By Dr.M Irfan Farooque
The Professional & Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) is a set of licensing exams one needs to pass before he/she is allowed to practice medicine in the UK (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales – NO IRELAND as they have a separate licensing exam). Once the exam is cleared, the candidate is eligible to apply for General Medical Council Registration (exactly the same as Pakistan Medical & Dental Council right here, except that they charge in pounds – EXPENSIVE!!). After registration, it’s a green signal for you to do your thing…practice medicine. Sounds Simple – it is too.
ATTACHED RESOURCES-PLAB1 MCQ Material
If you are a FRESH GRADUATE, then here is some GOOD NEWS (one I didn’t hear about on time). You can be EXEMPTED from appearing in IELTS if your college gives you a certificate that the language of instruction and examination was English.
Visit http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/registration_applications/language_proficiency.asp for further details on the subject. For all the rest of you, read the following.
This is an exam to judge your command over the English language. You should think of it as a friend actually, because it is keeping most of Europe out of the UK and leaving empty places for you to fill. You need to sit for the Academic version and will be tested in the following sections – Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking (thank God there is no such thing as drawing in English). The Speaking section is conducted on a separate date and venue. The scoring system is based on bands and one can score from 0-9. The minimum bands you need to score (effective as of Oct 2010) for GMC purpose are:
Listening – 7
Reading – 7
Writing – 7
Speaking – 7
Overall – 7
The GMC is very strict with regards to their benchmark and will not; I repeat WILL NOT, show any leniency even if it’s for just 0.5 band.
WHERE TO APPLY: IELTS exam is conducted by the British Council and AEO Australia. It is believed that a better band is secured via the AEO. But the AEO charges Rs.2000/- more than the British Council. Visit www.aeo.com.pk/ for info on the current exam fees and most importantly – the exam dates.
PREPARATION: Before sitting for the exam, be honest about one thing. Are you really good in English? If yes, then this is how you should prepare. Buy the 6 book set series of the ESOL Cambridge University IELTS examination. It is available in Urdu bazaar (Karachi) and a good Photostat version costs around a 1000 Rs. Audio CD is provided with each book to practice the listening section. Each book has 4 sample tests designed in the exact pattern as the real test. So in total, there are 24 tests and even if one test is attempted / day, a month is all that is needed to prepare for the exam. You may start off slowly initially but timing yourself is mandatory in at least 10 practice tests. Focus greatly on listening and reading as you can score a full 9 band in these sections and can boost your overall band. I need not remind you that this is an English test and therefore Spellings need to be in order. As for the writing section, read what you have written and ask for help from a colleague to check your work (if possible). This will improve the basic structure of your write-up. As for Speaking, please remember that it’s an English language test, not your M.B.B.S viva. The examiner just asks you about general things, so it’s not a big deal. Try and converse in English for at least 10 minutes daily (hard labor eh!!)
If you’re not that good with your English, I suggest you take up preparatory classes from any renowned institute and do as they guide you (BE HONEST!!).
EXAM: The best part about this exam is that it does not bother your brain cells too much. The only thing you need to be careful about is timing. The exam is not held in a cumulative timing manner i.e. all sections are conducted separately having their own time slots. So no matter how fast you finish one section, you cannot use the spare time for the other section as it is not given to you. This poses a problem, especially for the Reading section, which can be quite difficult. Word of Advise: Please make sure both your bladders are empty before starting the test. It can be really distracting if you’re having an urge to purge. Result comes out exactly in 2 weeks time.
The PLAB exam has 2 parts. The first part is a theory paper based on 200 multiple choice questions but with two twists. 60-70 % questions are in a pattern called the Extend & Match Questions (EMQs). There will be a theme with 10-15 options followed by 5-7 scenarios and you have to find the answer from the options. The scenarios are usually having limited but precise information and an answer does pop up if you’re focused. The remaining 30 % questions are Select Best Answers (SBAs), the ones that we are used to. The second twist is the TIMING. You will only have 3 hours – 180 minutes – to attempt 200 questions, which makes it less than a minute for every question (Yes my math is also good).
The second part is a clinical evaluation of your skills and you are tested in an OSCE pattern. You need to clear your part 1 before you can sit for your part 2. There are 15 stations, 5 minutes each, and since I myself am yet to appear (goddamn visa rejection), so I won’t be able to guide you that much for PLAB 2.
HOW TO APPLY: The first thing to do is visit http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/plab.asp
Go through the website as well as all the other individual sub-sections. There is a lot of helpful information available.
Then visit http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/plab/test_dates.asp
And have a look at the available dates for the exams. PLAB 1 is held 4 times a year in the UK, but only twice overseas. PLAB 2 on the other hand is held every other month.
Next visit http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/plab/advice_part1.asp#3 and go to the set up a MYGMC account section. You need to book exams online and therefore need to set up your account.
PREPARATION: PLAB 1 exam is mainly based on final year syllabus. Its major emphasis lies on medicine, with more or less equal coverage to Gynea / Obs, Pediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry, Eye & ENT. Basic sciences are not tested in too much depth usually with one or two questions randomly asked.
Traditionally, people go through Oxford handbook of Medicine and Clinical Specialities cover to cover for the exam. This can be very tedious and you may end up remembering NOTHING. What I did was somewhat a little different. A senior colleague of mine (whom I am very grateful to) advised me to go through STEP 2 USMLE. So I bought the USMLE WORLD STEP 2 question banks and started preparing. Not only did I get good mcq practice, my topics started to cover on their own. Please remember, if you intend to follow this theme, then you may need to make an index of the topics while you’re attempting the questions. It will help you revise the topics from question bank book with precision.
While you’re at it, start collecting PLAB 1 EMQs and SBAs for practicing. PLAB DIGEST is an old resource (last updated 2002) and the bank has changed from then, but you can still practice from it if you want. A reasonable amount of recent material is present on www.aippg.com and www.rxpgonline.com
It is mandatory that you go through a healthy amount of PLAB material and TEST & TIME yourself and keep check on your scores if possible. Oxford handbooks will now come in handy to look into topics that you still have not covered via STEPS. If possible, do repeat the USMLE WORLD questions at least once for better memory. One thing about EMQs – train your self not to look at the options first. Just see the theme and start attempting the question. Whatever answer pops up, look for it in the options. If you see it, then you are 99% right and need not look at the other options. It will help save you time and a lot of confusion.
Just 3 days before the exams, acquaint yourself to Britain’s S.I.Units and their reference ranges for common lab tests and try to memorize them. Although these are given at the back of your exam, it saves a lot of time if you already know them.
If you follow the above scheme, 3 months full time preparation will hopefully bag you the exam. Even if you have 2 months, I believe the above plan can still help you, if you put in the hours and work hard. Trust me, it can be done.
EXAM: Let me make one thing clear. The only challenge this exam holds is the timing. Questions are not that difficult, except for some random ones, and you can manage them if your preparation is good. The exam is meant to finish in 3 hours and trust me, every minute is important. People who do not time themselves while testing do not finish up on time. Sadly, due to the time constraint, the Urging Purging rule applies here also.
Trust yourself: Like I mentioned before, do not look at the options initially. Seeing 15-18 options can be intimidating and will confuse you for no reason. Read the theme CAREFULLY. Know what you are asked to do. Read the question, think over it for 5-10 seconds and let an answer pop up. If it’s in the options, go for it and shade it in the answer sheet. Its better to manage the answer sheet while you’re attempting the questions rather then shade it later because you won’t get time later. If the answer doesn’t pop, then look at the options and see if it helps. If even that doesn’t help, just mark it to check it later. Don’t waste time thinking over it and try the next one.
The exam has no negative marking. So it goes without saying that you attempt all questions. One good thing about this exam is that the marks you secure is not that important, the end result is. All the GMC is interested in is whether you pass or fail the exam. Usually the benchmark for passing is somewhere between 60-70%. Your aim should be to make it to the 80% mark with a certainty (unlike a simple 99 in STEPS..yeah right).
PLAB is an exam which is based primarily on final year M.B.B.S knowledge. So the ideal time to appear for it, in my opinion, should also be near the final year M.B.B.S exam, preferably two to three months after it if you have already appeared for your IELTS exam. IELTS result is valid for two years, so try to appear in it as close to your PLAB 1 attempt as possible.
In case you have not sat for your IELTS yet then firstly get your passport in order and seek the date that is around 4-5 months from your final year M.B.B.S exams. Sit for your IELTS exam nearly 1 and a half month before the last date of registration for PLAB 1. IELTS result comes out in 2 weeks and so you will have at least 3 months to prepare for your PLAB. If for some reason, you miss out on your IELTS Bands but think that you can still score them, you have 1 month in spare to appear for your second IELTS attempt before the last date of registration for PLAB 1.
You do not need your housejob / internship to appear for your PLAB 1. I will still encourage people to sit for the exam soon after their M.B.B.S final year exams. The knowledge is still fresh, you can work out your IELTS exemption and you have good time in your hands to prepare. PLAB 2 though requires housejob / internship and should only be attempted once you are through with it. Also, internship adds in your CV and helps you get a job in the UK (another difference from STEPS)
This is all I can think of at the moment. Please feel free to share your experiences and queries. They might come in handy for our fellow colleagues. Good luck and GodspeedJ.
P.S. Do pray for my PLAB 2!!
thanks lIRFAN thats so nice of you could you please tell me where can i find plab mcqs because i dont have enough material
please do reply waiting
well.. like i hv. mentioned that u need to go through rxpgonline.com and aippg.com for material. it can be exhausting.. but u will find a lot of mcqz there. i did submit sum mcqz on this site also.. chek if u can find the link or ask the administrator to have a look for it, if he has uploaded them. also.. chek if ne1 of ur acquantiance been to england for swamy course or any other course.. they provide practice mock tests which are veryyyyyyy helpful
hi m afourth year student of duhs..
got some info thru dow alumini.. b m realy nt gtng it k when to aply fr plab?
like i b gtng my degree in january 2013.. n dn il b moving to london.. i heard somthng lik u hav tyo aply earier ayear bfre or somehng
wt foundation prog. has to do wd plab 1? i mean aplyng fr plab 1 means aplyng fr fy1?
n my husband s dre in london so do i hav to gve ilets tooo?
wt type ov visa i want fr plab? as il b on my husbands visa
no.1 — PLAB is an exam that you need to appear for before you can handle and touch patients in the UK. its a license. Foundation year program is a house job training program that has recently been introduced in the UK health system. As far as i know.. it is essential that you clear your PLAB exam before you start your foundation training.
BUT…. you can apply for a foundation post while you are giving your PLAB exam as they start induction one year back i.e. for 2012 aug program, the inductions will start in oct. 2011.
Dr.hina has posted some interesting and more accurate info on foundation year training program.. so u can read that.
no.2 its always good to give ielts.. i think GMC is stopping exemption on ielts from April..so I guess you dont have a choice.. check it out on GMC website..
no.3 If you will come on your husband’s visa… then you will have a dependant status.. and that will be good enough to appear for the exam. and to attain employment as well.!
The new guidelines for ielts exemption
You change a PLAB Part 1 test place you have already booked to take place on or after 1 February 2011.
You took PLAB Part 1 on 16 December 2010 and failed.
If you do not pass PLAB Part 1 on or after 1 February 2011.
If you do not pass PLAB Part 2 four times and therefore need to re-sit PLAB Part 1.
If you apply for registration more than three years after passing PLAB Part 2.
If any of these circumstances apply to you, you will need to update the evidence to demonstrate your knowledge of English by providing a letter from the university or awarding institution to confirm that:
Your course of study was taught and examined solely in English
At least 75% of any clinical interaction which took place as part of your course of study (including personal contact with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals) was conducted in English.
I am not sure about this but if i get a letter from my college stating the above two conditions(2nd would be wrong offcource as we live in Pakistan and interact with patients in Urdu) than i must be exempted. Isn’t it ? Please give your feedback
but i would really like to know a few things in detail
i have just passed my mbbs in march 2011 and will be now starting my housejob
i have also applied for ielts exam in april
i wanted to ask that is housejob necessay for plab
i read somewhere that one has 2 have 3 monthe med and 3 months surgery in foundation year
if i do my house job according to the foundation year pattern here in pakistan …would i if inshallah i pass all plab join foundation year 2 in uk afterwards,or would i still have to do foundation year 1 there
also can one study for plab during housejob???
thans..ur feeback would be appreciated
@madiha…appear for PLAB 1 as soon as possible.. which in your case would be september..
now lets go through the registration process of GMC to answer your query…
firstly, you can appear for your PLAB 2 without housejob.. no worries on that end…
IF.. you dont do your housejob.. then you give your PLAB 1 and apply for the 2 year foundation 1 national program in september / october..and prepare for your PLAB 2 in the process.. Many people get selected for the national program and are asked to appear for the PLAB 2 exam, after which they are confirmed their place. If you have not done your housejob, then GMC grants you provisional registration and license.. and you can only work in the UK if you have a F1 job in the national program.
IF…you do your housejob…. and then finish up with your PLAB.. you will be granted a Full registration and license from GMC. You wont be able to apply for the F1 national training program, but you will be able to apply for the one year F2 training program. also..you will be able to apply for SHO, trust doctor, and locum jobs. simply put… your job opportunities become better if you have full registration. Keep in mind that training posts are still difficult to acquire.
Lastly, to gain full license and registration, it is mandatory that you do 3 months housejob in medicine and 3 months housejob in surgery. hope your queries have been answered
hi..i have a 5 year visit visa of uk..can i give my plab 1 exam in uk after passing IELTS ? i am a final year student now..my first semester will end in august and then i’ll hav 1 month free before starting the second semester ..so can i give IELTS during that gap ..as IELTS certificate is valid for two years..it would save me alot of time for the plab preparation..plzz do reply to my first question that is it necessary to give plab 1 in pakistan? or what are the requirments to give it in uk?
firstly thank you so much irfan!!!!GOD BLESS YOU!you provided better info than any 3 sites put together. i have a f ew queries plz. i just completed my mbbs in march 2011 and want to apply to take plabs 1 on the 8th sept. honeslty i knw its kind of short notice but i still want to knw if anything can be done. i havent taken my ilets as yet but was plannning to sit for it later this month.i was reading the info u had provided n wanted to knw if i had to appear for ilets or would i be exempted if i could provide proof that my medium of education had been english. if so…then how do i do that?
plus i saw that the swamy plabtrainers r holding a session on 25th june for those who apply to take the plabs on the 8th of sept. im hoping that if i really really speed up things i can go to uk in time to take the course. could you tell if the course is really worth it?
another question…do i have to do my housejob here in order to give plab1 exams?i heard that from next year its becoming mandatory but its not for this year….is it true????
lastly, i have just 4 months before the exam(im not counting april coz i might have to take ilets n that would take this month away) honestly can it be done?what r da requirements for giving it in uk?
@saara…. if you have a visa already.. you can easily book a place for PLAB 1 in UK.. people usually book it here because the Home office does not issue UK visas for appearing in PLAB 1. in your case, this is not a problem. You can give your IELTS during your semester break, but try to work out the exact gap you will have between your IELTS and PLAB 1 attempt.. It is very likely that your 1 year of IELTS validity goes wasted.. You may need your valid IELTS later on to apply for a work permit to the UK.. so try to figure this one out!!
@urooj…No.1… you have enough time.. you just need to work out your plan and DO IT!! 3 months is quite enough…
No.2. well IELTS exemption is not available from this year.. but im really not sure about the specific changes they have made.. you will have to look it up on the website.. someone has posted the changes in this thread.. look them up.. maybe they might help….and as far as proof is concerned (if the exemption exists).. just get a letter from your college stating that you were taught in english and have it submitted to GMC..simple
No.3….going to UK to appear for PLAB 1… now there is a problem with this.. If you already have a UK visa.. then you can easily go.. but you cant get a visitor visa to appear for PLAB1 .. the home office is very likely to reject your application stating that you can appear for the exam from your own country..this has happened with a friend of mine… but if you still manage to make it to UK.. the course is not bad.. they give you good practice material, and that is probably it.. or that’s as far as i know about them
No. Last… You dont need your housejob to appear for your PLAB 1…and the best time to give the exam is also before your housejob.. when your final year memories are still fresh!
Thank you very much for ur reply irfan.it was v helpful!
BEST WISHES N HOPE U HAVE A GREAT FUTURE INSHALLAH.
thank you for all the information,they were xtremely helpful well i completed my M.B.B.S including one year rotational internship in February 2009, well it’s more than 2 yrs and am still struggling with my entrance exams,i have no job experience wat so ever for over 2 yrs! i am seriously thinking of giving plab in sept 2011 but as always competitive exams scare the hell out of me. you clearly state that 3 months is more than enough but are there very high possibilities of failing this exam?….. well one thing for sure i have generally ignored medicine quite a bit but since majority of the qs are medicine mcq’s am pretty much screwed! :’(…. and also the following qs:
1. is it necessary to get into a foundation program before giving my plab part 2?
2. can i give my ielts after my plab part 1? cause i wanna put in this entire 3 months into preparing for plab part 1
@titir… 1. You cant get into any program without clearing both your PLAB exams
2. You cant appear for your PLAB 1 without giving your IELTS
Thank you so much for sharing all this information and to everyone,too in the thread.
I’m currently in Japan and will be taking the PLAB 1 exam in the UK.
I came across PLAB Right Limited’s website and I would like to know if this course come
highly recommended for PLAB 1 takers? Or will self-study suffice?
Thanks in advance!
@Annie…. to be honest.. i havent taken a PLAB 1 course… all i can tell you is that they provide good practice material and conduct classes to better orient and structure your study path for the exam.. i hope some1 who has taken the course fill you in with further details on this thread…
Hello,Irfan..I have a quarry about IELTS test timing for me to appear as i want to appear for plab1 as early as possible.what do you think ,whether i can appear for the sep2011 date or not??as i have;nt appeared for IELTS as yet..there are only 2 months left ,not including june..WHAT DO YOU THINK ,WHEN SHOULD I APPEAR FOR IELTS ,AS IT SEEMS THAT I HAVE TO APPEAR FOR 2012 SESSION OF PLAB1??
Hello,Irfan,i hae a quarry about IELTS test timing for me to appear as iv planned to give 22nd march 2012 PLAB1INSHAALLAH??WHAT WILL BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE TIME FOR ME TO GIVE IELTS EXAM IF IM GONA APPEAR FOR 22nd MARCH 2012 EXAM OF PLAB1???
Hello ,Irfan,your post is really very helpful.It has sorted out a lot of things.I am preparing to appear for March 2012 Plab exam!I recently completed my internship in dec 2011 .I was totally clueless before reading your post,but now i am really hopeful that i will make it Insha Allah.i am confused that how and where to start from! Do i have to practise from usmle step 2 question bank or from past plab EMQs,is plab digest worth doing?i have 2 months in hand now,please reply soon!and one thing more ,if i am not wrong ,i bet you are a proud kmdcian!
I am truly happy to see your article here.its a great help for future students that we ever missed in our times.
iam an old graduate,2005,after house job,served Health department in PHC for 5 years,had IELTS in 7 bands,got MSC psycology from BZU.now planning to proceed for PLAB but cant gather that courage as its long ago since iam out of touch from that level of studies.
can you boost & guide me in preparing for PLAB.i want to join some academy courses or need some companion to prepare for exam,if you can direct?
2nd let me know how helpful my this profile would be in getting GMC registration & job afterwards in UK?
3rd can you highlight the importance of MSC taught programmes in UK for different clinical courses as MSC Oncology,Sonography,Surgical skills,Family Medicine,are they valuable in getting registration in GMC & job securing afterwords?
Thanks in anticipation.Wish you Good luck for your future ever.
Dear Dr.Khan – the problem with plab digest was that it wasnt updated. see if you can get an updated edition. for practice you may do it, but if you find updated material, then practice that instead of wasting time on plab digest. 2 months is not a bad time. just plan yourself well. inshAllah you will do well.
Dear Dr.Rehman – as far as academy courses are concerned, you can only find them in england. pakistan has no institutions for it as far as i know. try to get your knowledge refreshed and practice lots of emqz and mcqz.
a postgraduate degree is very useful in the CV, specially for getting a job later. but it has nothing to do with your gmc registration.
Hi, I’m sitting for IELTS later thismonth. My problem is I dont have 3 months experience in Surgery, only in Paeds and Medicine and now Emergency Medicine. If I do 3 Months Surgical rotation now, will the GMC accept my internship and give me full registration? Thnaks.
If you do ur surgery rotation, there will be no problem. You will be eligible for full registration
Hi. I have recently completed my MBBS from Pakistan and planning to take PLAB 1 in september. I am thinking to join swamy academy in june. Would you please suggest me how and what to study exactly? I mean do i need to go through the whole OHCM and thoroughly memorize it or do i need to study the topics which are repated in the past papers. i am very confused and will really appreciate your guidance.
Thanks Irfan for the reply. I’m currently working in the ER of a Private General Hospital in Saudi. We have a Surgery Department here. If I do an internship here, will it be acceptable? Do I have to work in a Government hospital? Thanks again.
@Rubab – I dont think you can memorise OHCM. You can keep it as reference to focus on important topics you come across repeatedly in past papers. I have shared in the article how i prepared. Ask around for different strategies and see what suits you best.
@wtml – as long as you get a housejob certificate from a teaching hospital accredited for housejob training.. it should be alright. In case if you still have doubts. ask GMC
thankyou very much irfan..God bless you
Thanks Irfan, that was a big help. I hope I can make this thing work. Thank you for your wonderful blog and support.
i wanna ask one more thing, as i am planning to take plab 1 in september so which will be the best time to join swamy academy..in may or june?
hi!!! i just want some one to guide me about ielts. i took my ielts in July 2010 and am about to appear for my plab 2 in September 2012. my ielts is expiring in July . do i need to retake ielts?
Hi Irfan ! I wanted to ask a few things
1- i have a family visitor visa valid till oct 2012 can i sit my plab 1 on it in UK?
2- if i can , can i conevert it into a bussiness visitor visa for plab 2 WHILE I AM STILL IN THE UK?
3-how is the job market like?
@rubab- very difficult for me to tell you the best time for academy for plab1 as I didnt take it mtself. Check other blogs and see what people recommend.
@maleeha- I dont think so. Your ielts validity is important for plab1. There should be no problem for plab2. Email gmc and see what they have to say
@A.Raja- 1. I think you can sit for your plab1 on it. But dont apply for a separate visa for Plab1. They reject it on the basis that you can give it in pakistan
2. I think you cant convert visit visas while in the UK. you can possibly extend them, but cant convert
3. Job market is reasonable for non training sho posts. It also depends what specialty you want, for example there arw many for accidents and emergency, trauma and orthopaedics. Have a look on nhs jovs, and yoy will get an idea.
thanking you for providing information in this site. i competed my internship in march 2011 and planning to take plab 1 in november. should i write ielts exam. after passing plab 1 and 2 what is the job prospect. how expensive is postgraduation there
Thank you !
Indeed was very kind of you. Will be coming back with more questions!
Thanks a lot Irfan,I would like to know whether the PMDC registration and internship is necessary to do PLAB Part 2,as im a fresh gradute, graduated overseas and didnt sit for PMDC yet but im preparing for PLAB ! and intending to work in UK.Please advice me.
@ saranya… you cant give plab 1 without proving english proficiency. non-training jobs are available in reasonable numbers. training posts however are difficult to get, but people are getting them. Im not aware of postgraduation expenses. check university websites.
@ sardar… your situation sounds a bit complicated. have a look at gmc website, or email them. you might be able to sit for plab 2 without pmdc registration, but you will get provisional registration in that case and would need to do foundation year 1
Hi, Please tell me how to register with pakmeds.com
Thank you, your sure has been really helpful. I was really confused whether or not I had to complete my internship before giving PLAB 1, but this cleared it up.
Only wish I had seen it a bit sooner so I could have given it as soon as I had passed my finals.
hi i am applying for ielts exemption i have sent the required documents today. Now how long will it take so that i may get the corresponding e-mail??? because i have a 22 nd sept date to take the ielts……the last date for applying for plab 1 is 5th october kindly apply soon.
Any one has any idea about ielts exemption. Actually I have completed my master in public health from a Uk based university although I did my mbbs in 2007 from Pakistan. I am just confused about this ielts exemption as someone told me that if u did ur master from uk then ur ielts is exempted for plab. Plz reply me
i’m just waiting for my final year result. and want to give plab. as i havent got result yet so cant appear in plab 1 conducting on march 2013. so thinking of appearing in UK on 13th june. i wanna ask about visa thing??? will it be easy to get the visa?? or what type of visiting visa is required??? plz help
Salam. I am a student of final year mbbs from a private medical college. I am a british national by birth. Do i have to appear for ielts before giving plab? And before my housejob can i give plab-1 and then can i do my housejob there?
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Salam. First of all, thank you for all of that information, it has been extremely helpful. I do have a few questions though, I understand that I don’t need to do my housejob for PLAB 1 and it’s better to sit that exam soon after I graduate but since I’ve read that the level of proficiency required to sit for PLAB 2 is that of a level of a student who’s been through the first year of FP, is it absolutely necessary that I do my housejob before I give PLAB 2?
And another question is that, I need to clear both of my PLABs before I can start with the Foundation Years?
@ sundus… UK border agency usually decline visas applied for PLAB 1 as the exam is held in Pakistan, and that’s the reason they give for refusal. If you still want to come to UK for the exam, I advise you apply for a visit visa with the intent of ‘VISITING’ UK rather than to appear for the exam.
@iffat.. I think studying from outside the UK makes it essential to appear for IELTS. but you can still visit GMC website, or get in touch with them via email. They are very helpful and will clear your doubts. You can appear for your PLAB 1 before your housejob, but you will require to clear your PLAB 2 before starting your foundation job here.
@Saba.. yes you need to clear both PLAB parts before starting foundation year here. You can appear for your PLAB 2 before your housejob, but there will be 2 problems. Your lack of clinical experience may create some problems, so you will have to work hard. Secondly, you will get a provisional registration from GMC and would only be eligible to apply for F1 job. If your not a UK national, getting a F1 job is extremelyyyyyyyyy difficult. What you can probably do is appear for your PLAB 2, but finish your housejob in Pakistan before applying for registration. Once house job is done, you will be able to get full registration from GMC. Dig up more info.. and find the best suited way for you.
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hello thanku for sharing all this with us.i gave my academic ielts n got 7 overall n also 7 listening,7.5 reading,7 speaking but unfortunately 6.5 writing…can i still sit in plab 1 exam in june this year? also i graduated in 2011 n finished my housejob for a year so i guess i can get that document from college saying that i studied in english.can u guide with this plz??
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I think you have not fulfilled the criteria to sit for PLAB 1 unfortunately because of 6.5 in writing. I heard that the exemption for english has also been taken away. Check GMC website for the most recent information about English proficiency requirements to sit in PLAB 1.
Firstly thanks for sharing such useful stuff.Last yr I went to uk for my electives and there I met many pakistani graduates who were appointed by hosp on non training posts as they said there was saturation in training posts,as per Gmc rules that the Euro nationals be given preference over others irrespective of plab score.some of those poor souls had been waitin for 2-3 yrs,if you could just kindly tell me is it really difficult to get training posts in uk nowadays and how long one has to wait to get a training post?was it just the respective hosp(QE in bham)or is this the general saturation of training posts.if u could just guide me abt this that wud be great,
Hi. Thank you so much for sharing all this information. It’s rather difficult to get someone explain so much to you. Everyone has their own opinions and you basically end up even more messed up than when you started. I’m hoping to sit for PLAB InshaAllah in November and was told to study from OHCM and OHCS but like you said it does seem rather tedious and you do provide a better alternative. What I’d like to know is if the PLAB exam secrets by Mometrix is useful? Heard of it but not sure if I should purchase it. Are there any books that you would recommend for mcqs other than USMLE Qbank and the rest you had mentioned above?
@aamna. well, first of – PLAB scores have no meaning.. what matters is a PASS or FAIL. Getting a training post depends on a lot of factors.. most importantly – what specialty you are pursuing and what visa you are on. If you have a UK nationality, you can compete for ROUND 1 in all specialties, and have a better chance of getting the training. If you are on a TIER 2 work visa, then you need to wait for ROUND 2 recruitment (which may or may not happen). Basically, you compete for the left over seats, and in that also, you are at the end of the que because you need to satisfy the resident labour market test, i.e. there were no local candidates or European Unionists to fill the slot.
Specialty based – surgery is the most difficult to get into. I have seen Pakistani immigrants get training slots in psychiatry, Emergency Medicine (myself) and even histopathology. But its not easy. All of us had to spend 1-2 years within the system on non-training jobs, working day in day out on our CV’s and got lucky thanks to Allah. There are a lot of aspects in your CV that score points when you sit for your training program interviews.. academic excellence / awards / prizes during you school / college / university years, workshops and courses, exams, audits, researches, publications, work experience, skills competence, extra-curriculars defining your character and what not. Even after all that, you may not end up with a training post. So its hard work, and a lot of luck and prayers. I dont mean to discourage you, as the task is not impossible. But you need to know what to expect from UK. Ask around and decide what you want to do.
@safra. I dont know anything about mometrix Plab exam secret unfortunately. what i would suggest is if its a questions bank, then definitely attempt them. MCQ exams have only 1 rule – Practice – The more the merrier. Its been sometime now, so im not updated with PLAB 1 resources and cant provide too much advise.
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Hi guys. Just a query do i need any specific rotation for housejob to apply for plab.
Currently im.working in ireland.. fortunate or unfortunate dont know..im here since 2011 did
Housejob in 2008 n 2009 in med, obgyn, peads.. now my question is if i sit in plab n pass it will
I get training post in psych or not.. as irish med council is crazy.
I have done pres exam got general registration but cant apply as my house in before 2008 n have no
Even though i passed exam.not they refused for training post.
I would appreciate any advise or suggestion. And if someone can shed light
On my scenario.. that after plab will i be eligible for training post regardless of my housejob or not?
i dint really get this ielt exemption thing. We all are taught here in english even in public medical colleges. Can we b expempted from ielts?
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Thanks alot Dr.M Irfan. Stay happy and Blessed.
I want to ask that can i be exempted from PLAB exam if i pass the PRES( liscencing exam of ireland)?
Wouldn’t it be better to give MRCP 1 with PLAB 2 in UK after completing my 12 month house job in Pakistan. Like can i then get a placement as SHO in UK after passing my MRCP 1 there?
Kindly guide me in this regard.i ll be very thankful to you.
HI Irfan ,
i wanted to ask how many time u can take PLAB 1 .2 .Is there a limit nr for this exams ,and does the score influence in the ???
HI Irfan ,
i wanted to ask how many time u can take PLAB 1 .2 .Is there a limit nr for this exams ,and does the score influence in the specialty training ????
Thank you ,
@ Wajiha… as far as PLAB registration is concerned. you need atleast 3 months medicine and 3 months surgery rotations. Do visit GMC website to know if there are any changes to these requirements. The best way of knowing about psychiatric training is to go to the offical website for psychiatric training and check their requirements.
@hamza.. the point of IELTS is to judge your english proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. So merely getting taught in English is sometimes not sufficient evidence for them.
@Ahmad… I am not aware of any PLAB exemption if you have done PRES. Do check GMC website to confirm the same. To get a job, the most important thing is your registration .. which requires PLAB. you can opt to do MRCP 1, but its not essential for job. Think of it this way: if you are focused on both the exams, and you pass MRCP 1 but fail your PLAB 2, you will not get a job. and your MRCP might go to waste. So, priority is PLAB.
@Joana… I think there is no limit to PLAB 1. however, PLAB 2 needs to be passed within 4 attempts in 3 years (pls recheck GMC website for confirmation). Scores in PLAB exam have no use. It is simply a pass / fail. PLAB also does not hold any influence on getting specialty training. It is simply required to get registration with the GMC
Thank you so much Irfan .
I wated to ask another thing .You say here that u used USMLE World STEP 2 for PLAB 1 .I have study USMLE WORLD STEP 1 for Step 1 in USA and now i want to take PLAB 1 .Is only USMLE WORD STEP 2 sufficient to pass PLAB 1 ?Can i use only this for the exam??
So nice of you Dr.Irfan.
I want to ask few more things kindly let me know is that true that EU countries nationals are exempt from PLAB? If thats true then irish nationals are surely exempt from PLAB.
And secondly is there a time restriction or is there a relation of PLAB with MRCP(UK) exam. Like can PLAB be given after the clearance of all MRCP1,2 and PACES?
@Joana.. You need to attempt past questions of PLAB1. Only then can you be certain if USMLE Step2 knowledge is sufficient or not.
@Ahmad.. EU nationals are exempted from PLAB as far as I know. Please visit GMC website or ask them to confirm the same.
There is NO link between PLAB and MRCP. PLAB is a licensing exam to be able to WORK in the UK. MRCP is to pursue a career in Medicine and become a consultant. You dont need MRCP to work as a SHO in the UK even.
i recently graduated mbbs and i really want to take plab test asap but i have no clue as what to do,what to study and how to proceed
can u please tell me 1-what books i should study and 2-as i am a recent graduate of university of health sciences do i have to take ilets?
AoA, how long before PLAB 1 last date should one apply , to get a sure entry into the plab 1 exam
@k-malik.. wasalam. The whole article written above is to answer what you have asked. Please read it.
@Imran Khan.. wasalam… I really dont know. Try and get your IELTS out of the way and play safe by applying 15 days prior to the last date atleast.
Thanks alot Dr.Irfan. Your information mean alot.
Kindly let me know that are placements for SHO after clearing Plab exam available in UK nowadays and does UK consultant recommendation matter in this regard? because what i have been hearing from the past 3 years that no job opportunities are now available in UK so just go with Usmle. Is that true? P.S i am a Pakistan national.
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If one is already having gmc full registration n was working in pakistan but now offered a job in UK does he need to give ielts
i just want to know how do i get my self registered for plab part 1.
please answer me asap.
Kindly tell me the latest pattern of plab one paper as i’ve told now there r no emqs in this exam. Just mcqs
Hi there !!
There are alot of changes made since u have posted it but still its very helpful !!
Can u please tell me
Is there any benefit to appear after getting my dependent visa or it doesn’t matter ?
After doing MRCP , do we still need to clear plab to practice in UK ?
assalamu alaikum ,
i am habiba kamal , student of 4th year MBBS. I intend to take PLAB just after finishing my final year. I need to ask few questions from u.
1. Do you think its a good idea to take my PLAB 1 and then do my housejob in UK or its better to do my housejob in Pakistan before taking PLAB 2?
2. Can I do FY1 without taking PLAB 2 ?
3. Since DOW has changed their policy and now we will be doing only clinicals in final year along with self study and termed as junior house officers, so is this thing be counted as housejob and will hinder me in doing FY1 ?
4. If my final year ends in first week of Nov 2015 then can I apply for PLAB 1 the same month i.e. Nov 2015 before getting my result ?
5. What will be my job chances if i do FY1 or if I do my housejob in Pakistan ?
I hope u ll reply me . waiting anxiously..
@Ahmad…There are still jobs available depending what specialty you want. Visit nhs jobs and you will get an idea. Having a british reference is good, but not mandatory.
@maliha.. to work, ielts would not be required if you already have GMC registration. But for training, there might be a requirement for IELTS
@quaid… please visit GMC website. It is written there.
@dr.faisal… Im sorry I don’t know what the latest pattern is. check rxpg website.
@dr.jawaria… if you are appearing for your part 1 in Pakistan.. dependent visa doesn’t matter. but for your part2 you will have to come here, and then a dependent visa will make things easier for you. Its just stressful otherwise coming on a 6 month visa, which you may or may not get due to chances of rejection.
Im not sure if having MRCP exempts you from PLAB. Please check GMC website for PLAB exemptions.
1. Getting a housejob or foundation year 1 is very difficult in the UK unless you are a british national. So if your not, I would advise you to do your housejob in Pakistan.
2. You cannot do FY1 without doing PLAB 2.
3. I don’t know how the new DOW format will affect you.
4. Please check requirements for booking of PLAB 1 exam at GMC website.
5.Job prospects are reasonable if you have done your housejob and then come to UK. I cant say how things will change in the next couple of years.
dr. irfan i want to know aboutthat,.. can i do my plab 2 after 3 years of plab 1. and then i have to take ielets again or not.. because it is valid for 2 years.?? Plzz reply
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