(This post was originally written on 17th March 2017. It was added to my blog by taking permission from the writer, for which I thank them. Thank you, Dr. Shayan Qadir, for allowing me to add your post to this blog)
What I would say about my own experience is that PLAB is a very basic exam. Like you said, regardless of one’s clinical knowledge, it would be the easiest exam. I mainly focus on the 1700 Mcqs and went into detail of their answers using Google, YouTube videos and Wikipedia.
I found Samson notes quite pathetic apart from some topics like contraception. Did like 3 mocks and scored 150 plus in all a week before the exam.
Now the main thing I learnt in this exam is “it’s a test of your time management more than a test of your medical knowledge.” I was able to complete the mocks like an hour before but during the real exam the stems are a bit longer, and shading takes away 5-10 seconds on every question.
I saw a lot of close friends depressed after the exam because they left out 20-30 questions because they couldn’t manage their time properly and got flabbergasted once they lost track of time. The panic of being left behind on time makes one more prone to getting the easiest and basic questions wrong as well. I should say here that as I have taken and passed the USMLE step 1 with a score of 235, it wasn’t really hard for me to skim through the questions. I often see people reading OHCM which makes no sense to me. The exam is like a copy-paste of the 1700 MCQs and mocks. If not exactly phrased like tat at least they are more or less very similar to them. Reading that book is just wasting time if you plan to take it within a months prep (in my case). Although I did open it up once or twice for some controversial protocols like “using steroids for SVC obstruction before stenting or using diuretics.”In summary, I did a one month prep, used the 1700
I did a one month prep, used the 1700 Mcqs as my base, quick read to Samson, focuses on mocks and clinchers in the last week. I had a pretty good feeling after the exam and expect like 150 plus.
- Do 1700 thoroughly
- Do at least 3 mocks in timed mode. Set the time 2:30 hrs
- Can’t stress enough about the importance of clinchers!
- Time management during the exam is what decides everything. If you don’t know a question guess it and move forward. You never have time in the end.
- The test is very st.forward and easy. No tricks, no distractions in stem, no uselessly long stems as compared to usmle. Just swift through the questions and mark your first guess as it’s correct most of the times.
- Work hard. Discuss controversial questions on social groups like Facebook or what’s app groups.
Thanks for reading.