Hello all! I am a doctor aspiring to work in the UK and after attempting my IELTS exam in May 2017; I sat for my PLAB 1 examination in Karachi in November 2017 and passed with a score of 140. I attempted the exam while working as a full-time intern with 80-100 hour work weeks and in total, I prepared for about 7 days for the exam which included a 4-day study leave I took from work. I had prior experience of giving the USMLE exams and my work experience gave me a slight advantage in the exam even though I had scored low on my steps.
For the exam itself, I used the following resources:
- Samson Notes- albeit I went through selective topics/notes
- 1700Qs (in form of Unity Notes) these too I went through selectively and was not able to go through every unit
- Samson Mocks – solved about 3 or 4 of those
- All recalls from March 2015 till March 2017.
The exam was a little weird in it, that the question stem asked for one thing and the options were a different thing altogether. While I hadn’t gone through the entire 1700 questions word for word, I am hearing that the about 60% of the questions were repeated. I came across repeats from previous years and as well as similar questions to those encountered in the mocks. I am not encouraging that one route learns every question; the key is going through them with the approach of grasping the sort of questions that come in the PLAB 1 exam and familiarizing yourself with the pattern. Do time yourself while attempting mocks, as I did that as well and it helped me attempt all questions in the actual exam within the allotted time. Going through books for me seems like poor time utilization, instead, one should go through utility notes and if need be refer to the Oxford handbooks. Clinchers and recalls are more important that people might deem them to be and one should definitely consider them as a valuable exam prep resource.
To sum it all up, I was very fortunate to have passed the exam given the preparatory time I had. But personally, I would suggest everyone to give at least 4-6 weeks of thorough preparation while going through the 1700 questions at least twice. It is an easy exam to pass if one really commits to it. And it is not at all impossible to clear it even while you are working full time. So there is absolutely no need to be discouraged or to feel afraid. I’ll end my post by wishing everyone good luck on their path to the UK. Give it your best!
(This post was written on 04 February 2017 for my website. I want to thank the writer for their contribution).