medical BLOG | DATE- 2022-12-08

A Guide to the PLAB Exam |For Ethiopian Medical Graduates

What’s PLAB?

The PLAB test is for doctors who have qualified overseas and wish to practise medicine in the UK under limited registration. It consists of 2 parts: PLAB 1 and PLAB 2.PLAB 2 can only be taken after completion and a pass mark of PLAB 1.

The PLAB test assesses an overseas doctor's ability to work safely in the National Health Service(NHS), showing the General Medical Council (GMC) that they have skills necessary to work at senior house officer level (SHO). International Medical Graduates from any country in the world can sit the examinations provided certain eligibility criteria are met

Who is eligible to the PLAB test?

N.B Before you can sit the tests, you need to set up a GMC online account and show the GMC that your medical qualification and level of English are acceptable.

How many parts do the PLAB test have?

There are two parts:

Part  1

This exam tests your ability to apply your knowledge for the care of patients. Questions relate to current best practice in the UK, and equipment routinely available in UK hospitals. You’ll need to answer the questions in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.

It also covers the common, important or acute conditions (those common in emergency departments) and the management of long-term conditions seen in primary care. It excludes the advanced duties of a general practitioner (GP).

Its made up of 180 multiple choice questions which you must answer within threehours. Each starts with a short scenario followed by a question. You need to choose the right answer out of the five possible answers given.

You can take this test 4 times. If you have not passed after 4 attempts to be eligible to take the test again you must have completed a further 12 month experience of clinical practice or post graduate qualification.

Part 2

This exam covers everything a UK trained doctor might expect and your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients.All the questions relate to current best practice. You should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.

Its an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). It's made up of 16 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes and aims to reflect real life settings including a mock consultation or an acute ward.

After reading the instructions and patient information outside each room, you will enter the exam cubicle and complete the task outlined. There will be a timer that announces when to move on.How much time you have between stations will depend upon which centre you are completing your test. There will be at least two rest stations, allowing you to take breaks. The whole exam will take around threehours.

To apply for this test your PLAB 1 results should be issued. You must pass PLAB 2 within 2 years of the date you passed PLAB 1.

N.B : you have to pass both parts of the test before you apply for registration with a license to practice medicine in UK.

Test centers to take the PLAB

Part 1:

there are no test centers in Ethiopia but below are centers near.

Part 2:

can be taken in UK only. Demand for PLAB 2 places is high so you may experience a wait for a test date. This test is given through out the year. The following are the test centers available.

GMC Clinical Assessment Centre
3 Hardman Square
M3 3EB

GMC Clinical Assessment Centre
3 Hardman Street
M3 3AW

N.B:You can book you test place online using your GMC Online Account. You will be able to view available dates and venues and book under the My Tests section.

How much is the test?

The fee for Part 1 of the PLAB test is currently £235

The fee for Part 2 of the PLAB test is currently £860

What to bring on test day ?

Preparation for PLAB

PLAB 1 can be taken under your own preparation, but for PLAB 2 most IMGs advise that they have benefited from attending specific courses geared at this test. It is also advisable to plan ahead for PLAB 2, so that you can ensure that you can complete everything within one Visitor Visa time period (6 months).

Summarized steps

  1. Getting your Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ)
  2. Completing an acceptable pattern of internship
  3. English Language Proficiency
  4. Book you test place and date
  5. Taking PLAB 1: results will be out after 6 weeks approximately.
  6. EPIC Verification of your credentials
  7. Booking PLAB 2 and applying for UK Visitor Visa: there’s no specific date for result announcement for PLAB 2. The GMC will send your results via your email.
  8. Visiting UK for taking PLAB 2
  9. Applying for GMC registration
  10. Looking for jobs in the NHS
  11. Applying for Tier 2 (work) Visa

Visit the official site with this link here:



Good luck!


WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma-Med In Ethiopia Team

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WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma

Med In Ethiopia Team


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