What is the UKMLA

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Planning for a career in medicine can be an exciting time in your life, but it can also be challenging as you navigate through the different requirements involved. As a current or future medical student, one of the upcoming changes you’ll need to stay informed about is the UKMLA, or UK Medical Licensing Assessment.

What is the UKMLA?

The UKMLA is a new exam that international medical graduates will be required to pass from early 2023. And all UK medical students graduating in 2024 will need to sit the exam as part of their degree before they can join the medical register.


What is the format of the MLA?

The UKMLA will consist of a two-part assessment, including an applied knowledge test (AKT) and a clinical and professional skills assessment (CPSA). In addition to UK medical students, IMGs will also be required to take the MLA, which will replace the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) tests.

The AKT will be a computer-based exam with multiple choice questions aimed at testing your ability to apply medical knowledge to various scenarios. It’s set to run four times a year, at test centres globally for international candidates.

The CPSA will serve as a practical assessment of your clinical skills and professionalism, very similar to the current PLAB 2 test and will be run by your medical school. The GMC will set requirements that all CPAs will need to satisfy. Bear in mind that you’ll need to pass the AKT before you can sit the CPSA.


How much will the MLA cost?

UK medical students will not be required to pay to take the UKMLA, as the costs will be incurred by their respective universities. However, some medical schools may charge for resits. Therefore, anyone resitting the MLA to meet their degree requirements would have to pay these fees. Additionally, IMG candidates will continue to pay test fees to sit the assessment, as they currently do for PLAB.


How will scores be released?

Your medical school will release your results for the applied knowledge test (AKT). Furthermore, you'll be able to see certain information, such as overall pass rates from the GMC.


Retaking the MLA

In order to graduate, you'll need to pass the MLA and meet all the other requirements for your degree. If you aren't successful, you'll have the opportunity to retake the MLA. There will be a maximum number of permissible attempts for the AKT as well an appeals system, which are currently under discussion by the GMC and other medical groups and experts.