We have developed a list of tips for your PLAB 2 exam that we believe will be very useful. Here are our top ones:
- BE YOURSELF
The best piece of advice I could give you is to be yourself. We see many candidates “playing a role” they think the examiners want to see. Not only chatty extroverts pass the exam! Just be who you are as a doctor.
- TRY NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT AS AN EXAM, BUT A BUSY CLINIC DAY
You will have a lot to do in a little over three hours. Just try to think of the exam as a busy day with 18 consultations on your clinic list. This was my strategy during my own exam, and it certainly paid off!
- COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION
Have I said it enough times? Communication is key! You were tested on your medical knowledge during PLAB 1; therefore, PLAB 2’s main focus is your ability to communicate clearly in a test environment.
If you are struggling to gather information from a patient about their medical history to make a diagnosis or to establish if they understand treatment because of your verbal communication skills, this will affect your performance.
The role player needs to be able to understand what you are asking of them or telling them.
- FOCUS ON THE PATIENT’S NEEDS AND CONCERNS
It is pivotal that you assess for these throughout the consultation and address them appropriately as they come up. Remember that you are expected to provide patient-centred care; the only way to do so is by understanding who is in front of you and what are their concerns and needs.
- PRACTISE YOUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS
I would advise you to create a study group full of people from different places to make sure you do not speak your native tongue while practising for PLAB 2. Ideally, team up with a native English speaker (or someone who has been speaking English for many years). Native speakers will be able to help you sound more natural.
Best of luck!
Irene is Medical Advisor for Bromley Emergency Courses and has recently taken PLAB 2.