I passed my PLAB 2 exam earlier this year. I passed 15 stations. I attended common stations academy


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I passed my PLAB 2 exam earlier this year. I passed 15 stations. I attended common stations academy. The reason I didn’t post a review was because I don’t think that any academy can have an honest review without both pros and cons, and due to the respect I had for Dr. Hamed, I decided not to write an honest review. Today, I have decided to change my mind, because of an incident that happened a few days ago.

• Many of you probably saw a post by ‘Tetanus Toxoid’ under which someone commented an honest comparison between common stations and aspire. I was shocked to hear that this friend of mine was personally called by Dr. Hamed, who threatened to file a petition against him if he didn’t delete the comment. It’s sad to see that this academy can accept heaps of praise but when it comes to criticism, it’s a complete different story.

• Now for my honest review. I’ll start with the positives.
• Dr. Hamed teaches the class himself. He is a dedicated and hardworking individual, who teaches from morning to night with the same intensity no matter the time of day.

• He has an excellent history taking template, and has scripts for every scenario, which he compiles with the help of students who have just given the exam.

• Common stations has all the equipment and mannequins (including simman) required to pass any examination station.

• The female accommodation is less than 100m away. There are two male accommodation buildings. One is a 6 minute walk. The other is much further. The accommodation is bearable if you’re willing to share two bathrooms between ten people. It isn’t usually a problem if everyone is thoughtful.

• If you’re in Barking for the sole purpose of studying, then you shouldn’t have a problem with it being one of the worst and least exciting places in London to live in. It can be unsafe at times, so its best to walk in a group, especially when class finishes (Class starts at 10am and never finishes before 10pm)

• You are given two mock exams. The usefulness of these mocks depends on the people who are conducting the mocks. They are all people who have just passed their PLAB 2 exam. If you’re really lucky, one of them might be willing to go the extra mile for you by giving you great feedback. On the other hand, you might get someone who just can’t wait till you get out of their face.

• Now for the negatives. It is not a 15 day course. After 15 days, you will have a 3 day gap, after which you will have another three days of classes from 10am to 1am (with the usual 1 hour break in between). So if you do end up going to common stations, please consider the extra days before booking your exam. A 4-5 week gap after the last day of the academy is ideal. Please do not book your exam before that as many do end up failing. Better safe than sorry.

• As a few have said before, Dr. Hamed is not punctual. This is true. The students have to be punctual though if they want to avoid Dr. Hamed’s typical tantrum. He can be very rude at times.

• The classroom is too small for the 80+ people that are forced into it. People will certainly be uncomfortable, especially the guys with large body frames.

• In my opinion, this torturous course can be completed in less time if so much time isn’t wasted, for example in reading out every single script loudly and writing things down (which we never read later on).

• As I said before, Dr. Hamed teaches history taking very well. The problem is that PLAB 2 is not just about history taking. A flaw in the academy is that they do not teach interpersonal skills, which is a huge aspect of the exam. So you won’t really learn how to pass PLAB 2. You’ll just learn how to take history.

• The PLAB 2 exam is getting more difficult as time goes by due to new stations being added at a faster pace than before. One thing which is quite irritating about this academy is that they don’t give you the newer stations until very close to your exam. This gives you very little time to prepare for them.

• The pass rate of this academy is not even close to what it should be. This is mainly because people just read the scripts and blurt it out in the exam (as taught in the academy). Interpersonal skills are not taught in this academy, so the only way you can develop or improve them is to practice with each other.

• You’ve probably seen a lot of positive reviews about common stations. A lot of these are as a result of Dr. Hamed personally calling the student and giving them the same heartfelt sob story about how people are writing negative reviews about him. He requests these students to write a positive review for him.

• The purpose of this post is not to bash any academy. I have only been to common stations and can only give information about my experience there. Many people go to the academy and realise that they have been misguided. I hope this post has cleared any misconceptions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and each and every opinion should be respected whether positive or negative. Common stations, if you accept all the praise, you have to accept all the critics. A flower needs both the Sun and the rain to grow.

• Thank you for reading. If you have any other concerns, feel free to PM me