Many people asked me how to for PLAB-1 properly when one has only a month left before the exam.
So, I decided to share how I myself prepared in the last month before PLAB-1.
40 Days before the Exam
Let’s suppose the exam is in 40 days. Create a plan to revise at least 3-4 times within the first 38 days, ie 1 round of revision (PLAB-1 Keys + extra explanations from Plabable) in about 10 days.
You can review 3-4 systems (or as much as you can) per day. It takes time in the beginning but gradually you can speed up. Eg –
There are about 12 large, 8 medium, and rest small systems. So, arrange each day’s topics by mixing large and small together, eg – Anatomy, Orthopedics, Surgery, Vascular for one day.
If you feel tired after finishing a large system then keep a smaller one in between two large systems.
Make a roster of what you’re gonna study in the next 10 days – eg first day 4 systems, next day 5 systems, and so on. You may not achieve the target all the time but at least you can strive for it.
Always remember revision is the most important thing in this preparation.
I used to keep more gaps in revising the subjects I was good at. Eg I did hematology, pharmacology hardly 1-2 times. I also kept those revisions just before the exam so that I could better remember them by studying less.
For the topics that you find difficult to remember – you can read small sections of it every day in the morning before starting your regular study plan.
Eg I used to read the table on pneumonia that Dr. Rahman Orin uploaded on Facebook – at least 1-2 questions are asked from this topic. You can read it from OHCM too. I also added infectious diseases, orthopedics, etc. Whatever you find difficult, study it for half to 1 hour every morning.
I kept some subjects like pediatrics, pharmacology at the end of the revision period as most of the contents in them are already covered by other subjects, this keeps you from repeating the same thing over and over.
Plabable online has 11 mocks, along with 2-3 big mocks. Don’t worry if you score 70-96%. Keep about 1.5 hours as the questions asked in the exam have large stems like Plabable (2 questions in 1 page, unlike Swammy-Samson which are 1 or 2 lines long)
Complete these mocks every alternate day. People who finished Plabable multiple times may find it boring as most questions are the same as those in the question bank, but still practice those – it will increase your confidence in the exam amidst large question stems.
You can also practice from Swammy, Samson mocks, but in that case don’t dig too much into why this option is right, which the other one is wrong? Sometimes the answer may differ from Plabable – in that case, the one in Plababe is the right one.
3-day Webinar from Plabable
It’s useful. They update all the management, investigations, etc in those 3 days. I followed the Mx, Lx of asthma, COPD, MI, stroke, pulmonary edema, UC, CD, etc from this webinar. They maintain the sequence while explaining the management in detail – which is very useful. The big mocks are useful too.
N.B. Plabable doesn’t update their question bank that much, they do it in the 3-day webinar – so mailing them is of no use.
The Last 10 Days before the Exam
Revise every topic once in the first 7 days. That leaves 2 days. Revise once in these two days – I finished this revision by completing each subject within 2-3 hours. I had to study till noon of exam day as I had some unfinished revisions.
You can revise the epidemiology 2 days before the exam as it’s difficult to remember.
Complete the March, September, Nov, June of 2019, plus March of 2020 if you get time. You must finish the March 2020 (my exam was in 2020) before the exam. I couldn’t do any except the Nov 2019 due to a shortage of time.
Morning of the Exam
Revise the topic that you find difficult – I reviewed epidemiology, anatomy, orthopedics, endocrine, genetics, alcohol, end of care in the Miscellaneous section.
Then studied the 2 pages of Ethics by Sumaiya noshin binte akram – very useful
I put more stress on revision compared to mocks as I used to forget a lot
You can pass even without following this prep plan – this article is mainly for those people who can’t remember without revising.
I attached some pics of my study plan – sorry for the handwriting.
Dr. Khyrun Nisa