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PLAB Part 1 results

  • When & how do you get your results?
    • Your results will be available six weeks after you take the exam.
    • The board will send you an email to access your results in the ‘My Tests’ section of GMC Online.
    • The board can’t give results over the phone, by fax or in person.

Exam and result dates for recent and upcoming PLAB 1 tests

12 August 202123 September 2021 at approximately 9.30 am
4 November 202116 December 2021 at approximately 9.30 am
  • Understanding your results: the board group the skill areas under three main headings or ‘domains’.
    1. Applying knowledge and experience to clinical practice
    2. Good clinical care: assessment
    3. Good clinical care: management
    • Each correct answer is worth one mark and the total number of correct answers will be your score.
    • The board will tell you your total score, the score required to pass the exam, and the average score for all candidates.
    • The board will also tell you the percentage of the questions you answered correctly in each of the three domains.
  • How dos the board set the pass mark?
    • The board sets the pass mark for each test using the internationally recognized Angoff method and includes one standard error of measurement.
    • By doing this, the board makes sure the level at which the board set the pass mark is consistent over time. It reflects what the board expects of a doctor entering their second year of Foundation Programme training.
    • After each test a team of experts reviews the question paper in light of how candidates have performed, to make sure all the questions and answers are fair. Candidates are at all stages of their career and there is no expected pass rate or average score.
    • The board may change our standard-setting procedures from time to time without notice.

PLAB 1 pass rate for last five years

YearNumber of candidates who sat PLAB 1Number of candidates who passed PLAB 1 Percentage of candidates who passed PLAB 1
2014 2,494 1,567 63%
2015 2,719 1,870 69%
2016 3,361 2,413 72%
2017  5,411 4,089 76%
2018 7,5595,23969%
2019 11,1187,01463%
2020  10,6017,38469%

What do you do after you pass?

  • If you pass PLAB 1: you can immediately apply to take PLAB 2 using GMC Online.
  • The available PLAB 2 test dates can be seen in GMC Online once you have your PLAB 1 results.
  • You can’t apply for PLAB 2 before the results have been issued.
  • You must pass PLAB 2 within three years of the date you passed PLAB 1.

What do you do if you fail?

  • If you fail PLAB 1: you can book to take the exam again provided you still meet all the requirements.
  • You can attempt the exam a maximum of four times.
  • If you’ve failed the exam four times: you can apply for one final attempt. You will need to demonstrate evidence of additional learning over a 12 month period and make an application to the board.

Can you have your results checked?

  • No, this is a service we no longer offer. After reviewing our processes, we’re confident that our marking is robust, and that a manual check won’t change the result.
  • However, you can still appeal your result.

When can you apply for an additional attempt?

  • To be eligible for an additional attempt for either PLAB part1 or part 2 (after your fourth attempt): there must be at least 12 months between your fourth attempt and requesting an additional attempt.
    • You should undertake further learning to improve your medical knowledge and clinical skills.
    • You must have completed either 12 months’ clinical practice or a postgraduate qualification.
    • If you have already had more than four failed attempts at either part of PLAB 1 or 2, you are no longer eligible to take the test or apply for an additional attempt.
    • If you are granted an additional attempt at PLAB 1, you may need to submit valid English language evidence for verification before you are able to book.

What is expected from your clinical practice?

    • A minimum of 12 months’ full-time clinical practice (or equivalent part-time basis), with direct patient care.
    • Supported by structured reports from senior doctors responsible for your work, to show satisfactory completion.
    • Completed in the two years before requesting an additional attempt to demonstrate that you are keeping your knowledge and skill up to date.
    • Undertaken in an institution that meets the standards for regulation within its jurisdiction, and the board must be able to verify this.
    • Honorary posts and those involving observation, such as clinical attachments, shadowing, observerships, and clerkships are not acceptable.

How to apply for an additional attempt after your clinical practice?

  • Download the structured report form and ask the senior doctor(s) who provided oversight during your clinical practice to fully complete it on your behalf.
  • Please note :
    • Each post must be at least two months in duration.
    • The referee must provide a work email address.
  • Board will not accept:
    • Reports completed by a relative or someone that you have a personal, business or financial interest with
    • Reports not completed in full or where a work email address isn’t provided.
    • Complete the application form and return to the board at plab@gmc-uk.org or by post to the Clinical Assessment Centre at our Manchester office.

What is expected from your postgraduate qualification?

  • It should be a clinical subject where a primary medical qualification or other degree is required for entry.
  • To be completed over at least one academic year (or equivalent part-time basis).
  • To be accompanied by a certificate from the awarding institution. Honorary qualifications are not acceptable.
  • Completed in the two years before requesting an additional attempt to demonstrate that you are keeping your knowledge and skill up to date.
  • Undertaken in an institution that meets the standards for regulation within its jurisdiction, and the board must be able to verify this.

How to apply for an additional attempt after your postgraduate qualification?

  • Complete the application form and return it to the board along with the evidence listed below to plab@gmc-uk.org or by post to the Clinical Assessment Centre at our Manchester office.
  • Evidence required :
    • A copy of your certificate from the awarding institution.
    • A copy of the course curriculum.

When can you appeal your result?

An appeal is a request for a review of a decision, made by the board about your performance in an exam.

  • If you have attempted any part of the exam you have a right of appeal against the result if:
    • there is clear evidence of irregularity in the conduct of the exam (including administrative error), which has adversely affected your performance
    • there were exceptional circumstances, (for which clear documentary evidence must be provided), which adversely affected your performance. You are advised to submit details of any such circumstances as soon as possible after the examination (usually within three working days) and not wait until after you receive your results.
  • The board will not accept an appeal for other reasons, such as:
    • you consider that your efforts were under-marked
    • you did not understand or was unaware of the exam procedures
    • you seek to question the exercise of professional or academic judgement.
  • If you want to appeal the result of the exam: you must have clear evidence of procedural irregularity which has adversely affected your performance.

How do you appeal your result?

  • You must contact the Board within ten working days of the release of the results, by email or by writing to the board at our Manchester offices address.
  • Any appeal submitted after this period must include an explanation and evidence as to why you could not submit it sooner and the appeal will only be accepted at our discretion.

What if you have a complaint, not an appeal?

  • If you want to raise an issue about any aspect of the exam, that is outside of the appeals procedure, you can make a complaint.
  • You can do this by emailing the board at plab@gmc-uk.org within 28 days of the exam.
  • The board may reclassify appeals to complaints or vice-versa at any stage in proceedings, in consultation with you.

How is an appeal investigated?

  • If the investigating officer considers the appeal is unsubstantiated or outside the permitted grounds, we will notify you of this and the appeals procedure is at an end.
  • If the investigating officer refers the case forward, they will submit it to a Head of Section (HoS). We will send you a copy of the submission.
  • The HoS will consider whether the facts are proved and also consider to what degree you were adversely affected by the procedural irregularity if one occurred. They may discuss the case with panel members and relevant staff, or direct an investigating officer to undertake further investigations.
  • If the HoS considers the appeal is unsubstantiated or outside the permitted grounds, we will notify you and the appeal will be closed.

What happens if there is proof of irregularity?

  • If the HoS determines that there is clear evidence of procedural irregularity, which has adversely affected your performance, the following options are available.
  • The result will be annulled and you can re-sit the exam without paying the fee.
  • Other options can be offered at the discretion of the HoS.

How will you find out about the decision?

  • We’ll email you within five working days of making our decision.

How can you appeal the outcome?

  • The only grounds for appeal is where there is clear evidence of a procedural irregularity in the consideration of the case.
  • We will not accept an appeal on the grounds that you do not agree with the original decision.
  • Where we consider your appeal fulfils the requirements above, and the HoS will consider the material and pass it on to the relevant Assistant Director (AD).
  • The AD will consider whether the disputed facts are proved.
  • Again, we’ll email you about the decision and any remedy that has been applied. The AD’s decision will be final.

Also Read:

  1. An overview of PLAB Test
  2. PLAB Part 1 application & Test day
  3. Eligibility for PLAB Part 1
  4. English requirement 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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