PLAB – Everything You Need To Know

PLAB Everything You Need To Know

PLAB, or Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board, is a test that international medical graduates (IMG) must take to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the United Kingdom. The PLAB Exam for the United Kingdom is a stepping stone to medical school. The PLAB test is a two-part assessment that evaluates international medical graduates’ medical knowledge and communication skills. Find out everything you need to know about the PLAB exam right here.

Why Should You Take the PLAB Exam?

After completing the MBBS programme, a candidate typically has two options from which to choose. He or she can practise medicine in his or her home country or work abroad. The United Kingdom is one of the top destinations for successful international medical graduates looking for work. An applicant must take the PLAB test in order to work in the medical field in the United Kingdom. PLAB is a very important and well-known licencing examination that is specifically designed for International Medical Graduates who want to work as registered doctors in the United Kingdom. And it is unquestionably required if you have completed your medical studies in the United Kingdom.

Process of PLAB Exams

To register for the PLAB test, all interested applicants must first create a GMC Online Account. The PLAB test is divided into two sections.

PLAB Part 1

PLAB Part 1 is a written multiple-choice exam. There are a total of 180 questions. The time limit is three hours. Each question starts with a brief scenario. The shared scenarios serve as the foundation for the objective questions. Applicants must select one of the five possible answers. Many countries, including India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom, allow you to register online and take the PLAB Part 1 exam.

Everything You Need To Know About – USMLE

PLAB Part 2

Candidates who have passed PLAB Part 1 may take the PLAB Part 2 exam. PLAB 2 is an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). It is an objective practical exam. This test is only available in Manchester, United Kingdom. It has 18 different scenarios/stations, each lasting 8 minutes + 2 minutes of reading time.

The PLAB test can be taken a maximum of four times. If you want to retake it for the fifth time, you can do so after only 12 months.

Eligibility for the PLAB test

  • You must have graduated from a recognised medical institution.
  • He or she should have obtained an IELTS score of at least 7.0 in each section. The applicant must have an overall score of 7.5.
  • Applicants who pass the OET with a minimum grade of ‘B’ in each testing field are also eligible to take the PLAB test.

PLAB Application Form

If you book online, you must pay with a debit or credit card; otherwise, the fee of £145 must be paid in advance in sterling. Otherwise, fees must be paid in the form of a cheque, money order, or postal order made payable to the ‘General Medical Council’ in the United Kingdom. Fees sent from or paid in other countries must be in the form of a sterling bank draught or money order. Make checks payable to the ‘General Medical Council.’ Please remember to include bank fees when paying the fee, where applicable.

The form should be carefully reviewed to ensure that the information is correct and that it is properly signed and dated. Only the individual concerned must complete and sign the application. Any discrepancies may cause your application to be delayed.

If the candidate wishes to take the examination in the United Kingdom, he or she must submit their forms, along with the necessary enclosures, by post to the

PLAB Test Section (Candidate Services) GMC,
178 Great Portland Street,
London W1W 5JE.

Those who applied online will receive immediate confirmation of one place; otherwise, once the form has been processed, a letter offering you a place in the Examination and a map showing you where the Examination centre is located will be mailed to your registered address.

Candidates will be entitled to a full refund of the Examination entry fee if the Examination is postponed or cancelled due to exceptional circumstances. Other costs will not be borne by the General Medical Council.

How To Prepare For NExT Exam

Syllabus for the PLAB 1 exam

First and above all, remember that you do not have to study, comprehend concepts, or memorise everything in your preliminary medicine course (MBBS in the case of India). This means that you do not have to study all 19 subjects at the same time. Obviously, you must have a fundamental understanding of everything in your preliminary medicine. However, this does not imply that you must go through everything as if it were a PG exam (NEET-PG in India).

The PLAB 1 syllabus can be found on the GMC’s website. PLAB Blueprint is what they call it. Anyway, I made a shortened version of PLAB Blueprint below to help you understand it better.

Blood and LymphAbnormal blood film
Bruising/ bleeding/ purpura
Generalized enlarged lymph nodes
BreastBreast lump and/or pain
CardiovascularChest pain
Heart murmur
Peripheral arterial disease
Peripheral edema, breathlessness
Peripheral venous problems
Child HealthCongenital abnormalities
Developmental problems (Physical, Psychological, and social)
Failure to thrive (Physical, Psychological, and social)
DigestiveAbdominal mass
Abdominal pain
Anorexia and weight loss
Facial pain and swelling
Lower GI symptoms
Upper GI symptoms
EndocrineAbnormal blood sugar
General endocrine disorder
Thyroid abnormalities
Hearing problems
Hoarseness and/or stridor
Nasal symptoms
Ethical and ProfessionalDrawing from GMC explanatory guidance
Drawing from Good medical practice (2013) Duties of a doctor
EyeEye pain
Orbital swelling
Visual impairment
GenitourinaryUrethral discharge
Vaginal discharge
HomeostaticAcid-base imbalance and blood gas abnormalities
Electrolyte abnormalities
Infectious diseasesHospital-acquired infection
Serious infection
Travel medicine and tropical infections
Viral infections
Mental HealthAlcohol and drug use disorder and dependence
Deliberate self-harm
Eating problems
Learning and communication problems
Medically unexplained physical symptoms
Mood (affective) problems
Personality and behavioural disorders
Legal frameworks
Muscul skeletalBack and neck problems
Connective tissue disorders
Foot and ankle problems
Hand and wrist problems
Hip problems
Knee problems
Rheumatological problems
Shoulder/upper limb problems
Skeletal problems including fractures
NeurologicalBlackouts and faints (funny turns)
Cranial nerve problems
Movement disorders including tremor and gait problems
Peripheral nerve problems and abnormalities of sensation
Speech and language disorder
Weakness and fatigue
Older adultsConfusion
Symptoms of terminal illness
PharmacologicalClinical pharmacology (Antimicrobial stewardship, Prescribing safety)
RenalAbnormalities of the urine
Renal problems
Urinary excretion
Fertility problems
Normal pregnancy and care
Problems in pregnancy including bleeding
Irregular vaginal bleeding
Cervical smear/ colposcopy
Pelvic mass
Pelvic pain
Vulval and vaginal lumps/lesions
Urinary incontinence
Chest pain
Cough and hemoptysis
Wheeze/ Stridor
Seriously ill patientsCollapse
Fever/ Infection
Multiple trauma
SkinBites and stings
Dermatological manifestations of systemic disease
Extremes of temperature
Hair and nail problems
Itchy and/or scaly rashes
Moles and pigmented lesions
UrologicalGroin/scrotal pain and/or swelling
Urinary tract obstruction
Abnormalities of the urine
Urinary symptoms (UTI & Prostatic cancer)
PLAB 1 syllabus

Syllabus for the PLAB 2 exam

As previously stated, PLAB 2 is an OSCE test. As a result, there is no prescribed curriculum to follow or diseases to investigate. The PLAB 2 test will consist of 18 case scenarios that you must complete with your best effort.

Your diagnostic, investigation, management, and treatment abilities will be put to the test.

PLAB 1 can be passed without taking a PLAB course, but PLAB 2 appears to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. As a result, you should train at a prestigious coaching academy, preferably in the United Kingdom.

PLAB Study Material

The Oxford books listed above may help you prepare for the topics listed above.

  • Clinical Medicine: The Oxford Handbook (OHCM)
  • Oxford Clinical Specialties Handbook (OHCS)

In addition to completing 1700 MCQs for PLAB 1 by Dr. Khalid, you must also prepare medicine for PLAB 1 based on system, stage, and disease. A few questions from this QBank set will be asked most of the time.

You can use the PLAB Sush Unity Notes for the 1700 MCQs. This will include 1700 questions classified by subject, as well as explanations.

You can also use Buzzwords/Clinchers to quickly answer questions when you see the buzzword. You can use this to give yourself more time to answer other questions.

If you are unable to study alone or require assistance, you can join PLAB Facebook groups, where thousands of people are willing to accompany you.

You can also enrol in one of the industry’s most popular courses, the PLAB.

  • Samson Plab Academy
  • Dr. Swamy’s  PLAB courses


Aside from the previously mentioned factors, taking mock exams is critical for passing PLAB 1. Because one of the most important factors in determining your rank and ability to pass PLAB 1 is time management. Mock tests can assist you in improving your time management abilities. PLABABLE can be used to create mock exams.

Exam Fees for the PLAB

Aside from the USMLE, you should be aware that the PLAB exam is the most expensive you’ve ever taken. It is analogous to making a financial investment. An investment that yields a profit. Anyway, let me break down all of the PLAB’s expenses for you.

  • Passport – £20 – £30 (if you don’t already have one)
  • IELTS ~ £ 150 (payable by a Standard Chartered Bank transfer). The cost of taking OET is £ 300. (These are only examination fees.)
  • The PLAB 1 exam costs £240. (Payable only by credit card)
  • The PLAB 2 exam costs £ 879. (Only payable by a credit card)
  • Fees for standard visitor visas are £ 100.
  • £ 900 for round-trip plane tickets
  • Fee for PLAB 2 Preparatory Course £ 600 (approximately)
  • EPIC Verification, approximately £ 250
  • GMC registration fees are £153 for doctors who apply within five years of receiving their primary medical qualification (MBBS). If it is more than that, it is £399.
  • Rent and living expenses in the United Kingdom range from £ 500 to £ 600 per month. If you plan the dates of the course and the exam dates carefully, you should be able to stay in the UK for 3 months before returning home to apply for a Tier 2 visa within 6 months of receiving your visa. So £ 1650 for four months.
  • Tier 2 visa (General – Health & Care visa) costs £232 for a three-year visa. And £464 for a visa that is valid for more than three years.
  • £ 5 for a police clearance certificate for a Tier 2 visa
  • IOM TB clearance certificate – £ 65
  • The one-way plane ticket to the UK to begin the job is £ 400.
  • £ 1200 suggested GBP to take with you to survive the first one to two months (until you start getting paid).

The total cost of the PLAB exam, from star, will be between £ 6900 and £ 7500. The costs in Indian rupees will be around 7 lakhs.

PLAB Test Centre’s

PLAB 1 is administered in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom. The list is as follows:

  • United Kingdom
  • India – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
  • Australia – Sydney
  • Bangladesh – Dhaka
  • Canada – Toronto
  • Egypt – Alexandria, Cairo
  • Ghana – Accra
  • Nigeria – Abuja, Enugu, Lagos
  • Pakistan – Islamabad, Karachi
  • South Africa – Riyadh, Johannesburg
  • Spain – Madrid
  • Sri Lanka – Colombo
  • Sudan – Khartoum
  • UAE – Dubai

The test’s PLAB 2 must be taken only in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Apply for PLAB Visa

To begin with, there are two occasions (PLAB 1 and PLAB 2) when students wish to relocate to the United Kingdom.

As previously stated, moving to the United Kingdom is not required to attend PLAB 1. Of course, you are free to write it in your own language.

However, if you want to compete in PLAB 2, you must travel to Manchester because it is only held there. I’ll walk you through the rest of the PLAB Visa application process after this introduction.

PLAB Visa Categories

You must apply for a basic Tourist Visa.

Where can I apply for a Visa?

VFS GLOBAL is the only place to apply for a Tourist Visa.

What is the cost of a tourist visa to the United Kingdom?

It is currently somewhere between $135 and $140.

When should I apply for a Visa?

We would recommend applying for the Visa three months before the PLAB 1 or 2.

How long will the Tourist (PLAB) Visa be valid?

Visas are normally valid for six months.

What is the procedure for applying for a Visa?

  • On the VFS GLOBAL website, fill out the online Visa Application.
  • Pay your application fee of $135, which is currently in effect.
  • Upload all of your Visa supporting documents.
  • Then you’ll go to a Visa appointment.
  • Following that, you will provide your biometrics.
  • It’s now time to wait for the confirmation.
  • Finally, your visa will arrive.

Required Documents for PLAB Visa

Identity Documentation

  • Passport valid for at least the next six months (Preferred)
  • The Aadhaar Card (If you are from India)

Proof of Address

Any document that bears your name and address.

Sponsorship Proof

  • Your bank statement for the previous six months
  • Last six months’ bank statement for your sponsor (Sponsors can be your parents as well)
  • Sponsorship letter Sponsorship proof of identity
  • Copies of the Sponsor’s Income Tax Returns for the previous year
  • Documents proving your reason for visiting PLAB Exam confirmation
  • Booking accommodation in the United Kingdom
  • Return plane tickets
  • Additional Documents to Assist You
  • Certificate of Undergraduate Medical Qualification (MBBS certificate in case of India)
  • To practise medicine in your country, you must first obtain a medical licence.
  • PLAB 1 results for IELTS certificate
  • A cover letter detailing your entire journey from beginning to end.

How do you get your Visa?

You have the option of having the Visa mailed to you or picking it up at the VFS GLOBAL office.

How long will it take to get my Visa?

15 to 20 days is about right.

What is the required bank balance?

It’s entirely up to you. You will need to calculate how much you will spend during your time in the UK and have twice that amount in your bank.


You are going to stay in the UK for one week and plan to spend $ 200 per day, for a total of $1400 for the week. Then you must have at least $2800 in your bank account.

PLAB is becoming UKMLA.

The UKMLA (Medical Licensing Assessment) is the planned examination for all doctors who want to practise medicine in the UK. Beginning in 2025, all UK medical graduates and international medical graduates will be required to complete this course.

The UKMLA will consist of the AKT (applied knowledge test) and the CPSA (clinical and professional skills assessment). Both components will assess a wide range of abilities and knowledge.

Why are more Indians applying for the PLAB?

The higher earning potentials and rewarding career opportunities in the UK have proven to be major factors attracting an increasing number of Indians to register for the PLAB test.

How much do Indian doctors in the UK make per year?

  • During their training, doctors in the United Kingdom earn between £27,000 and £31,000 per year.
  • Trainee Specialists earn between £37,000 and £47,000 per year.
  • Specialist doctors in the United Kingdom earn between £39,000 and £73,000 per year.

As a result, the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board Test (PLAB) offers numerous benefits. Every Indian Medical Graduate who wants to work as a doctor in the United Kingdom can apply for PLAB.

Number of Attempts in PLAB

Because the PLAB exam is a competitive exam among students, students are limited to a certain number of attempts for each section of the exam.
·        Students are permitted four attempts at part 1.
·         A candidate may take the part 2 OSCE four times if they passed the part 1 exam within the validity period.

Is the PLAB exam challenging?

Many people struggle to answer all 180 questions in the allotted three hours. In 2019, approximately 64% of those who took the PLAB Part 1 passed. Part 2 had a slightly higher percentage of 66%. Individuals should use proper time management to increase their chances of passing this exam.

Is Plab more difficult than Usmle?

While comparing the above data may lead one to believe that the USMLE exams are easier because they have higher pass rates than the PLAB exam, the fact that the Step 1 and 2 CK exams both provide a numerical score that plays a significant role in your strength as a future applicant should not be overlooked.

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