It’s an exciting feeling when you find out you passed your PLAB 1. If you are in that position then I would like to begin by saying a big congratulations; your hard work paid off! But don’t take it easy just yet; we still have a major hurdle to cross; the PLAB 2.
To get your PLAB 2 journey off to the right start, here are five essential things you must know about:
Visitor Visa: Start Early!
The visa application can be pretty lengthy; therefore, it is critical you begin it as early as possible. It requires multiple pieces of documentation, ranging from application forms, cover letters, bank statements, accommodation confirmation, and examination bookings.
They want to know everything about you; including your employment, financial health, relationships, the property you own, why you are visiting the UK, and where you will be staying. It is not uncommon for a candidate to be rejected a few times before they are successful in their visa application.
My best tip to you is to start early and to be honest in your application; remember, you are a highly trained professional visiting the UK to sit an examination, there is nothing to hide! It is tiring, it is boring, it is annoying. But it is necessary.
Booking your PLAB 2 Date
To book your PLAB 2, you must have passed your PLAB 1. The great thing about the PLAB 2 is that there are many more dates available than the PLAB 1. Simply log on to GMC Online and book a space for yourself. You can cancel or change your booking dates at any time, although this may attract a cancellation fee.
Now, be aware; make sure you book a date that gives you plenty of time for your visa to be approved within. We recommend that you first choose a date on which you will submit your visa application and then book a PLAB 2 examination date which is four months in the future to that date.
You must book a date that is within two years of you passing the IELTS or OET; otherwise, your certificate may become invalid when you apply for GMC registration.
Sitting the PLAB 2 is a much more costly process than the PLAB 1. The fee for the examination is currently £840. This of course does not include the amount you would be paying for flights, accommodation, food, transport, and other living expenses. Here is a rough idea of what you will be spending for a 1-month stay in Manchester:
- Flights: Can range from £400 to £1000 (depending on where you fly from and how early you book)
- Accommodation: £300 to £1000 (depending on the level of luxury you go for)
- Transport: £40
- Food: £120
- Savings (in case you get into trouble): £200
The Examination Format
Here is an essential breakdown of what the examination consists of:
- The examination itself consists of 18 stations which last 8 minutes each.
- Before each station, you have 90 seconds to read the instructions outside the door.
- You are given two rest stations of 10 minutes each; allowing you to catch your breath and have a drink of water.
- You are tested on three main domains which include (1) Data Gathering, Technical and Assessment Skills; (2) Clinical Management Skills and (3) Interpersonal Skills.
- Your clinical communication skills play a critical role in your performance and your likelihood of passing, and this requires extensive practice.
- The examination takes place only in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Accommodation: Be Careful!
When looking for accommodation to stay in it is important to do proper research. The last thing you would want is to end up staying in a horrible place that simply ruins your preparation. Here are a few tips for you based on my own experience:
- Pictures: Whenever interacting with a potential landlord, be sure to demand pictures of the accommodation and to be sure that it will look the same as in the picture.
- Utilities: Be clear about the electricity, water, and gas connections.
- Food: Also, make sure it is close to a supermarket (popular ones in the UK are Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s)
- Transport: And has public transport links.
- Security: Be clear about what kind of area or neighborhood you are staying in; some are more unsafe than others, online research can help you make a decision!
You can also make use of websites such as Airbnb to browse and select from different types of private accommodation available to hire for a short period. If you are looking to stay in a hotel, your research will be much more straightforward; websites that can help you locate a place include Trivago and LateRooms.
I hope you found my advice useful and I wish you the best of success on your journey!