PLAB Exam Date, Pattern, Syllabus & Study Plan

The PLAB test is designed for doctors who have obtained their qualifications outside the UK and intend to practice medicine in the UK under limited registration. This comprehensive assessment evaluates a doctor’s competence to work effectively and safely as a senior house officer (SHO) within a UK NHS hospital setting.

PLAB Overview

PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) is an assessment system designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills of international medical graduates (IMGs) who wish to practice medicine in the United Kingdom (UK). It is a two-part examination that assesses the candidate’s ability to work safely as a doctor in a UK healthcare setting.

PLAB Part 1: This is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam that tests the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of clinical medicine, applied clinical science, and medical ethics. It consists of 180 single-best-answer questions, and candidates are given 3 hours to complete the exam. PLAB Part 1 can be taken in various locations worldwide, including the UK and several other countries.

PLAB Part 2: This is a practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) that assesses the candidate’s clinical skills and ability to apply medical knowledge in a simulated clinical setting. The exam includes several stations where candidates interact with patients, perform clinical examinations, and demonstrate their communication and consultation skills. PLAB Part 2 is held in the UK at the General Medical Council’s Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester.

Both PLAB Part 1 and Part 2 need to be successfully completed to be eligible for full registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK. The GMC is the regulatory body responsible for the registration and licensing of doctors in the UK.

PLAB 1 Important Dates

Exam Date Overseas closing Date UK closing Date
25 May 2023 13 April 2023 11 May 2023
10 August 2023 29 June 2023 27 July 2023
2 November 2023 21 September 2023 19 October 2023
15 February 2024 4 January 2024 1 February 2024

PLAB Exam Requirements

1. Medical Degree: You need a recognized medical degree from a reputable institution.

2. English Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate proficiency in English through approved language tests like IELTS or OET.

3. Registration with the GMC: Create an online GMC account and go through the registration process.

4. Identification: Provide valid identification documents, such as a passport.

5. Good Standing: You should have a clean professional record without significant disciplinary issues.

PLAB Application Process

1. Create an Online GMC Account: Sign up on the GMC website to access the application forms.

2. Check Eligibility: Make sure you meet the requirements for the PLAB exam, such as having a recognized medical degree and meeting the English language proficiency criteria.

3. Gather Documents: Collect your degree certificate, identification proof (like a passport), and English language proficiency evidence.

4. Submit the Application Form: Fill out the application form online with your personal and educational details.

5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required fee for processing your application.

6. Receive Confirmation and Booking Details: Once your application is accepted, you’ll receive confirmation and instructions on how to book your exam dates and locations.

7. Book the PLAB Exam: Follow the provided instructions to select your preferred exam dates and locations.

8. Prepare for the Exam: Start studying and practicing for the PLAB exam, focusing on medical knowledge and clinical skills.

PLAB 2023 Exam Pattern:

PLAB Part 1PLAB Part 2

Format: Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)

 Format: Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)

Content: Covers a wide range of medical topics, including basic sciences, clinical medicine, and medical ethics.

Content: Assesses clinical and communication skills, as well as ethical and legal aspects of medical practice.

The number of questions: 180 single-best-answer questions

Stations: Candidates rotate through a series of clinical scenarios where they interact with simulated patients, perform clinical examinations, and demonstrate their ability to handle various medical situations.

Duration: 3 hours duration

Duration: Usually held over two consecutive days, with multiple stations.

Locations: Can be taken in various locations worldwide, including the UK and several other countries.

Location: Conducted at the General Medical Council’s Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester, UK.

PLAB Exam Syllabus

The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) exam is conducted by the General Medical Council (GMC) in the United Kingdom. It assesses the knowledge and skills of international medical graduates who wish to practice medicine in the UK. The PLAB exam consists of two parts: PLAB 1 and PLAB 2.

Here is an overview of the PLAB exam syllabus:

PLAB 1 is a computer-based written exam that assesses a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of clinical medicine in the context of the UK health system. It consists of 180 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and covers the following areas:

1. Anatomy: Basic anatomical principles and the structure of the human body.

2. Physiology: Normal functioning of the body’s systems and organs.

3. Pharmacology: Principles of drug action and prescribing.

4. Pathology: Basic understanding of the mechanisms of disease.

5. Microbiology: Infections and principles of infection control.

6. General Medicine: Common medical conditions and their management.

7. General Surgery: Common surgical conditions and their management.

8. Obstetrics and Gynecology: Reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbirth.

9. Pediatrics: Common childhood illnesses and their management.

10. Psychiatry: Mental health disorders and their treatment.

11. Ethics and Law: Ethical and legal issues in medicine, including patient consent, confidentiality, and professional conduct.

PLAB 2 is a practical exam that assesses a candidate’s clinical and communication skills. It involves role-playing scenarios with simulated patients and is conducted in a clinical setting. The exam covers the following areas:

1. History Taking: Gathering relevant information from patients about their symptoms and medical history.

2. Physical Examination: Conducting a thorough physical examination of patients.

3. Clinical Management: Formulating a diagnosis, proposing  investigations, and formulating a management plan.

4. Communication Skills: Demonstrating effective communication with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.

5. Ethics and Law: Applying ethical principles and legal knowledge to clinical scenarios.

6. Safety and Quality: Demonstrating awareness of patient safety and quality improvement principles.

It’s important to note that the PLAB exam syllabus may be subject to updates or changes, so it’s advisable to refer to the official GMC website or contact the GMC directly for the most up-to-date information and detailed syllabus.

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