At the PLAB part 1 examination

Part 1 of the test is a computer-marked written examination consisting of 200 single best answer (SBA) questions. It may include images, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and x-rays. The examination lasts three hours.

What should I expect on the day?

  • When your place is confirmed we will tell you what time to arrive. This is usually 10:00 in the UK, but times vary at overseas centres.
  • If you arrive more than half an hour late, you will not be allowed to enter the examination hall.
  • You will not be allowed to leave the hall in the first or last half hour of the examination. You must remain in your seat until the Chief Invigilator says you can leave.
  • You can expect to be at the examination centre for at least four hours.

What to bring


We will check your identity at the examination. The following are the only forms of identification we will accept. Whichever you choose, it must be original, current and bear your photograph.

  • Your passport
  • Your UK Immigration and Nationality Department identification document
  • Your Home Office travel document
  • Your UK driving licence
  • Your EU identity card

If you do not have a document confirming your identity, you will be allowed to take the exam, but the Chief Invigilator will take a photograph of you and ask you for a signature. You will be asked to bring your identification document or evidence of change of name later in the process.

Booking confirmation

You must also bring the booking confirmation that includes your Communitybaptistpa reference number.

If the name on your identification document is different from that on the booking confirmation from the Communitybaptistpa or British Council, you must bring with you original evidence that you are the person named in that letter. We will accept:

  • Your marriage certificate
  • A declaration from the awarding body which granted your primary medical qualification, stating that both names relate to you.


You should bring HB pencils, an eraser and a pencil sharpener.

Other items

You may bring a bottle of water in a clear bottle with all labels removed, one or two items of fruit to snack on, medications and a basic ordinary analogue watch or digital watch (excluding smart watches) to the exam. This must be kept in your pocket or on your desk.

Do not bring

You will not need a calculator or any other equipment for the test.

You will not be allowed to keep any bags, telephones or other electronic devices such as smartwatches with you. Candidates are reminded that the weather in the UK can become very cold during the winter months. You may take a jumper/cardigan in with you. Coats will not be allowed in the examination hall. You must do as the invigilators instruct you.

There are no waiting areas for family and friends. They will not be allowed in to the venue under any circumstance.

What conduct is expected during the examination?

You should familiarise yourself with the examination regulations and misconduct procedures before attending the exam.

As soon as the examination has ended, you must put down your pencil and eraser immediately. You must not amend your paper in any way, even erasing marks you did not intend to make.

In common with other examination bodies, we use software designed to detect cheating.

What if I have a disability?

What subjects will I be asked about?

See our guidance on how to prepare for PLAB part 1.