How I prepared for PLAB 1
It took me about 3 months time to prepare PLAB and I wasted almost 1 and half months of it by reading other materials which weren't really necessary for PLAB exam. So, I'd say 1.5 months to prepare PLAB would be enough. I wasn't able to calculate how many hours a day I studied because I delivered my baby a month before.
I used to study 3 to 5 hours a day for 1.5 months. After that I was not consistent with study hours. Sometimes, it used to be 5 or 6 hours, sometimes only 3 hours.
Three most important materials to study are Unity 1700, along with Plabable and mocks. Since, it had been many years I graduated I thought I needed to know the basics for which I also watched few pathoma videos and boards and beyonds videos which was a waste of time. It helped me with my basics but it wasn't necessary at all.
PLAB is all about clinical science. The basics would be helpful for anatomy though. I could have used that time to finish Unity, Plabable and practie more mocks. In the end, I wasn't able to finish some topics like CNS and gastroenterology. And I was only able to finish about 5 plabable mocks and few swammy mocks.
My advice on what materials to use.
- Plabable : Read plabable topic wise along with Unity MCQs. For example, read the Respiratory section of plabable first then read respiratory of Unity. If you start from Unity, you might not be able to grasp everything clearly. But, if you start with Plabable , it will be easier. The explanations in Plabable is clear, concise and up to the point. There are some links provided in Plabable. Depending on your instinct, you can decide to read it or not.
- Unity: I've mentioned about it above
- Revise : Revising Plabable 2 more times will make you smarter. Your concept will be clearer. You will understand the reason of the answers.
- Plabable mocks: I think there are 9 mocks in Plabable. It is a must. I was only able to finish about 5 mocks as I had no time due to my health condition and other works. However, if you can revise and assess your knowledge with Plabable mocks, your answer will be ready in the tip of your tongue in the real exam. While doing those mocks, please revise the answers and explanations once again, so you know it by heart. You will know what are the important topics by then. Please please understand all the NICE guidelines that are important.
- Samson/Swammy mocks: This can be done in the last weeks. This will greatly test your knowledge. Also keep in mind that there are a lot of wrong answers.You can find the correct answers by reading OHCM, patient.info or NICE guidelines. It will always be nice to discuss with friends.
- Recalls : Speaking of recalls, there aren't many recalls. I just read one or two. With a little bit of research here and there, you can find those recalls and materials in facebook group.
- NICE guidelines/ patient.info/OHCM: NICE guidelines is different, so do not use your country's guidelines to answer a question. You can also get information from patient.info. For wrong answers, you can check OHCM.
I played these videos everyday before exam
There are extra materials that students have used to increase their scores. These are materials that I never used for myself.
- Samson notes : I did not read these notes because they were in bullet forms and I wasn't able to grasp at all. But a lot of students liked it. They found Samson notes helpful as well. You might as well use it to increase our knowledge.
- Passmedicine: Those who studied pass medicine scored really high. In my case, I didn't have the time to study. Also, my brain wasn't really ready to absorb everything from it. But to those who had enough time, pass medicine helped them score a lot in Plabable. Plabable was very easy to those who aced in Passmedicine
- OHCM : I didn't really use it that much unless I was doubtful about some answers in different mocks.
- Swammy notes: I personally did few Samson mocks and only 1 Swammy mock. I think both are the same. Most students use both. Please check it yourself. Like I said, I didn't have enough time to study so I had to be selective.
- One liners : I used one liner only in opthalmology. However, I didn't find one liners helpful as they were all one lines. And the answer depends on the type of question. One liner only confused me.But it can be helpful in some questions. It depends on you.
Do's and Dont's!!
- Plabable plabable plabable
- Understanding by heart
- Being consistent everyday whether it be 2 hrs, 4 hours or 5 hours. Try to be consstent
- Join PLAB groups
- Discuss with friends or make a whatsapp group and conduct skype sessions to revise mocks. This will rule out wrong answers and each will have some contribution.
- Don't memorize. Understanding is the key
- Don't use your country's guidelines. Use NICE guidelines
- Don't believe in all the answers of mocks. If you're doubtful check it.
- Make sure you have your ID, pencils, sharpeners and erasers ready
- Take breakfast
- Meditate and relax
- Don't overhydrate
- Wear warm clothes
- Be positive
- Don't get stressed
- ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS, even if you're confused. Never leave a blank. Don't take more than 50 seconds in one question. Answer it right away even if you're confused. But do not leave a single blank. If you have time, you can check it later. Just mark the confusing ones. You might not even have time to recheck all the confusing ones.
- Do not calculate how much you might score in the middle of your exam. Do it only in the end. I made a mistake of counting my correct answers in the middle while giving answers because of which I couldn't recheck all the confusing questions. But I was able to check half of them.
- DO NOT TRY TO CHEAT
- Make sure you're shading in the correct boxes . So many students have had this problem. When they realized, they shaded in the wrong numbers and boxes, they were out of time.
- Keep note of time. 50 seconds for one question.
- Do not discuss, as it will stress you
- Have a positive attitude
- Chill and relax
- Have faith in yourself
- You've worked hard, believe in yourself
Lastly, I'd like to thank my family especially my husband and my mother for being supportive. I'd like to thank God, Universe and Angels For making me lucky.
My last piece of advice is believing in yourself. Universe is always working with you. So, always be grateful to everyone. Law of attraction really works.