Roadmap for PLAB


PLAB is the licencing exam for International Medical Graduates wishing to practice in the UK. PLAB has two parts, PLAB 1 and PLAB 2.


House Job

House Job is not a part of the roadmap for PLAB or a prerequisite at any stage of your journey to the UK. But I thought it was worth mentioning here that it’s best to not skip your house job for the following two reasons.

  1. It will give you an employment or employment history, which is very important for your PLAB 2 visa.
  2. If you have not done your House Job, then you can only enter through the Foundation Year 1 route. And it’s not impossible, but difficult to enter through this route.



Road Map For PLAB

Road Map for PLAB.png


1. Visa Homework

Since PLAB 2 is only held in Manchester. You might need a visa to go to the UK for PLAB 2. It is important to get your things in order for your visa application well before you apply for your visa.


2. ECFMG Verification

In order to apply for GMC registration, you will need to get your primary medical qualifications (MBBS degree) verified by ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates). So technically, you will need this step after PLAB 2 and before GMC registration. However, this process can take time. This is why it is ideal to start this process as soon as you graduate. You can get more guidance about this here.



IELTS is an English language test. To qualify for PLAB 1, You need IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic with 7.0 in each of the four areas and an overall score of 7.5 bands. IELTS is valid for two years.

However, IELTS does not need to be valid in order to sit in PLAB 2.


4. PLAB 1

PLAB 1 is a knowledge test comprising of 200 questions that have to be answered in 3 hours. It only tests your clinical knowledge and not your basic science.

It is conducted in the UK in March, June, September and November. It is conducted overseas in March and November only.


5. Visa for PLAB 2

Depending on where you live, you might need a visa to go to the UK for PLAB 2.


6. PLAB 2

PLAB 2 is an OSCE examination, comprising of 18 stations. It takes 3 hours and 20 minutes.

It is conducted twice a month, but only in Manchester, UK. It is not conducted in any other city or country.


7. GMC Registration

After passing, PLAB 2, you can apply for GMC registration.


8. Employment

Once you’re registered with the GMC, you’re eligible to work in the UK.

77 thoughts on “Roadmap for PLAB

    1. 6 months in Surgery and/or allied, with at least 3 months in Gen. Surgery.

      6 months in Medicine and/or allied, with at least 3 months in Gen. Medicine.

      1. Will I have a problem if I do anaesthesia for 6 months instead of surgery for my housejob?

    1. Scroll through the list of topics in my blog. You will find topics relating to visa homework. If you have any queries, you can always message me. 🙂

  1. hello, after completing Plab 1and 2 , and completing f1 and f2,
    how much time should i wait till being accepted and enrolled in a residency program ,
    i am interested in cardiac/thoracic surgery ,
    so, is it worth to apply in peripheral centers rather than central to

  2. Hi Aoa.. Is there a time limit within which you have to appear for PLAB2 after passing PLAB1? What if we pass PLAB1 but cant get visa for PLAB2 prompltly? Would our PLAB1 expire after some time or we may go for PLAB2 anytime after getting our visa, no matter after how much time?

    1. 1. It is not difficult to get a PLAB 1 visa. It depends on your finances and luck.

      2. Getting a PLAB 1 visa is relatively difficult compared to getting a PLAB 2 visa. As they might object that you can take the exam in your home country.

      3. A 6-month bank statement is not mandatory, but ideal.

  3. If I clear PLAB 1&2 and skip house job in my home country, how many chances are there to get a job in U.K.? Do clinical electives done in the U.K. Count while applying for job?. If I want to specialise in psychiatry what’s the pathway? Thanking you in anticipation

    1. A.

      B. Clinical Attachment helps in the following ways:

      1. It makes you familiar with the NHS.
      2. It gives you valuable experience for your CV.
      3. At the end of your attachment, you often get an employment contract offered.

      However, not having an attachment makes no difference on your job prospects. Most candidates do not have attachments and still find jobs. I myself did not have any attachments and I am still getting job offers.

      C. I am not sure, honestly. You can post this on the main PLAB Facebook group. 🙂

  4. AoA bhai Naseer, I want to get training in Orthopedic surgery, What would be the criteria?

    1. I don’t know much about Surgery. But from what I hear, it’s not easy to enter surgery training in the UK, unless you’re a British or EU citizen. If you work here for 6 years, you can become a national.

  5. as u told that plab 1 is valid for 2 years. but uk policy is changing in 2019 so are wo supposed to pass plab 2 in 2018 before the new policy OR GMC will allow us to give plab 2 in 2019..
    please clear this confusion. and what is the validity of plab 2 ?

  6. may you please advise on how to get into foundation training as a non eea citizen without the right to work. i have not done an internships so i do not qualify for full registration and mos\t jobs\ other than f1 foundation jobs with provisional registration

    1. I’m sorry but I do not know much about this route. I do, however, know someone who can help with this route, as they are also going through it. If you send me a private message, I can tell you how to contact them.

  7. Thank you so much for your prompt response.I have sent you a message via the contact form in the contact section.

  8. I have checked my email and refreshed a few times however , i unfortunately did not receive your email. I checked the spam folder as well just in case.If it wouldn’t be too much trouble , may you please double check from your end and/or resend? Thank you.

  9. I am about to start my final year so whats the best time to give ielts and plab1 as i dont want to waste my time secondly how much gap should be there max btw plab 1 and plab 2?

    1. 1. Take IELTS just before graduating.

      2. Take PLAB 1 as soon as possible after graduating.

      3. PLAB 2 must be taken within 2 years of passing PLAB 1.

      1. hello sir..i completed my mbbs in 2013…i worked as a medical officer for 2 years in india after which i took a 3 year break to prepare for post graduation studies..i dint crack the exam so im back working as a medical officer and preparing for plab..will these 3yrs of unemployment cause any problem for me while gmc registration

      2. They might cause a bit of a delay but they will not stop you from working in the UK.

  10. House job isnt equivalent to internship we do afyer completing mbbs ??? If not, then how can we do that ??? I mean to ask whether working with some.local hospital in med or surgery dept will suffice for the said 6 months ????

  11. Hi, what about when you have done only 6 months of practise and 1 year and a half working as a doctor in your country? Is this ok as a house job or i should start from Fy1 here in uk? And please where i can contact you for more questions? Thank you

    1. House Job is recognized properly in every country as a House Job. If you have not done that, you will begin your career from FY1 in the UK.

      You can post any questions here and I will get back to you. If your questions are of a personal nature, you can email me via the “Contact” section of the blog.

  12. Thank you Dr. Naseer for your efforts
    I have a different question, what kind of job is offered to us as international graduates? Is it a residency training program? if yes what is the name of the degree we get after completing the residency program?
    And what is the difference between training and non-training posts?

    For an example if I want to be an emergency physician and I finished my PLAB 2, what do I have to do next?

    I have been reading a lot in the GMC website and other websites, but I can’t seem to understand.

  13. I have done 1 year rotating internship in all the departments, but medicine and surgery departments were respectively 2months each! Does this count or what do I have to do in order to compensate for 6months? Does working under that particular department in any hospital count ?

    1. Since you have completed your internship, you can not go back and change it now.

      Keep in mind that working in sub-specialties counts as working in that respective department. For example, working in OBGYN and Pediatrics counts as working in surgery and medicine, respectively.

      1. Are you sure of the fact paeds counts towards medicine?!
        I knew about the 3 months in each of surgery and medicine thing kind of late and was panicking since my internship program is fixed and is starting in about a month!

        P.S.: Thank you so very much for this blog! I feel like we all owe you greatly!

      2. Yes, I am sure. You can confirm this by emailing the GMC about this. I would never advise you to listen to me or anyone else blindly. It is always best to confirm from the official source. 🙂

        And thank you for your kind words! 🙂

  14. Is the Australian Medical Council exam recognised in the UK? I hold a AMC certificate will it carry any weight? also after passing PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 do we get full registration immediately? or do we get provisional reg and have to secure a job offer and work for 12 months to get full registration?
    Also what are the chance of getting into residency in the UK? i have completed my internship and have not worked since and completed both parts of the AMC. what other courses or CPD activities would you suggest to attend to add to the CV that will be useful for the uk job applications?
    Please advice. thank you.

    1. 1. No value.

      2. None.

      3. If you have completed internship, then, yes.

      4. If you have not completed your internship, then you get provisional registration and you have to complete your two years of FY on that.

      5. Depends on which specialty you want to apply for.

      6. Follow the points mentioned here for improving your CV. They will apply on you as well. 🙂

  15. Hello Sir.. It was almost making all questions clear by reading your blog. One question i had if we pass Plab1 and we require IELTS for it and as you said we don’t need ilets for plab2.. So can i get visa easily with if my ilets is expired and can i get regestered with GMC without Ilets??

  16. Hi Dr Naseer. First off thank you so much for your wonderful and thoroughly informative+encouraging blog.
    Can you please tell me what you think is the ideal time to space out the three tests one has to sit i.e the IELTS PLAB1 and PLAB2?
    I am ~6months from graduating medical school. After that, I will have just a little less than three months before i start my housejob (internship).
    If i give IELTS in october ’17 and then after graduating give PLAB 1 in march ’18 (with two months prep?) and then after a year of housejob give my PLAB 2 in mid 2019, will it be realistically possible?
    PS. Although i am an average student i would not shy from a couple of months hard work if it saves me time.

    1. The timeline you’ve described is perfect. PLAB 1 can be managed VERY easily in 2 months. If you find it hard to believe, please read this. 🙂

      You should also keep in mind that we need to be employed for 6 months (ideally) before applying for our visa for PLAB 2. If you apply for your visa right after your House Job, you would be unemployed. So that’s risky.

      In this case, you should work for 3 to 6 months as MO/RMO before applying for your visa. So in this case, you would take your PLAB 2 in the second half of 2019.

      Keeping all of the above in mind, even if you take PLAB 1 in November 2018, it’s not a bad idea. You can take your IELTS after graduation in this scenario.

      People have received their visas without being employed or only after being employed for a month as well, but it’s risky and I do not recommend it.

      I hope this helps. Best of luck! 🙂

      Do take other people’s opinions as well, from Facebook groups. 🙂

  17. Hello! First of all, I would like to say that I am very pleased that I’ve found your blog! It surely gave me hope haha
    I have just one question: I’m from Brazil and, here, we go through our House Job (internship) before graduation (it’s actually part of our medical training). It’s duration is 2 years, more than enough to complete the demands of 6 months clinical and 6 months surgical training. In this case, which way should I go? How should I proceed? Is it possible to skip FY1 and FY2 and go straight to CP?

    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. Hello,

      I am not sure since none of my friends had done a pre-graduate internship. It would be best to post this question on Facebook to get advice from people who have gone through this road. I am sorry for not being more knowledgeable about this. But if you find anything, please do share it with me so I can help others in the future. Thank you!

    2. Hi Naseer, Iane, this post is from 2017 so one of you may be able to help me. @Iane, did you succeed in getting to sit PLAB in the UK using your Brazilian primary medical qualification? I am enquiring on behalf of a friend who has a similar medical degree from Brazil,


      1. Hi, Peter! Actually, I have not yet finished my graduation in Brazil, so I can’t take the PLAB teste for now. However, I asked this in brazilian PLAB groups on Facebook, and tehy told me that, with our graduation, after the IELTS exam and PLAB 1 and 2, we’re able to skip the foundation year 1 and go directly to FY2.

  18. Respected bro. I have query regarding criteria for appearing in PLAB 1 and GMC registration. I completed my mbbs degree in 2014 and then went for HJ. But unfortunately i have a gap of 5 months between my 2nd and 3rd rotations and secondly i didn’t opt general medicine amd general surgery for HJ rather i went for ophthalmology, paeds, and psychiatry. I only need to know with these types of rotations am i eligible to appear in plab1 and in the end to get the GMC. Will they inquire about my 5months gap and put a Q mark on not opting for general medicine and general surgery. Would you advise me to go for plab under these circumstances.. I will really appreciate your help and will remember it for the rest of my life. TIA

    1. 1. They will ask you to explain your 5-month gap in writing. There is no way of knowing if your internship will be accepted or not. It would be best to post on Facebook to ask others who have gone through this.

      2. At least 12 months of internship with at least 3 months in medicine and at least 3 months in surgery is considered to be an acceptable pattern of internship. Medical and surgical sub-specialties count in medicine and surgery, respectively. For example, pediatrics and OBGYN are counted as medicine and surgery, respectively.

  19. hi there. before I leave in my query, i must commend your initiative. it’s only rarely you ever come across people as willingly helpful as you are. 🙂
    i’ve only recently graduated, and am currently doing my house job in cardiology, with my clinical attachment here being 3 months long, followed by serving 2 months in nephrology and a month of general medicine in the end. does this fulfill the criteria for a cumulative total of 3 months serving in medicine?
    secondly, if i were to spend 3 months in ENT, followed by general surgery (2 months) and orthopedics (a month), would it suffice said criteria for surgery?
    also, i’ve just given my IELTS, with my test result still pending. i’ve given the academic module and not the UKVI version of the test. i know i would have to apply for the visa process myself, but does it mean my having for sit for the IELTS test again?

  20. Is there a specific time period or month when you can apply for jobs, or you can do it throughout the year, after gmc registration of course

    1. Non-training jobs (which is our first job in the UK) are open throughout the year. You can apply any time of the year.

      Training jobs always begin in August and applications open a few months earlier.

  21. Hi Dr.Naseer sir. Thank you so much for sharing your experience through your blog.
    My questions being-
    1)Is passing plab required to do fellowship in UK? If yes what score is needed to get into a standard university or is just passing enough?
    2) For fellowship programs, how much weightage do the universities lay on research studies done during undergraduate level? Or again, just plassing plab would ensure a seat?
    Thank you Sir.

  22. I have done house job 6months in gynae&obs and 6 months in paeds.
    So am i eligible??
    N what about ielts?
    How to prepare for that?

  23. amazing blog, thanks so much dr for all the useful info,

    I have a question. I am from Palestine and I graduated in june/2016. I finished my internship in july/2017.
    I am starting my prep for plab since today. is this considered late? will I still be able to get a residency in UK? or is it too late?

    dr mays

  24. Currently I am doing my house job in Pakistan, i have completed 3 months of general surgery and 3 months of orthopedics. Now, I have to decide about the allied medicine rotation. Therefore, i wanted to know if housejob(internship) in pathology is acceptable in the uk or not? i have heard from some people that they don’t accept hj in patho and derma,plz guide in this regard.

    1. I am not sure about this. You can always write to the GMC to confirm. But rules might change. So why not pick something that is more conventional?

  25. hi I completed my mbbs in 2017 and i am starting house job in 2018 with almost 1 year gap during which i was self studying for usmle will i be able to get full registration after plab1 and 2

  26. Dear Sir,
    I am Dr. Debasis Das from India. Firstly, I would like to thank you for creating such a wonderful blog and informative platform for all the PLAB aspirants.
    I have completed my M.B.B.S from Government Medical College of India in November 2010 and completed my one-year internship immediately thereafter, in November 2011.
    After that I worked as a Non PG junior resident in various Government Colleges of Delhi(India) till November 2015 without any break and I have got the experience certificates for the said period.
    Subsequently I started working as a Senior Medical officer(Factory) at a company named IFFCO, at present I am working at the same company.
    I am nearly 33 years old (D.O.B: – 18/05/1985) and I seek your guidance for the following:
    • Whether I am eligible to give PLAB test or am I too old for that
    • If yes, will it create any hindrance in getting a job in UK
    • For how long do I have to take leave from my company for PLAB 2 test in UK (The whole stay in UK for PLAB 2)
    • Whether ECFMG and GMC registration step can be done after clearing PLAB 1
    Once again thank you Sir for all your support and good work.

  27. Hello Dr naseer
    First I want to thank you for your amazing blog!
    I graduate this June 2018, and my Internship starts July 2018 for 12 months. Im planning to sit for Plab 1 in november 2018, and for Plab 2 in January 2019.
    That to be able to apply for FY2 posts, and to start my FY2 post or non-training post by august 2019.
    I’ve read with regards to FY2, that I should be fully registered with the GMC atleast before my post commemces.
    Would I be able to apply for posts during my internship, having done both plab 1 and 2?
    As I will be eligible for full registration and just waiting for my internship to end…

    thank you for your help 🙂

      1. yes I know that.
        Does it mean that I cant appy until Im fully registered?
        Somewhere else in your blog you mentioned that its okay to apply before full registration.

  28. Wow. I must completely appreciate the highly informative blog you have here Dr. I spent hours going through posts and comments and I must say I am better informed about procedures and steps for the processes involved in finally getting to practice in the UK and get the kind of training I hope to get. Maybe someday in future I’ll meet you physically. I am a final year student just a week to my final Mbbs exams. Keep up the good work though. I’d like like to have your email if that’s OK.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! You can contact me here:

  29. Hello Sir,
    Do I have to give Mrcp exam during run through training or just cracking plab is enough?

    1. Each specialty has its own programme and person specifications. You can check their official websites for this. All the best! 🙂

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