusion

The AMC and PLAB are crucial exams for anyone who wants to study in Australia or Canada, respectively. This is because you need to pass these exams to get your medical license and get a job in these countries. So, we know how important these exams are. And that’s why at CanadaQBank, we offer some of the best simulated AMC CAT MCQs you will ever get! It is gotten from the actual exams and updates regularly to go with changes in the curriculum.

For PLAB, we also have over 3400 of some of the best MCQs tailored to help you pass your PLAB 1. These simulated questions give you a feel of how the exams will be and make your medical dreams come true.

What is the PLAB exam all about?

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.

PLAB: Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board

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.

  1. A medical qualification/degree from your country
  2. 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.

Part 1

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.

Part 2

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.