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PLAB Overview

The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (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.

The PLAB test is made up of two individual components, each of which tests different competencies that are outlined in the PLAB blueprint

1. PLAB Part 1

2. PLAB Part 2

The PLAB Part 1 is a written examination comprising single best answer questions and the PLAB Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The PLAB test is conducted by the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom.

PLAB Part 1

This is a computer-based exam that lasts three hours and ten minutes, with a total of 200 ‘single best answer’ questions. The GMC website gives the following information about what knowledge is required in order to take the PLAB Part 1 test

  • The exam tests your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients rather than how well you can remember and recite facts.
  • All questions relate to current best practice - answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.
  • Any drugs featured in the exam will be listed in the most recent edition of the British National Formulary (BNF).
  • You should be aware of the range of equipment routinely available in UK hospitals.

The PLAB Part 1 is run four times a year in the UK and twice a year at a number of overseas centres

PLAB Part 2

The PLAB Part 2 is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The exam is designed to test both the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills of doctors. The OSCE stations test a wide variety of skills including history taking, physical examination, communication skills and the ability to perform practical procedures.

The examination consists of a circuit of 14 stations, each of which is 5 minutes long. There is usually also a rest station and 1 or 2 ‘pilot’ stations, which check whether or not a station is suitable for use in a future examination. These ‘pilot’ stations will not be included in your overall mark. The Part 2 exam is only held in the purpose built Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester


Frequently asked questions

Before taking the test, you must have:

  • A primary medical qualification accepted for limited registration by an institution listed in the  World Directory of Medical Schools
  • Taken the IELTS academic modules and attained a score of at least 7.5 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all the four language skills.

For further information please visit the  General Medical Council website.

  • Part 1 can be taken in the UK and in india.. 
  • Part 2 may be taken in the UK only.

For more information about other overseas centres, please visit  General Medical Council website.

PLAB Fees Effective from 1 February 2016 to 31 March 2018 Effective from 1
Part 1 of the PLAB test £230 £230
Part 2 of the PLAB test £840 £840

Please check updated fees  here.

A candidate may make 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 currently permitted period.

You must pass part 2 within three 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 three years of passing Part 1, or fail at your fourth attempt, you will have to re-sit Part 1 and Part 2.

After you apply for the test, and once the deadline for application is over, you will receive an email from the GMC confirming your registration, your place, the venue and the starting time of the test.

You must bring your passport, your admission letter, a pencil, an eraser and a pencil sharpener.

Results will be available in the My Tests section of GMC Online about four to six weeks after you take part 1 and four weeks after you take part 2

The exact date for the release of the results is announced on the test date. Results are available on the  General Medical Council website the day after they have been sent out by post. 

The GMC will post the results directly to you using the address on your application form. We do not give results over the phone, by email or by fax.

You can also  contact us to find out more about us and how we can help arrange your exam.