My PLAB 1 Experience

Real Prep was for 4 Months

As you can see from My Timeline for PLAB 1 Preparation, I spread my PLAB 1 preparation over 10 months, which made the journey VERY easy for me. Even after wasting the first three months on irrelevant study material and the spending the next two months on IELTS, I still had enough time for PLAB 1 preparation.


Studied at Work

I completed most of my PLAB 1 preparation at the hospital, during my internship. I had downloaded all the questions and the notes on my phone. So it was easy to access them.


Studied On The Go

I used to set a daily target of 100 -200 questions. And this is how I went about them:

  • 2-5 questions before getting fresh in the morning.
  • 2-5 questions after getting fresh in the morning.
  • 2-5 questions during breakfast.
  • 2-5 questions before leaving home.
  • 10-20 questions on my way to work.
  • 2-5 questions at work before the consultants reached.
  • 2-5 questions at every opportunity at work.
  • 50-100 questions during the break.
  • 50-100 questions during seminars/lectures/teaching sessions.

So on most days, I had completed 100-200 questions by the time that I would get back home from work. If for any reason, I could not complete my target at work, I would spend an hour or half at home and complete my target easily.


Did Not Study Hard

So I never studied past 8 PM for my PLAB 1. On most days, I did not study after 5 PM. I watched hours and hours of TV shows every single day. I studied in a very relaxed and tension-free mode. The secret to keeping my life easy was to start my preparation early during the year and early every day as well.


Average Student

I was one of those students who failed more than half of my class tests at school. I never passed any mock exam in medical school. Not because I was poor at studying. I just did not feel like studying all the time. I always studied after my mocks and I always passed my finals by a small (but comfortable) margin.


Final Month

A month before the exam, I was tired and bored of studying, since I was well aware of all the questions by now. So I stopped studying. But I did keep my eyes and ears open. Since a few of my friends were also studying for PLAB 1, I used to listen to their discussions. But I stopped studying myself.


Final Week

A week before the exam, I took a leave’s absence from work. I was keen on making the most of this time and study hard. But I ended up watching 3 movies every day during this week. I did study on the final day for an hour. But I realised that I was well prepared, so I did not make any more effort.


Sources Used

1. Swamy’s 1700 – random questions arranged from Swamy’s past mocks by a senior PLABBER on this forum.
2. Samson’s 7 mocks from June 2013 (1400 questions)
3. Samson’s online Q bank – questions are arranged according to units (2782 questions)

So in total, I went through nearly 6,000 questions. I went through most of them thrice.

4. I did go through Samson’s notes as well, but very superficially. I did not try to memorise them.


The Exam

It was the easiest exam of my life. I knew after the exam that I had passed.



The exam was very easy for me because I started my preparation very early and I went through nearly 6,000 questions twice or thrice.

43 thoughts on “My PLAB 1 Experience

  1. while preparing the questions , should i read every detail connected to the question and options from references or mere understanding of the derivation to that answer is enough , as a senior plabber did u find the repeats in :the exam highly twisted in a way that i should be aware of each and every aspect of the question completely in order to get those right. for ex: A 74yo smoker presented to his GP with cough and SOB. Exam revealed pigmentation of the oral
    mucosa and also over the palms and soles. Tests show that he is diabetic and hypokalemic.
    What is the most probable dx?
    a. Pseudocushing syndrome
    b. Conns disease
    c. Ectopic ACTH
    d. Cushings disease
    e. Hypothyroidism
    Ans. The key is C. Ectopic ACTH. here should i know everything about ACTH and others or just the reason behind ACTH being the answer as given in dr. khalids is enough. thanks in advance

    1. When I went through 1700 questions, they did not even have any explanations. So I never went into details and I passed my exam comfortably. The repeats in my exam were 100% same from the questions that I had prepared for. Studying too much of theory is not too helpful for PLAB. Going through as many questions as you can is the key to passing the exam.

      1. Thank you for this helpful blog.
        Could you please help me getting Swamy’s1700 and Samson’s mock.
        I have no access to the Facebook PLAB group.

  2. Naseer Ive studied and passed my mrcp. But i want to keep my options of going to the UK open. Do youu think I can straight away go to the questions? Dont feel like studying anymore! Also whats the cost for Plab1. Their website is too confusing.

  3. Hey I wanted to ask that i graduated this year in march, so do I still have to give ielts? Or is that exempted after first year of graduation.

    I am from islamabad, pakistan
    Thank you

    1. I know that the GMC website states fresh graduates are exempted from IELTS. But this rule does not stand for Pakistan. There is a list of schools from where the GMC does not accept this exemption. Nearly all Pakistani medical schools are in that list. My school was not in that list, so I applied for exemption. As soon as I applied, my school was also added to that list.

      So I would strongly recommend focusing on IELTS and not on the exemption. Good luck! 🙂

  4. Hey Dr. Naseer, my university, in Lebanon, has a 7 year program to get you’re MD, ofcourse including the internship. Do I need to get my MD before I sit for my PLABs, or I can do them before Graduating?
    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hello. You said you studied samson’s 7 mock questions from 2013, is that still valid till now?

  6. The sampson online QBank, is it the same as the ones that are with the notes by any chance?

    1. You will have to subscribe them through his website. But the cost is too much in my opinion. Thus, other free questions banks are easier to get hold of.

  7. Hey
    I have done 1700 qusetin by dr. Khalid i want to go through samson mocks 2013 but i am so lost bcs there are so many files. And you now few days are left before exams.. i am not able to find them ..can you please suggest me any link to it

  8. hello, is there any difference between the Samson 2013 and 2017 mocks or is it fine to study either?

  9. Salam.
    Dr. Naseer I have few questions.
    actually I am an old graduate of 2006, did fcps part 2 residency in Pakistan in 2014.
    What would you suggest if I plan to give PLAB , would it be a wise decision?
    What would be the chances of getting job thereafter?
    I am married and have 2 kids, so would doctor get visa for his family immediately?
    How’s the life of junior doctor, if I m the only earner there? Is the salary enough to support family of 4?
    Would I be able to give my Mrcog during job as a junior doctor?
    Will be highly grateful for your help.

    1. 1. That’s your choice.
      2. Everyone finds a job in the UK. 🙂
      3. Yes.
      4. Yes.
      5. Yes.

      1. Dr I have another question how much a doctor get paid after completing plab(a junior doctor).?
        Is it enough amount to support a family?
        How many hours on an average a junior doctor has to work?
        Is it possible to give enough time to kids?

      2. All of this has been discussed on my website. Please check relevant links. Thank you! 🙂

  10. I am a Pakistani medical graduate , did my fcps part 2 residency in OBGYN there.
    Could you please guide me how to start OBGYN practice in UK after passing Ielts and PLAB ?
    I tried to ask this from Gmc and Rcog but they didn’t answer.
    Sorry if I I am bothering you by asking again and again. But for me this matters a lot.

  11. Ok.
    This is what I want to know how would I apply?
    Kindly if you could tell me from where I get all this info?
    Thanks for your help.

  12. I am persistently scoring 82-83% in plabable mocks. What do you think? I am prepared enough or do I need to work even harder . Please help me

      1. Thanks for your prompt response. From the people who have recently written Plab 1, they keep mentioning a resource called plabable. I have checked all the resources you listed for preparations and this resource is not there. Pls how do I get it. Thank you.

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