Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA)

PLAB and the MLA requirements

We are currently working to make the PLAB test compliant with the MLA requirements, which we expect to complete in 2024. 

Candidates, however, will notice very little difference once PLAB meets the MLA requirements because the changes are to the quality assurance and construction of the test. Candidates should continue to refer to our PLAB guides for all practical information on the PLAB test.

We expect most aspects of the PLAB test to remain the same, including eligibility criteria, English language requirements, standard of the test, resit policies, the booking process, the experience on the day and validity periods of the tests. We will continue to accept previous passes in PLAB 1 and PLAB 2.

Even when the PLAB test meets the MLA requirements, it will still be called PLAB for a while longer. We’ll rename the test at a later date.

Our MLA webpage provide more information on how PLAB will meet the MLA requirements, and also on the introduction of the MLA for UK medical students.

Introducing the MLA content map

As part of our preparation to transition from PLAB to the MLA, we’ll replace the PLAB blueprint with the MLA content map from the following dates:

  • For PLAB 1, all tests sat on or after 8 August 2024 will be based on the MLA content map.
  • For PLAB 2, all tests sat on or after 17 May 2024 will be based on the MLA content map.

The MLA content map sets out the core knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for UK practice. Because PLAB part 1 and part 2 are already designed to test these areas, the standard of the test, and the types of questions and stations currently used, won’t change. Candidates’ experience on the test day will also remain the same. 

The introduction of the content map should not impact any preparation that candidates have already done for the test. However, if you’ve used the PLAB blueprint to help you prepare, and you are sitting a test that will now be based on the MLA content map, then you should now refer to the MLA content map instead.