There are many ways to approach this exam, the most common is to attend an academy, compounded with repetition of the stations with a focused plan and detailed knowledge of the scoring matrix.

How PLAB 2 has changed with coronavirus.

Official GMC recommended resources

PLAB 2 Academies

Most academies have similar pass rates and are fairly intense. It would be wise to consult a friend who has recently sat the course or even join with a friend. Ultimately once you show you are a good doctor and score well consistently across the domains you will do well. 

SAMSON - printed documents, station feedback with video and - MOCK exams

HAMED - simulation, digital resources and various courses.

Top tips on how to avoid errors in the PLAB 2 exam.

Disclaimer : - Numerous others (I have little experience with - Google PLAB 2 academies).



PLAB 1 is the knowledge based examination and first of the examinations necessary to obtain GMC registration.

The exam is set at the level of someone coming to the end of the Foundation Year 1 (FY1) program and comparably at MBBS level for Caribbean grads.


The examination can be sat at any of the official sites listed above (modified due to COVID) but commonly in the U.K.

Official GMC recommended resources

  1. PLAB test blueprint
  2. Foundation programme curriculum 

Personally I found this exam simple, 6 weeks preparation with questionbanks as adequate (as a recent grad <3 years) however fortune favours the prepared. 

Recommended Resources (I have used these personally and have not been sponsored by the below).

Pro tip: Covering the theory behind the blueprint is the ultimate goal.
              Volume and spaced repetition is the best way to achieve this (if working, schedule this time).
              Re-do the ones that you do not get right and end with timed mocks.

    • Passmedicine - great, cost effective resource with simple examinations - massive dataset >3000 questions.   
    • GMC Sample questions - Freely given - 30 questions with explanations that are likely as close to the real exam as can be.  

Alternate route to GMC Registration

PLAB is still the most recognised pathway for gaining registration with the GMC.
However there are other, recognised pathways for IMGs. 

Acceptable U.K. postgraduate qualification

Membership or Fellowship of the major UK specialist colleges e.g. MRCP / FRCS

Overseas postgraduate qualification

e.g. Doctorate of Medicine of Anaesthetics and Intensive Care (U.W.I.)

Medical Training Initiative (MTI) / Sponsorship by Royal College Route

Please do see each Royal College for the individual route.

MTI - For those who are in training in their primary country or would like specific experience in an area before returning to their home country.
Note: Registration gained via this route is permanent.

European qualification

Having completed an equivalent European Specialist / GP qualification - you can apply as a specialist to the GMC. This may be subject to change with BREXIT. 

NEW - Acceptable Overseas Examination registration Route 

*Implemented during COVID-19 pandemic Jan 21 (may not be long standing)*

USMLE Step 1 + Step 2 CK + Step 2 CS prior to January 2020

MCC 2 prior to October 2020

Note if you fail PLAB 1 or 2 after taking these examinations, this makes the above pathways invalid.

PLAB route to GMC Registration


PLAB route to GMC Registration

(soon to be UKMLA)

The professional and Linguistics Board test is the most common path to the medical register, with no specific experience restrictions with a wide range of applicants (House Officer to Consultant). 


  • Passed PLAB 1 and PLAB 2.

  • Have completed an internship or Pre-Registration year.

  • Post PLAB 2 checks and entry into the medical register.

  • Meet the necessary English language requirements (Examinations - IELTS / OET)

Exemptions from countries where English is considered the first language and medicine was taught in English. This largely includes the commonwealth countries.
Note: This was listed from the GMC website, always consult GMC for an up-to date list of requirements. 

                                                                                            Caribbean Islands                                                  

  • Ascension
  • Australia
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory (BAT)
  • British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT)
  • Canada
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • Guyana (formerly British Guiana)
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • New Zealand
  • Pitcairn
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on Cyprus (CBA's)
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Helena
  • Tristan da Cunha
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • US Virgin Islands

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Anguilla
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Grenadines
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

GMC Registration - Maintenance & Licensing

Maintaining License within the medical community


Further to Registration, Licensing is also regulated by the GMC. 

This kept live by the medical register and can be confirmed with a simple search through the register.

Licensing is mandatory to carry out the tasks;

  • working in the NHS
  • writing prescriptions
  • signs death certificated or cremation certificates
  • Assessing mental health and recommending compulsory treatment. 
  • working within military, air service or naval within a medical capacity

If not practicing within the U.K. 

There are two common options, for persons either at the end of a training program or who have completed a period of work and are considering prolonged overseas work or taking a break from medicine.

Giving up your license to practice.

  • You can keep good standing with the organisation 
  • Reduced annual fee
  • No revalidation requirements

Giving up your registration (voluntary erasure)

  • No annual fee
  • No restoration fee

GMC Registration


GMC is the General Medical Council is the regulatory body for doctors within the U.K.

There are four main types of registration with the GMC.

Provisional Registration

This allows you to work as a foundation doctor (year 1) (Internship equivalent) ONLY.

Roughly equivalent to the Pre registration House Officer year.

Full Registration

This is the registration most doctors will be aiming for. 

This allows you to work in unsupervised practice and to apply for non consultant jobs (training and non-training).

Specialist Registration

This allows you to take a job as a substantive consultant within the U.K. health sector

GP (General Practitioner) Registration

From April 2006 onwards, any doctor working in a GP practice (other than trainees) must be registered as a GP. They also need to be on a GP performers list.

In addition to registration, your license to practice lies also with the GMC.

Caribbean Doctors looking to move to the U.K.

B.A. and Virgin Atlantic service flights regularly throughout the region

Working in the U.K.

Doctors who train across the Caribbean are in a uniquely favourable position if they choose to migrate to the U.K.


U.K. Experience is often highly regarded throughout the region

Shared cultural and historical norms persist.

Primary Medical Qualification is recognised

Due to the rigours of working in the Caribbean, you are well placed to compete with U.K. grads.

Earnings can be considerably larger than in many Caribbean regions with often favourable foreign exchange rates.

English is the first language, often overlooked but as commonwealth states exemptions from English exams are cost and time saving.


The weighting of communication skills during training and everyday life is different.

Initially expensive to move (compounded by moving home)

Long distance from home (fortunately the caribbean islands are destination islands and serviced by major airlines - British Airways, Virgin Airways)

The journey begins with the first step.

This lies in gaining registration with the General Medical Council (GMC).

Medical Territories

 Medical Registration in the West Indies

Below lies an outline of the existing regulatory bodies for each of the major territories. 

Antigua and Barbuda

Regulatory body: Antigua and Barbuda Medical Council