NLE Information for Medical Graduates


Candidates who have successfully graduated from PMC approved Pakistani medical colleges with an MBBS degree are eligible to sit for NLE 2021. Foreign medical graduates will be required to follow the regulations as given in the licensing pathways available on the PMC website.


NLE 2021 will be conducted at multiple centers across Pakistan to facilitate the candidates. It is envisaged that NLE will be offered certain international centers as well.


The NLE will be held at least twice a year.

Number of attempts

There is no bar on the number of times a candidate can attempt the complete NLE.


The NLE will consist of (i) a theory component and (ii) a skill-based, clinical component – Clinical Skills Examination (CSE):

  1. The theory component will consist of MCQs targeting higher cognition and will check a candidate’s ability to apply knowledge. The theory component will have 200 MCQs in which 70% will be from clinical sciences disciplines and 30% from basic sciences disciplines. NLE will be computer-based. Only candidates qualifying in the theory (MCQs) component of NLE will be eligible for the CSE.
  2. The Clinical Skills Examination (CSE) is meant to assess essential clinical skills required for practice by a general medical practitioner. The format of CSE will be similar to that of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Passing criteria

  1. Candidates will have to pass both the theory and the CSE components separately in order to be declared successful in NLE.
  2. The minimum pass percentage in the theory (MCQs) component is 70% and the minimum pass percentage in the CSE is 70%. There will be three mandatory stations in the CSE. Candidates Page 5 of 97 must clear all three mandatory stations in order to be declared as pass in the CSE. There will be no negative marking in both components of the NLE.
  • If a candidate obtains an aggregate of 70% or above in the CSE yet fails even one mandatory station, s/he will be declared as fail in the entire CSE.
  1. Candidates who pass the theory (MCQs) component but fail the CSE will have to re-appear in the CSE component only. Such candidates will re-register for the CSE only.
  2. If a candidate fails in three consecutive attempts of the CSE, s/he will have to appear in both the theory (MCQs) and CSE components on the fourth attempt. That is, after every three failed attempts at the CSE, candidates will have to sit the entire NLE.


Passing of the theory (MCQs) component of NLE will remain valid for five (5) years from the date of passing the theory (MCQs) component. CSE component must be passed within five (5) years of passing the theory (MCQs) component of NLE. If a candidate fails the CSE in three consecutive attempts, s/he will have to reappear in both the theory and CSE components of the NLE. That is, after every three failed attempts at the CSE, candidates will have to retake the entire NLE.

Applied Basic Sciences Disciplines in NLE

Basic Sciences disciplines in NLE will include the following. However, the Basic Sciences content of the theory examination will be largely but not exclusively based on applied aspects of the following subjects:

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

Weightage of Applied Basic Sciences disciplines in the theory (MCQs) component of NLE will be as follows:



Basic Sciences weightage: 30%
Total MCQs: 60
# of MCQs
Applied Pathology16
Applied Anatomy12
Applied Physiology10
Clinical Pharmacology8
Applied Biochemistry 6
Community Medicine6
Forensics Medicine and Toxicology2

Clinical Sciences Discipline in NLE

Clinical Sciences disciplines in NLE 2021 will comprise of the following:

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

Weightage of Clinical Sciences disciplines in the theory (MCQs) component of NLE will be as follows:

Clinical Sciences weightage: 70% Total MCQs: 140# of MCQs
Medicine and allied52
Surgery and allied48
Obstetrics & Gynaecology14
Ophthalmology (Eye)6
Otorhinolaryngology (ENT6