Frequently Asked Questions

How can I talk to someone from Common Stations Academy?

The best way to get in touch with someone from the academy is to send an email to the address provided (commonstations@gmail.com), with your query and contact details.

Dr Hamed will then contact you personally to answer all your queries.

How can I apply for the Common Stations course?

To apply for our 15-day Common Stations course, please send us a request to commonstations@gmail.com.

We will send you an email containing the application form. Please fill in the form and send it back to us.

Once we have received your completed application form, Dr Hamed will personally contact you to answer all your questions and then we will provide you with a provisional seat number and bank details for you to make the payment.

Why don't we advertise our website with Google?

We are honoured by our wonderful colleagues as the most recommended PLAB2 course. When we have such amazing support, unlike other academies, we do not need to pay Google to advertise our website. That's why you see an “Ad” (stands for “advert”) sign next to their link on the Google listing.

We save such expenses to improve the quality of our course.

Word of mouth speaks for itself.

How long does it take to receive an application form after sending the first email?

The application form is usually sent on the same day, however sometimes due to a large volume of emails, it may take up to two working days.

When will I get a call after submitting a filled application form?

Once your application has been received, it will be passed to Dr Hamed, who will call you himself. Our aim is to call you within three working days. However, it may take longer if we need to find an empty slot for you.

How long does it take to get confirmation after sending payment?

For payments from within the UK, it takes up to three working days to send you a confirmation letter.

For overseas payments, it takes longer as these payments take some days to clear through banking channels. This can be influenced by factors such as your bank, procedural delays and holidays. We regularly receive updates from our bank and will inform you as soon as your payment has been received.

Generally, it takes up to seven working days to send you a confirmation letter, however, it may take longer.

As soon as you have sent us the receipt of your payment, your seat will be secured so you should not be worried about this matter.

Do I need to pay for mocks?

No, two full mocks of 18 stations each are included in the course fee and you do not need to pay any additional fees for these mocks.

Do I need to pay for Review Classes?

No, you do not need to pay additional fees for Review classes.

Do I need to pay for Self-practice?

No, you can do Self-practice in the academy absolutely free of charge up to the date of your exam.

Does Common Stations provide candidates with printed materials?

Yes, we provide you with printed materials for all subjects including examination, manikin, history taking, counselling and ethical stations.

However, as you probably know, the PLAB2 scenarios keep changing so you may need to write your own notes.

If I fail my exam, do I need to pay for the course again?

No, those who need to repeat their PLAB2 exam are able to retake our 15-day PLAB2 course, attend Review Courses and do Self-practice in our academy, free of charge, until their exam date.

How can I choose my mock dates?

During the course, Dr Hamed will assess your individual strengths and weaknesses and advise you accordingly to find the best mock dates for you. However, your personal choice will be given priority.

Why - unlike other PLAB2 academies, does Common Stations offer only one course per month?

  1. We are the only PLAB2 course which offers only one course per month simply to maintain the quality of training provided to our colleagues.

    Our aim is not to have as many courses and subsequently as many students as possible; our aim is to provide a quality course with the best training possible.

  2. What makes Common Stations course so unique is that we are the only PLAB2 course which is run by the actual course leader, Dr Hamed himself, and not those who have passed their PLAB2 exam recently.

  3. Dr Hamed does not want to stop working in the NHS to run two courses per month.

    He believes that if he stops working in the NHS, he will certainly not be as useful and helpful as he is today, since the PLAB2 stations that he teaches in his classes are all about scenarios which happen in the hospital every single day.

    Furthermore, since the exam stations change frequently, Dr Hamed wants to keep himself up-to-date on the latest guidelines, audits and research projects, which is almost impossible without being clinically involved in the NHS.

  4. It is worth mentioning that, in all other academies which offer two courses per month, the course leaders teach only a small proportion of the course.

  5. In order to maintain the quality of our course, not only have we decided to run one course per month, but we have also decided to not run any PLAB1 courses in order to put all our focus on PLAB2 thus providing the best training possible to our colleagues.

    We are the only PLAB2 specialist academy. We are the only academy which does not offer a PLAB1 course as we believe that one does not need to attend a course to pass PLAB1.

    Our main focus is on PLAB2 solely and we put all our energy and efforts on PLAB2 to maintain and improve the quality of our course. This is unlike other academies in which running PLAB1 courses will subsequently affect the quality of their PLAB2 courses.

    Most of our colleagues are from countries with a weak currency compared to pounds so why should we put a heavy burden on their shoulders by encouraging them to take a PLAB1 course when it is not even necessary?

    We believe that, PLAB1 exam can be easily cleared with a high score without attending any courses. What other academies do by running PLAB1 courses is simply making business out of overseas doctors.

  6. We provide individual support to our candidates as we believe this is an essential factor not only to pass PLAB2 but also to help our colleagues work in a new environment. This includes both educational and emotional support.

    This is a time-consuming process which will not be possible if we run two courses per month.

    We understand that travelling to a foreign county, studying for PLAB2 and working in a new environment could be a stressful process for international medical graduates.

    Each candidate is a different person with different characteristics who requires different ways of support. We aim to build a friendly relationship with our colleagues so we can support them emotionally, work on the issues if there are any and boost their confidence.

    We do everything in our power to provide a stress-free, calm and friendly environment for them to practise and study.

    We assess each and every candidate during the course and focus on their weaknesses and strengths, and we support and guide them accordingly.

    Why is Common Stations run by one person, Dr Hamed?

    Teaching the subjects by one person ensures the consistency of input, which is essential to maintaining quality.

    Dr Hamed has a unique teaching style, which adds more value to the course.

    Since he runs the course by himself, he is able to structure the course in a way that students are not overburdened with scattered information.

    His class is interactive and thought-provoking, which can prepare you in the best possible way for the exam ahead.

    He knows all his students by name. Being with students on a daily basis for 10-12 hours for about two weeks, asking them questions and analysing them, gives him a great deal of knowledge about their weaknesses and strengths. He tells them how to improve their weaknesses and build on their strengths to get the best possible result in the exam, which is crucial to passing PLAB2.

    Since he is in close contact with his students, he is very up-to-date with the very minor changes in the exam. He always keeps candidates updated about recent changes and new scenarios in his 15-day course and Review Classes.

    As a rule, in Common Stations, you are not going to deal with a “middleman”. Once you have sent your application form, Dr Hamed will contact you personally to give you essential support and advice before you start your course. Not only will he teach for 15 consecutive days, but he will also answer all your queries and questions during and after the course, discuss with you your mock exams and will support and guide you till your exam.

    Not only does he teach you each and every station in detail and in different variations, but he also teaches you how to deal with different situations in the exam. The reason is he makes you fully understand the scenarios and not only memorise them. This enables you to manage any changes in the exam comfortably.

    At Common Stations we will go through thick and thin with you to make your PLAB2 journey as smooth and easy as possible. However, this help and support does not stop there and goes beyond the PLAB2 exam.

    Even after the exam, Dr Hamed is available to you and can provide advice and guidance whether it is about GMC registration, job applications or interviews.

Why our candidates score higher in PLAB2 exam comparing to candidates of other academies?

Even though getting a high score in your PLAB2 exam may not seem to be an important factor since your PLAB2 score does not count when you are applying for GMC Registration or jobs, we prepare our candidates in a way that they achieve high scores, simply because:

  1. We want our candidates to pass their PLAB2 exam comfortably and safely. Aiming for a high score enables our candidates to have less stress, have peace of mind and subsequently be more confident in their exam. If you don’t aim for a high score and only think about passing the exam with a borderline score, you are indeed putting yourself at risk of failing the exam altogether. Historically those who fail the exam are those who aim for a borderline score.

  2. The way we train our candidates not only helps them pass their PLAB2 exam but also trains them to deal with different OSCE exams in the future.

    We are sure most of you are planning to apply for training posts in different specialities in the future and you will face OSCE exams and interviews when you apply for these posts.

    We are proud to say that most of our candidates have been successful in their job interviews and other OSCE exams and achieved their desired career goals after attending our course.

How can we read reviews about the Common Stations course?

We are honoured by our wonderful colleagues as the most recommended PLAB2 course. You may read your colleagues reviews on our Testimonials Page.

Is the course good value for money?

The course fee might be slightly more expensive compared to other academies but the difference is negligible.

  1. Our course is an entire package that includes a 15-day teaching programme, two full mocks, review-course and Self-practice facilities with all manikins provided.

  2. What makes Common Stations course so unique is that we are the only PLAB2 course which is run by the actual course leader, Dr Hamed himself, and not those who have passed their PLAB2 exam recently.

  3. We are the only PLAB2 course which offers only one course per month simply to maintain the highest quality of training provided to our colleagues.

    Our aim is not to have as many courses and subsequently as many students as possible; our aim is to provide a quality course with the best training possible.

  4. We are the only PLAB2 specialist academy. We are the only academy which does not offer a PLAB1 course as we believe that one does not need to attend a course to pass PLAB1.

    Our main focus is on PLAB2 solely and we put all our energy and efforts on PLAB2 to maintain and improve the quality of our course. This is unlike other academies in which running PLAB1 courses will subsequently affect the quality of their PLAB2 courses.

    Most of our colleagues are from countries with a weak currency compared to pounds so why should we put a heavy burden on their shoulders by encouraging them to take a PLAB1 course when it is not even necessary?

    We believe that, PLAB1 exam can be easily cleared with a high score without attending any courses. What other academies do by running PLAB1 courses is simply making business out of overseas doctors.

  5. We provide individual support to our candidates as we believe this is an essential factor not only to pass PLAB2 but also to help our colleagues work in a new environment. This includes both educational and emotional support.

    This is a time-consuming process which will not be possible if we run two courses per month.

    We understand that travelling to a foreign county, studying for PLAB2 and working in a new environment could be a stressful process for international medical graduates.

    Each candidate is a different person with different characteristics who requires different ways of support. We aim to build a friendly relationship with our colleagues so we can support them emotionally, work on the issues if there are any and boost their confidence.

    We do everything in our power to provide a stress-free, calm and friendly environment for them to practise and study.

    We assess each and every candidate during the course and focus on their weaknesses and strengths, and we support and guide them accordingly.

  6. We are honoured by our wonderful colleagues as the most recommended PLAB2 course.

  7. Have you ever thought about how much it is going to cost you if you need to retake PLAB2 exam?

    Spending again for the exam fee, accommodation and plane fare will be a couple of thousand pounds. As you probably know, once you start working in the NHS, you will earn a couple of thousand pounds every month. A simple calculation shows that, you will eventually lose several thousand pounds if you fail your exam.

    By choosing Common Stations PLAB2 course, you can be confident enough that you will need to bear these expenses just once, save yourself the hassle and cost of appearing in the exam a second time and more importantly start your job in the NHS as quickly as possible.

    Simply speaking, in Common Stations, you are paying for quality.

  8. At Common Stations we will go through thick and thin with you to make your PLAB2 journey as smooth and easy as possible. However, this help and support does not stop there and goes beyond the PLAB2 exam.

    Even after the exam, Dr Hamed is available to you and can provide advice and guidance whether it is about GMC registration, job applications or interviews.

Can we apply as a group and get a discount on the course?

Common Stations academy receives a large number of applications for each course, usually a few months in advance.

Slots are given on a first-come, first-served basis to applicants. We do not want to risk affecting the quality of the course by offering group discounts and attempting to increase the number of students. For similar reasons, Dr Hamed runs only one course per month and ensures that the quality of teaching is maintained.

Why does not Common Stations offer an online course?

We do not offer an online course simply to maintain the quality of training to our colleagues.

We do not believe that PLAB2 can be taught online since this exam is all about your performance, communication skills and how you put your knowledge into action.

In addition to this, Dr Hamed has his unique way of teaching by involving everyone in the class, which may not be practical for an online course.

Dr Hamed believes that PLAB2 is not a difficult exam, but like any other exam, it requires commitment.

His advice to his colleagues is to take the exam only when they can spend some time attending the course and practising at the academy.

It is worth mentioning that installing a camera in our lecture hall and connecting through Skype or other software is not a big hassle for us. However, we do not want to charge our colleagues and offer such courses when we do not believe that it is effective.

Unlike other academies, we simply do not want to give our colleagues false reassurance to make business out of them.

Why does not Common Stations offer a PLAB1 course?

We believe that one does not need to attend a course to pass PLAB1.

All of you have taken such MCQ exams several times. All you need to do is to study the previous PLAB1 MCQs, which you can find easily on PLAB forums for free or you may buy affordable subscriptions.

Most of our colleagues are from countries with a weak currency compared to pounds so why should we put a heavy burden on their shoulders by encouraging them to take a PLAB1 course when it is not even necessary?

We believe that, PLAB1 exam can be easily cleared with a high score without attending any courses. What other academies do by running PLAB1 courses is simply making business out of overseas doctors.

Does having my PLAB2 course in London cost my more, comparing to other cities in the UK?

The answer is NO.

Living expenses such as food, toiletries and etc. is the same in all the major supermarkets in the entire UK.

There is also a local street market situated right in front of our academy which you can have a very cheap meal for less than £2.

A larger part of your living costs will probably be your accommodation.

Even though our coaching centre is located in London, we offer a very reasonable and affordable price for our accommodation starting from £18 per night.

Our accommodation is located in a walking distance from our academy thus there are no travel expenses.

Where should I stay during the time I am in the UK?

Even though there are many options in our area including hotels, hostels or shared accommodations, most of our candidates prefer to stay in our academy’s accommodation simply because:

  1. The price is very reasonable and affordable.

  2. There are separate buildings for male and female doctors.

  3. Our accommodation is safe and secure.

  4. Our accommodation is located at a walking distance from the academy (less than a couple of seconds for female doctors and less than a couple of minutes for male doctors).

  5. All the utility bills are included in the rent.

  6. All tenants will be our trainees.

  7. You will have access to free internet.

  8. There will be a regular cleaning service.

What are the choices of shops and restaurants near the academy?

There are a large number of very reasonably priced options serving cuisines from all over the world, including many Halal options, within a few seconds’ walk from the academy. Grocery stores like Tesco and ASDA are also within walking distance from the academy.