What is the PLAB 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.

The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test provides the main route for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the United Kingdom (UK). PLAB is a two part assessment that overseas doctors (or international medical graduates), from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, usually need to pass before they can legally practise medicine in the UK.

It is conducted by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom. The test is designed to assess the depth of knowledge and level of medical and communication skills possessed by the international medical graduates. The PLAB blueprint sets out what candidates are expected to demonstrate in the test and beyond.

How many parts to the PLAB test are there?

There are two parts:

  • Part 1 is a three-hour, 200 single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • Part 2 is a 14-station objective structured clinical exam (OSCE).


What are the entry requirements for the PLAB test?

Before taking the test, you must have:

  • a primary medical qualification accepted for limited registration by an institution listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.
  • Taken the IELTS academic modules and attained a score of at least 7.5 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all of the four language skills.


Where can I sit the test?

  • Part 1 can be taken in the UK and in Egypt (Cairo).
  • Part 2 may be taken in the UK only.


How many times can I attempt the test?

  • You can sit Part 1 as many times as you like.
  • You must pass part 2 within three years of the date you passed Part 1, and you are allowed a maximum of four attempts. If you do not pass Part 2 within three years of passing Part 1, or fail at your fourth attempt, you will have to re-sit Part 1 and Part 2.


What happens after I register for the test in Cairo?

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.