What can you expect on the day?

Take a look at the PLAB 2 video below which gives an overview of what you can expect on the day. 

You should allow plenty of time to travel to the assessment centre. If you’re late you won’t be able to take the exam. If you have to cancel a place you have already booked, you'll have to pay a cancellation fee.

When you arrive

Your documents will be checked and your photograph taken. You’ll be given an ID badge which you’ll need to wear throughout the exam.

You won’t need to take anything with you into the exam circuit, not even your own medical equipment. Everything you need will be provided.

During the exam

You’ll find some scenarios will have manikins or other equipment. Others will use an actor to play the part of a patient. During each of the exam stations you will be observed by an examiner, either in person or via a remote camera. Your exam may be recorded. Examiners will not intervene, except in very limited circumstances.

You can't talk to other candidates or write down or copy any details about the exam while you’re taking it. 

You can't bring books, a mobile phone or smartwatch into the exam.

What should you bring with you?


Bring proof of identification with you. We accept any one of the following*:

  • Passport
  • UK driving licence
  • EU identity card

*Those with refugee status may also provide a biometric residence permit

If you don't have one of the above you can take the exam but you'll need to provide your identification document or evidence of change of name later in the process.

Booking confirmation

Bring the booking confirmation that includes your GMC reference number.

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

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

What is the dress code?

Dress as you would to work in a UK hospital ward or other clinical setting. This would normally mean bare to the elbow with no watches, bracelets or rings. Male candidates would be expected to wear a collared shirt with short or rolled sleeves and no tie. Candidates should not wear jeans, shorts or sandals.

It is important that patients feel able to build relationships of trust and communicate freely with their doctors. Some patients, for example, may find that a face veil worn by their doctor presents an obstacle to effective communication. You must be prepared to respond to a patient's individual needs.

Role players are told that they must make it clear if a candidate wearing a veil is unable to communicate effectively and examiners are told that they should mark the candidate accordingly.

What conduct is expected during the exam?

You can read the misconduct procedures for more information.

What do you do if you are absent or sick on the exam day?

If you cannot attend the examination because of serious illness or another overwhelming problem, we will make a full refund of your fee. You must provide the following evidence:

PLAB 2 examples of evidence to provide before we'll issue a refund if you cannot attend your examination
Circumstances Evidence  
Illness Medical certificate or letter on appropriate headed paper covering the day of the examination
Death or serious injury of family member Death/medical certificate
Immigration difficulties, such as refusal of visa  A document from UK Visas and Immigration
Any other difficulty you could not have foreseen

A letter of explanation (for example, from an employer)

Please send copies, not original documents.

How has social distancing changed PLAB?

We’ve been doing all we can to get PLAB up and running following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our tests.

We’re pleased that we’re restarting PLAB 2 from 13 August 2020. Demand for places is very high. We have to comply with current UK government guidance on social distancing and safe workplaces, so the number of candidates we can test in one sitting is lower than normal. 

You can see what our PLAB 2 tests will look like with social distancing in place.

By presenting yourself for the exam, you deem yourself fit to be assessed. Should this change at any point you must tell an invigilator immediately. Please remember that if you do not declare any illness or issues, this cannot be taken into account once the exam has finished.

If you are taken ill at an exam, it will not count as an attempt. We will book you a place in the next available exam if you wish us to do so.