NLE Exam 2021

NLE Exam 2021

NLE Exam is National Licensing Exam for Medical Students graduated from Pakistan or Foreign, in order to get National License for Job or Practice. Every Pakistani Medical Student graduated after January 2021 have to appear in NLE Exam.

National Licensing Exam is online test to be conducted in different stations through out the country and abroad as well. It will be conducted at least 2 times and can be up to 4 times every year and minimum 70% marks will be required to qualify it.

NLE Exam Pattern

NLE Exam will include MCQ’s as well Clinical Assessment. MCQ’s based Test will be conducted first, those students who qualify MCQ’s based Test, will be eligible to appear in Clinical Assessment.

Recently, It is said by Pakistan Medical Commission in its 6th Academic Council Meeting, that the waiver may be given to National graduates to have only MCQ’s based NLE Exam 2021. However, later in 2022 and onwards, the Clinical Assessment.

In Academic Council Meeting, NLE Exam detailed Pattern is discussed as well. Number of questions from Basic and Clinical Subjects, table of specifications.

National Licensing Exam will be based on undergraduate curriculum and the weightage given to each question will depend on the number of teaching hours of that subject.

There will be separate NLE for Medical and Dental graduates. PMC will publish the pattern separately for NLE Medical and NLE Dental.

NLE Exam consists of 2 components.

  1. Theory Component
  2. Skill Based Clinical Component (Also called Clinical Skilled Examination CSE)

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1) Theory Component of NLE Exam

The Theory Component will have both Basic Sciences and Clinical Sciences. 30% of MCQ’s will be from Basic Sciences, while 70% from Clinical Sciences.

  1. Applied Basic Sciences
  2. Clinical Sciences

i) Applied Basic Sciences

Applied Basic Sciences part of theory of NLE 2021 includes the follow sections.

  • Applied Anatomy
  • Applied Physiology
  • Applied Biochemistry
  • Applied Pathology
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Community Medicine
  • Forensic Medicine & Toxicology

Weightage of Applied Basic Sciences of NLE 2021
Applied Basic Sciences (30% Weightage)Number of MCQ’s
Applied Pathology16
Applied Anatomy12
Applied Physiology10
Clinical Pharmacology8
Applied Bio Chemistry6
Community Medicine6
Forensic Medicine & Toxicology2
Total 60

ii) Clinical Sciences

Clinical Sciences includes the follow sections/subjects.

  • Medicine and allied
  • Surgery and allied
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Ophthalmology (Eye)
  • Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)

Weightage of Clinical Sciences of NLE 2021
Clinical Sciences Weightage 70%Number of MCQs
Medicine and Allied52
Surgery and Allied48
Obstetrics and Gynaecology14
Paediatrics14
Ophthalmology (Eye)6
Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)6
Total140

2) Clinical Skilled Examination CSE

Clinical Skilled Examination is same as the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), it consists of 20 stations, out of which 3 stations are compulsory. Candidate has to pass all the 3 compulsory stages. Failing one compulsory station will results in failing examination.

Clinical Skilled Examination will last for 3 Hours and 3 Minutes. The 30 Minutes extra are specially added for initial briefing giving to students.

Passing percent for CSE is also 70%. Candidates have to pass the 3 mandatory stations as we well as overall 70% marks in CSE in order to clear Clinical Skilled Examination Part of NLE Exam.


Distribution of Stations in CSE of NLE Exam
DisciplineNumber of Stations
Medicine and Allied7
Surgery and Allied7
Obstetrics and Gynaecology2
Paediatrics2
Ophthalmology (Eye)1
Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)1
Total20

3 out of these 20 stations are mandatory, failing one of the mandatory station will result in failing CSE, which will result in failing whole NLE Exam.

Mandatory Stations are 1 stations each from the following

  • Medicine and allied
  • Surgery and allied
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology

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Eligibility Criteria – Passing Criteria – Validity of NLE Exam

Eligibility: All candidates who have successfully graduated from any PMC Recognized Medical College.

Passing Criteria: 70% marks are required to qualify National Licensing Exam. 70% in both Theory component as well Clinical Skilled Examination. Further more, in Clinical Skilled Examination 3 Mandatory stations are also required to clear.

Validity: Theory Component of NLE will be valid for 5 years. In 5 years CSE required to be clear, otherwise candidate failing to qualify CSE in 5 years, will required to clear whole NLE Exam again.

Detailed syllabus for NLE 2021 is published on PMC website. You can download it here. NLE Exam 2021 Syllabus.


National Licensing Exam 2021 for Foreign Graduates

Foreign graduates who are interested to work in Pakistan will require to qualify National Licensing Exam. After qualifying NLE, they will be given Provisional License and will be eligible for House Job in Pakistan. On completion of House Job, permanent License will be granted to them.

1st Test of National Licensing Exam will be between 20th to 27th Aug. This is arranged for those foreign graduates who are waiting since long.


NLE Registration 2021

PMC has already started NLE Registration for 2021. Those students interested to appear in NLE Exam 2021 can register on PMC website.

In 2021 1st NLE Exam will be conducted between 20th to 27 August 2021 for foreign graduates only. 2nd Exam will be conducted in November/December 2021.


Frequently Asked Questions

NLE is for every Medical graduate?

Yes, NLE is for every Medical and Dental graduate either from foreign or National. For National graduates only those who graduate after January 2021.

NLE for Medical and Dental graduates are same?

No, there will be separate NLE for Medicine and separate for Dental.

Is there any limit on NLE Exam?

There is no Limit on NLE Exam. Student can attempt multiple times.

How many NLE Exams Every Year?

At least 2 time a year, but can be up to 4 times a year.

Passing Marks for NLE Exam?

70% marks are required to in both Theory Component as well as Clinical Skilled Examination to qualify National Licensing Exam.