Plan Your PLAB Journey

How to Plan Your PLAB Journey: A Complete Guide for IMGs 

The journey to build a medical career in the UK can be challenging, but with careful planning and preparation, you can successfully make it possible. Clearing the PLAB exam as an International Medical Graduate (IMG) can be both exciting and daunting. Here, we will give you a complete guide on how to plan your PLAB journey. 

Primary Medical Qualification 

Firstly, you need your primary medical qualification, e.g., MBBS. It’s suggested to get the provisional certificate before appearing for the test, but clearing the MBBS examination also makes you eligible for attempting PLAB. When it comes to GMC registration, the main exam certificate is a requirement. For an international medical graduate (IMG), completing the internship would make them a strong candidate for GMC registration. 

English Language Proficiency (IELTS, OET) 

An English language proficiency test is inevitable for an IMG’s attempt at PLAB. IELTS/OET are the two proficiency tests that make an IMG eligible for PLAB and GMC registration. IELTS is conducted by three different organizations in different test centers throughout the year: 

  1. The British Council
  2. IDP Education Australia 
  3. Cambridge Assessment Of ESOL (English For Speakers Of Other Languages)

A minimum score of 7.5 with a score of 7.0 in all sections (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) is required. 

OET is different from IELTS, and a grade of B makes an IMG eligible for PLAB. IELTS has three categories:

  1. Academic 
  2. General Training 
  3. Life skills

For an IMG, they have to choose the academic IELTS exam. IELTS can be applied through The British Council website and it costs about £160. IELTS is the most commonly attempted test compared to OET. Also, both IELTS and OET scores are valid for two years. Once you receive the proficiency test scores, you can apply for your PLAB exam. 


The PLAB test is a two-part competency exam assessing knowledge and skills of an IMG, ensuring their capability to work as a doctor in the UK. The first is a computer-based test with 180 multiple-choice questions. The second part is a practical assessment testing clinical skills (PACES) exam, evaluating an IMG’s ability to apply clinical knowledge hands-on. 

Planning your PLAB journey as an IMG requires careful preparation, dedication, and hard work. Remember to take your time, stay motivated, and seek help and support when needed. Good luck!

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