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  • julianosko

How to pass the PLAB 1 exam on your first attempt

Updated: Apr 2, 2022

Hi, my name is Prem. I am an IMG from India, and I have recently passed PLAB 1 on my first attempt. In today's blog, I am going to give you all the necessary information to help you pass this exam the first time:

  • Introduction to PLAB 1

  • Resources for PLAB 1 preparation

  • Preparation plan

  • My experience

  • Top tips

First of all, congratulations on clearing your English Assessment Test (IETLS/OET)! The next step is PLAB 1.

Introduction to PLAB 1

PLAB 1 or Profession Linguistic and Assessment Board Part 1 is a multiple-choice questions (MCQ) exam covering mainly clinical subjects testing your basic knowledge that has been covered during your medical school. Questions relate to guidelines of medical practice in the UK. It focuses mainly on clinical science (investigations and management).

  • Number of MCQs: 180 (each question has 5 options)

  • Total time allotted: 3 hours

  • Ideal preparation period: 3 - 4 months (varies from person to person)

Before booking your PLAB 1 slot, you will first have to make a GMC account. For further details please refer to the GMC guidance on the PLAB 1 exam.

Resources for PLAB 1 preparation

Important note! 
The interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations of PLAB 1 resources are solely those of the author of this blog article and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of TrewLink. 


PLABVERSE - These notes are the most compact and organised with illustrations and comparisons. What makes it special is that it is only around 300 pages so you print it as a hard copy and use it for revision or reference purposes.

PLABverse is an online platform that provides reliable resources for PLAB 1 giving you the best opportunity to pass on your first attempt. PLABverse offers the most organised study notes for PLAB 1.
PLABverse has helped many IMGs to prepare for the PLAB 1 exam and pass it the first time. With comprehensive PLABverse’s study notes, you will be walked through the theory for PLAB 1 exam and get to learn all the required guidelines needed to be confident on the day.
You can access the notes on Different subscription options are available: 3 months, 6 months, 1 year.

TrewLink collaboration with PLABverse

TrewLink hosts free webinars with PLABverse every month to help you pass PLAB 1 on your first attempt. Watch all previous webinars with PLABverse for FREE on

PLABABLE - It is an online multiple-choice question bank containing over 2500 high yield questions along with explanations subject wise. It also has around 14-15 mocks simulating the real exam. Plabable has an addition called Plabable Gems which contain high yield notes in a concise and organised manner in form of images, flowcharts and mnemonics. You can access Plabable both through the website and the app.

PLAB 1 KEYS - Online subscription containing simplified and updated notes (they are given as key points) that is required to pass PLAB 1. These are exam explanations compiled and converted into key points with diagrams and flow charts which makes it easier to understand and grasp quickly.

MEDREVISIONS - This is also an online question bank consisting of more than 4000 questions based on important PLAB 1 topics. The questions are lengthier and slightly more challenging compared to some other question banks. In addition to this, it has customisable mocks where you have the freedom to set your preferred timing and number of questions.

UKMED - An optional resource. It contains practice questions and 150 question mocks helpful for time management.


DR. KHALID 1700 QUESTION BANK - It is a question bank that was once the only resource for PLAB. The majority of these questions are covered other questions banks. You can join this private Facebook group, where PLAB 1 questions are posted every day regularly.

My PLAB 1 preparation plan

Important note! 
These are recommendations of PLAB 1 resources that reflect the views of the author of this blog article and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of TrewLink. 

Preparation period: 4 months (5-6 hours a day)

Plabable x 2 times + Mocks:

  • Approximately 35 days to finish the first time (try to do it along with PLAB Keys).

  • Approximately 15 days the second time (only Plabable).

  • I did Plabable mocks 20 days before my exam.

  • Went through flagged questions 4-5 days before my test.

  • Also did the Plabable big mock (separate subscription).

  • I would advise you to join the telegram group 'Anyone can teach by Plabable'. They share questions and also take free webinars on difficult topics.

PLAB Keys x 3 times:

  • I finished the first read along with Plabable.

  • Did the second read before doing Plabable 2nd time. Took 15 days.


  • Prepare notes on volatile topics from each subject during your 2nd read because by the 2nd time you come to know which topics seem difficult to you.

  • Look through these notes 2 days before your exam.

MedRevisions (only did mocks)

  • Used only for the mocks section (just the high yield questions).

  • Helped me gain a deeper understanding of Plabable topics and also helped in managing time as the questions were lengthier than Plabable.

  • You can customise the mocks! I used to set 150 mins for each mock (180q’s).

Additional resources:

  • I joined Dr Khalid's discussion group on FB and read there.

  • Plabable 4 day revision course is great if you do not have time for continuous revision or are preparing at the last moment. If you take the course, you will be guided through important topics in every subject.

Summary of my preparation:

My experience of taking PLAB 1


  • I checked in into a hotel nearby (walking distance) 2 days before my test.

  • I was super nervous and was barely able to study. I tried watching TV to calm myself but it didn’t help much.

  • Talking to my parents and praying helped me ease my anxiety.


  • My exam took place in Taj Coromandel, Chennai, India.

  • They checked our passport, PLAB 1 confirmation email print out and COVID declaration form print (not necessary anymore) before letting us inside the examination hall.

  • We were allowed to take our pencil box/pouch and our passport along with us. You can also carry a small snack like a candy bar. Water bottles were already placed on each of our tables.

  • Overall, it was a comfortable setting facing a huge digital clock that kept us aware of the time.

  • The question paper was pretty similar to PLABABLE question bank explanations and some were direct repeats.

Top tips

  • Always make a schedule and try to stick to it so that you know where you stand. It also gives you an idea of how many days are left for revision. For instance, if you manage to solve 20 questions per hour, that is roughly 100 questions per 5 hours, so this way you may work more efficiently.

  • Making sticky notes on difficult topics and sticking them at a place where you could view them daily helps a lot.

  • A study partner is not a must but they help you to be motivated and on track with your schedule.

  • Don't worry about your mock scores. Ideally, it would be good to score more than 70 - 80% in 2.5 hours. But the important thing is to revise the explanations. I can't stress this enough - Revise! Revise! Revise!

  • The key is revision! Revise topics that are volatile multiple times! Put sticky notes up the wall or just make revision cards - anything that helps you to go through the topics again.

  • On the exam day, make sure you have extra pencils with you so that you do not have to sharpen them in between your exam. Keep looking at the clock and check your progress every 10 mins.

  • You don't get a rough sheet for calculations but you are allowed to freely scribble on the question paper. So, underline, do calculations, go crazy on the question paper.

  • Do not circle the answer sheet at the end, keep shading as you are ticking the answers.

  • Have a good night's sleep and make sure to have something to eat before your test. Be confident and believe in yourself, you do n0t need to answer all 180 questions, just around 120 correctly answered ones should be enough.

Good luck!

You will ace it!


If you have any questions about the PLAB 1 exam, I would be happy to answer them at

Written by Dr Prem

Edited by Dr Julia

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