Socially distanced PLAB 2 test

To bring us in line with the UK Government’s guidance and keep you safe, we’ve made some important changes to the way we will run the PLAB 2 exam. We’re receiving new guidance regularly, so it’s important to check this page regularly before your test for our most up to date measures.

Please do not attend the PLAB test if you, or members of your household, have COVID 19 or are displaying symptoms. Inform us as soon as you can if you cannot attend. 

Local restrictions in Greater Manchester 

The new social distancing guidance for Greater Manchester, introduced by the UK government and relevant local authorities, doesn’t currently affect our plans to restart PLAB 2 in August. However, we’ll continue to monitor the situation and keep our website up to date with the latest information for candidates. 

Guidance for candidates

Travel to our Clinical Assessment Centre 

Public transport in and around the city is operating on new timetables. Please refer to the Transport for Greater Manchester website for more information. Please plan your journey ahead of the exam to make sure you arrive on time.

Arriving at the centre

To avoid large numbers of people arriving at the building together, we’re allocating specific arrival slots. You’ll receive an email with your time one week before your test. 

Please make sure you arrive at your allocated time. If you arrive early, you may be asked to leave the building until your arrival time.

You’ll be asked to confirm your name at the ground floor reception before being directed to the GMC’s reception on the 8th floor. We’ll then do your ID check.

Personal belongings

You’ll be allocated a small locker only so please only bring essential items with you. Once you’ve locked your belongings away you will not be able to revisit your locker until your exam has finished. 


We won’t be holding our usual candidate briefings. You can find a video showing what to expect on the day here. Please keep in mind that there will be some subtle differences to the exam centre to comply with the Government’s advice on social distancing. 

Duration of the day

The test will last approximately 2 hours 50 minutes; however, you can expect to be at the centre for longer than this. We anticipate that the test will end by 15:00. 


When you arrive at a rest station, you should enter the room straight away. If you need to use the toilet, please let the marshal know after the reading time for other candidates. 

Social distancing

We’ve installed floor markings and signage around the centre to remind everyone of the social distancing measures in place. Please adhere to this guidance at all times. You must use the hand sanitiser before entering each station.

The health and safety of everyone involved is our priority. So anyone who does not comply with these rules may be asked to leave.

Changes to the PLAB 2 test

We’ve introduced a number of changes to the way we run the exam to keep people safe. As guidance from the government changes we may need to make further adjustments without being able to give notice.

A summary of the changes:

Topic PLAB 2 Socially distanced PLAB 2

Number of stations

18 (+ 2 rest stations)

15 (+ 3 rest stations)

Length of exam

3 hours 10 minutes

2 hours 51 minutes

Number of stations you need to pass

11 + meet the pass mark for that day


9 + meet the pass mark for that day



Examiners and role players in the room


Some stations will have role players and/or examiners in the room.

Most will have the examiner observing via a video link.

In some rooms you will find telephone based stations: the call will be connected for you before you enter the room and you do not need to touch the phone.

In stations where you are being observed remotely, all the equipment will be set up for you in advance.

Number of candidates

18 per circuit 16 per circuit

Reporting time

 08:00 or 11:00 We will write to you one week before your exam to give you a reporting time. It is important that you adhere to this time.

Approximate end time of exam

12:30 or 16:30 15:00

What’s stayed the same?

There will be no changes to the length of each station, the standard of the test, the location of the test or the way you’ll get your results.