KARACHI - Karachi University (KU) has decided to impose admission testing system at undergraduate and post-graduate levels in all departments of the university this year to curb the political and other pressures at the time of admissions, The Nation learnt on Monday. The upcoming meeting of the KU Academic Council will finally approve the system for the implementation at the varsity. The testing system will be applied to all departments of the university, while it has been designed in line with the NTS, GRE (Educational Testing Service) and other authentic testing services, keeping in mind their practicality and the current availability of resources at the university, a KU official, on a condition of anonymity, said. For BS admission, it is recommended that there should be one or more general tests, on the pattern of SAT reasoning test and SAT subject tests, for students who wish to gain admission in each faculty including any sub-divisions such as biological and physical sciences. For MSc, the test may be developed on the patterns of subject GRE of the Educational Testing Service, USA, he said and added that the recommendations of the test had been made by the test committee. He said, The need to start admission test at undergraduate as well as postgraduate levels in all departments was underlined by the admission committee 2008-9. The committees recommendation to allow for admission tests to the BS program for the 2009 admissions was presented for discussion in the special meeting 'of the Academic Council held on October 21, 2008. The members were, divided in their views about the usefulness of this exercise. However, there was unanimous agreement that the issues needed further deliberation and discussion. Hence, two committees were formed to give their recommendations on different aspects of the issue. The first committee was asked to report on the system of admission tests prevalent at other universities in Pakistan as well as the existing system in place in several departments of the University. The second committee was entrusted with the job of making recommendations for the design of a testing system / service of the University of Karachi in line with the NTS, GRE (Educational Testing Service) and other authentic testing services. He said, as per the recommendations, one point should be awarded for each item, also there should be negative marking for testing at the MA level only, while .All SAT kind of subject tests in one faculty should be of one hour duration and conducted on the same day; a student should be allowed to take more than one test on the same day. As per the recommendations, it has been observed that in some departments, the language of instruction is both English and Urdu or some other language such as .Persian. It is recommended that candidates applying to these departments should have the option of taking their test in Urdu/ any other relevant language. It is recommended that a brief orientation course in testing procedures and item development, on that pattern of the course conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for its examiners, be developed and conducted for the KU faculty. Attending this course should be necessary for being listed as an examiner in the testing resource pool of the university. To help both the test-takers and test-administrators, the test should be formatted in such a way that each section is clearly marked with clear indication of the time required /allowed to complete it. It is recommended that in order to maintain confidentiality, the test custodians, Deans, Chairpersons, should be made responsible for ensuring maximum secrecy in printing and distribution of the test paper. All faculty and support staff in each department should be involved in invigilation duty according to university examination rules (one invigilator for 30 students) and paid accordingly through the Chairperson or Dean for their services. It is recommended that all tests are machine-marked by using the relevant software for maximum efficiency and avoidance of errors. Where it may be considered necessary by the faculty testing committee to include some subjective items such as for admission in the English department, members of the departmental research committee should act as markers for these questions. The results of all admission tests should be posted on the web-site of the university within 24 hours of conducting the test. Often, when a cut-off point is identified in advance e.g. 50 percent score in the test, it is considered as an eligibility criteria only for short-listing the candidates. However, as the intake level of students at Karachi University is quite unpredictable from one year to another. It is recommended that no cut-off point is declared in advance. A university-wide testing committee should be formed by the vice chancellor in consultation with the deans with representation from other relevant academic bodies, such as the Academic Council, for overall supervision and monitoring of the admission tests, he said.