What is Plab?

The PLAB test is for doctors who have qualified overseas and wish to practise medicine in the UK under limited registration. The test assesses your ability, as a doctor, to work safely as a senior house officer (SHO) in a UK NHS hospital.

There are two parts:

  • Part 1 is a three-hour exam containing 200 questions. It consists of extended matching questions (EMQ) and single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • Part 2 is a 14-station objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). It lasts for about one hour and 40 minutes.

PLAB 1 is a written exam made up of 180 multiple choice questions which you must answer within three hours. Each starts with a short scenario followed by a question. You need to choose the right answer out of the five possible answers given.

What does the exam cover?

The exam covers the common, important or acute conditions (those common in emergency departments) seen by trainees entering the second year of the Foundation Programme (F2), and the management of long-term conditions seen in primary care. It excludes the advanced duties of a general practitioner (GP).

Who needs PLAB?