Hello PLAB candidates!
As part of today’s PLAB focus we are very pleased to be joined by Dr Joseph Anthony who will be giving his advice to you on how to prepare for the PLAB 1.
Joseph cleared both his PLAB examinations just last year and is newly qualified to begin practicing medicine in the UK. He started his medical training in Nigeria, at the University of Lagos, before deciding that he wanted to take on a new challenge and head to the UK. We will now hand it over to him..
Hello dear PLAB candidates! My name is Joseph and I was once in your shoes. I can imagine that there must be a lot of confusion in your minds about the PLAB. Please do not worry, I will try my best to put you at ease by giving you my top pieces of advice. Before I do, I would like to take a moment to wish you the best for your future career and encourage you to give the PLAB your best shot!
Tip 1: Focus on medical school finals style questions.
The questions that are asked of you in the PLAB 1 examination are the same as what would be expected of a final year medical student from the UK entering into a foundation programme. My first recommendation to you is to find some final year medical school question books used in the UK and practice the questions in there; they are at a similar level to what you can expect in the PLAB 1 examination. You can easily discover title names through Amazon.
Tip 2: Do not give it a lazy attempt. Do it once and give it your best shot!
The PLAB examination is an investment in yourself and your future life; please take it seriously. You are investing time and money into registering for the examination, sitting the IELTS or OET, paying the fees and travelling to the UK.
Be sure to give the PLAB your best shot, so that you do not have any regrets later on! I would advise that you organise your time, create a study schedule, inspect the syllabus, practice yourself and attend a PLAB 1 Course . All of these steps will give you a well rounded approach to the PLAB 1 and maximise your chances of success.
Tip 3: Practice lots using mock tests and questions.
Practice makes perfect; and this is very true of the PLAB 1. My suggestion is to regularly space a mock test in your study schedule as the weeks go on. I found that the style of questions in mock tests was very similar to the actual examination paper. In fact, I used many of the mock tests that I was provided as part of the PLAB 1 course at Docty (you can download one such free test at the end of this article).
Tip 4: Conquer the material system by system.
The material is no doubt very broad. It is basically the whole of medicine, some surgery, ethics, law and communication. When one first approaches it, you can get overwhelmed. Don’t worry, stay calm. I suggest that you split the course into different sections and target each one at a time. Docty provided us with a study planner, which I used to organise my revision schedule. This helped me keep a calm head and organise my time ahead; a critical thing when there is so much to learn!
Tip 5: Please remember to answer according to UK guidelines.
To end, I would like to stress this point. Many questions in the PLAB 1 were about next steps or appropriate management. Please remember, they are asking from a UK perspective. That means you must pick the answer that is recommended by the relevant UK clinical body and that is NICE, who publish these guidelines regularly. I did not know about this until I took my online course, but I think this is a very important point for you all to know.
My friends this is all I can think of right now. Thank you very much for reading my humble advice to you all. I wish you the best of luck once again and hope you have a prosperous and successful future.