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Dealing with Failure: PLAB 2

Hi, my name is Alankruta. I am an IMG from India and am currently preparing for my PLAB 2 exam, which is in June. I sat for PLAB 2 in December ’22 but, unfortunately, was unsuccessful in clearing the exam. I have now rebooked it for June’23. In today’s blog, I will share with you my experience of how I dealt with my result and planned the next couple of months.

I will discuss in this blog the following:

- Accepting setbacks

- Planning ahead

- Preparation strategy

Accepting setbacks:

Seeing anything other than “pass” on the screen is always a hard pill to swallow. That’s what happened to me when I got my PLAB 2 result. It hit me hard. I am no stranger to failure, yet every time I get such news, it stings just the same.

As I let the news sink in, I noticed my emotions were all over the place. I felt sad, irritated, and angry all at once. Slowly, as my feelings settled, the rational part of my brain started working again. Talking to my friends and family, who were all incredibly supportive, really helped. These are a few things that they told me:

- You’re not alone. Many doctors before you have been in a similar situation and are now working in the NHS. You’re not going to be the last one, as well. These things happen.

- You are not passing is in no way a reflection of how good a doctor you are.

- Things don’t always go as planned. The key is not to lose sight of the goal. Keep going.

Planning ahead:

After a day or two, I sat down with a clear head and started planning for the next few months. I rebooked the next, earliest date available, which was after 5 months. It was more than enough time for me to prepare. I decided to keep myself busy and enrolled in a few courses while preparing for the PLAB2 exam.

Preparation Strategy:

For my first attempt, I joined an academy and prepared in a way that clearly didn’t work for me. Hence, I knew that preparing, in the same way, was not the way to move forward. There were gaps in my preparation that needed to be filled.

The good thing is that GMC provides a feedback report highlighting the domains that you’re lacking in. So I analysed my result and started working on those areas. The one thing I realised is that no matter what academy you join if you aren’t preparing the right way, you won’t score well. You have to find what works for you and where you’re lacking and work on those bits.


I know it can be tough, but it does get better, and your feelings will settle in a week or two. If you are going through a similar situation, you’re not alone. Take some time off and start afresh. Take a deep breath and stay in control because this is just a minor detour, not a deterrent, on your road to the UK.

Need More Help?

If you have any questions about this or even if you just want to talk about it, I would be happy to help at You can register using this link Find me as an Ambassador and Follow my profile – Alankruta Rao - to receive regular support and advice.

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