The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) exam 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 exam includes PLAB part 1 and PLAB part 2. At PLABABLE, we focus on high yield questions that mimic the PLAB part 1 exam, hence giving you the best opportunity to pass on the first attempt. PLAB part 1 is a three hour computer-marked written examination comprising 180 single best answer questions.
The examination tests four skill areas which include diagnosis, investigation, management as well as context of clinical practice. Questions may include images, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and X-rays. We take pride in staying on par with the current changes in the NHS and we consistently update our questions and explanations. 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. Please note that NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) and guidelines can only be accessed in the UK. Hence, you will not be able to open certain links given as further readings if you are accessing it from outside the UK.
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 180 questions to be completed in 3 hours. This means you have 60 seconds to complete one question. 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:
|White cells (total)||4–11 x 10^9/L|
|Platelets||150–400 x 10^9/L|
|Calcium||2.1 - 2.6 mmol/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:
- Your passport
- HB pencils
- 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.