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‘No more paper-based test for admission’

Islamabad : The regulator for medical education has announced that there will be no more paper-based test for admission to medical and dental colleges in the country.

“For the first time, the candidates for the National Medical and Dental College Admission Test will put their answers on computer rather than on paper. The NMDCAT will be entirely a computer-based exam giving both local and foreign students the opportunity to sit it. The test will take place from August 30 to September 30 in 20 designated cities across the country and in selected cities abroad depending on student registrations,” Pakistan Medical Commission vice-president Muhammad Ali Raza told a presser here on Friday.

He said the candidates would have the option to schedule and reschedule their examinations to time slots that are more convenient for them and that they would be provided with online tutorials and practice tests to familiarise them with the test format.

The PMC vice-president said the Medical and Dental Council approved the structure and syllabus for the MDCAT examination as recommended by the National Medical and Dental Academic Board.

He said the syllabus/content formed by the Academic Board was mainly derived from the existing curriculums of biology, chemistry, and physics of all HSSC boards across the country and took into consideration the curriculum of the A-Level structure.

“The MDCAT being an assessment exam will test the aptitude and reasoning abilities of students, ensuring they are academically and cognitively capable of enduring the rigorous medical and dental education. The syllabus of all the disciplines and the breakdown of each subject are now available on the PMC website,” he said.

Muhammad Ali said the Academic Board recommended pass percentage of 65 for the MDCAT, 2021, that was approved by the Medical and Dental Council.

He said the test results of a student would be ready for delivery within half hour of having given the exam and will be provided to the student through the PMC Online facility.

“The students can select all the colleges they apply for admissions and the PMC will directly send the MDCAT result of the student to the relevant college.”

Muhammad Ali said with the shift towards computerised examinations representing certifiable integrity, the PMC had introduced a system of testing academic aptitude that would ensure transparency and allow all students and doctors to compete on a level playing field purely on merit with the prime objective of producing quality doctors to serve Pakistan’s healthcare needs.

He said the PMC was working toward recognition as a blue-chip regulator internationally and would continue to convert all its functions to a digital format in the coming months.

“The new exam system will test students on key qualities that are a prerequisite for a healthcare practitioner,” he said.

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