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For starters, the letters PLAB stands for the Professional and Linguistic Assessments

Board. It is a two part exam (PLAB 1 and PLAB 2), after which you can get your General Medical Council (GMC) registration that will grant you the license to practice medicine in the United Kingdom.

Here are some of the essential things you need to know about PLAB!

Prerequisites for registering for PLAB:

  1. Certificate of completion of undergraduate qualification in medicine (e.g., MBBS)

  2. Proof of English Language Competence via suitable IELTS/OET score

Registration Fees for PLAB:

What you will need for this:

  1. Desktop/Laptop with Internet

  2. MBBS Certificate

  3. IELTS/OET Results

  4. International Debit/Credit Card

  5. Patience!

Once you have obtained the minimum score required for your IELTS/OET exam, you can open an account on the GMC online website (

You will then have to fill in the details of your undergraduate degree (MBBS) and your IELTS/OET results. Please make sure you fill this out carefully as this information will be held by the system on your records.

You will find the option to book your PLAB 1 exam via the My Tests tab. PLAB 1 exams are held around the world at various different dates. Booking a date for PLAB 1 has been particularly difficult especially with the cancellation of many exam dates for the COVID 19 pandemic.

Useful tip:

Many candidates find out about the availability of seats for PLAB through Facebook Groups, so make sure you turn your notifications on for these groups if you are keen to book but cannot find a date on the website. Seats fill up very quickly so make sure you have your card details at hand during this time!

Preparation time for PLAB Part 1:

Average: 4-6 months

Minimum: 2 months

Registering for PLAB Part 2:

Once you have passed PLAB Part 1, be sure to book your PLAB Part 2 quickly after you finish celebrating your success! The reason for this is because the PLAB Part 2 OSCE exam is held only in the United Kingdom so there are fewer number of seats available compared to PLAB Part 1, therefore the earlier you book, the sooner your exam date will be.

A good number of candidates have struggled to give their PLAB 2 exams in the past 1 year, mainly due to exam cancellations in the UK and then for difficulties with obtaining a visa and then travelling abroad for the COVID 19 Pandemic. Please do keep these issues in mind based on your local guidelines.

Similar to PLAB Part 1, PLAB 2 must be booked via the My Tests section in your GMC online profile, requiring the same 5 things mentioned before (maybe with a bit more patience!). Please do keep in mind that PLAB Part 2 costs £879 (or $1220), therefore, ensure that your debit card/credit card will allow this transaction. Many local banks have automatic restrictions above $300, therefore, you will either need to contact your bank to increase this limit for this transaction or request a friend/family living in the UK/US pay for this to save you the time and energy.

Preparation time for PLAB Part 2:

Average: 2-3 months

Minimum: 1 month


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