- 2016 – graduate from a private medical college in Karachi (JMDC)
- 2017 – House Job from a semi-government hospital (DUHS-Ojha) in Karachi.
- Nov 2017 – PLAB 1.
- April 2018 – PLAB 2.
- June 2018 GMC Registered.
- Feb 2019 – joined NHS Wales as LAS CT1/2 in Old Age Psychiatry (my current job).
- March 2019 – Applied for Core Training in Psychiatry.
I’ve found the personal experience blogs here very helpful and found support, empathy and understanding from reading them. I hope my contribution will also help you achieve your goals.
Where to Research or Where to get help? Difference between Naseer’s blog and Omar’s guidelines
Naseer’s blog is well organized, user-friendly and has spoon-fed information. It is a great guide for someone completely new and giving their PLAB exams.
Omar’s guidelines is almost chaotic with the amount of information, more difficult to use (right click and opening new tab), but has more sheer information, and will be a much more useful guide when you have passed your PLAB exams and are working on visa, travel and work documentation and starting off your life in the UK.
I found them useful only marginally. It was a great source for resources like Samson notes and certain documentation. But this was all useful when following specific posts that were highlighted in the above-mentioned blogs or other posts. I would, however, suggest perusing the files section. Lots of useful things are present there.
The best source I have identified is a friend/colleague who has been through the process. Apart from being a fast and constant source of support, with the changing landscape (read as=Brexit) and NHS, it’s always good to get advice from a first-hand source.
I gave my IELTS in September 2017, during the last month of my House Job. I opted for IELTS UKVI rather than academic as I had to give it anyway prior to visa acceptance. I studied using online videos like ENGVID and IELTS LIZ on YouTube. I also used the standard IELTS Cambridge books. I studied for about 40 hours in total. I began with the listening part, then reading and finally writing. I studied at night and during free periods on the on-call doctors room. This was divided across 3 weeks. I did at-least 5 mocks in the writing section that were timed and only one entire mock that was completely timed.
My first section was the written/reading/listening exam conducted at a major hotel in Karachi. I arrived and had to wait quite a while to have my picture taken and documentation/ID verified. I had facilities offered to me for storing my belongings /phone in a specific area and a card given to me to collect it later.
TIP: Please have complete focus for the entire IELTS exam, trust your choices and worry about the next question not the previous. The exam was challenging and timed. Headphones were offered for the listening section which operate by infrared. Reading and writing there is just enough time to complete all tasks.
This test is not about how much English you know. This test is simply a method of evaluation. You have to pass IELTS, not be a wonderful English speaker (if that makes sense). Understanding the structure and marking scheme is key to passing this exam.
I prepared for my spoken test by recording myself speaking on my laptop (via video so I could monitor body language as well), and also asking my friend to act as the interviewer. Questions I used were from the IELTS Cambridge books.
4 days later I had my Spoken exam. I was post-call and asked my consultant for early leave. After a quick shower I was at the center in Clifton, close to BBQ tonight (Karachi). I entered and had my ID check completed. I arrived almost 45 minutes early. There were many people who were late during that session. The staff accommodated them. I was very nervous during this part and saw other candidates nervous as well. I chatted to a few in English and felt more confident.
My exam was short and sweet.
The lady conducting the interview was of Pakistani origin but spoke impeccable english. It was a pleasant experience, she nodded along to all my answers and seemed a good listener.
My results came about 2 weeks later. My final score was:
- 8.0 Overall
- 8.5 Listening
- 9.0 Reading
- 7.0 Writing 7.0
- 7.5 Speaking
- CEFR Level C1