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Recent Update: Previously PLAB 2 was held only in Manchester. However, due to the recent demand, the GMC is now opening PLAB 2 test centres in London and Cambridge. Source: the official GMC link.
PLAB 2 is an objective structured clinical examination, or ‘OSCE’.
To Qualify for PLAB 2
You only need a passing score in PLAB 1 to qualify for PLAB 2.
You don’t need IELTS or House Job to qualify for PLAB 2.
PLAB 2 Fee
Format of PLAB 2
PLAB 2 consists of 18 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes. You will be given two minutes between scenarios to read the instructions and patient information for the next scenario.
The whole exam will take around three hours and 20 minutes. There will be a minimum of two rest stations, allowing candidates a 10-minute break each time.
Each station has 12 marks.
4 marks for Data gathering
4 marks for Interpersonal skills
4 marks for Management
Passing score in PLAB 2 is generally around 105-115 out of 216.
You also need to pass at least 11 out of 18 stations.
Scores Don’t Matter
As long as you’ve passed the exam, scores don’t matter. So someone with 170 out of 216 and someone with 115 out of 216 are equally eligible to apply for the same job.
PLAB 2 Schedule
PLAB 2 is usually held throughout the year.
PLAB 2 Venue
Previously it was only held in Manchester. However, due to the recent demand, the GMC is now opening PLAB 2 test centres in London and Cambridge.
When to Book the Exam
Places are usually open to book about four to six months before the examination date. The places are generally filled up very quickly.
Joining the Academy
Since the exam is completely based on clinical scenarios, it is very important to join an academy. The academy course usually lasts for two to three weeks.
I will never advise anyone to not join an academy. However, if it’s not possible for you to join an academy, you can still pass the exam. There are examples of students passing PLAB 2 without joining an academy.
Time Required for Preparation
It is ideal to have 4-6 weeks after your course ends, to practice the scenarios.
However, even if you have less time, you can make it. Do not be discouraged if you have less time. I’ve seen people pass by taking the exam 4 days after their course. But to give yourself a decent chance, you should have at the very least, four weeks after the course.
Most people who attempt PLAB 2, do pass the exam in their first attempt. According to GMC’s official website, pass rate in 2017 was 79%.