My experience in IELTS, PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 (2013).

Discussion in 'Plab 1 and 2 forum' started by samuel, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. samuel

    samuel New Member

    Hello friends,

    I have been actively following threads in RxPG for the last 1 year regarding UK exams, especially IELTS, PLAB 1 & PLAB 2.
    By the Grace of the Almighty, I have passed all 3 in the first attempt.
    I want to give my feedback regarding these exams. Since, I have taken it recently, I hope it helps all who take these in the near future.

    IELTS: February, 2013
    I took the exam at British Council, Kolkata. My Overall Band Score was 8.5 (sub-scrores of 9 in reading, 8.5 in listening, 8 in speaking and 7.5 in writing).
    I had a formal education in english which helped me as I was already consummate in english. My main aim was to understand the format and formulate strategies to maximize my scores.
    There are numerous websites like Ielts-blog and ieltsbuddy where I visited to get some ideas.
    Furthermore, I practiced the cambridge ielts books 5 -8(a series of practice papers) for 3 weeks. The most recent is the 9th volume. These can be purchased from local bookstores. I can personally recommend it.
    There are also numerous preparatory courses offered by British Council, Scot's, etc. I did not take any course.
    It is very important to manage your time and finally depends on your confidence and command over the subject.



    PLAB 1: 12 September, 2013.
    I would recommend everyone to go to the PLAB section of the GMC official website and orient themselves with the examination pattern and other details.

    I took the exam in London and scored 155. Passing score was 127. I prepared seriously for a couple of months from mid July to mid September.

    I think the preparation should be a layered one.
    The most important aspects in the exam are Concepts and Time management.

    I did the long course at ilford, London. followed by the mock examinations.
    I had also practised questions at onexamination.com.
    I studied Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine (OHCM) and Oxford Handbook of Clinical specialities (OHCS) to cover the recurring themes which were asked in the mocks and onexam so that I have strong concepts, especially the emergency medicine topics.
    There's a PLAB 1 forum in FB where you can join for active discussions
    The mock examinations also help in time management. I tried to complete each of the mock exam in one go and trying to finish atleast half hour before. This helped me, because the questions are pretty lengthy.

    PLAB 2: 26th November, 2013
    There's only 1 center, which is at Manchester. They do not publish scores for those who pass.
    I prepared my clinical examination skills in medicine and orthopaedics from a good book like McLeod's Clinical examination.

    I would also advise joining a forum in FB known as PLAB 2 forum. Its a minefield of information. Join the group to orient yourself to the pattern of questions. A lot of healthy discussions happen all the time.

    Another website is patient.co.uk. I read the condition leaflets for patients, especially the important ones like coeliac disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma, warfarin counselling, etc.

    If you do this background work and take a preparatory course like in ilford(like i did) then 6 weeks is enough time for preparation for PLAB 2. If you have other commitments such as attending family members, you can make the desired adjustments.
    These institutes give you the basics. After that, keep practicing with a group. You need atleast 1 month after the course finishes because it takes some time to orient yourself to the system over here.
    You do not need any additional books. The materials given in the course are more than enough. You might have to modify your notes by reading up the latest guidelines at patient.co.uk and NHSchoices.com.

    What you need is a lot of communication skills, common sense, confidence and a cool head....not necessarily in that order. [​IMG]


    Clinical Attachment:
    I am presently pursuing one for a month now.

    I do recommend clinical attachments, atleast for a couple of months. Per se it does not add much value to your clinical skills, but it can be used very strategically to extend your visa, superficially understand how the NHS functions, get a UK referee for your CV, increase the chances of getting an employment at the institution in the event of any vacancy, get a membership in the library of the institution allowing you to borrow materials, prepare for membership exams, perform an audit.....i can go on.

    I hope I have been able to paint a clear picture.
    Please feel free to ask any questions. It would be my pleasure to answer any.
    ALL THE BEST !!!

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