LUMS admission test: VC confident results were not affected

‘Preparatory test centres used some questions from previous papers’.

Aroosa Shaukat March 09, 2012


Almost a month has gone by after the alleged question paper leak at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Common Admission Test (LCAT), but nothing substantial has yet been found by the committee probing the case.

LUMS Vice Chancellor Dr Adil Najam, talking to The Express Tribune on Tuesday, said that the investigation will continue until new evidence was found. However, he said, the university administration was confident that the alleged leak did not affect the admission process.

Dr Najam said that so far no proof of leak has been established. Some students, however, did use certain tactics to “steal” questions from the LCAT, he added.

He said that certain students sat in the LCAT, later shared the test question with some test preparatory centres. He said some preparatory centres also gave a false impression of having “associations” and “linkages” with the LUMS administration to encourage more students to attend their test sessions.

Allegations of the leak surfaced after one of the preparatory centres gave its students a practice test which contained questions in the actual LCAT that next day on February 12.

A student who sat the LCAT claimed that the practice test at the centre had some 80 questions that were in the LCAT. Some other students claimed that some of the questions were a part of the practice tests given at some coaching academies.

Mahmood Akram of the Leads Academy, whose name has been associated with the practice test, denied benefiting from a leak. He put the ‘overlap’ down to LUMS and the academies using similar test books to compile their tests.

Dr Najam said the ‘overlap’ happened because the centres used previous years’ LCAT papers. He said the practice was “illegal” and “immoral”.

“All questions that appear in the LCAT are property of LUMS,” he said.

Arif Jalil Piracha, founder of the Smart Prep academy, sent letters to the prime minister, the chief minister, the Higher Education Commission secretary, the federal education secretary and Syed Babar Ali, pro-chancellor and one of the LUMS founding members, on February 18, seeking “appropriate action” and “arrest of the culprits”. Piracha regretted that he had not received any response from any of the parties he had sent the letter to.

“We sent the letters on the insistence of some parents, whose children took the LCAT this year,” he said.

Similar letters, calling for action, were sent to nine leading schools across Lahore.

“We are hurt and shocked at the situation. With a premier institution like LUMS, we expected swift action by the stakeholders,” he said.

LUMS administration has assured its students and parents that the integrity of their system was not compromised. However, Dr Najam said, “LUMS has learnt to be more vigilant.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.


War.Shrike | 9 years ago | Reply

I myself gave the LCAT this year and I can assure you plenty of the paper was from past years LCATs. I saw the paper after the exam(imagine my disappointment) as many students had them in their cars. I think its probably best if I dont go into details of exactly what was repeated. However I think Lums themselves are to be blamed more than anyone else; they should not be recycling question on such a large scale, because some questions are bound to get out. All of this started with one teacher(I'l protect his identity) who started making loads of cash from 'leaked' papers to only very select students, then eventually leads and all the other riffraff academies managed to smuggle them from his academy and commercialized them causing the whole thing to blow out of control year.

*The LCAT doesnt really borrow from the SAT(despite having an almost identical pattern), trust me I've given both.

Luminite | 9 years ago | Reply

It is very much possible to re-write over 65% of an admission test with the help of a few smart brains who took that test. Those who say it's impossible to re-write the test should take a trip to any leading test prep institute right after the LUMS test and witness the art themselves.

As for the VC calling out to the test prep guys to not use illegal/immoral means, i would say that it's difficult to reign these guys in. They'll keep doing what they do best as it's money not morality which feeds them. A lot easier for LUMS is to create new questions rather than using those used in previous tests or given in SAT or other books.

For people hinting malafide in the process or on a part of any of the LUMS personal, I would say that, being a LUMS alumnus, I am dead sure that it is an absolute impossibility that the guy "leaking" the test might have "links" with LUMS administration guys.

Plain and simple, it a case of re-writing the test AFTER it was conducted by LUMS and then publishing it on internet to prove that the paper was "leaked".

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