PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) Test by GMC:
What is PLAB?
PLAB means Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board. General Medical Council (GMC) of United Kingdom conducts this test to ascertain the suitability of an overseas doctor
to work safely in a first appointment as a senior house officer in a British
Who is required to take this test?
All Overseas doctors who are
seeking limited registration must first pass, or be exempted from the Professional and Linguistic
Assessment Board (PLAB) test conducted by the
GMC (General Medical Council), which is the statutory body responsible for the
regulation and standards of the medical profession in the United Kingdom. In
order to carry out any sort of medical work or training, a doctor must first
obtain registration with the GMC.
What is the test like?
The test assesses suitability to undertake hospital employment at
Senior House Officer level (SHO) in a UK hospital by examining the
candidate's medical knowledge and clinical and communication skills.
In recent years the exam has tested clinical problem solving across specialties
and has moved away from simply testing factual recall. To pass this exam you
should become familiar with the style of question and identify your areas of
weakness - not simply try to memorise past questions!.
The PLAB test currently consists of the following examinations.
is conducted in the UK as well as in some other
countries including Pakistan and consists of 200 questions in Extended Matching Question (EMQ) and single best answer format.
It lasts three hours. The proportion of SBA (Single Best Anaswer) questions may vary from examination to examination but no more than 30% of the
paper will be composed of SBA questions. The emphasis of the test is on clinical management and
includes science as applied to clinical problems.
- The test is confined to core knowledge, skills and attitudes relating to conditions commonly seen by
the SHO's to the generic management of the life-threatening situations, and to rarer, but important
problems. It will contain 200 questions, dividing into a number of themes. The duration of the test will
be three hours.
- The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational and cultural relations.
Registered in England as a charity.
- Extended Matching Question: For each group of questions there will be a list of options. Candidates
are required to select the most appropriate option for each question.
- Single Best Answer: Consider each of the questions and decide what you think the answer is to the
lead-in question given at the end of each scenario, which typically reads ‘What is the SINGLE most
likely diagnosis?’ You should then look for that answer in the list of options below (each of which is
identified by a letter of the alphabet). If you cannot find the answer you have thought of, you should
look for the option which, in your opinion, is the best answer to the problem posed.
- One mark is awarded for each correct response, but no marks are deducted for any incorrect answer.
Candidates will be required to enter their responses on special answer sheets, which can be read by
an optical mark reader. The examination will be marked by computer. (Please contact the GMC for
further information on the new test).
is only available in the UK and takes the form of Objective
Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), which includes an assessment of clinical
and communication skills. It takes the form of 14 clinical scenarios or ‘stations', a rest station and a
pilot station. Each station lasts five minutes. You must pass Part 2 within three years of passing Part 1
. You must be granted limited registration within three years of passing Part 2
of the test.
Is IELTS compulsory for overseas doctors to take PLAB?
from January 1997, the IELTS became a pre-requisite for admission to the PLAB
Test. The GMC will only accept the Academic module of the IELTS and test results
are valid FOR UP TO TWO YEARS from the date which appears on the IELTS
(Please note that doctors who are accepted for exemption from the PLAB test
are required to score 7.0 or above in each band of the IELTS test)
Post your Feedback about information available on this page.
Please read this before leaving this page:|
information provided on this page is for informational purpose only. We have provided this useful
information for free of any cost. You can also contribute through letting us know about any mistake / error / updation related to the information so that other people reading
will be able to have access to the correct
information. Please, do not hesitate to share correct information
with others because that is the main theme of this website. Email us