ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) recently announced entirely computer-based MDCAT exams for local and foreign students with passing marks percentage of 65 per cent.
The PMC also approved the syllabus of two steps National Licensing Exam (NLE) for medical graduates. The passing marks of NLE for candidates will be 70 per cent.
This was said by the top management of the PMC in a press briefing held here to announce the decisions taken by the National Medical & Dental Council regarding the upcoming academic year and included National Licensing Examination, National Medical and Dental College Admission Test (NMDCAT), Conduct of Examinations Regulations 2021 and the Medical and Dental Undergraduate Education (Admissions, Curriculum and Conduct) Regulations 2021.
The PMC officials said that the MDCAT examinations would be entirely a computer-based exam allowing both local and foreign students the opportunity to take the examination.
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The examination will take place from 30th August to 30th September 2021 in 20 designated cities across Pakistan and in selected cities internationally dependent on the registrations by the students.
Applicants will have the option to schedule and reschedule their examinations to time slots that are more convenient for them. Applicants will also be provided online tutorials and practice tests to help them familiarize themselves with the format of the examination.
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 Pakistan and took into consideration the curriculum of the A-Level structure.
The Academic Board recommended pass marks of 65 per cent for the MDCAT 2021 which was approved by the Medical and Dental Council.
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.
The Council also approved the structure and syllabus for NLE as formulated and recommended by the Academic Board. The NLE, as per the Board recommendations approved by the Council in 2021-2022, consists of two exams with the first being MCQ based theory component and the second a Clinical Skills Exam.
Vice President (VP), PMC Muhammad Ali Raza said that this is a significant step in revolutionising the system of healthcare education and healthcare delivery in Pakistan.
He said we aim to set protocols in place that remove redundancies, improve efficiency, and curtail human interaction allowing for transparency, integrity, and meritocracy.
The PMC is working toward recognition as a blue-chip regulator internationally and will continue to convert all its functions to a digital format in the coming months and this is the second major benchmark after the launch of PMC Online.
He also said that the MCQ based theory component of Step 1 of the NLE will also be a computer-based examination to be conducted at multiple centres across Pakistan multiple times a year, with no bar on the number of times a candidate can attempt the examination.
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The result of NLE Step 1 will be valid for 5 years, enabling a student to attempt and qualify for the Step 2 exam during this 5-year period. Step 2 or skills exam will be taken through physical examiners during 2021-2022 while PMC has initiated the development of a 3D exam system for Step 2. The qualifying marks for the NLE will be 70 per cent for both Step 1 and Step 2.