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UK PLAB (United Kingdom Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board)

PLAB test is an assessment Evaluate medical and language skills for international doctors aspiring to practice in the UK.



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You about the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) for overseas qualified or qualification not recognized in the UK doctors who want to practice medicine in the UK must register with the General Medical Council (GMC) Before coming to the UK, they must pass a pre-assessment International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. This is designed to find out if the doctor has a reasonable command of the English language before they can sit the PLAB test. IELTS tests can be taken in various countries, including the UK.

If the doctor passes the different stages of the test, they can sit the PLAB test in the UK. Doctors must take the PLAB test to demonstrate their knowledge of medical English and their medical skills and knowledge. The PLAB test consists of two separate assessments, part 1 and part 2. The GMC requires doctors to pass part 1 before they can take part 2 of the test. If a candidate fails part 1 by a wide margin, the GMC does not allow them to reset part 1 for a period of at least four months from the date of the failed test.

The Test Divided into Two Parts

Part 1 is a computer-marked written examination consisting of single best answer (SBA) questions. The paper contains 200 questions and may contain images. It lasts three hours. You can have an unlimited number of attempts but you must pass Part 1 within two years of the date of your IELTS certificate or the date we specify when accepting alterative evidence of your proficiency in English.

Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It is made up of:

  • 14 clinical scenarios or 'stations'
  • a rest station
  • One or more pilot stations run for statistical purposes, where the marks do not count towards your result.

Each station lasts five minutes. You must pass Part 2 within three years of passing Part 1. You can have four attempts at Part 2. If you fail at the fourth attempt you will have to retake IELTS (unless we have accepted alternative evidence from you and it is still valid) and both parts of the PLAB test. You must apply for, and have been granted, registration with a license to practice within three years of passing Part 2 of the test.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a graduate from a medical school and intend to take the PLAB test
  • Provide documentary evidence of a confirmed test date or of their eligibility to take the PLAB test by way of a letter or email from the General Medical Council or a test admission card
  • Not intend to take employment in the UK
  • Not intend to produce goods or provide services within the UK, including the selling of goods or services direct to members of the public
  • Not intend to do a course of study
  • Maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without using public funds
  • Be able to meet the cost of their onward journey
  • Intend to leave the UK when their leave in this category expires unless they pass the PLAB test and are granted leave to do a clinical attachment
  • Not spend more than 18 months in the UK in this category
  • Already have leave in this category, if they are applying for an extension of stay in this category