Updated : 05/04/2021

All information from GMC

*All information in bold letters are highly important*


Every candidate who passed PLAB 1 before October 2020 will be able to secure a PLAB 2 place in 2021, as long they make their booking during the week allocated to their phase.

Throughout March 2021, we’ll open PLAB 2 bookings in phases. We’ll invite candidates to book their PLAB 2 place, based on when they passed their PLAB 1 test:

  • 1 – 5 March: we’ll invite doctors who passed PLAB 1 in 2018 to book their test.
  • 8 – 12 March: we’ll invite doctors who passed PLAB 1 in 2019 to book their test.
  • 15 – 19 March: we’ll invite doctors who passed PLAB 1 in March, June and September 2020 to book their test.
  • 22 – 26 March: we’ll invite doctors who passed PLAB 1 in October and November 2020 to book their test. However there will only be a small number of seats available during this release and we expect them to book up very quickly.

You should log on to GMC Online during your allocated week to book your place. Although your GMC Online account will remain unlocked throughout March, you will only be able to see or book seats during your booking phase.

Emails were sent out to eligible candidates on February 25, 2021. Check your spam if you haven’t received it and you believe yoh are eligible.

If you cancelled your initial booking on or before Feb 25th, you won’t be invited to book another space.


In September, we’ll begin to open test dates in early 2022.

We won’t email you in advance of each release, so you will need to regularly check GMC Online.


In the meantime, a very small number of seats might become available because of cancellations, or if we are able to add additional days or circuits. 

Guidelines following new England Lockdown

Following the government’s announcement of an England wide lockdown from January 6th 2021, we’ve reviewed the latest guidance, liaised with our suppliers and considered what it means for our PLAB tests.

PLAB 2 tests will continue with stringent hygiene and social distancing measures in place, at our Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester. You are to wear a mask throughout your time in the building and during the examination. However, if you no longer wish to take your test, please cancel your booking, and we will issue a full refund as soon as possible.


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.

Item previousNew
Stations18 with 2 rest stations15 with 3 rest stations
Exam length3hrs 10mins2hrs 51mins
pass criteria11 station plus meet pass mark of the day9 stations plus meet pass mark of the day
Role formatexaminer and role player in room– examiner and/or role player in room
– examiner observing via video link
– telephone stations
Number of candidates18 per circuit16 per circuit
Reporting time to venue8am or 11amYou will get time in your email 1 week before exam
End of exam12 30pm or 4 30pm3 pm or after

Plab 2 now has 16 stations per test, with two rest stations (from Dec 2020). This means that candidates need to pass 10 stations as well as meeting or exceeding the pass mark for the day.
This changed from 15 stations made in Aug 2020 in response to COVID.

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.


Because not all countries are currently holding IELTS exams, we’ll accept the online IELTS indicator score as an additional option when booking your test.

We’ll review this temporary arrangement when more information about the re-opening of test centres is available. You’ll still need to demonstrate evidence of your English language skills through an IELTS or OET academic test before you apply to join the register. 

And where appropriate, we’ll extend the validity of IELTS and OET certificates for those who’ve been disadvantaged by PLAB cancellations and whose date is soon to expire. Please email GMC if you’re affected, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

If you passed your PLAB 1 assessment from 15 March 2018 onward, we’ll extend the validity of your test pass from two to three years to give you more time to book onto PLAB 2. We’ll automatically amend your account, so you don’t need to do anything.


The UK government has confirmed that from 15th February 2021, passengers arriving into the UK from overseas will need to self-isolate for 10 days. International medical graduates travelling to sit our tests are not exempt from this rule. You must check the government website and comply with the law at the time you arrive.

Follow the new Quarantine rules HERE

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