AMC vs. PLAB: Everything You Need to Know | Academically

AMC vs. PLAB: Everything You Need to Know

Mar 12, 2024 3 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • The blog provides a comprehensive list of testing centres for both exams, illustrating the global reach of these assessments and showcasing the array of countries where aspiring doctors can take these pivotal steps in their careers.
  • Understand the key differences between the AMC and PLAB exams, emphasising their respective structures, including multiple-choice assessments and practical clinical examinations.

Imagine this. You have completed your medical degree, the coveted white coat is donned, and the stethoscope has become your best friend. As you step out into the world of healthcare, embracing the noble profession of a doctor, you have a world of career opportunities shining bright in front of you. When you stand at a crossroads, it is extremely important to make the right choice so that you can have the best of your profession and career. 

Doctors are, in a way, the warriors on the healthcare front. You deserve respect, recognition, and rewarding careers. This may not come easy to you. Making your mark in the healthcare field is an uphill battle, and only hard work, smart choices, and genuine commitment can take you there. 

Since doctors are the strongest pillars of healthcare, the demand for these heroes is through the roof everywhere in the world. From urban to rural, rich to poor, and young to old, everybody needs the services of doctors. In this blog, we will explore the licensing examinations for two of the greatest destinations for doctors: the AMC exam for Australia and the PLAB exam for the United Kingdom. Let us understand the key differences between these exams and you can make your choice.

An Introduction to the AMC Exam

The AMC exam stands for the Australian Medical Council examination. This exam, conducted by the Australian Medical Council, is the gateway to seeking registration to practise medicine in Australia. The two parts of the AMC exam, AMC 1 and AMC 2, will thoroughly examine your theoretical knowledge, clinical competence and readiness to become a doctor in Australia by meeting the standards set by the country's unbeatable healthcare system. Doctors from around the world can take this exam if they meet the eligibility requirements of the Australian Medical Council. 

Understanding the PLAB Exam

The PLAB exam stands for the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board. This exam is conducted by the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom. This assessment will determine if the international medical graduates seeking registration to practise in the United Kingdom are capable of delivering safe and effective care in the country. There are two parts to the PLAB exam: PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. Clearing the PLAB exam is your ticket to the healthcare field in the United Kingdom. 

Differences Between the AMC Exam and the PLAB Exam

For international medical graduates, crossing the bridge to practise abroad requires conquering robust licensing exams: the PLAB in the UK and the AMC in Australia. Both stand as guardians, ensuring competent doctors are equipped to operate in foreign healthcare systems. But which path should you choose?

Forget dry comparisons. Imagine yourself strolling along the cobbled streets in London or basking in the golden sunshine in Australia. Let us explore the key differences between these examinations.

Eligibility Criteria


- The candidate must hold a primary medical qualification obtained from a medical school listed and recognised by the Australian Medical Council. Alternatively, your medical degree should be deemed comparable to Australian medical standards by the AMC.
- Completion of the compulsory rotatory internship after attaining the degree.
- Full and unrestricted registration in your home country or country of training without withdrawal of the registration.
- For more information, visit the official website of the Australian Medical Council.


- The international medical graduates applying must hold a primary medical qualification recognised by an institution listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.
- The applicant must have undertaken clinical rotations as part of their primary medical qualification (12 months).
- The English language proficiency should be proven by achieving a minimum overall score of 7.5 in the IELTS academic modules, with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component. If opted for OET, a minimum score of B grade should be obtained in each area.
- For more details, please refer to the General Medical Council website.

Examination Structure


There are two parts to the AMC exam. The first part is known as the AMC MCQ, and the second part is the AMC clinical examination or workplace-based assessment. The AMC MCQ examination is conducted as a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that are administered over 3.5 hours. The AMC clinical examination is like a hands-on test where they check how well you can take care of patients, communicate, review information, and make diagnoses. There are 20 different parts to the test, and it usually lasts around 3 hours and 20 minutes.


The PLAB exam has two parts: PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. PLAB 1 is a 3-hour paper-based written assessment comprising 180 multiple-choice questions. PLAB 2, is an objective structured clinical exam comprising 16 scenarios that last 8 minutes. 

Exam Centres

AMC: The AMC MCQ can be taken from several exam centres in and out of Australia. The list of countries includes Greece, New Zealand, India, Thailand, China, Germany, France, and more. The AMC clinical examination can be taken online or in person in Melbourne, Australia.

PLAB: The PLAB 1 can be taken from multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and more. But the PLAB 2 can only be taken from Manchester, United Kingdom.


Understanding the nuances of these examinations and appreciating the cultural landscapes of the United Kingdom and Australia can help aspiring doctors make informed decisions about their career paths.

As we wrap up our journey through the PLAB and AMC exams, remember that these tests are like keys, unlocking doors to exciting opportunities in the world of medicine. Passing them isn't just about showing what you know – it's about proving your dedication, adaptability, and readiness to bring your skills to new places. So, whether you're dreaming of stethoscopes in the UK or kangaroos in Australia, success in these exams isn't just a checkbox; it's your ticket to making a real difference in patients' lives around the globe. 

If you are dreaming of becoming an overseas doctor, visit to discover the best preparatory courses for medical licensure in countries such as Australia, UK, US, etc.


Q: What is assessed in the PLAB 2 exam?

Ans: PLAB 2 is an objective structured clinical exam consisting of 16 scenarios, each lasting 8 minutes. It evaluates practical clinical skills, communication, and patient care.

Q: Can I take the AMC exam outside Australia?

Ans: Yes, the AMC MCQ can be taken at various international exam centres, including countries like Greece, New Zealand, India, Thailand, China, Germany, and France. The clinical examination can be taken online or in person in Melbourne, Australia.

Q: Why are the AMC and PLAB exams important for international medical graduates?

Ans: Successfully passing the AMC or PLAB exams is crucial for international medical graduates as it opens doors to practising medicine in Australia or the United Kingdom, contributing to diverse and respected healthcare systems globally.

Nuha Mariyam
Nuha Mariyam
about the author

Nuha Mariyam has more than three years of experience in content writing. She strongly believes in the power of creativity and the impact that it makes. With a keen eye for detail and a love for words, Nuha specialises in creating engaging and informative content across various fields, including healthcare.