My PLAB 1 Experience
I realise now that my post has more advice and less of my experience. So I will try to share my experience of PLAB 1 preparation:
Real Prep was for 4 Months:
As you can see from My Timeline for PLAB 1 Preparation, I spread my PLAB 1 preparation over 10 months, which made the journey VERY easy for me. Even after wasting the first three months on irrelevant study material and the spending the next two months on IELTS, I still had enough time for PLAB 1 preparation.
Studied at Work:
I completed most of my PLAB 1 preparation at the hospital, during my internship. I had downloaded all the questions and the notes on my phone. So it was easy to access them.
Studied On The Go:
I used to set a daily target of 100 -200 questions. And this is how I went about them:
2-5 questions before getting fresh in the morning.
2-5 questions after getting fresh in the morning.
2-5 questions during breakfast.
2-5 questions before leaving home.
10-20 questions on my way to work.
2-5 questions at work before the consultants reached.
2-5 questions at every opportunity at work.
50-100 questions during the break.
50-100 questions during seminars/lectures/teaching sessions.
So on most days, I had completed 100-200 questions by the time that I would get back home from work. If for any reason, I could not complete my target at work, I would spend an hour or half at home and complete my target easily.
Did Not Study Hard:
So I never studied past 8 PM for my PLAB 1. On most days, I did not study after 5 PM. I watched hours and hours of TV shows every single day. I studied in a very relaxed and tension-free mode. The secret to keeping my life easy was to start my preparation early during the year and early every day as well.
I was one of those students who failed more than half of my class tests at school. I never passed any mock exam in medical school. Not because I was poor at studying. I just did not feel like studying all the time. I always studied after my mocks and I always passed my finals by a small (but comfortable) margin.
A month before the exam, I was tired and bored of studying, since I was well aware of all the questions by now. So I stopped studying. But I did keep my eyes and ears open. Since a few of my friends were also studying for PLAB 1, I used to listen to their discussions. But I stopped studying myself.
A week before the exam, I took a leave’s absence from work. I was keen on making the most of this time and study hard. But I ended up watching 3 movies every day during this week. I did study on the final day for an hour. But I realised that I was well prepared, so I did not make any more effort.
- Swamy’s 1700 – random questions arranged from Swamy’s past mocks by a senior PLABBER on this forum.
- Samson’s 7 mocks from June 2013 (1400 questions)
- Samson’s online Q bank – questions are arranged according to units (2782 questions)
So in total, I went through nearly 6,000 questions. I went through most of them thrice.
- I did go through Samson’s notes as well, but very superficially. I did not try to memorise them.
It was the easiest exam of my life. It had 100-150 questions from 1700 and the 7 mocks. It was difficult to fail the exam, to be honest. I knew after the exam that I had passed.
The exam was very easy for me because I started my preparation very early and I went through nearly 6,000 questions twice or thrice.
(This post was originally published by me on 23rd Dec 2014 on the PLAB Facebook Group and later edited on 24th March 2017)