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How To Avoid The 3 Most Common Mistakes In PLAB 1

Hello, I'm Dr. Niharika Koushik, an IMG from India, I gave my PLAB 1 in February 2023, and in today's blog, I will discuss how to avoid the 3 most common mistakes people make while writing PLAB 1.

1. The open secret

The answer is right there in front of you. Read the last line of every question carefully; better, in fact, to underline it. Are they asking for the initial management or the most appropriate management? Is the medication to be given long-term or to avoid long-term complications? Is it a GP setting or the emergency room?

For example, If a patient comes with an infarct, the medication to be given long-term would be either aspirin or clopidogrel (based on the options), but the medication to be given to avoid long-term complications would be alteplase. Focus on what's being asked of you, not what you know.

2. Have a bird's eye view

Take in all the details of the question. Don't be biased and ignore some values if they don't fit into your thought process.

For example, as soon as one looks at a question with a patient having fatigue and tiredness with Hb-9 MCV-108, we would immediately reach out to answer B12 or folate deficiency, but if the bilirubin is 40, then it means there's hemolysis, thus making hemolytic anemia more likely. Always look at the big picture, the whole of it.

3. Do not assume

If the lab values deviate from the normal range, then take it to be abnormal. Do not round it off to the closest whole number.

For example, The normal range of serum calcium is 2.13-2.55mmol/L, and a value of 1.9mmol/L is considered severe hypocalcemia, so don't make assumptions that could cost you a whole number!

Need More Help?

If you have any questions regarding PLAB 1, reach out and connect with me at You can register using this link .

Find me as a community ambassador and follow Dr. Niharika Koushik for random snippets of advice and to know more stories of mine as I navigate through it all.

All the best for your preparation. Study On!


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