Done with IELTS or OET and now desperately looking for a PLAB 1 exam slot? Failed the exam and hopeless because cannot find the earliest slots?
Or just panicking because the PLAB 1 seats are for next year? Apparently, you have landed at the right spot to help you out here. Through this post, I will help you how to book PLAB 1 effectively with some tricks and tips.
Planning PLAB 1 Journey
- Step 1: Passing IELTS/OET and providing your English Proficiency Exam to GMC
- Step 2: Knowing the Exam Dates
- Step 3: Booking PLAB 1 Slot Effectively (You are here)
- Step 4: Picking the Right Study Material
- Step 5: Creating A Study Schedule
- Step 6: EPIC Verification
- Step 7: Applying for UK Visa (all documents, cover letter, invitation letter, and experiences)
- Step 8: Booking PLAB 2 Academy
- Step 9: Booking an Accommodation
- Step 10: Passing the PLAB 2 Exam
- Step 11: Getting GMC Registration
- Step 12: Creating a Perfect CV
- Step 13: Searching for Jobs
Other guides you can check out:
PLAB 1 Seats 2023 Timelines
PLAB 1 exam is held 4 times a year. You can read our complete post on PLAB 1 Exam Dates here. Following are the latest dates (as of writing now) you should know to book PLAB 1:
PLAB 1 Exam Fees
It was 240 GBP earlier but the cost is increased a bit now. Check out the latest Fees for PLAB 1 Seat Booking along with PLAB 2 below:
Cancellation fees for PLAB 1 exam increase as the date for the exam come closer. This is why I recommend going through all tips on how to book PLAB 1.
This is the reason many doctors are flooding Facebook and Whatsapp groups to pay for any cancellation fees in exchange for seats. Below is a simple list:
9 Things You Are Definitely Doing Wrong for PLAB 1 Exam Booking
1. Not keeping a Handy and Valid Payment Card
Trust me, many fail to pay for the slot when the “My Precious” pops up. Reason? Either their payment method is rejected or their card is not allowed for foreign transactions.
Don't be lame, test your card for foreign transactions, contact your bank and confirm, reassure yourself by buying something online (stupid but what's the loss?). Make sure your payment card is not declined when the time comes to book PLAB 1.
As for me, Axis Bank Neo Credit Card worked like a charm.
2. Trying to find a Seller
This is the step we fall for when the ship is about to sink. I know the panic, have been there, and despite my extravagant knowledge about the internet, I thought- “What if there is the slightest chance?”.
NOOO!! That is a big no to acknowledge that such a thing does not exist. Nobody will be able to sell their PLAB 1 exam seat in the first place, you know why?
Because even if they cancel their slot, GMC does not releases that slot immediately. And you can merely guess (I guessed some 12 hours) when that cancelled slot will be made available. You think you can beat the likely hungry ones desperately looking for slot and book before them? Go on, be my guest and try to book PLAB 1.
3. Falling for Scams
During my panic period, I saw a lot of posts on Facebook where these scammers with unusual pretty names posted they are canceling their seats.
Please don’t fall for them. I will self-administer rectal diazepam if you message them seeking details.
It is easy to identify these scammers, and even if not, a successful outcome is not achievable.
4. Sharing GMC Login with others for help
Maybe I can ask my family or friends for the rescue? They can help me check slots while I am not doing the same?
Again, don’t do that. You will lose your dream of NHS if you try things like that. Try to be hard working and fair, because these are the virtues GMC looks for. Read what GMC says about it:
5. Giving up the moment slot is immediately picked up
When I re-booked my PLAB 1 exam slot, it was taken at the first moment even before I could click it. But patience was the only thing I could gather.
I kept refreshing because I knew many people fail to make successful transactions while booking PLAB 1 exam seats. And yes, I was right!
If a slot pops up and it is taken immediately before you can book PLAB 1 seat, keep refreshing. There are very high chances it will re-appear because of failed transaction from the person who grabbed it. Don't lose yourself immediately.
6. Simultaneous Logins from Different Browsers and Platforms
Do you think you can outsmart GMC by logging into multiple browsers on your phone and on your laptop? Chances are, you will get your account blocked for quite a while.
7. Checking only at a Single Time of Day
To be honest, there is no saying when the slot will pop up. In my opinion, it is better to check at night because some super-smart people might be trying to exchange seats (sarcasm alert). You can grab it before they do.
I was able to book it the first time at 4:30 AM and the next one at 2:30 PM. There is hardly any evidence to prove which time is most suitable.
Don't rely on specific timings people tell you, especially those Gandalf-the-greats who tell you the GMC releases slots at 4AM or midnight. Check throughout the day, before sleeping and after waking up. Let them be your Hypnagogic and Hypnapompic hallucinations. Who knows, when the next one will emerge?
8. Giving up
Alas, many of us will give up in the end. Trust me, I was checking the slots every day for a month and every 15-20 minutes except when I was sleeping.
Do you think it is easy to book PLAB 1 exam slot? No. But you need to know how well prepared you should be.
Will you give up on your dreams so easily? Ask that to yourself in mirror and the answer will echo in your ears immediately.
9. Spamming groups for Cancellation requests
We all have seen those messages, and some of us might have done them ourselves. But the question again arises, will it work? What are the odds the account will be banned forever?
Are you even ready to risk your entire career for such a stupid thing? There you go, you have your answer.
9 Things to Do while Booking PLAB 1 Exam Seats
They worked like a charm for me, maybe you can find some of them helping you. Check them out below:
1. Checking all-day
Yes, you heard it right. Check all day either on your phone or on your laptop. Don’t worry, you will still be able to book on your phone if your browser is right.
Sit on your laptop when you can, but refresh on your mobile when you are working or away.
The moment you see it, dump any other activity, nothing can be more important than this. Take a break and calmly proceed to book PLAB 1 exam seat.
2. Recommended Browsers
Personally, I am a big fan of Firefox. Create an account on Firefox and sync your devices. That way, you will be able to easily navigate through the GMC portal with a saved password.
You can still try chrome or your native browsers if you feel they are more reliable.
Tip: If the auto-save password does not work, you can still manually add password to the GMC login page so when you open it, you simply have to click and click to book PLAB 1.
3. Sticking with Social Platforms
Join our group for Slot updates and Notes PDF Files for PLAB 1 exam:
Stay connected to famous platforms such as Facebook groups (some notable ones- Plab, Plab Part 1 Preparation Forum and Plab Part 1), Telegram groups (Highly suggest Plab 1 easy with Dr Amber- she has been giving free online classes for long now!) and Whatsapp groups (especially the ones made by Plabable).
The idea is to stay updated if the news of cancellations starts popping up on these platforms. You know you have to be more vigilant now and win the race to book PLAB 1.
4. Specific searches for PLAB 1 Exam Cancellations
You can browse through these groups individually and search "Cancel" or try other related keyword and filter through "Most recent" to look out for cancellations.
Sometimes, fellow doctors post screenshots of canceled PLAB 1 exam seats that are available. Don’t be late for such notifications.
5. Falling for all slots are closed
Yep, many will give up when they hear all slots are closed. No, they are not.
There is a difference between overseas slots and UK slots. The overseas PLAB 1 exam slots close earlier but the UK based close late. You can still book these PLAB 1 UK slots if you can manage funds and have your visa ready.
6. Making a habit
This is perhaps the most crucial one. If you eventually lose interest, you lose your very chance of success.
Make tiny bits of changes in your routine, have your phone checking while making tea, check slots while walking outdoors or when idle- These are simple things that you can integrate into your day-to-day life for a while.
7. Continue studying
Indeed, you get a slot within 4 weeks and you are not prepared because you never believed you can get it. What use is all that effort now? Stick to studies and sacrifice for a while (sarcasm alert).
You can check out my Ultra short notes I recently uploaded on Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases for PLAB 1. These will help you if you are looking to book PLAB 1 and study simultaneously.
8. Making a timetable
I used One-Note to make my timetable and not just notes. Divided my weeks and days to achieving clear-cut targets. You can have a look below and perhaps try creating your own:
9. There is NO SHORTCUT
Of all the things I mentioned above, I clearly made my point- there is no shortcut that can help you book PLAB 1 seat.
You have to do it yourself, for yourself. Work hard but smart too. Know when your thoughts can falter, and when you have to keep focused.
I have no regrets to say- Booking PLAB 1 exam seats was more exhausting than preparing for the exam. I felt hopeless at intervals but recollected and told myself- One day I am going to work as FY2 in NHS.
Best of luck with your bookings and hope to see you in the UK! Hope you are not one of the NEET PG aspirants taking this exam after MBBS as an alternative.
If you feel hopeless while looking to book PLAB 1 exam seats, start googling things like- “How much does a doctor make in the UK”.
There is in fact a video that I used to watch a lot- How to make 100,000 GBP in one year as FY2 in the UK. For peace of mind, try it below:
How much time did it take you to book cancelled seat
Hi doc, it took me 9 days to book the next slot (result announced- 21st September, Booked on 30th September). To be honest, it was tiring and exhausting than the Plab exam itself. But fappy fast fingers and the above mentioned tips, I was able to secure the seat. Recently got my result and passed ^.^ (result for 3rd November 2022 Plab 1 came out on 15th December 2022).
Wonderful tips! Very glad to have come across this, really helped me book a cancelled seat.
Thank you, Dr. Varun!
Thank you doc. Thrilled to receive responses ^.^