What Is the PLAB Examination?

The PLAB exam (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) is a licensing examination conducted for foreign medical graduates who wish to practice medicine in the United Kingdom. PLAB is undertaken by the General Medical Council (UK) throughout the world. International students have to clear two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) to be eligible to practice medicine in the UK.

Click here to know the best options to practice medicine in the UK!

Is PLAB a Pathway to MRCP?

MRCP (Member of Royal College of Physicians) is a core, medical, post-graduate degree that is awarded upon completion of three parts. However, the PLAB exam is simply a licensing examination undertaken by international students, who may or may not have completed their post-graduation. Students can pursue an MRCP degree abroad without having to write the PLAB exam.


There are several significant differences between PLAB and MRCP, and they are as follows:

PLAB is not a qualification.MRCP is a post-graduate qualification.
PLAB exam is an assessment of skills and knowledge.MRCP exam is a requirement for medical specialization.
PLAB exam pattern consists of two parts.MRCP exam consists of three parts.
PLAB does not guarantee job prospects.An MRCP degree opens several pathways for graduates.
PLAB exam pattern consists of one written paper and one clinical exam.MRCP exam consists of two written papers and one clinical exam.

Choosing PLAB vs. MRCP

Differences between PLAB and MRCP Pathways

For international students, PLAB and MRCP are fairly straightforward choices. Undergraduate medical degree holders who are hoping to practice medicine in the United Kingdom can choose to appear for PLAB. On the other hand, MRCP is a diploma to get specialty training in the UK.

PLAB Pathway Cost

£160 to 200 for IELTS or £332 for OET
£235 for PLAB 1
£860 for PLAB 2

PLAB Test Centres: India

  • Chennai
  • Bangalore
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi


Students who wish to pursue their post-graduation and obtain a valuable degree can choose the MRCP/MRCS pathway. Students who clear all three parts of the MRCP/MRCS exam become a member of the prestigious Royal College of Physicians, UK.

MRCS Pathway Cost

£596 to 672 for PART A outside the UK
£997 to 1012 for PART B outside the UK
£160 to 200 for IELTS or £332 for OET

MRCP Pathway Cost

£594 for Part A outside the UK
£594 for Part B outside the UK
£1202 for PACES outside the UK
£160 to 200 for IELTS or £332 for OET

MRCP Test Centres: India

  • Chennai
  • Kerala
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi

MRCS Test Centres: India

  • Ahmedabad
  • Chennai
  • Bangalore
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi

Requirements for PLAB Exam

Some of the basic needs of the PLAB exam are as follows:

  • A primary medical degree issued by an institute that is registered under the World Directory of Medical Schools
  • An overall minimum score of 7.5 in IELTS and a minimum score of 7 in the four necessary language skills

PLAB Exam Details and Steps

PLAB exam details for both parts are as follows:

Part 1
The total preparation required for PLAB PART 1 is around three months. The exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) which have to be completed within a three-hour time frame. Each question consists of a scenario with five answer options.

Part 2
Part 2 of the PLAB exam is based on the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) pattern. OSCE consists of 18 questions that have a time-limit of eight minutes each. These questions are designed to reflect real-life scenarios that occur in consultation or ward-based settings.

Upon completion of both parts, one can apply for a license to practice medicine in the United Kingdom. Each application must be approved within two years of clearing PLAB Part 2.

The Importance of MRCP Examination

The MRCP exam is a globally recognized degree that is considered as an excellent benchmark against which doctors are judged on their competence and fitness to undergo specialized training.

Exam Details and Steps

Part 1 & Part 2

  • Two-paper written examination format
  • Each paper has a duration of 3 hours
  • Each paper consists of 100 MCQs

Part 3-PACES

  • Consists of five clinical stations
  • Assessed by two independent examiners
  • Each station has a maximum duration of 20 minutes
  • Five-minute interval between each station

Upon completion of all three parts, graduates become a member of the Royal College of Physicians and are eligible to practice medicine in the majority of the commonwealth countries, especially in India.

Texila American University offers a training program for MRCP along with their Fellowship with Master of Medicine/Master of Surgery. It is a three-year structured training program that prepares students for the MRCP exam. The program offers comprehensive training from certified royal college consultants and includes OSCE training as well. This fellowship course is a combo program. While pursuing a course, you can prepare for the MRCP exam with professional support and guidance.

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All You Need to Know About PLAB and MRCP Examinations Table of Contents What Is the PLAB Examination?Is PLAB a Pathway to MRCP?PLAB vs. MRCPChoosing PLAB vs. MRCPDifferences between PLAB and MRCP PathwaysPLAB Pathway CostPLAB Test Centres: IndiaMRCP/MRCS PathwayMRCS Pathway CostMRCP Pathway CostMRCP Test Centres: IndiaMRCS Test Centres: IndiaRequirements for PLAB ExamPLAB Exam Details and StepsThe Importance of MRCP ExaminationExam Details and StepsPart 1 & […]
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