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Using IELTS for PLAB Part 1

    • that you took the academic version of the test
    • that you got a score of at least 7.0 in each testing area and an overall score of 7.5
    • that you got these scores in the same test
    • that you got these scores in your most recent sitting of the test
  • If you wish to submit acceptable IELTS scores in order to book PLAB part 1: please login to your GMC online account and go to the My Tests section to enter them.
  • If you are applying for registration with a licence to practise through the sponsorship route: you must demonstrate your knowledge of English using either an acceptable IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET) certificate. However this does not apply if you are a national of a country where English is the first and native language and you were awarded your primary medical degree from a country where English is the first and native language. Please check our list of countries where English is the first and native country towards the end of this guidance.
  • How long is IELTS valid for? IELTS scores are valid for two years. If you are taking the PLAB test, your scores must be valid on the day you sit the PLAB part 1 exam. If you are applying for registration with a licence to practise, they must be valid when the board approves your application.
  • You took IELTS more than two years ago :
    • If you achieved the minimum scores more than two years ago: you can still demonstrate you have kept your English skills up to date. You can do this by sending the board your IELTS test report form number found on your IELTS certificate and a reference from a tutor or lecturer of a postgraduate course or from an employer who is based in a country where English is the first and native language. The reference must cover at least three months full-time study or employment within the last two years.
    • Please note, IELTS may not be acceptable evidence of your English language skills for the purposes of obtaining a UK visa. You will need to check with UK Visa and Immigration for their requirements.

Using OET for PLAB Part 1

  • What are the criteria? For the board to accept your Occupational English Test (OET) scores you must show:
    • you took the medicine version of the test
    • you got at least a grade ‘B’ in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
      you got those grades in the same test
    • you obtained the grades in your most recent sitting of the test.
  • If you wish to submit acceptable OET grades in order to book PLAB part 1: please login to your GMC online account and go to the My Tests section to enter them.
  • If you select to enter your OET results and have taken the OET test on or after 9th September 2018: please make sure you have selected the General Medical Council as your recognising organisation in the myOET portal so the board can verify your scores.
  • How long is OET valid for? OET grades are valid for two years. If you are taking the PLAB test, your certificate must be valid on the day you sit PLAB part 1. If you are applying for registration with a licence to practise, your grades must be valid when the board approves your application.
  • Your OET grades are over two years old:
    • If you achieved our minimum grades more than two years ago, and the certificate meets all of our other criteria: you can still demonstrate your have kept your English skills are up to date. You can do this by giving the board your OET candidate number and a reference from a tutor or lecturer of a postgraduate course or from an employer who is based in a country where English is the first and native language. The reference must cover at least three months full-time study or employment within the last two years.
    • Please note the OET may not be acceptable evidence of your English language skills for the purposes of obtaining a UK visa. You will need to check with UK Visa and Immigration for their requirements.

International medical graduates using your primary medical qualification

  • Is your primary medical qualification from an acceptable institution?
    • If your primary medical qualification was awarded by a university on the list below, you can’t use it as evidence. You will need to submit other evidence as detailed in this guide.
    • If your awarding body does not appear on the list, the board may accept your degree as evidence of your knowledge of English if it meets the criteria below.
    • Universities from which the board don’t accept evidence of knowledge of English
  • When can you use your primary medical qualification as acceptable evidence?
    • The board may accept your primary medical qualification if it:
      • is less than two years old when you apply for registration, and
      • was taught and examined solely in English.
    • You’ll need to submit an original letter or certificate from your university or medical college that confirms:
      • all of the course, including clinical activities, was taught and examined solely in English
      • at least 75% of any course related clinical interaction, including personal contact with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals, was conducted in English i.e. without any translation support
      • the date you passed your final exam
    • Please send this original letter or certificate to the board with confirmation of whether you have taken the academic IELTS test or the OET (medicine version). If you have, please provide your Test Form Report if you’ve sat IELTS, or your candidate number if you’ve sat OET.
    • You’ll also need to confirm you’ve never taken the academic IELTS test or the OET (medicine version).
    • Also, if you sat your final exam more than two years ago you’ll need to send original references from all your employers for the last two years confirming your English language capability.
    • The board will only accept original references from countries where the first and native language is English. Please send these to the Registration Support Team (AEL) at our Manchester office.
    • If you can’t meet these criteria, you can’t use your primary medical qualification as evidence of your knowledge of English. Keep reading this guide to see if you can submit other evidence. Or you may wish to sit either IELTS or the OET.

International medical graduates using your UK job offer

  • The board may be able to accept an offer of employment if you’re applying for registration.
  • Please note, if you’re applying to take the PLAB test or applying for registration with an offer of sponsorship, you can’t use your offer of employment to demonstrate your knowledge of English.
  • You can only use your offer of employment as evidence of your knowledge of English if it is from a UK healthcare organisation. This organisation must be a designated body.
  • You will need to submit a completed :
    • a copy of your job offer letter
    • English language reference formfrom the doctor who appointed you. It should meet all of the critieria as documented in the form guidance.
  • If you are not able to meet this criterion, you may be able to submit other evidence. Or you can sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Occupational English Test (OET).
  • Please note that if you’ve previously sat the IELTS or OET test and failed to achieve our minimum scores or grades in either test, it is unlikely that the board will accept this evidence and the board strongly recommend that you re-sit either test.

International medical graduates using other types of evidence

  • Can you submit any other evidence of your knowledge of English?
    • If you’re applying to take the PLAB test, you can only use your IELTS certificateOET certificate or primary medical qualification as evidence of your knowledge of English.
    • If you’re applying for registration with a licence to practise through the sponsorship route , you must demonstrate your knowledge of English using either an acceptable IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET) certificate. However this does not apply if you are a national of a country where English is the first and native language and you were awarded your primary medical degree from a country where English is the first and native language. Please check our list of countries where English is the first and native country towards the end of this guidance.
    • If you’re applying for registration with a licence to practise through the PGQ or CESR/ CEGPR routes, you may be able to submit other evidence of your knowledge of English. However, this is at our discretion.
    • You may submit: a pass in a language test for registration with a medical regulatory authority in a country where English is the first and native language. This must be less than two years old.
  • Please note you may not submit evidence of secondary or non-medical university education, regardless of where it was completed.
  • This is because the board require all applicants to show you can read, write and speak in English at the point they apply for registration. Applicants must demonstrate they can use English to interact with patients, their families and colleagues. Non-medical English education does not offer that type of interaction and so the board is not able to accept it.

Also Read:

  1. An overview of PLAB Test
  2. PLAB Part 1 application & Test day
  3. PLAB Part 1 results & related
  4. Eligibility for PLAB Part 1
  5. Guidelines to prepare for PLAB Part 1
  6. PLAB Part 2 application & Test day
  7. PLAB Part 2 Results & Related
  8. Guidelines to prepare for PLAB Part 2

Also Watch:

  1. What do you need to know about the PLAB test?

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