Welcome to frequently asked question page by samsonplab

In this section, you will get most of the information you need to know about how to work in the UK. You get the answers about how to start studying, how many steps are involved, the chances of getting a job in the UK, e.t.c

GMC: The general medical council is the UK non governmental organisation that regulates and monitors the medical practice of the doctors and hospitals in the UK. You have to be registered with the GMC in order to work in the UK. And the main route through which can register with the GMC is through PLAB exam.

PLAB: This stands for Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board

  • This is the main gateway through which most doctors get registration with the GMC
  • Therre are 3 steps: Step 1: IELTS-——->Step 2: PLAB 1 ——>Step 3: PLAB 2.
  • After PLAB 2 you get GMC registration and then you start to apply for jobs straight away or you can look for clinical attachment.


Before taking the Plab Part 1 test you must have taken:

  • The Academic version of International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • From 18 June 2014, the minimum IELTS scores are accepted as evidence of knowledge of English for the purposes of registration is:
    • A score of at least 7.0 in each of the four areas tested.
    • And an average score of at least 7.5
  • Only the academic version of the IELTS test is accepted.

The four modules in academic IELTS

1. Listening
2. Speaking
3. Reading
4. Writing

You need to get at least 7 in each and every module but the average score must be 7.5 which means that you need to score higher in other in other other modules. For example a score of 7, 7, 7.5 and 8 will make an average score of 7.5.

A score of 7, 7, 7, and 7 will not be enough for some one who wants to sit for PLAB 1.


There are a lot of online resources for IELTS. So all you need to do is to google. The following books are commonly used by the candidates:

Target band 7

Cambridge IELTS practise tests book. There are 9 book in total. These books can be found at the bristish council or any book shop in the UK.

Usually most people find it difficulty to get the required marks in reading and writing. You can try to take private lessons to improve yourself in the areas you are lacking behind.

IELTS Academic Dates:

Use this link to find IELTS dates: http://www.ieltsessentials.com/book_your_test/ielts_test_dates.aspx

or you can just google IELTS dates.

It takes about 2 weeks to get the results of IELTS, try to start your preparation earlier. To book for IELTS you will need a prove of identity e.g your passport, UK driving license, etc.


PLAB 1 exam

  • The PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) exam is for overseas qualified doctors who want to practice medicine in the UK
  • The PLAB test consists of two parts – PLAB Part 1 and PLAB Part 2.
  • You can not book for PLAB 1 exam until you have graduated as a medical doctor.
  • If you do not have the required IELTS results, you will not be allowed to book for PLAB part exam.
  • Candidates are not allowed to sit for Part 2 until they have passed Part 1 and must take Part 2 within three years of having passed Part 1.
  • If you fail part 1 of the exam, you can book to take the exam again provided you still meet all the requirements. You can attempt the exam a maximum of four times. You can’t apply for part 2 until you’ve passed part 1. If you’ve failed the exam four times, you can apply for one final attempt. You will need to demonstrate evidence of additional learning over a 12 month period and make an application to the GMC.
  • If you fail part 2 of the exam, you can book to take the exam again provided you meet all the requirements. You can attempt the exam a maximum of four times. If you’ve failed the exam four times, you can apply for one final attempt. You will need to demonstrate evidence of additional learning over a 12 month period and make an application to the GMC.

Overseas PLAB part 1 In general, March and November exams are usually available both in the UK and overseas. The countries where these exams are conducted are listed below.


Country City Contact and email Telephone
Bangladesh Dhaka Adnan.chowdhury@bd.britishcouncil.org +880 (02) 861 8905
Egypt Cairo information@britishcouncil.org.eg +20 2 3001666
 India Bangalore chennai.enquiry@in.britishcouncil.org +91 044 – 42050600
Chennai chennai.enquiry@in.britishcouncil.org +91 044 – 42050600
Hyderabad chennai.enquiry@in.britishcouncil.org +91 044 – 42050600
Kolkata Kolkata.Customercare@in.britishcouncil.org +91 33 282 5370
Mumbai mumbai.exams@in.britishcouncil.org +91 22 6748 6748
New Delhi delhi.enquiry@in.britishcouncil.org +91 11 4219 9000
Nigeria Lagos info.nigeria@ng.britishcouncil.org +234 1 2692188 / 2692189 /2692190 / 2692191 / 2692192
 Pakistan Islamabad info@britishcouncil.org.pk +92 51 111 424 424
Karachi info@britishcouncil.org.pk +92 51 111 424 424
Saudi Arabia Riyadh enquiry.riyadh@sa.britishcouncil.org +96 612 657 6200
South Africa Johannesburg ssa.enquiries@britishcouncil.org +27 11 560 9300
Sri Lanka Colombo exams.cmb@britishcouncil.org +94 4521 500
Sudan Khartoum info@sd.britishcouncil.org +249 (1) 87028000
UAE Dubai Nishi.bangera@ae.britishcouncil.org +971 4 3135557

Current Fee to Register with the GMC

The fee for full registration with a license to practice for those having been provisionally registered or those applying for full registration having recently qualified is £200. All other applicants for full registration pay £425.

The fee for provisional registration with a license to practice will be £90.

PLAB Fees Effective from 1 February  2016
Part 1 of the PLAB test £230
Request for clerical check of results for the PLAB test £45

Samson Plab 1 course

  • PLAB Part 1 is a three-hour exam, with 200 Single Best Answer (SBA) questions (mostly clinical cases)
  • Each correct answer is awarded one mark, with the total score of the paper being the total number of correct answers given.
  • Our PLAB Part 1 mock exams are designed to be taken under time constraints to emulate the PLAB Part 1 exam conditions. Depending on your Internet connection, you may wish to take them online or offline. You will get the answer after each question that will allow you to understand the reasons behind the correct answers. You will receive automatic scoring at the end of the Mock.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Study time required: around 1-2 months of dedication with a course

N.B: Preparing on your own for PLAB 1 takes 4-6 months

  • There is no limit to the number of attempts

Recommended books for PLAB 1

  • 1. Oxford handbook of clinical medicine and Oxford handbook of clinical specialties.
  • 2. Samsonplab lectures notes.
  • 3. Samsonplab mocks and SBA (Singe Based Answers).
  • 4. Facebook resources

PLAB 1 Exam Dates

In the UK the exams are usually conducted in the following months: March, June, September and November.

PLAB 1 Test Dates for 2018

Part 1 test date Overseas closing date “Deadline to book your exam” UK closing date “Deadline to book your exam”
15 March 2018 15 February 2018 8 March 2018
28 June 2018 No overseas tests 21 June 2018
6 September 2018 No overseas tests 30 August 2018

PLAB 1 exam fees: £230 which should be paid to the GMC



This is a 20 days course which runs from 9:30 till 7:00 pm. There is 1 hour lunch break between 1pm and 2 pm. From 9:30 am till 1:00 pm we go through the lectures and between 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm we solve recent past papers.

There are 2 off days which are usually Fridays. During these 20 days you will be able to cover all the lecture notes and SBA questions from the past PLAB 1 exam.


This is 10 days course at a stretch without a break. During this period we solve previous past papers subject by subject. We cover 2 subjects a day and you are assured of covering all the topics. NO lectures are covered during this 10 day course but detailed expalnations will be provided by the tutors.



Course Fees:

  • Four Mocks ONLY: £140
  • Eight Mocks ONLY: £280

Is it possible to prepare for PLAB 1 without doing the course?

Yes, you can prepare for PLAB 1 without doing a course. It very possible to prepare PLAB part 1 without a course. The main thing is to get questions and notes from the PLAB training centres. The mocks are very important. If you can not do the course, you can try to do the mocks at least.

But the course will help you prepare in a short period of time and avoid wasting time studying unnecessary things. The course will help you read only what you need.

You can buy all the samson plab mock test on online by going on online section: Or simply use this link: https://www.samsoncourses.com/index.php/online-plab

All you need to do is to register for the online resources.

How much does the online resource costs?



  • The Part 2 exam is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It takes the form of 18 clinical stations 2 rest stations. Which means that you will have 18 active station.
  • To pass the exam, you need to pass at least 11 out of the 18 stations plus also you need to reach the cut off point. You will be awarded total marks on each station and that total marks must reach the cut off point which GMC will decide.
  • The examination is held only in MANCHESTER, UK.


PLAB 2 Fees Effective from 1 February  2016
Part 2 of the PLAB test £840
Request for clerical check of results for the PLAB test £45

You will be assessed on four skill areas in the OSCE. These are:

  • Clinical examination (four stations) (one of which is a Simman)
  • Practical skills (two stations) (mannequins)
  • Communication skills (four stations) (for example breaking bad news)
  • History taking (four stations) (four station

From: 16 OSCE stations +2 pilots + 1 rest station

PLAB 2 exam duration: 1 hour 45 minutes. Each station lasts 8 minutes plus 1 minute for reading before each station.

Samson Plab 2 Course

For Plab 2 it is mandatory to take a course. The chance of passing PLAB 2 exam without a course is very low because the people who have done a course will have a big advantage over you . Therefore it is very recommended to take a course f0r PLAB 2 exam.

You get all the exam questions and Scenarios in the course. You also learn how to behave within the English Culture. You will be taught all the station covered in PLAB 2 exam. In fact you will find much easier than our mocks. Our goal is to help you pass in your first attempt.

Therefore , the PLAB 2 exam has 17 station. Of these 14 active OSCE stations +2 pilots + 1 rest station

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes (5 minutes each station – 1 minute between each)

Study time required: approximately 2 months is required to prepared for PLAB 1 if you do the course. This will give you a 99% chance of passing PLAB 1 exam.

  • In Part 2 you will be tested on your clinical and communication skills. In other words, you have demonstrated that you know how to do something in Part 1, and now in Part 2 you will show how you would do it.

PLAB 2 Course Fees

  • Course plus 4 mocks £650
  • Each additional mock £70

How much does it cost to live in the UK?

  • Accommodation: £100-160 per week in East London.
  • Food costs in London: £20-£50 per week on average, very much depended on what you eat and wether you cook for yourself to not.
  • Everyday transport in London: Approximately £10 per day
  • PLAB 1 exam: £230
  • PLAB 2 exam: £840
  • PLAB 1 long course with 8 mocks £700
  • PLAB 2 course £550

How long does it take to prepare for PLAB 2?

Atleast 6 weeks including the time of doing the course. If you do the course at Samonplab Academy, this will give you 99% of passing PLAB 2. In most of the times we manage to 100% pass rate for PLAB 2. If you are hard working Dr Samson will definitely help you pass in your first attempt.

What is the GMC pass rate for PLAB exam pass rates:

  • FOR PLAB 1 = 40%
  • FOR PLAB 2 = 64-70%

What is the samsonplab pass rate for PLAB ?

  • PLAB 1 = 98-99%
  • PLAB 2 = 99-100%

Which exam should I take PLAB or MRCS/MRCP?

PLAB vs Membership Exams

PLAB Part 1 and Part 2

Membership Exams

Pass the exams and apply for registration MRCP/MRCS PART 1MRCP/MRCS PART 2, PACES, Apply For Registration
Guaranteed Route Takes a long time
Quicker More difficult than plab
Easier Part 1 can be done in your home country
Recognized in Australia/ New Zealand, etc.. Recognized in other countries

If you have already started taking the membership exams you can continue taking them . In order for you to get GMC registration via membership exams . You must finish all the steps of membership exams before you can get the registration and it is not straight forward as PLAB exams.

We recommend PLAB exam over membership exams because PLAB is easier and it gives you permanent registration. You can get your registration within a weak after passing PLAb 2 exam. You can finish all the 2 part of the exam within 6 months. Some people finish earlier than that.

Internship in the UK : This is the same as Foundation Programme:

  • It consists of 2 years – FY1 (1st Year) and FY2 (2nd Year)

After you finish the 2 years you receive a certificate of completion of the foundation programme. You then become eligible to apply for specialty training.

Do I need to do the foundation programme?

If you have done the house job in your home country, you do to need to do the foundation programme. The foundation programme is only for the those candidates who have not done internship or house job in their country.

What is the advantage of doing the foundation programme?

You stand a very good chance of getting a training job in a specialty of your choice like ophthalmology, surgery, or radiology.

Who can apply for the Foundation Programme?

  • Anyone who has not done their internship, regardless of when and where they graduated.
  • If your graduation date will be 2 years by the start date of the foundation programme job then you will be required to sit another exam called CLINICAL ASSESSMENT.
  • If you are a new graduate i.e. your graduation date will not be 2 years by the start date of your foundation programme job, you do not need the Clinical Assessment Exam

What are the requirements to apply for the Foundation Programme:

  • Anyone who has not done internship in his or her country.
  • IELTS score of 7.5 overall.
  • Get a statement from your dean that you have not worked for >1 year after your graduation

Do you always get job when you apply for the Foundation Programme?

  • You need to have a right to work in the UK to be guaranteed a job
  • If you require clinical assessment you need to pass this exam (usually conducted in December, £800)
  • But if you graduated not more 2 years by the start date of your foundation programme and you have the right to work in the UK then your job is almost guaranteed.

Do I need to do clinical assessment?

Only if you will be more 2 years b the time you start your foundation. If you will be less 2 years by the start date , you do to need to sit for clinical assessment.

What is clinical assessment exam?

It is an OSCE like PLAB 2, but they give much more time. 10 minutes for each station.

What is the best time to apply for the Foundation Programme:

  • Usually you apply one year before your starting year . Applications usually start around June/July time.
  • If you register with Foundation Programme UK –you will receive all the updates about deadlines and how to apply.
  • Here is the link for the foundation programme? http://www.foundationprogramme.nhs.uk/pages/home

Who should apply for the Foundation Programme?

  • If you have a right to work in the UK and you are a new graduate this is a perfect opportunity for you, because a job is almost guaranteed for you.

N.B: If you do not have a right to work in the UK, you will be asked to procure your right to work-in the UK by a certain date. If you are not able to do so, they will remove your application from the Foundation Programme.

  • Therefore if you do not have a right to work in the UK, it is better to do your internship before going to the UK.

What is a training job?

A training job is one in which get carer progression every year. You will assessed during your job. And you have to attend courses and teaching. Every year your level goes up.

What is a non training job?

This is normal work. You just work for money. Though you will be learning and you will have same learning opportunity like doctors in training you will not get a carer progression every year.

What type of training Speciality Jobs are there?

1. Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS):

  • Acute Medicine
  • Anaesthesia
  • Emergency Medicine

2. Core Medical Training (CMT)
3. Core Surgical Training (CST)
4. Run Through Job

  • Public Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Microbiology and Virology
  • Hepatology
  • General Practitioner
  • Clinical Radiology

What type of job will I get when I finish PLAB exams?

This depends on your experience. If you have a full GMC registration, you are likely to get an SHO job. If you do MRCS or MRCP you are likely to get a higher level job.

You can get registrar or consultant job.

Obviously some specialties are more difficulty than others.

How do I apply for Jobs?

  • www.nhsjobs.co.uk – all jobs are advertised on this website
  • Intrepid pathway – only training jobs are published here
  • You need to register to use both websites.

What types of Jobs are available?

  • 1. Locum Agency ( you need a work permit
  • 2. NHS – Non training jobs
  • 3. NHS Training jobs (Core training and Speciality training)
  • 4. Private hospitals (apply for visa)
  • 5. Foundation programme

How do I get a right to work in the UK:

NHS hospitals will apply for a TIER 2 visa for you once they have offered you a job.

Nowadays there is good job status with non-training jobs, but with a strong CV you can get a training job thereafter.

Private hospitals also offer jobs. But there is no career with these types of jobs. They will apply for the visa for you but you are bound to work for them for about 6 months, after which you can leave.

Summary of the steps in getting the job in the UK via PLAB Route:

2. PLAB 1
3. PLAB 2
4. GMC Registration (Provisional or Full Registration)
5. Clinical Attachment (can be done at any time and not mandatory )
6. NHS Job Application
7. Get a job (non-training job or training)
8. Apply for Tier 2 work permit in your home country
9. Return to UK and start your job.
10. Apply for training jobs
11. Get training job
12. Happy man/woman.

How can I improve my CV?

You can improve your CV by doing Audits, presentations , research and doing membership exams e.g MRCP/MRCS e.t.c, having UK experience in the speciality of your interest.

How do I qualify to have full GMC registration:

To get full GMC registration you need to have an internship which constituted at least 3 months in surgery and 3 months in general medicine. The duration of other specialties does not matter. But the criteria for surgery and medicine should be met.

The internship should be at least for 10 months or more.

There are 2 types of internship: Pre graduation and post graduation. People who graduated from Russia, china, Turkey e.t.c can also try to apply for Full GMC registration using the pre-graduation internship. But its upto GMC to assess if your pre graduation internship meets the criteria

Why do internship in my home country:

Internship or house job in your home country will give you full GMC registration. There are a lot of opportunities if you have full GMC registration .

If you did not do internship/house job in your country you will get provisional registration. In this situation, you will have no option but applying for foundation programme. But as explained earlier , it would be difficulty to get foundation job without work permit. So we would advice people to so house job before coming to UK.

How can I get a work permit?

By getting a spousal visa or any other visa that allows you to work in the UK

Where will I stay in the UK?

If you are coming to do the course with us, we will arrange accommodation for you in the UK. We can also give you a letter to show to the embassy that we have accommodation booked for you and that you have booked a course with us.

How can I apply for clinical attachment?

You need to apply to different hospital via human resources. You just have to google UK hospitals and you will find the meal address of the human resources and email them. You need to apply to several hospitals as not all of them will reply to you.

Are clinical attachment for free?

Some hospitals will offer free clinical attachments while other hospitals will charge? The fee can vary between £200 and £500.

How long does it take to find a job in the UK?

Nowadays it take about 2-3 months on average to find a job in the UK, provided you do not mind where you get a job. If you want to stay in one specific area this period can be longer.

Should I go back home after PLAB 2 ?

Most people do stay and apply for the jobs. when they find the job, then you have to go home so that you can change the visa into work visa.

If your visa is expiring soon, you can try to extend it.


Samsonplab Academy contact details: