About PLAB 1

PLAB 1 only tests your clinical knowledge and not your basic science.


To Qualify for PLAB 1

You only need two things to qualify for PLAB 1:

  1. You need to be a medical graduate.
  2. And you need IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic with 7.0 in each of the four areas and an overall score of 7.5 or you can use an alternate source to prove the evidence of your knowledge of English as stated by the GMC here.


House Job

House Job is not a prerequisite at any stage of your journey to the UK. But 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 very difficult to enter through this route.


PLAB 1 Fee



Format of PLAB 1

PLAB 1 consists of 180 questions that have to be answered in 3 hours.


Passing Score

Passing score is generally around 60% to 65%.


Scores Don’t Matter

As long as you have passed the exam, scores don’t matter. So someone with 179 out of 180 and someone with 131 out of 180 are completely equal when they go for PLAB 2 or for jobs.


PLAB 1 Schedule

Mar UK &   Overseas
Jun UK
Sep UK
Nov UK &   Overseas


PLAB 1 UK Venue

In the UK, the exam is only held in London.


PLAB 1 Overseas Venue

It is held in the following overseas locations:

Bangladesh Dhaka
Egypt Cairo
India Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
Nigeria Lagos
Pakistan Islamabad, Karachi
Saudi Arabia Riyadh
South Africa Johannesburg
Sri Lanka Colomba
Sudan Khartoum
UAE Dubai


When to Book the Exam

Places are usually open to book about 10 months before the date of the examination. The UK examinations close a week before the examination date and the overseas examinations, four weeks before the examination date.


How Much You Need to Study for PLAB 1

It is ideal to go through 3,000 to 6,000 questions two to three times before the exam. But people pass the exam with less preparation as well. Please read about studying for PLAB 1 in detail here.


Time Required for Preparation

8-16 weeks is the ideal time for PLAB 1 preparation. However, even if you have 4 weeks, you can pass this exam, with dedication and hard work.


Joining an Academy

A lot of people prefer joining an academy for PLAB 1. They provide you with notes, questions banks and mocks. However, there’s no need to join an academy as you can find all of this study material online on PLAB’s Facebook page.


Some Encouragement

I know people who have passed PLAB 1 just by doing 1700 questions and questions on Facebook. I also know people who passed just by doing the 7 mocks (1400 questions). I know people who passed just by studying for a month. And these people were not distinction holders or class toppers. They were average students who worked hard. And if they can do it, then so can you.

85 thoughts on “About PLAB 1

  1. Hello Nasser bhai, I want give plab 1 in manchester in June 27th dates. My ielts result will cum only on 28th April. Will that be enuf time to get spot in plab for manchester? also wht visa to go on for plab 1? I am from iraq.

    1. I am not sure if you would have enough time to book PLAB 1. You’ll have to wait and see.

      You can go on Business Visitor Visa, Sub-Category: PLAB.

    2. Did you go ahead and give the exam in UK ?
      Is so please share the visa process. Thanks

  2. Thanks for the information! But I would like to learn about Foundation Year 1 route. How can I enter through it? Do I need to pass any exam before starting FY1? And whether PLAB1 or 2 is needed before that? I couldn’t find info about it. Thanks in advance!

    1. I am sorry. I do not know much about this route. 😦 I do know that doing your internship/house job back home makes the journey easier, as you can skip F1 then.

      And yes, you have to pass some exam(s) before starting F1. But there’s not much information out there regarding this.

  3. thanks for informative post. plz tell me about if there is any opportunities after having MPH from Bangladesh in UK. if any, plz inform about the process.
    thanks in advance..

  4. Can I give Plab1 before I graduate? I am currently doing my internship in India. I will get my graduation certificate next yr, ie after my internship. Can I give plab1 now?

      1. Ok thank you 🙂

        One more question..
        I will get my passing certificate now. (Not graduation )
        Won’t that work too?

  5. Hi Naseer, what if the venue of the exam is not in my country, should I take it in the UK ? and which kind of visa should I go for this Plab 1 exam?

    1. 1. If you can it in a country nearby, that would be ideal. If not, then go to the UK.
      2. The same visit visa (category business. Subcategory: PLAB).

  6. sir, I am Bangladeshi and completed my mbbs and internship from China.My university is enlisted in WHO directory…and I have a provisional registration certificate and degree from my chinese medical school..and the curriculum was in English.
    1/do I need to give Bangladesh license exam or Chinese license exam to become eligible for plab?
    2/is it true,to get full registration in gmc I need license exam certificate from the medical council I studied?
    3/what documents I need to apply for plab exam and gmc registration?
    4/do I need to submit my academic transcript with clock hours?

      1. sir,as I mentioned before I am bangladeshi,completed mbbs and internship from china,but I didn’t get registered in china,so I wont get the CGS from china medical council.i already read the CGS link.
        1/is this going to be a problem to get full registration with gmc?
        2/if I do the internship again in my home country and receive the CGS from BMDC,are they going to ask for CGS from china also?
        3/i have to choose fy1 route without CGS,is this a good idea?
        4/in your CGS link,you mentioned “CGS is required from the medical authority in any countries where you have held registration during the last 5 years”,is last 5 years refer to full mbbs course,internship or work experience after internship?
        THANK YOU.

      2. 1. No. You only need CGS from councils where you have been registered in the last 5 years. And you will need to complete your internship from Bangladesh or China (you will then also need CGS from that country).

        2. No.

        3. No, because FY1 is difficult to enter into.

        4. It includes the last five years. You should keep in mind that duing MBBS we are not registered to practice medicine with the local council, so you will not need CGS for being a medical student.

  7. What is the minimum time gap between IELTS and PLAB 1 ? I meant if i want to register for PLAB 1 then do i need to complete IELTS minimum two months prior to PLAB 1 ?

    1. There is no minimum gap. However, PLAB 1 seats are booked in advance. So you need to keep this in mind. Please check official websites to confirm the dates.

      I took IELTS in July 2014 and PLAB 1 in November 2014.

      All the best! 🙂

  8. I’m currently in final year mbbs. Will I be able to take the test (plab 1) conducted on march? My exams will end till mid of February.

  9. I have been unable to make GMC online account because I don’t have the GMC reference number. Kindly guide me from where do I get my gmc reference number to set up a gmc online account which would enable me to book a test.

  10. Hey
    Iwant to know are there limited no of seats of seats like ielts in plab 1
    I mean can we apply on last date and still hope that we ll get the booking
    Or time matters we have to apply early in order to secure e seat..

  11. Sir
    At present i am doing my housejob in islamabad and it will end by the end of march. Now i want to book plab but while making gmc account they asked u
    1.u have not finished your intrnship
    2. You have completed intership ouside the uk
    If i chose 1 option they further say you only be able to get into FY1 . My question is what should i chose and i intend to apply for plab 2 after my housejob.. i am bit confused

    1. You can email the GMC about this because I am not sure. I understand your dilemma. But please do not worry about this. It will be sorted out. I assure you. 🙂

  12. Is it possible to get GMC registration by qualifying MRCS part A and IELTS. And then join as FY2 and do one or two years training and write MRCS part B?

      1. As it suggests, if you get accepted into training, you may not need to pass PLAB or MRCS. But how will you get into training without GMC registration? And how will you get training as your first job in the UK? I don’t think it’s possible. But you can post on Facebook groups to check.

      2. I would. Could you collect information and let us know too. As you might have wider access.

  13. Hey thank you so much for helping all of us.
    I had a few questions regarding plab 1.
    So i am giving plab on the 15th of march and i am freaking out really bad because i started my prep in march.
    1.Do you think with hardly 2 weeks of prep i can pass this exam?
    2.And at this last moment what should be my priority?
    3. I am doing 1700 mcqs first without explainations and then the mocks if i am left with any time. Do you think i should do it with explainations?
    4. Are the answers given in 1700 correct?
    5. Do we have 1 paper of 200 mcqs or 2 separate papers of 100 mcqs exam?
    6. aren’t 180 min less for 200 mcqs?
    7.. I read somewhere there are emqs as well in the exam?
    8. What material should i do for ethics part?
    9. Do we have to fill in omr sheet for answers of the mcqs?

    I think i have asked too many questions and i am really sorry about that. I have no one to ask these things from and i would be really thankful if you could guide me.

    1. 1. Yes.
      2. Solve questions.
      3. No.
      4. Almost always.
      5. One.
      6. No.
      7. Not true.
      8. Read GMC’s Good Medical Practice if you get time (hint: use Google).
      9. I don’t know what an OMR sheet is. I’m sorry!

      1. I am sorry to annoy you again.
        Just a little query, are normal lab values given in the exam?

  14. Thank you for this amazingly helpful blog,
    I’ll be finishing my internship in June, and my university does not provide the diploma until internship is complete. So the earliest I can give PLAB 1 overseas is November, but I do not want to waste 5 months in between, so I was thinking of going to the UK and giving it in Sept. Do you think it is possible to give PLAB 1, attend an academy, give PLAB 2, complete GMC registration and job applications in a single 6 month visitor visa? And would you advise me to do that?

    JazakAllah Khair

    1. No, it is not.

      Study for any exam like MRCP if you feel this time will be wasted.

  15. I am from India. I want to book plab 1 in June. I have got necessary IELTS academic band. Can you please guide me regarding VISA, how many months prior can I apply? For VISA purpose do I need to give IELTS UKVI?
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Asa sir ,em from pakistan , sir em final year mbbs student , my professional would be in january 2019 , nd in may my house job would start ,sir i want to give plab 1 during house job .. when should i start preparing nd how .. plz guide me

    1. Take IELTS before graduation and start PLAB 1 preparation after graduating. Go through my website to understand what more you can do as an undergraduate and how to study for PLAB 1. Good luck! 🙂

  17. Is degree necessarily required to apply for plab1 exam?
    I recently graduated and I do have certificate from my medical college and DMC of final professional exam but no degree from university yet.
    What are the documents required to be attached with plab1 application?

  18. Hi sir thankyou for your blog its really very helpful..sir i indian citizen studying medicine in china and im going to graduate in june 2018 . after my graduation i would like to do my post graduation in general surgery in UK . i completed my house job in china but its not acceptable pattern by GMC . so sir what would you suggest me to do ? im thinking to give my PLAB 1 exam in MARCH 2019. i really want to do job in UK and i want to become an general surgeon can you please guide me through this path it would be very helpful for my future.

    1. It would be best to check with someone who has been in a similar situation. All the best! 🙂

  19. Hey, I am graduating this year inshaAllah, wanted to ask that I checked on your link for GMC where you’ve mentioned about IELTs and OET scores. Is it possible that I get the required proof from my univeristy and then apply for plab? Or IELTs is for sure necessary? Because someone went down the same process and skiped IELTs.
    Bcz If I apply within two years of graduating A
    And get a proof from my university I can still get my GMC accound registration. Please let me know.

    1. If you’ve graduated from Pakistan, then you can not skip IELTS/OET regardless of when you graduated.

  20. Hi Naseer Khan,
    Can you tell me where exactly PLAB 1 exam is conducted in November. I mean where exactly in London. I need to book flight to London and need to know which airport will be most convenient.


    1. I’m not sure. I’m sorry! You can check with the GMC or others on Facebook.

  21. Sir I wanted to ask , if it correct that , after passing PLAB-2 when we apply for gmc registration and license our ielts should still be valid or we’ll have to do ielts again. Meaning if I pass PLAB-2 in more then 2 yrs after giving ielts I will have to re do ielts for gmc license application.

  22. hi Naseer,

    I had completed my MD in 2013, MBBS in 2008. I have given 3 attempts of PLAB 1 in 2011, and 2012. now i want to write PLAB again in November. Previous attempts I had prepared as per NEET preperation hence I couldn’t clear , also your blog wasn’t available back then, which has a gold mine of study material. Do you think it will be possible to clear PLAB this november? Or should I post pone my exam for march. I have cleared IELTS.
    Also will I be eligible for a 5th attempt in case I fail to clear it now? Do guide

    1. Only four attempts are allowed. Since you’ve already taken three attempts, I would advise taking the exam in March with 100% effort from your side. You’ll make it. All the best! 🙂

  23. Hi,
    I am a graduate of 2004 and am studying for plab 1 now.
    I didnt pursue the medical career after my house job due to several reasons.
    I have worked only the last 2 yrs as a special need certified therapist.
    My question is how to approach plab, will doing question banks repeatdly with explaination is enugh and how are my chances of getting work if and when i clear plab1 and 2.
    Sorry for such a long question but my task is near impossible and i want some realistic insight

    1. 1. Study with explanations of answers.
      2. You’ll find a job in a few weeks. 🙂

      1. Thanks for such prompt answer and you are doing a great kindness by running this blog
        Bless you

  24. Does the number of attempts which took to complete PLAB matter when applying for a job? I mean does the employer take it into consideration?

  25. Hello sir,
    I’m currently doing my internship which will be over by December.
    If I clear IELTS during my internship… Can I register during internship and subsequently give Plab 1 in March?
    Is internship completion a requirement for Plab 1?

    1. You can take PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 during internship. I also took PLAB 1 during my internship. All the best! 🙂

  26. Hi Sir I completed my mbbs from China. Planning for PLAB. Recently few of my friends said that visa for PLAB is getting difficult. Can you suggest me like what’s the current situation regarding visa

  27. Hi Naseer, I’m feel so blessed to have found this helpful page of yours, I’m planning on retaking the PLABS in November this year, having missed it by 2% in my last attempt.
    Any further tips aside from your intelligence in organizing this site, if yo I could further asssist me I would greatly appreciate it. Really don’t want to fail again, because I didn’t even find it tough, I studied from the Khalid 1700 questions – are those solved answers correct??

    1. Some of them can be incorrect. So you have to be careful.

      Solve as many questions as you can. If you’re unsure about an answer, check official guidelines and check with others on Facebook groups.

      Also, PLABABLE has great reviews.

      I’m sure you’ll pass this time.

      All the best! 🙂

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