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PLAB: Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board

The PLAB test is for doctors who have qualified overseas and wish to practice medicine in the UK under limited registration. The test assesses candidate’s ability, as a doctor, to work safely as a senior house officer (SHO) in a UK NHS hospital. The PLAB test is the main route by which International Medical Graduates (IMGs) demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK.

  • a primary medical qualification accepted for limited registration by an institution listed in the World Health Organisation Directory of Medical Schools (
  • taken the IELTS academic modules and attained a score of at least 7.0 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all of the four language skills. For further information please visit the General Medical Council website (
  • 12 months’ postgraduate clinical experience at a teaching hospital.
There are two parts:
  • Part 1 is a three-hour exam containing 200 questions. It consists of extended matching questions (EMQ) and single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • Part 2 is a 14-station objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). It lasts for about one hour and 40 minutes.
PLAB: Part 1
Part 1 can be taken in the UK and a number of countries worldwide.

How to apply for part 1
Click the below link for registration

Part 1 is held in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai and the deadline for registration is eight weeks prior to the test date.

The PLAB Part 1 test in India is held on the below list:
  • Kolkata:, +91 33 282 5370
  • Chennai:, +91 044 42050600
  • Mumbai:, +91 22 6748 6748
  • New Delhi:, +91 11 4219 9000
  • Hyderabad:, +91 044 42050600
  • Bangalore:, +91 044 42050600
Test Format
Part 1 of the test is a computer-marked written examination consisting of single best answer (SBA) questions. The paper contains 200 questions and may include images, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and x-rays. The examination lasts three hours.

The PLAB test is designed to test the knowledge and skills relating to conditions commonly seen by trainees entering the second year of the Foundation Programme, the management of life-threatening situations and rarer, but important, medical problems. This means that UK-trained doctors and international medical graduates (IMGs) are expected to have the same level of knowledge and skills at this stage of their career.

The results will normally appear in the My PLAB section of GMC Online about four weeks after you take the examination and you will need your GMC number, GMC Online log in details to access them.

PLAB: Part 2
You can only take Part 2 at the GMC Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester, UK.

Test Format
Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It is made up of:

14 clinical scenarios or 'stations'
a rest station
one or more pilot stations run for statistical purposes, where the marks do not count towards your result.

Each station lasts five minutes. You must pass Part 2 within three years of passing Part 1. You can have four attempts at Part 2. If you fail at the fourth attempt, you will have to retake IELTS and both parts of the PLAB test.

You must apply for, and have been granted, registration with a licence to practice within three years of passing Part 2 of the test.

At the examination the dates of the release of results are informed. The results are published in GMC Online first and you will need your login details to access them.

How to prepare
All the questions relate to current best practice, and you should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.

Names of drugs are those contained in the most recent edition of the British National Formulary (BNF).

GMC's own website is also a reliable source of information.

Internationally recognised textbooks and handbooks are recommended. Journals can also be a useful way of keeping up-to-date.

You should be aware of the range of equipment routinely available in UK hospitals.

Important dates for part 1:
This year Part 1 tests will be conducted on 13 March and 26 November.

For contact details, please visit: Email: or phone +44 (0) 16 1923 6602 .

For more details, please visit:
Published date : 23 Jul 2014 06:42PM

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