Syed Shahmeer Raza’s PLAB 1 Experience
7 to 10 Days of Prep
I received my IELTS result a few days before the application process for PLAB 1 closed. I booked my PLAB 1 and did not get to study for the next 2 to 3 weeks. It came to the last 10 days that I actually started studying for it. It was a do or die situation for me. This is obviously not something that I would recommend. Do give the exam the respect it deserves and I am sure you will ace it.
How I Studied?
I used to sit in the hospital library and study for 8 to 12 hours with small breaks for tea and meals.
How to use 1700 Questions?
A point that I would like to make is that you should not use any 1700 MCQs source as an assessment tool, rather use it as a learning tool as you are doing it for the first time. It is okay if you can not get all of the MCQs right. Do not panic.
PLABZILLA: I did Plabzilla, which is essentially all that you need for the exam . After doing it once, I switched to the mocks.
Mocks : A senior (Dr. Shayan Qadir) who I highly acknowledge, told me to attempt the mocks under 2 hours and to my surprise, I would do most under 2 hours. The actual exam is very lengthy (at least the question stems are); add to it the fact that you are under exam conditions.
- PLABDOABLE : While I was doing the mocks I tried doing PLABDOABLE (the best source), but I was short of time. I would recommend if you have to do one thing for the PLAB 1 exam, do this. I could only read 300 or 400 MCQs at max but I highly recommend this.
I scored 161/200 in my PLAB 1. I received my PLAB 1 score on the 19thApril, 2018. The average score for the test was 137 with a passing score of 131. This was a little higher than expected as the test was relatively difficult, different and everyone had mixed feelings after getting out of the exam hall. Also, the average pass score is usually around 125. The point that I am trying to make here is that you might have mixed feelings after getting out of the exam but believe me if you put in a little effort and be smart, you can easily pass the exam with a decent score.
Take Home Message
- Attempt all the MCQs and you will pass. It is You vs the Time as two of my seniors (Dr Mujtaba and Dr Babar) had made it clear to me.
- Do as many Mocks as possible. They prepare you for the exam. Time them while attempting them.
- Use the 1700 source as a learning tool and not as an assessment tool.
- The best source to cram the course is to do the Clinchers. I did the Clinchers on the night before the exam. These are available on the PLAB Facebook page.
- Never forget that you just have to pass the exam and you have the leverage of getting even 60+ MCQs wrong. Anything around 140 and you ‘ll pass it gracefully.
- The exam essentially tests the concept covered in the 1700 MCQs but never think that you will see the exact repetition of those in the exam. It is to take into account that 1700 will cover most rather all concepts tested on the exam.
- Discuss controversial MCQs on Social media and take help from any friends taking the exam. I use to discuss it with my friends on WhatsApp. It was very essential rather proved vital in the end.
- Believe in your self and remember confidence is the key to success.
PLAB 1 is a very basic exam but you need to play smart and with a little hard work you can go across the line even if you have less than a fortnight to prepare for the exam.
Dr Syed Shahmeer Raza
Dr. Syed Shahmeer Raza graduated from medical school in July 2017. He took his PLAB 1 during his House Job in March 2018. This article was published with his consent.