IELTS and PLAB exams in Nigeria: How to migrate to the UK as medical doctor from Nigeria, the cost of IELTS in Nigeria, cost of PLAB exams in Nigeria, how to prepare for IELTS and PLAB in Nigeria, PLAB 1 exam centres in Nigeria
To practice medicine in the UK, you have to be licensed by the GMC. For international medical graduates (IMG), the most common route is PLAB. The PLAB is expected to be phased out for UKMLA by 2022, which UK graduates are also expected to write.
To write PLAB, you need to have a medical degree, proof of English language competence, IELTS or OET. IELTS is more common and readily available in Nigeria. OET has however just started in Lagos. Now to IELTS… there are two versions… the academic and the general version.
A to Z of IELTS exams in Nigeria
For the academic version there are 2 types, the regular version which is 75,000 and the UKVI is about 98,000. It comprises of 4 bands, the speaking, listening, reading and writing. Your international passport is required for IELTS registration. Please be informed that UKVI has now been abolished.
To be qualified to do PLAB, you’re supposed to have finished medical school and have passed the IELTS academic version with a score of at least 7.5 in total and at least 7 in each of the bands. The speaking and writing sessions are both subjective as they depend on your assessor.
Most people that fail do so in one of these bands, but if you’re thinking of different countries like Canada and US, you may do the regular as other countries won’t accept If you’re sure your destination is the UK just do UKVI jeje (please be informed that it has beem abolished, meaning you no longer need it to secure visa).
If you do regular, you would need to do the UKVI before eventual immigration but the pass mark needed for immigration is 4, well you no longer need to write UKVI for migration, once you pass the academic IELTS (British Council or MOD), you are good to go. Its relevant materials that is koko (main thing)prepare acutely for two weeks, depending on your baseline its enough…Useful websites include IELTSBUDDY and IELTSLIZ. E2 Language is also very cool and helpful.
The Cambridge materials too are very useful as the exams are set by the University of Cambridge. Ieltsliz also has useful videos on YouTube and ieltsbuddy is very useful for writing. Send writing samples to your friends who have passed to help you review them.Don’t ignore practising your task 1 well, it may be the difference between your 6.5 and 7.
For writing, I would say, understand your question very well, understand what’s required, plan your writing, write as appropriate, using correct vocabulary and connectors.
A key to speaking is to record yourself while practising… that way you can make corrections IELTS is valid for 2 years, so your PLAB paroles should be completed within that time including emmigration if you did UKVI or else you would have to retake.
IELTS has turned out to be the rate limiting step for most people as 6.5 in writing seems to be a recurrent score, so you should prepare for this sad reality.
Hopefully the OET may be better when it takes off fully. Right now, OET has a centre in Lagos. It is better because it it structured to suit to your profession and easier to pass. Though very expensive, you pay a whooping N150,000 naira for OET exams.
Now PLAB – from passing PLAB 1, writing PLAB 2 in the UK, and finally working in the United Kingdom👇
So next is PLAB 1 In Nigeria, the exam is twice a year, November and March. Thankfully the UK has a PLAB 1 centre in Lagos, Abuja and also in Enugu. Plab 1 result takes about 6 weeks to be released Cost is 235 pounds. By 2020, PLAB 1 exams will be three times a year in Nigeria, it will be written also in June.
Popular materials include: Samson notes, 1700 past questions, recalls,oxford handbook of medicine and patient.co.uk for referencing. Plabable which is a 180 question mcq… no negative marking for any.
It usually covers Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Ethics. Management is based on NICE guidelines. Past questions are no longer repeated but gives you and idea of what to expect The passmark is usually less than 120 but it varies.
Now unto PLAB 2… once you pass PLAB 1… you’re eligible to book a PLAB 2 date PLAB 2 is a clinical exam (OSCE) done only in the UK, Manchester, and sometimes other locations It costs £860 pounds.
Now for PLAB 2, because it’s OSCE and their system is different from ours, you need to go to the academy.
They include Samson, Swamy, Ahmed and more. There are different academies. Samson now has an academy in Lagos.
Samson claims to have the highest pass rate. He can also be saucy at times (but for your own good). Some of them give discounts for group of 5 registration. After PLAB 1 result is released the dates for 2 next 3 months are taken up… so if you plan to do yours immediately you need to have your money down.
You are supposed to do your PLAB 2 within 2 years of your PLAB 1. So budget for your visa fees, flight, accomodation, academy, plab 2, transport within UK. To apply for a visa, you need to submit a statement of account showing proof of funds in an account that is funded regularly usually for 6 months.
Alternatively you could use a sponsor. After PLAB 2, result takes about a month to be released. Once you pass PLAB 2, what is next is GMC registration… Some documentation is required at this point.
You need your certificate verified by ECFMG, do your online GMC registration. Amount to be paid depends on the number of years post graduation. To be eligible for full registration, you need to have completed your internship.
You also need a certificate of good standing from MDCN. You no longer need to travel to the UK for an ID check as that is done during PLAB 2 now. So you send your documents, they may request additional documentation.
You must have a recent IELTS or OET valid result at the time of registration (within 2 years). After your GMC registration, you look for jobs. You could work in the NHS or private sector.
To work in the UK, you need to have a work visa, usually a Tier 2 visa, or be the dependant of someone on a Tier 2 visa. So you need a job that can sponsor your Tier 2 visa and give you a certificate of sponsorship. NHS jobs are usually posted on the NHS Jobs website.
You upload your CV, package and sell your skills well, don’t lie. If employers are interested, you’ll get a Skype interview and subsequently and offer if you do well.
In the private sector, there are resident medical officer jobs being offered by agencies like RMO International and Cape Medicals. When you get an offer, and your COS, you apply for your Tier 2 Visa and you also have to pay IHS (Immigrant Health Surcharge) per year.
You also have to pay for your dependants if any. You need an IELTS UKVI, a TB test and Police clearance certificate for your Tier 2 Visa application also. If you work continuously on Tier 2 for 5 years, you get an indefinite leave to remain and no longer need a visa, and in 6-7 years you can become a British citizen. For residency training opportunities, there are lots in GP(family medicine) and psychiatry.
There are also spaces in internal medicine, paediatrics and O and G but lots of accompanying exams for O and G. Surgery is still a challenge to get a residency placement, so you need to understand this. Please ask any other questions and pardon my typos.
I hope it was worth our time. Feel free to add anything I may have missed.
Caveat: Preparing for IELTS and PLAB exams in Nigeria is expensive but way cheaper than USMLE especially if you are self-sponsored.
This is the intellectual property of: @adroitmedic (Medical Doctor)