Thousands of prospective medical and dental students sat the entrance test conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) at 20 centres in 12 cities across the Punjab on Sunday.
A total of 36,098 candidates 11,110 male and 24,988 female students – took the exam from 9am in Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi and Hassan Abdal. The exam centres were locked at 8:15am and no one was allowed to enter after that.
The candidates who took the test are competing for 3,305 medical and 216 dental seats in 16 public medical colleges and three public dental colleges. Besides, there are 3,050 medical seats in 28 private medical colleges and 715 dental seats in 12 private dental colleges in the Punjab.
A large number of police personnel were deployed while bomb disposal squad officials and fire fighters were also made available at the centres. Closed circuit television cameras, mobile phone jammers and walk-through gates were installed. Arrangements were made for disabled students while parking and waiting area facilities were arranged for the parents of the candidates. Back-up power generators were also provided at all centres.
The candidates appeared to be satisfied with the test and the arrangements. Ahmed Raza, who sat for the test at the Lawrence Road centre in Lahore, said that the supervisory staff were very considerate and the questions in the exam were all from within the syllabus.
Test centres were set up in Lahore at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education examination halls at Lawrence Road, where 1,149 female and 3,017 male candidates appeared; at the Punjab University examination halls on Wahdat Road, where 4,800 female candidates appeared; and at the Government Comprehensive Girls High School on Wahdat Road, where 1,542 female candidates appeared.
A total of 5,298 candidates sat the test in Rawalpindi, 5,359 in Multan, 3,371 in Faisalabad, 2,764 in Gujranwala, 1,526 in Bahawalpur, 1,369 in Sargodha, 1,517 in Sahiwal, 1,288 in Gujrat, 1,154 in Muzaffargarh, 933 in Rahim Yar Khan and 381 in Hassan Abdal.
Talking to reporters, UHS Vice Chancellor Prof IA Naveed said that the university had been careful to ensure that the question papers were not leaked before the test. He said that standardised tests were an important element of medical education around the world.
“In India, there shall be a single common entry test from next year for admission to 355 medical and 29 dental colleges across the country in which an estimated one million students are expected to appear,” he said.
He said that the intermediate exams were not standardised. “It is therefore important to let all [candidates] go through a comprehensive test. This ensures justice, equity, merit and transparency,” the vice chancellor said.
The answers to the questions in the UHS test can be found online at the UHS website (www.uhs.edu.pk <http://www.uhs.edu.pk/). The official results will be announced in the first week of October.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2012.