Hi, I’m Dr Ammar and I took my PLAB 1 held in March 2018. It was my first attempt.
Two Months of Preparation
From my IELTS result to PLAB 1, I had roughly 3 months to prepare, but I did not start the prep right away, rather I allocated 2 months which I thought were enough to cover the study material.
- 1700 Dr Khalid’s version.
- Sush Unity Notes for Neuro and Renal (because I thought I did not have a very good understanding of these two topics).
Initially, I did not allocate a fixed time for preparation. I started casually by doing MCQs on my phone whenever I got free time at my hospital. I was doing my House Job at that time; duty hours ranged from 48 to 60 hours per week.
Dr Naseer’s words kept ringing through my head that PLAB 1 was the easiest exam he ever took. That’s why I never panicked or took undue stress throughout the journey.
How I Studied?
The technique was to do MCQs from 1700. If I knew the logic behind the answer, I did not do it again. I marked the ones which I did not get right or did not understand the concept for. In my revision of the 1700 questions, I only did those which I marked specifically; there was no time to do all of them. I used to study the reasoning behind those answers and why other four options were wrong. During that time I reviewed Neurology and Renal from Sush unity but could not do any other topics because of the shortage of time.
Did Not Need Time Off
I did not take any time off before the test for preparation. My colleagues were kind enough to let me study after rounds and to cover for me in the latter stages of my preparation. All in all, I found studying for PLAB very easy. I did most of the studying at the hospital and I did not have to change much of my daily routine throughout this time period. I think on average, 2 hours per day of doing MCQs was more than enough for me.
I did not do any mocks because of some ambiguities between answers of Samson mocks and 1700. I thought it was adding unnecessary stress so I dropped the idea right away.
Until now I was quite confident that I would pass the exam but the experience was not great in the test hall. The question stems were long (very long at times), filled with unnecessary information, labs, etc. There were not many repeats from the 1700 pool; I guess maximum 30 to 35 came from there. This made me nervous during the exam as I was expecting around 60 to 70 repeats.
After the Test
I was not particularly happy with the test afterwards. I went back to routine and forgot about it.
All of my friends passed the test and so did I. I do not know how the marking scheme works but 160 was a pretty flattering score to be honest. Passing score was 131 for March 2018 attempt; the average score was 137.
The sole purpose of writing this review is to help the ones who have queries about PLAB 1. I hope to have cleared some of them in this post.
(This post was published with the author’s consent).