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All You Need to Know About PLAB

PLAB, abbreviation of Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board, Exam that the International Medical Graduates (IMG) must take in order to prove that they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK. PLAB exam is a Two parts, which assesses the medical knowledge and communication skills of an IMG.

This blog covers all the major points which you need to know about PLAB exam. 


  • PLAB Exam Requirements

  • PLAB Important Dates and Deadlines

  • PLAB Exam Centers

  • Countries

  • PLAB Exam pattern

  • PLAB Exam Syllabus

  • PLAB Exam Results

  • Number of Attempts

  • PLAB Exam After MBBS

  • After Passing the PLAB Exam

  • FAQs

PLAB Exam Requirements

The eligibility criteria for the medical graduates appearing for PLAB exam is:

The candidates should have appeared for IELTS and secured a minimum score of 7 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all of the four language modules.

Or candidates should have appeared for OET and secured overall B-grade.

PLAB Important Dates and Deadlines 

The dates and deadlines for year 2022.

Exam date 

Overseas closing date 

UK closing date 

17 Feb 2022

6 Jan

3 Feb

26 May 2022 

14 April

12 May 2022 

11 Aug 2022 

30 Jun

28 Jul

3 Nov 2022 

22 Sept

20 Oct

Source: General Medical Council

PLAB Exam Centers

In Pakistan, the 1st Part of PLAB exam is conducted in: 

    – Islamabad
    – Karachi



PLAB part 1 exam is conducted in: 

   –  Pakistan
   – India
   – Egypt
   – Bulgaria
   – Dubai
   – Nigeria
   – Canada
   – Bangladesh

  – Australia
  – Ghana
  – Kenya
  – Saudi Arabia
  – South Africa
  – Spain
  – Sri Lanka
  – Sudan

Note: Part 2 of the test has to be conducted only in UK, Manchester. 

PLAB Exam Pattern

The PLAB test consists of 2 parts : 

 PLAB 1 – this exam part is conducted in MCQ format consisting of 180 questions that have to be solved in 3 hours.  

PLAB 2 – this exam part comprises an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which consists of 18 clinical stations. Each station is 18 minutes long with 2 minutes of reading time. The exam is set at the level of competence of a doctor at the start of Foundation Year 2 (F2) in the Foundation Program.

PLAB Exam Syllabus

The syllabus for PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 is usually based on the standard medical textbooks used in UK medical schools. 

PLAB Exam Results

PLAB 1 is usually declared 4 weeks after appearing for the test. 

PLAB 2 is usually declared 2 weeks after appearing for the test. 

The exact dates of the result will be announced at the same time as the dates for the test are released. Candidates can find the result on the official GMC website the day after it is sent out by the post. The result is valid only for a period of 3 years and the candidate should have Part 2 within three years of passing Part 1. 

Number of Attempts 

Being a competitive exam among students, there are a specified number of attempts that students can take for each part of the PLAB exam.  

Students are allowed to take four attempts at part 1. 

A candidate may have four attempts at the part 2 OSCE, provided their pass in the part 1 examination is within the validity period. 

Please note:  You must pass part 2 within 2 years of the date you passed part 1, and you are allowed a maximum of four attempts. If you do not pass Part 2 within two years of passing Part 1 or fail at your fourth attempt, you will have to re-sit Part 1 and Part 2. 

PLAB Exam After MBBS 

Applicants can pursue PG in the UK after MBBS in India with the PLAB exam. It is a prerequisite for obtaining GMC registration which is mandatory in the UK Medical system. It is a certification exam to test your eligibility for GMC (General Medical Council) registration. It does not grant a degree. It only register’s applicants with GMC.

After Passing PLAB Exam

 After completing part 2 of the test, your application must be granted within two years. After the GMC has granted approval to your application, you may practice medicine in the UK. 


Q: Who is eligible for the PLAB exam? 

In order to be eligible to take PLAB 1 exam, you need to have passed the final exam which awards you that degree. You don’t need to have the decorative diploma at hand. You need to have your results out that you have passed the final exams for your degree. 

Q: Is the PLAB exam difficult? 

Many individuals struggle to answer all 180 questions within the 3-hour time limit. In 2019, roughly 64% of individuals who took the PLAB Part 1 passed. For Part 2 the percentage was a bit higher at 66%. To improve the odds of passing this exam, individuals should use proper time management. 

Q: Is PLAB easier than Usmle? 

Whilst comparing the above information might make one think 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 numeric score that plays a big part in your strength as a future applicant.  

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