PLAB 2 is the second part of the GMC’s PLAB Exams and is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination Exam – it contains 20 stations that includes 2 resting stations.
PLAB 1: £230
PLAB 2: £840
The PLAB 2 Exam is held at the General Medical Council Assessment Centre in Manchester:
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
Please note that this is the only assessment centre and so to sit PLAB 2 you will be required to come to the UK by applying for a PLAB 2 UK Visit Visa.
Please note, you will need to apply for a UK Visit Visa as soon as you have booked your exam. You will need to collate numerous documents to evidence your application – so we advise for you to get organised for this as soon as possible. View our article on the UK Visit Visa to find out what documents you will need.
Furthermore, it is important that you do not apply for a six month visit visa when your purpose in the UK is merely to sit your PLAB 2 Exam. Therefore, it is important to apply for a visa of around 1-2 weeks. This is important because you will need to provide an itinerary of your stay and applications who do not evidence their plan for the UK/apply for too much time in the UK will be denied.
The PLAB 2 exam can be booked at any time throughout the year as the GMC holds multiple exam sittings per month.
However, the PLAB 2 is in high demand which means that it is rare to be able to book an exam date for the next month. On average, exam dates are available almost 90 days ahead of the date you are booking on.
Because of the high demand we, therefore, advise for you to book your PLAB 2 Exam date as soon as you find out you have passed PLAB 1. Those who end up booking a week after finding out their passed PLAB 1 result can end up waiting up to 5 months for the next available date.
To apply for your PLAB 2 Exam you will need to log onto your GMC Registration account view the available dates and book under the ‘My Tests’ section. You can only do this once you have your PLAB 2 results.
The preparation time for PLAB 2 will vary depending on the individual and their personal circumstances. Factors that will influence your preparation time include your:
Ideally, from listening to a number of doctors’ experiences with PLAB 2 – the minimum amount of revision time is 8 weeks.
This course is located at a medical training centre with the purpose of training International Medical Graduates for the PLAB 2 exam.
The course centre is held in Levenshulme, Manchester.
For £600 you will receive a 12-day course of training and revision resources for PLAB 2, unlimited days of mannequin practice until your exam date and two mock tests.
This course is based online and costs £250.
Buying this course offers you access to PLAB 2 lectures and a simulated mock exam.
There are various PLAB 2 Facebook groups you can join which will provide you with support from other IMGs, the ability to ask mock exam questions, or the opportunity to find a partner to practice with.
The PLAB 2 stations can be roughly divided into three categories.
These stations will comprise of a clinical based scenario between a doctor and a patient within a typical clinical setting. The topics can range from a number of specialties including Medicine, Psychiatry and Paediatrics.
You will be expected to take the patient’s history, perform an examination and discuss management with the patient.
You will have to complete the entire task within 8 minutes. A bell will ring at 6 minutes and you will have to proceed to the management part if you have not yet begun to.
Time management is a fundamental part of these stations because the mark scheme is based on History, Examination, Diagnosis and Management.
The type of station will require you to perform a task on a manikin, such as the insertion of an IV Cannula or Basic Life Support.
You will still be marked against the History, Examination, Diagnosis and Management criteria.
Your revision should be extensive as almost all examinations performed in the medical field can appear in the PLAB 2 exam – so make sure you are prepared.
The GMC has a strict code of conduct and it is essential that all practising doctors follow the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines.
For the GMC, it is important that all doctors within the NHS:
Some doctors find these stations the most difficult because they ultimately test your knowledge of the UK system and your approach towards communication, behaviour and patient empathy.
The scenarios will be based on a wide range of issues to assess your ability to act ethically. This includes patients with drug use, domestic violence cases and end of life treatment.
There will be a total of 12 marks for each station.
The marking is based on three criteria:
Each category is awarded 4 marks.
Tip – Be careful not to use medical terminology during each station, but if it is said, it is advised for you to explain the meaning to the patient.
Although marking is based directly against the above criteria, there are several other elements that the examiner will consider. This includes your listening skills, your tone of voice, hand gestures etc – so be conscious of your mannerisms.
|Hotel||Price||Distance from GMC Building|
|Travelodge Manchester Central||£34 per night||9-minute walk|
|Jurys Inn Manchester||£62||10-minute walk|
|Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel Portland Street||£61||14-minute walk|
Please note that the above prices are subject to change, so it is important to book well in advance to secure the lowest price.
It is very important to take your time to read the task and to understand what is expected of you. When you are considering your approach to the task remember the three criteria you will be marked on.
If you have misunderstood the task, the examiner may ask you to refer back to it. If this does happen, please do not panic – just take a deep breath and start again.
When you are given the name of the patient – be sure to use the correct name and do not waste time establishing the patient’s name. This may appear like a small detail but to call a patient by their wrong name is unprofessional and it will impact your overall mark at the station.
The best approach to the situation is to think of the exam as a busy clinic day. Just think that you have 18 consultations on your clinic list, you have enough time to look over each patient’s notes before each consultation and you may have to give details of some test results.
If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to help you.
Come and join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor. Here you will receive access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and guidance and you can meet other IMGs!
Gmc-uk.org. (2018). Good medical practice. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/good-medical-practice [Accessed 9 Aug. 2018].
Medical professionalism and regulation in the UK. (2018). Top tips from a PLAB examiner: how to succeed in Part 2. [online] Available at: https://gmcuk.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/top-tips-from-a-plab-examiner-how-to-succeed-in-part-2/ [Accessed 10 Aug. 2018].