Pass Your UKMLA With Hive Medical Academy

The UKMLA (UK Medical Licencing Assessment) will replace the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) exam in 2024. Comprised of two components: an Applied Knowledge Assessment (AKT) and a Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA) . focused Passing UKMLA exams will be required for all UK medical students graduating in the academic year 2024-2025 onwards and will be implemented into medical degrees.

UKMLA – Complete Guideline

The UKMLA (UK Medical Licensing Assessment) is an essential assessment for doctors who want to practise medicine in the UK from 2024. Those graduating from a UK medical school or as an international medical graduate (IMG) in or after the academic year 2024-25 will be required to take the UKMLA exam, to gain their license to practice with the GMC. The UKMLA exam will replace the former PLAB test (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) for IMG doctors Previously, the PLAB involved a written exam and a 16 station OSCE assessment testing clinical skills. Areas tested by the UKMLA assessment include clinical, practical, communication and professional skills related to skills expected of a Foundation Year doctor. The UKMLA has been designed by the GMC to test candidates on the same knowledge areas, in a fairer way. According to the GMC, the UKMLA will set a “common threshold for safe practice”.


The UKMLA Applied Knowledge Test is thought to be similar to the PLAB 1 exam. It will be an onscreen exam with multiple choice questions. The AKT component of the UKMLA GMC will run throughout the year, it is yet to be announced how often this exam will run. For UK medical students, it will be up to the school when they decide to test their students for the UKMLA. IMG’s will need to sign up for one of these sittings in the same way that they do currently for PLAB 1 and PLAB 2.

UKMLA for International Medical Graduates

Before the rollout of the UKMLA test, IMGs who want to practice in the UK have been expected to pass Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) examinations to do so. This change has been implemented in order to allow a fairer, more consistent system for UK and overseas medical graduates and to ensure everyone has met the same criteria to practise as a doctor in the UK. This means that all IMGs graduating in or after the academic year 2024-25 will need to sit both components of the UKMLA in order to practice in the UK.


The UKMLA is an exam that is designed to test clinical and professional skills, as well as clinical knowledge. Medical students graduating from British medical schools in the academic year 2024-25 and beyond will be required to pass the MLA as part of their medical degree in order to join the medical register. Those who have qualified overseas will need to sit the exam from 2024 in order to do the same.

UKMLA Vs. PLAB -What’s the difference?

The format of the PLAB and UKMLA tests are not expected to be significantly different. The PLAB exam was broken down into PLAB 1 the written exam and PLAB 2 the practical exams. Similarly the UKMLA has the AKT which is the written component and the CPSA the practical assessment. Both assessments have been designed to enable candidates to demonstrate their ability to communicate professionally with patients and apply their knowledge in different clinical situations.While the UKMLA exams test for the same things, they do so in a different way. The UKMLA AKT section of the test asks candidates to answer multiple choice questions in a set amount of time, in an exam situation. The second part of the exam will be designed by individual institutions, but will require candidates to show they can demonstrate core skills in clinical and professional practice. For IMGs the UKMLA is not expected to be too different from the PLAB exams.

When will UKMLA be implemented?

The UKMLA will be implemented for all UK medical students set to graduate in 2025. Initially this was planned to be rolled out a year earlier, but the GMC delayed the schedule due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. For oversea doctors the exam will be implemented from 2024.

What are the UKMLA Exam dates?

The UK Medical Licensing Assessment will become an essential exam for all UK medical school graduates and Internal Medical Graduates who want to practice medicine in the UK. For IMG doctors, the UKMLA will replace the Plab 1 and Plab 2 exams. IMG doctors can expect to sit their UKMLA tests from 2024, while UK medical students will need to take the UKMLA if they graduated in the academic year 2024-2025 and onwards.

How do you pass the UKMLA?

For UK medical students, the best preparation for the MLA test will be through paying close attention to the curriculum covered in your medical school degree. Because both tests will be run by medical schools, they will be closely tied to modules and content that are learned by students attending them.
For overseas doctors the preparation will be similar to PLAB. The MLA content map gives a good indication of the topics and curriculum areas that both the AKT and CPSA assessments could cover.
The three main themes that candidates of both components will be tested on are: readiness for safe practice, managing uncertainty and delivering-person centred care.
These are broken into six key “domains”, which are as follows:
•  Different areas of clinical practice (for example, paediatrics, psychiatry or general practice)
•  Different areas of professional knowledge (for example medical ethics, medical law or medical technology)
•  Professional and clinical skills (for example assessing and safeguarding patients who are vulnerable)
•  Practical skills and procedures (which you can read more about here)
•  Patient presentation. This relates to recognising symptoms, signs and issues commonly seen in patients at a first-stage appointment (for example rashes or inflamed tonsils)
•  Conditions such as pathological diseases and clinical diagnoses that are commonly seen in patients at a first-stage appointment (outlined by the UK Foundation Programme). For example, eating disorders or MR.
A combination of revision methods will best help you to prepare for the UKMLA test. Our PLAB resources of; audiobooks, flashcards, mock papers and revision pack bundles are a great way to help cement knowledge and learn how to apply it for exam scenarios.

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