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The PLAB 1 Exam: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Hi there, If you are planning to sit for PLAB 1 examination then this blog is for you.

What is PLAB 1 Exam?

The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test, known as the PLAB test, helps us to make sure doctors who qualified abroad have the right knowledge and skills to practise medicine in the UK.

There are two parts to the test. Part 1 is a written multiple choice exam, with 180 single best answer questions. Part 2 is a practical objective structured clinical exam, known as an OSCE. You’ll need to pass both parts before you can apply for registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK.

The exam tests your ability to apply your knowledge for the care of patients. It doesn't test how well you can remember and recite facts. Questions relate to current best practice in the UK, and equipment routinely available in UK hospitals. You’ll need to answer the questions in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.


It is very important to remember that PLAB 1 questions are based on the UK guidelines. Protocols and policies followed in your home country can vary widely hence candidates needs to ensure they are keeping themselves up to date on the latest Guidelines followed in the UK.

Keep yourself paced up with the NICE, NICE CKS and BNF updates and Guidelines. 

What type of Questions should I expect?

Questions might be based on a range of areas and will test the core concept of topics. For each disease you should workout on the clinical presentation, Investigations (Initial and Definitive/ Gold Standard), Management (Initial, Definitive/ Most Appropriate). 

There are 5 main types of question you can encounter during your examination. 

  1. Diagnosis

  2. Investigation

  3. Treatment & Management

  4. Interpret the result & Calculations: ECG, Statistics, Epidemiology, Fluid and dose calculations, Pharmacology calculations.

  5. Palliative and End of life care and support.

How should I prepare for PLAB 1

Question banks are obviously an integral part of your preparation. At moment there are many high quality Question Bank available. They provide you with the basic concepts required for an overview of the disease and its presentation but don't get too vested into them that you take the scenarios and presentation granted and expecting the same question in the examination. While it's true that some questions do get repeated in its entirety but most of the Q's test the core concept of the topics.

It's important that you realise that its not the number of questions you do over again and again that it important, it's the Quality and Variety of Questions and the concepts that is required to solve each of them which makes the difference. So we have created something slightly different to cater the needs and variety that is required in your preparation with our 
5 High Yielding Mocks and Discussions covering more than 1000+ Questions. 

We cannot emphasize enough about the idea of knowing the concepts in details. We advice you to know the clinical presentation of each disease and then going through the NICE or NICE CKS for Investigation and Management provided that you have enough time for your preparation. Not only it would provide you with concepts required for your preparation but also keep you up to date with the latest guidelines.

Concerned about how you are going to access NICE guidelines? (since it's only accessible in the UK). 
That's where we step in acting as a bridge between YOU and the NICE Website. We bring you all the latest Updates & guidelines and topics most commonly tested in PLAB 1 exam. We as a team decided to take care of the hurdle (which we faced during our preparation, unable to access many contents) for you during your preparation and making it convenient to access the updates at first hand. If you haven't yet Subscribed to the Email Updates yet, head over to the BLOG section or Click the Mail Icon on you right and never miss an update in future. 


You would find many many success stories and varieties of preparation method from various resources which might be overwhelming or confusing at times to start with. Our Advice would be to make sure you find one method that works for you considering your individual circumstances. Remember what works for someone might not work for you no matter how compelling it sounds. 

Another important thing you must consider is to have a study group during your preparation to keep yourself motivated and work through your doubts and PLAB questions and topics. At times it gets boring and tiresome during the preparation and we lose our efficiency and thats when these groups basically steps in helping you to back yourselves and keep pushing through. Most of us opine that during our preparation we learnt a lot from social media groups on facebook or WhatsApp and hence advice the same. 


Remember there is no right or wrong way to prepare for PLAB 1. Different people will have different opinion and strategy for preparation. When it feels like things aren't working for you, it is always worth a try to look for other method of preparation before finding your own niche and figuring out what works for you the best. ✌️

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