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PLAB Exam Preparatory Course

PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) test is an assessment procedure that overseas doctors (or international medical graduates), from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, need to pass before they can legally practice medicine in the UK.


China Britain Medical and Dental Academy offers the most up-to-date PLAB courses for both PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. Our PLAB training will take you above and beyond the requirements set by the General Medical Council UK. CBMDA offers venues worldwide including the UK and Asia.


It is the principal route through which international medical graduates (IMGs) demonstrate the fundamental clinical skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK.

The level expected is that of a junior doctor who has completed the Foundation Year 1 (FY1). The PLAB test covers everything a UK trained doctor might expect to see on the first day of Foundation Year Two (F2).

Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) Test

License to Practise Medicine in the UK

1-2 years part-time training programme



PLAB 1 exam

It is a conceptual exam where a candidate must apply medical knowledge (both basic science and core clinical) to common cases encountered by junior doctors in NHS hospitals. It does not simply require candidates to recite and regurgitate facts (an approach taken by far too many). All answers are based on current best practices and published evidence. All current medications used in the UK will be found in the latest edition of the British National Formulary (BNF).

The exam is in the format of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and more specifically they will be Single Best Answer questions (SBAs) – EMQs are no longer used. This means that more than one answer can be correct – you must choose the MOST correct answer. There will be 200 SBAs over a 3-hour time period (less than a minute per question so time management and practice are key!)

CBMDA has formulated over 2000 SBA questions of the highest quality, which will give candidates an excellent platform on which to practice.

PLAB 2 exam

“The PLAB test is becoming more rigorous and more reflective of real-life practice.” General Medical Council (GMC, UK)

1) Assess candidates’ professionalism and understanding of ethics as well as their clinical knowledge and skills. For example, testing doctors’ understanding of a patient’s right to make a choice
about their care.

2) 18 stations – 2 minutes to read the task and 8 minutes to perform the task. Minimum of 2 rest stations

3) Candidates will be tested on three domains: Data-gathering, technical and assessment skills, Clinical management skills and Interpersonal skills.

Admission status:
UK, China or undefined Distance Learning
Monthly Admission
Find out more:
China Britain Medical and Dental Academy
Tel: +44 (0) 7718 6323 87

4) For the Part 2 exam, we are changing the way we set the pass mark to use an internationally recognised method known as borderline regression. On the day, we will use the results from all the candidates to set the pass mark for each scenario. It’s more accurate than our current method which only uses the results of those candidates judged to be borderline.

  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) format – tests clinical competence – ‘the habitual and judicious use of communication, knowledge, technical skills, clinical reasoning, emotions, values, and reflection in daily practice for the benefits of the individual and the community being served.’

  • PLAB 2 assesses your aptitude to behave as a doctor, your communication and clinical skills and your level of spoken English.

  • The examination is held only in Manchester.

  • Key competencies that are tested:

    • Clinical skills

    • Examination techniques

    • History taking

    • Communication skills

    • emergencies and resuscitation


In stations that require you to take a history or talk to a patient, and in some stations requiring you to perform an examination, an actor (simulated patient), who has been provided with a detailed script beforehand, plays the patient. You should treat the simulated patient as you would a real patient in the real world.

You may be asked to examine a patient, take a history and give a diagnosis, or carry out a practical procedure. The instructions also give basic information about the patient, such as name, age and major symptoms.




CBMDA's PLAB 1 course is a 10 day concise, informative and comprehensive course that will cover the salient subjects tested by the General Medical Council (GMC) of the UK. The information delivered will be in absolute accordance with current best practices (NICE guidelines). All learning resources will be provided.

Each day is broken down into two halves. The first half will be dedicated to a lecture on a specific speciality e.g. neurology and the second will be committed to solving single best answer questions on that given topic. This method maximises the learning experience.

Qbank: high quality single best answer questions available to keep you well-prepared for the exam.

  • Anatomy & Embryology

  • Cardiology

  • Dermatology

  • Gastroenterology

  • General Surgery

  • Genetics

  • Haematology & Oncology

  • Infectious diseases

  • Nephrology

  • Neurology

  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology

  • Ophthalmology

  • Paediatrics

  • Psychiatry

  • Respiratory medicine (pulmonology)

  • Rheumatology

  • Traumatology & Orthopaedics

Core modules

  • ​PLAB 1

  • ​PLAB 2

  • GMC Registration Guide

Completion - CBMDA Post PLAB Programme

In CBMDA post-exam programme we will help you until you start your job in NHS. 

  • 1. Find clinical attachments

  • 2. Prepare you for the interview

  • 3. Assist you with the job application form

  • 4. Get you registered with a local agency.

  • 5. Recommend you to training jobs 

  • 7. Immigration advice

  • 8. To help you become our assistant lecturer at CBMDA


The PLAB 2 course is a 5-day intense training programme to help foreign doctors consolidate their current clinical skills and also to adapt their approach to suit the UK-based health system. The course will focus mainly on communication skills, building a strong doctor-patient relationship and the practical skills required to safely practice as a junior doctor in the NHS. The course will also give an exceptional insight into the equipment that is used in UK hospitals.

  • For the practical skills section of the course, we will practice on manikins (the same equipment used during the real exam). CBMDA offers the widest range of the latest manikins to maximise student learning.

  • Each course will only accommodate a small group of students in order for each student to get the most out of their education.

Course content:

Day 1: Introduction to PLAB 2 and Integrated History taking stations
Day 2: Communication skills stations
Day 3: Clinical Examination stations
Day 4: Clinical skills stations
Day 5: Full 18-station simulated mock examination

These will cover the core areas tested in the new version of the exam. 2 sessions are available on designated mock dates.

Morning sessions    09:00 - 12:30 followed by one-hour structured feedback. 

Afternoon sessions   14:00 - 17:30 followed by one-hour structured feedback. 

Maximum 5 candidates per session 

Entry requirements


Completion of Medical Degree (MBBS/MBcHB, MD) recognised by China Britain Medical and Dental Academy. 


We ask that you complete the registration form found on our ‘Apply Now’ section of the website; so that we can confirm you have the appropriate qualifications and to ensure that you can gain insurance. We will not deliver a course unless we can have this confirmation and that we can provide you with vital ‘malpractice treatment insurance’.


English requirements should be of the following:

  • IELTS (overall score of 7.0, with 6.5 in the Writing and Speaking modules)

  • Chinese students attending clinical days will require an appropriate travel visa according to CBMDA regulations. Further advice is obtainable via CBMDA International Students Adviser under CBMDA Services

Learning and teaching

  • Learning from an experienced PLAB teacher and PLAB examiner.

  • Always remain ahead of the GMC and ensure exam success

  • Help every step of the way from IELTS advice to GMC registration and licence to practice

  • Learn about the roles and responsibilities of doctors in various specialities and grades

  • Special foundation programme course including: “what to expect” and “surviving your first on-call”.

  • Guidance in CV writing

  • Online job applications and the interview process

  • Work post referral scheme



Tuition fees: POA/success 




There are a number of sources of funding available for CBMDA students.

These include a significant package of competitive CBMDA bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

CBMDA bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for CBMDA students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

PLAB Overview
PLAB Structure
PLAB Entry
PLAB Learning and Teaching
PLAB Fees and Funding
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