I have recently passed PLAB 2. From my experience the actual GMC exam is much easier than mock. Most of the examiners are nice and actors are well trained. Here are some simple guidelines to make this exam easy.
1- In counselling stations after checking patient's understanding, make your life easy by asking patient's concerns rather than giving a lecture. For example patient undergoing Herniorraphy might be more interested in knowing about pain killers rather than the procedure details. Let the actor speak in counselling station and believe me the station will be very easy. Avoid medical jargons
2- In history station know about 4 common d/d’s of each symptom and ask questions accordingly. Some histories have some particular important points e.g. in Psychiatry there is assessment of suicidal risk and social history. In Pediatrics asking about feeding of baby, waterworks, activity, jabs, any significant events during, before or after delivery of baby and health of other siblings is important. One important thing during history is to respond to patient's complaints e.g. if he has got pain, you may ask the examiner about pain killers. If patient has photophobia you might offer to dim the light of room. One important thing is not to fire questions. There is always enough time in history. Take it in a calm manner and keep in mind patient's comfort. Avoid medical jargons.
3- Examination: many candidates don't complete the station and still pass. Trick is not to panic. Do all steps properly and if you miss any step please mention at 4:30 bell that ideally you would like to have also done this and that.....
4- Mannequins Trend in changing in mannequins. The initial grips part like introduction, consent, gloved are already assumed to have been done when you read the station outside. So when you go inside sometimes you would to start the procedure directly. Keep in mind safety precautions like sharps bin and cleaning with antiseptic solutions.
5- VIVA of emergencies: Just follow the oxford hand book of Medicine guidelines and don't forget ABC.
6- Keep update of recent stations. Sometimes many stations of exam held a few days back are repeated.
7- Recommended Books? No PLAB book is perfect. You might consult oxford handbooks for d/d's and viva. Among the available books London PLAB 2nd edition is a better option though it is not perfect.
8- About Mock exams: mock exams are more difficult than the actual GMC exam. You can take a few of them but don't rely too much on them as mock actors are not well trained and their examiners are sometimes too strict. Now days almost every course is doing a mock. I think you might take anyone of them. It really doesn't matter which course or which mock.
9- Most Important Thing is to be confident on the day of exam. Act like a doctor and not like medical student. Everyone makes mistakes in exam due to anxiety. But please make sure you don't make a major mistake. By regular practice you can easily avoid making major mistakes in the actual exam.
10- Please don't complicate your preparation. Some people keep on trying to make a perfect plan for each station. Please keep this exam simple.
11- Finally thanks to regular contributors of this forum. This is my last visit in this plab2 forum and I hope that more people would keep on guiding other plabbers on this forum. My views only give a general idea about exam. Best of luck to everyone.
Note: Originally posted at http://www.rxpgonline.com/postt28655.html