9 Hacks for Booking PLAB 1 Seats

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Done with IELTS or OET and now desperately looking for a PLAB 1 slot? Failed in 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.

Before you look at those 9 beautiful tips, try to understand when and how GMC releases these PLAB 1 seats.

PLAB 1 Seat Timelines

Plab 1 is held 4 times in a year. Following are the latest dates (as of writing now):

Fees for PLAB 1

It was 240 GBP earlier but the cost is increased a bit now. Check out latest Fees for PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 below:

Cancellation Fees

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Cancellation fees for PLAB 1 increases as the date for exam comes closer. 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 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.
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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 internet, I thought- “What if there is a slightest of chance?”.

NOOO!! That is a big no to acknowledge that such thing does not exist. Nobody will be able sell their seat at 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.

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 cancelling their seats. Please don’t fall for them. I will self-administer rectal diazepam if you message them seeking details.

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It is easy to identify these scammers, and even if not, the 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 slot, it was taken at 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 seats. And yes, I was right!

If a slot pops up and it is taken immediately before you can book it, 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

You think you can outsmart GMC by logging into multiple browsers in 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 first time at 4:30AM and the next one at 2:30PM. 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. You think it is easy? 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 stupid thing? There you go, you have your answer.

9 Things to Do while looking for PLAB 1 Seats

They worked like a charm for me, maybe you can find some of them helping to you. Check them out below:

1. Checking all day

Yes, you heard it right. Check all day either on your phone or on laptop. Don’t worry, you will still be able to book on phone if your browser is right. Sit on laptop when you can, but refresh on mobile when you are working or away.

The moment you see it, dump any other activity, nothing can be more important this this. Take a break and calmly proceed to booking.

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 GMC portal with 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.

3. Sticking with Social Platforms

Join our group for Slot updates and Notes PDF Files for PLAB 1:

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 cancellation starts popping up on these platforms. You know you have to be more vigilante now and win the race.

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4. Specific searches for PLAB 1 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 cancelled PLAB 1 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 slots close earlier but the UK based close late. You can still book these 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 which you can integrate in 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.

8. Making a time table

I used One-Note to make my time table 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 get a 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.

Conclusion

I have no regrets to say- Booking PLAB 1 was more exhausting than preparing for the exam. Felt hopeless at intervals, recollected and told myself- One day I am going to work as FY2 in NHS. Best of luck for your bookings and hope to see you in UK.

Bonus Tips

If you feel hopeless, start googling things like- “How much does a doctor make in 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 UK. For peace of mind, try it below:

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