As asked by many, here’s my experience of PLAB 1. Remember PLAB 1 is an easy exam but only for those who do not take it easy. I have seen many people passing it in 2nd or 3rd attempt and many acing this exam with ther preparation of just 1 month. Obviously, it depends on your previous knowledge and clinical skills too. There are few points which I would recommend:
1700 by Dr khalid are the key to this exam, as a significant portion of the exam does come from 1700. If you study everything else and do not do the 1700, its going to be difficult in my opinion. Plabzilla is a topic wise categorisation of Dr khalid’s 1700. You can chose either 1700 mixed or plabzilla and revise them atleast twice or thrice. But I’d recommend the mixed version of 1700 as the exam has the same presentation.
This is a file of subject wise mcqs which are similar to 1700 to much extent with detailed notes covering almost every topic. I would recommend to start with plabable before 1700 by Dr khalid, specially to those who are not fresh graduates. Once you are done with plabable, start 1700 and keep revising them properly. Also, Ethics and some other topics are well explained in plabable which makes them very helpful.
3. Preparation Time
The time duration for the preparation of PLAB 1 depends on your experience and background knowledge. The average time required is 40 to 60 days maximum even if you are a full time jobian. I used to study an average of 4 to 5 hours daily with a job for almost 50 days and it helped me pass the exam easily with a score of 155.
4. Facebook Groups
Discussion in the groups helps a lot but beware of the wrong keys and answers as every doctor has his own view and experience. My advice is to stick to the keys by Dr Khalid unless you are sure that its a wrong key.
5. WhatsApp Groups
Whatsapp groups also help depending on the time you contribute and your fellows. I am really glad that I was a part of a whatsapp group where we discussed controversial answers and it was really time saving.
Clinchers are mandatory to revise everything at the end. I would recommend to make your own clinchers on a register and revise them a day before ore exam. It’s hard to remember everything so better make points for high yield topics.
7. Other Notes
There are many other notes and files such as sush unity but I never touched them. 1700 by Dr Khalid and Plabable are enough to pass this exam.
For references, OHCM, OHCS and Patient.info are the reliable sources. Patient.info being above all. The knowledge there is easily digestible. NHS site is also helpful for guidelines but I didn’t spend much time on it.
Mocks are an essential part of preparation. They help you with time management and many questions do repaeat in the exam. Out of 200 questions in exam, 30 to 40 were from 8 samson mocks. Do mocks only when you are done with rest of the preparation. Again, beware of the wrong keys. Download the GMC answer sheet from google and do practice on that.
10. Exam Difficulty
Despite the fact that many said exam was more difficult, I would say it was alright because almost 100 questions were from Khalid’s 1700 and mocks. Therefore, it did not take much time thinking about the answers. Many students could not answer all 200 MCQs. But I guess the right approach and preparation along with efficient time management will make it much easier.
And I know I speak for almost everyone in this group when I thank Dr Khalid Saifullah whose contribution has made it much easier to pass this exam.
Glad to be of any help! 🙂
(This post was published with the author’s consent).