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How to prepare for PLAB 2? How to pass the PLAB-2 in the first attempt?

PLAB-2 exam requires more dedication and practice but it is doable. I passed my PLAB-2 exam on the first attempt without joining any academy. I will be discussing the preparation strategies that helped me pass the exam.

How to prepare for PLAB 2
How to prepare for PLAB 2


It is very important to understand the exam pattern and marking pattern in order to score high.

So, the PLAB-2 exam consists of 18 stations (2 of them are rest stations).

Each station lasts for 8 minutes

Each station carries 12 marks


12 marks are divided as 4 + 4+ 4

  • 4 Marks - Data gathering which includes History taking, Examination, and Investigations.

  • 4 Marks - Interpersonal skills or communication skills. Here are some tips for IPS.

  • 4 Marks - Management

That's a total of 12 marks. To pass PLAB 2, you need to pass at least 10 stations out of 16 stations + you need an overall score of more than the passing score. There is no fixed passing score. It depends on the performance of the candidates appearing on the exam day.

So, it is often advisable for a group of friends not to go for the exam on the same day.

Now, coming to the preparing strategy. Before discussing the strategies, let us break down the 16 stations into categories.

Out of the 16 stations, 9 will be from the following topic:

  1. Simmans

  2. Teaching

  3. Prescription writing

  4. Procedure

  5. Examination

  6. Telephone Consultation

  7. Problem colleague

  8. Breaking Bad news

  9. Angry patient

Rest stations will be from clinical topics like cardiology, pediatrics, surgery and rest all.

So, now the strategy is if you can master all the above 9 mentioned stations, it becomes easy to pass 10+ stations.

Again here, is another important Note, when I suggested mastering the stations, it doesn't mean you have to learn everything in-depth. Master topics like Understanding scenarios, IPS, and mainly time management.

If we know too much about a topic, we end up wasting a lot of time in data gathering, but please be aware that we have only 8 minutes per station, and in order to pass you should cover all three domains.


Yes, you need at least one study partner, if possible you need two. One can act as an examiner and the other as a patient. If you are someone who likes to study on their own with no study partners, then you can start by reading and understanding the concept first followed by practicing in front of the mirror. You can also ask your siblings or your parents to support you. Always practice with a GMC timer. Here I am attaching a 7-minute timer, so you can understand and manage time accordingly.


  • The first and most important thing to remember here is that PLAB 2 is an easy and doable exam.

  • On entering the station, always greet the examiner with a pleasant smile and tell your name and GMC number in a clear way as we say first impression is the best impression.

  • Once you finish greeting the examiner, scan the room quickly to see if there is any covered mannequin or BNF or some reports attached to the pad which means you need to use them later. Regarding the reports, they will only reveal them to you when you mention the appropriate investigation to be done for the particular case. But don't panic if they don't show the reports to you as you can still pass the station with good data gathering and IPS and a little bit in management.

  • Remember to elaborate on symptoms by SOCRATES or ODIPARA, and ask about red flags and ICE (Ideas, Concerns, and Expectations) in data gathering to score well.

  • If you get a new station, don't panic, you can follow the data-gathering structure, and show some good communication skills. If you are unable to diagnose, you can say that you are unable to come to a diagnosis at this minute, will discuss your symptoms with my senior and will let you know. Be truthful and show them that you are a safe doctor.

  • If you get a tough station in the beginning, don't let that spoil the rest of the stations. Just remember that you need only 10 stations to pass. so if you did not do well in that station, that's alright, you still have 15 stations to try. But try to give your best in all the stations as you need a total score of more than the passing score.

  • Use your rest stations properly, and motivate yourself.

  • If you did not do a station well, don't think that you won't pass the station. we never know how other candidates performed in the station and the passing score for that station can be low and you pass the station.

In my upcoming post, I will discuss how I prepared for the Plab 2 exam.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you found it useful.

Do leave a comment if you have any questions about the Plab journey. I'll do my best to write a post that answers your questions.

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Dr Deepika

Hi, I'm Dr Deepika Gupta

I'm a registered doctor, founder of Inspiring Minds aimed to inspire millions of students. 

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Creativity. Productivity. Vision.

Inspiring Minds is aimed to inspire students with thought provoking quotes and health tips to achieve success and still be healthy. 


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