About us

The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test is the main route by which International Medical Graduates (IMGs) demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the UK. The test includes PLAB part 1 and PLAB part 2.

At PLABABLE, we focus on providing questions which reflect the PLAB part 1 which is a three hour computer-marked written examination comprising 200 single best answer questions. The examination tests four skill areas which include diagnosis, investigation, management as well as context of clinical practice and questions may include images, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and X-rays.

We take pride in staying on par with the current changes in the NHS and consistently update our information and explanations provided. The answers we provide on PLABABLE are evidence based and our explanations are from various reliable sources such as the NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS), current NICE guidelines and Patient.info website. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) and guidelines can only be accessed in the UK. Thus, you will not be able to open certain links given as references if you are accessing it from outside the UK.

At PLABABLE, we focus on high yield questions that mimic the PLAB Part 1 exam, hence giving you the best opportunity to pass the examination on the first attempt.

We have added new questions In light of the anticipated change on the pattern of PLAB 1 exam by the General Medical Council from September 2016.

Who needs to sit for PLAB*


If you fall into the following category, you will need to pass the PLAB test before you can apply for registration with a licence to practice in the UK.

*Information correct as of Jan 2017 and may change



There are 200 questions to be completed in 3 hours. This means you have 54 seconds to complete one question. Ideally, you should aim for 45 seconds per question. What this means is that by the first hour, you should aim to have completed 80 questions. There is a high proportion of people who fail because they were not able to complete the exam. Do not be one of them! Plan your time wisely.

In the PLAB part 1 exam, they will provide you with the normal laboratory values at the back of the question booklet so you do not need to remember the normal values. However, memorising some common values can save you time from flipping back and looking for those values. Here are some values worth remembering:

Haemoglobin Men: 130–180g/L
Women: 115–160g/L
White cells (total) 4–11 x 10^9/L
Platelets 150–400 x 10^9/L
pH 7.35–7.45
PaO2 >10kPa
Bicarbonate 22-26 mmol/L
PaCO2 4.7–6 kPa
Sodium 135–145 mmol/L
Calcium 2.1 - 2.6 mmol/L
Potassium 3.5–5 mmol/L
Urea 2.5–6.7mmol/L
C-reactive protein, CRP < 10mg/L
Mean cell volume, MCV 76–96fL

Day of examination


In the UK, time of arrival is usually at 10am, but this varies at other centres overseas.

What to bring:

  1. Your passport
  2. HB pencils
  3. Erasers
  4. Pencil sharpeners

You will not need a calculator.

You are allowed to bring drinks, snacks and medication, and an ordinary watch.

What about phones and valuables?

The cloak rooms are usually not monitored so it is not a wise idea to leave your phones in your bags in the cloak rooms. The current regulations allow you to bring in your phones into the exam hall provided you declare it to the invigilator. The invigilator will provide you with an envelope to put your phone inside. It must be switched off and left underneath your desk.