Hi, my name is Neenu. I am an IMG from India and have recently started working in the NHS. In today's blog, I am going to share my tips on how to deal with PLAB 2 failure.
I will discuss the following in this blog:
1. Dealing with the moment of hard truth 2. My advice on rechecking and remarking? 3. Is it bad to fail the exams? 4. Coming back stronger Dealing with the moment of hard truth
After months, weeks, or days of preparing, giving, and waiting for the exam results, the moment you have dreaded is finally here. You open your results only to realize you have failed. You might feel empty, like everything is collapsing beneath you with such an unexpected turn of events. You may feel you have let down everyone who believes in you; you may feel ashamed of yourselves. It's truly a dreadful feeling, and you may feel you have lost everything. All your hard work was for nothing; you may become mentally drained, feeling terrible about yourself.
It is common to feel this way. When you fail, it is easy to get lost in the world of self-despair and hatred, but the first thing to realize is this moment of despair will pass and to understand that this is just an exam. You failed an exam; it doesn't mean you are a failure!
What should you do?
- Take some days off. Let that sadness get away from you by doing something you enjoy, be it binge-watching your favorite TV series, traveling, or engaging and distracting yourself from your thoughts by speaking to your family and friends. Make sure you surround yourself with people that truly care about you.
- Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own battles and lives in a different timeline than you. Comparison is only going to make you feel a lot worse.
- You may feel like quitting this journey altogether – Don't! You are this close to getting your GMC registration. Remember your reasons as to why you chose this journey.
- Never look down upon yourself – You are not a bad doctor. Sometimes it is just the circumstances, and you need to believe in yourself and your capabilities.
- Help is always around you – Don't be afraid to ask.
- What is the next step? – after you've given enough time to accept the results, try to focus on how you will move forward.
My advice on rechecking and re-marking
If you have failed by a narrow margin, you may feel that rechecking your results might help you pass. However, GMC often does not agree to recheck unless you can prove that there was something wrong with the stations in the exam. If you plan to do so, you should do this within 10 days of getting the results. It is always better to retake the exam than go for a recheck.
Is it bad to fail the exams?
Absolutely not. It is just a licensing exam. Failing does not mean you are a bad clinician. Nor does it mean you will be looked down upon in the future when you apply for jobs. You can still work in your home country, re-apply for a visa and retake the exam. Yes, you may lose time and money, but in the end, you will get to where you want to be. As I said before, remember why you started this journey.
Coming back stronger
After you have settled, it is important to understand the feedback given by the GMC. Find out where you have been marked less and try to understand why you have been marked down. Learn from your previous attempt. Understand in which domain you are weak, and learn from that. Speak to someone who can guide you and help you regain your confidence.
Due to COVID-19, the waiting times for PLAB 2 are huge, and you may only be able to give your next exam after months. However, this gives you additional time to prepare for the exam and come back stronger.
Speak to the GMC about priority exam dates if your visa, IELTS/OET, or PLAB 1 is expiring. They may be able to accommodate you for an early slot. But bear in mind, this is purely upon their discretion.
In summary, failing PLAB 2 is not a big deal. There are more important things in life than PLAB 2. When you finally move to the UK, you will miss your family and friends. Use this time to look after yourself and to spend more time with family and friends.
Need some help?
TrewLink has an amazing website that will help you in your journey to the UK. If you need any help or guidance with regards to your exam preparation and journey to the UK, you can always approach us here: https://www.trewlink.com/
You can register using this link https://trewlink.com?referrer=nee420214 I hope my post will help those of you who failed PLAB 2. Best wishes.
Good luck, Dr. Neenu