What is the PLAB 2 exam?

PLAB 2 is a clinical and professional skills assessment (CPSA). It’s a performance-based assessment of clinical and professional skills, knowledge and behaviours. The exam is made up of 16 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes and aims to reflect real life settings including a mock consultation or an acute ward. 

You may also know this style of assessment as an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE).

PLAB 2 will become compliant with the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) requirements from 17 May 2024.

What does the exam cover?

The exam could cover anything a doctor appointed to a Foundation Programme Year 2 (F2) role might expect to see at work.

It tests your clinical knowledge, skills and behaviours, and your ability to apply this knowledge to the care of patients. It is not intended to test how well you can remember and recite facts.

All the questions relate to current best practice. You should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.

Names of drugs referred to in the exam are those contained in the most recent edition of the British National Formulary (BNF).

How do you answer the questions?

After reading the instructions and patient information outside each room, you will enter the exam cubicle and complete the task outlined. There will be a timer that announces when to move on.

How much time you have between stations will depend upon which centre you are completing your test. Find out more in the chapter, 'What can you expect on the day?'

There will be at least two rest stations, allowing you to take breaks. The whole exam will take around three hours.