PLAB Exam: Application, Dates, Syllabus and Results

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PLAB or Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board that the international medical graduates (IMG) must take in order to demonstrate that they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK. PLAB Exam for the UK is a gateway to medical courses. PLAB test is a 2 part assessment and assesses medical knowledge and communication skills possessed by international medical graduates. Find out everything about the PLAB exam here!

About PLAB Exam

PLAB Exam tests your capacity to use your knowledge to provide patient care will be evaluated in the exam. It doesn’t assess your capacity to recall and recite information. Questions concern current UK best practices and equipment that is frequently on hand in UK hospitals. You must respond to the questions based on published evidence, not on the customs in your area.

What does the exam cover?

The exam includes the management of long-term conditions observed in primary care as well as the common, important, or acute conditions (those common in emergency departments) faced by trainees entering the second year of the Foundation Programme (F2). It does not include a general practitioner’s more complex responsibilities (GP).

PLAB Exam Requirements

Given below are the eligibility criteria for the medical graduates appearing for the test: 

  • The candidates’ primary qualifications must be accepted for limited registration by an institution listed in the World Health Organisation Directory of Medical Schools.
  • 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.
  • Additionally, the candidates should complete a minimum of 12 months of postgraduate clinical experience at a teaching hospital.

Also Read: List of Exams to Study Abroad!

Important Dates and Deadlines

Learn about the important dates of the PLAB 1 Test to know about the deadlines.

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
Credits: General Medical Council

PLAB Exam Centres and Countries

The 1st Part of PLAB is conducted across various states in India namely:

  • Bangalore 
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata 
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi


Part 1 of the PLAB test can be conducted in:

  • India 
  • Egypt
  • Bulgaria
  • Dubai 
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan

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

PLAB Exam Pattern

The PLAB test consists of 2 parts :

  1. PLAB 1 – This exam is conducted in MCQ format consisting of 180 questions that have to be solved in 3 hours. 
  2. PLAB 2 – this 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 Programme.

PLAB Exam Application Process

The PLAB test can also be applied to the GMA website. After the candidate applies for the test, you will receive a confirmation mail from the GMC website confirming their registration. The email will also include his/her registration, place, venue and the starting time of the test. PLAB 1 is held in numerous cities in India, twice a year (on 15th March and 15th November). The deadline for the exam is usually 8 weeks before the registration. 

Candidates are allowed to appear for PLAB 1 as many times as they like but can only appear for PLAB 2 four times. On failing the 4th attempt of PLAB 2, the candidate will have to appear for PLAB 1 again.

Credits: Dr. Monisha Mishra

PLAB Exam Syllabus

The syllabus for PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 is usually based on the standard medical textbooks used in UK medical schools. Students can also refer to the GMC booklet ‘Advice to Candidates’. There are separate booklets for Part 1 and Part 2.

Check Out – FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination)

PLAB Exam Cost

Given below is the fee structure of the PLAB exam: 

Test  Fees in GBP Fees in INR
PLAB 1 239 24k
PLAB 2 875 89k

PLAB Exam Result 

  • Part 1 i.e. PLAB 1 is usually declared 4 weeks after appearing for the test.
  • Part 2 i.e. 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 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.

Also Read: Exams for MBA Abroad

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 on 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.

Source: Manik Madaan

What Next?

You can apply for a complete registration with a practice license after passing both of your PLAB tests. 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.


What is the PLAB exam fees in India?

The cost of PLAB 1 is 24,416 and PLAB 2 is 89,426.

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 PMQ degree.

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.

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.

This was all about the PLAB exam. We hope this blog equips you with all the necessary information. In case of doubts or assistance with respect to studying abroad, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu for guidance.

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