Hassan Aquil Mallick’s PLAB 1 Experience

About Me

  • 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.


Facebook Groups

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.


Senior Help

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.



  • My score: 133/180 (73.88%)
  • Passing score: 121/180 (67.22%)


Study Materials



Preparation Time

4 weeks.



I was unemployed at this time having just finished my House Job so I spent a good 8 Hours a day on questions. I seemed lost and felt very confused in the beginning as I was just doing questions randomly. Soon I started realizing that some questions were basic clinchers and I only needed to know one thing form the topic. Others, like asthma and COPD management, ECG reading or antibiotic prescription required me to fully understand the topic and learn the steps by heart.  These I studied from the info given at PLABABLE (I screen-shot the useful ones and reviewed them later for revision) and Samson’s notes. When in doubt, I followed PLABABLE links as they had more feedback from users and have a business to run so they have a stake in providing accurate information. I did all the questions once.

I did 5 timed mocks starting 3 days before the exam.

I did 3 mocks from the 1700 questions bank. Though I didn’t like it at all as the questions were worded strangely and often had wrong answers. I wanted to have strong concepts and not find doing questions tedious. I skimmed through the 1700 questions and they DID have some questions which were not present in PLABABLE. However, those topics were covered by Samson notes.


Exam Day

The exam was conducted on 2 November 2017 at a major hotel in Karachi. I arrived an hour early. They were lots of nervous people about (including me). However, I did not interact with the people too much as I wanted to focus on my own exam and concepts. The exam had questions that were differently worded than what was presented in PLABABLE, in terms of length. Overall I managed to finish with 10 minutes remaining. 

Tips: Read each question carefully. Follow your gut instinct. The questions will not try to trick you or be overly convoluted. Often the simplest explanation is best. After the exam know you tried your best with the circumstances you had and wait for the result.

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