Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board

What is the PLAB (Professional and Assessment Board) test?

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.

How many parts to the PLAB test are there?

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.

What are the entry requirements for the Professional and Assessment Board test?

Before taking the test, you must have:

  • a primary medical qualification accepted for limited registration by an institution listed in the World Health Organisation Directory of Medical Schools 
  • taken the IELTS academic modules and attained a score of at least 7.0 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all of the four language skills. For further information please visit the General Medical Council website
  • 12 months’ postgraduate clinical experience at a teaching hospital.

Who is exempted from providing IELTS test results?

You don’t have to provide an IELTS test result if you are:

  • qualified in the UK or European Economic Area (EEA)
  • a UK citizen who has worked as a doctor elsewhere in the EEA and are exercising your right of free movement under European law
  • a UK and non-EEA national whose EEA-national spouses are exercising their right of free movement by coming to work in the UK.

These exceptions are a matter of European law and are not areas in which the GMC has any discretion. UK citizenship alone doesn’t entitle you to claim exemption from IELTS.

Where can I sit the test?

  • Part 1 can be taken in the UK and in Egypt (Cairo), Bulgaria, Dubai, India, Nigeria, or Pakistan.
  • Part 2 may be taken in the UK only.

When is the Part 1 test held in India?

Part 1 is held in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai and the deadline for registration is eight weeks prior to the test date.  

This year Part 1 tests will be conducted on 13 March and 26 November. 

How can I apply to take Part 1 in India?

You must apply online through the General Medical Council (GMC) website. To find out how to do this, visit the GMC’s Resgistration and Licensing page. The best way to find out about available places is to create a MyGMC account and look in the My PLAB section.

What is the fee for Part 1and how can I pay?

Part 1 costs £155 and must be paid online by credit card through the GMC website.

How many times can I attempt the test?

You can sit Part 1 as many times as you like, but you can only take Part 2 of the test four times. If you fail at the fourth attempt you will have to take Part 1 again.

Do you provide any training for the test?

Unfortunately not. We suggest that you refer to the standard medical textbooks used in UK medical schools. 

You should also take a look at the GMC booklets ‘Advice to Candidates’. There are separate booklets for Part 1 and Part 2

What happens after I register for the test in India?

After you apply for the test, and once the deadline for application is over, you will receive an email from the GMC confirming your registration, your place, the venue and the starting time of the test.

What should I bring with me on the day of the exam?

You must bring your passport, your admission letter, a pencil, an eraser and a pencil sharpener.

When will I receive my results?

Part 1 results are usually available four weeks after the test.

Part 2 results are usually available two weeks after the test.

The exact date for the release of the results is announced on the test date. Results are available on the GMC website [link] the day after they have been sent out by post. 

If you’re based in Egypt, you can collect your results from the British Council Cairo. 

The GMC will post the results directly to you if you are living outside of Egypt using the address on your application form. We do not give results over the phone, by email or by fax.

How long are results valid for?

You must pass Part 2 within three years of passing Part 1. Your result is then valid for three years.

Can I have my test result reviewed?

If you want your final mark to be checked you must request this in writing. 

Please note that a clerical check does not mean your exam will be re-marked, it is a check to make sure your marks have been transcribed correctly. If you would like us to undertake a clerical check, contact the GMC within 28 days of the results being posted by writing to: 

PLAB Test Section of the GMC

350 Euston Road 

London NW1 3JN 

You must enclose a cheque for £40 made out to the General Medical Council, and you will receive a response within 10 working days of receipt of your request.

Do you organise exams for people with disabilities?

We do our best to cater for any special needs. We will do all we can to help you understand test questions and ways of giving answers. You will be assessed fairly and objectively irrespective of disability.

If you require special arrangements please get in touch at least three months before submitting your application. Relevant supporting materials such as medical certificates should be submitted during registration.

Where can I find out more information about the exam?

Head to the GMC website for more details about the PLAB test, email: or phone +44 (0) 16 1923 6602.

You can also contact us to find out more about us and how we can help arrange your exam.