The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test provides the main route for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the United Kingdom (UK).

PLAB is a two part assessment that overseas doctors (or international medical graduates), from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, usually need to pass before they can legally practise medicine in the UK. It is conducted by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom. The test is designed to assess the depth of knowledge and level of medical and communication skills possessed by the international medical graduates. The PLAB blueprint sets out what candidates are expected to demonstrate in the test and beyond.

The PLAB test has 2 parts:

Part 1: Consists of a multiple choice format examination paper with 180 SBA’s (One Hundred Eighty Single Best Answer questions) lasting 3 hours, This part is conducted in a number of countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.

Part 2: Consists of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). This part is available in the cities of Manchester, Cambridge, and London, United Kingdom. It consists of 18 clinical stations. All the stations are eight minutes long, plus two minutes reading time. The standard of both parts of the PLAB exam is set at the level of competence of a doctor at the start of Foundation Year 2 in the Foundation Programme.

When do the exams take place?

PLAB 1 takes place in March, June, September and November every year. But inconsistently around the world. Not all the countries will have all four months available for the exam date, The only place you can check the availability is through your GMC Online account. PLAB 2 takes place round the year except for August and December, the available dates can only be seen after you have passed PLAB 1.

Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test fees Effective until 31 March 2020
Effective from 1 April 2020
Part 1 of the PLAB test £235 £239
Part 2 of the PLAB test £860 £875
Request for clerical check of results for the PLAB test £46 £47
PLAB 1 – cancellations over 83 days before exam.