LAHORE - Around 65,000 students, including 41,000 girls, will sit the Punjab Medical & Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) on Sunday (tomorrow).

The test will be conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS). The Punjab government has finalised arrangements for the test and appointed senior bureaucrats as monitoring officers. Medical professors will conduct the test. Divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners of various districts will act as focal persons and look after the arrangements. UHS has deputed around 5,500 invigilators and 1,000 superintendents and deputy superintendents to conduct the test.

The test will be conducted simultaneously at 28 centres in 13 cities -- Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Dera Ghazi Khan and Hassan Abdal.

The test will begin at 09:00am. The candidates however must reach their centres at least an hour before commencement of the test, as all centres will be sealed at 08:15am and nobody will be allowed to enter after that.

In Lahore, eight centres have been set up at Examination Halls of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lawrence Road; Examination Halls of the Punjab University, Wahdat Road; Government Comprehensive Girls High School, Wahdat Road; University of Education, Township; Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road; Government Postgraduate College for Women, Samanabad; Divisional Public School, Model Town and Government College of Science, Wahdat Road.

The test will consist of 220 multiple choice questions (MCQs), divided into four sections -- Biology (88 MCQs), Chemistry (58 MCQs), Physics (44 MCQs) and English (30 MCQs).

Total duration of the test will be two-and-a-half hours. After the test, candidates will be required to take a separate test consisting of questions related to aptitude and feedback. Extra 30 minutes will be given to candidates to take this test, which will have no weightage in the admission test score.

Total marks of the test are 1,100. There will be negative marking in the test like previous years. Five marks will be awarded for each correct answer and one mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer.

At a briefing about arrangements for the test, UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Junaid Sarfraz Khan said the Punjab chief secretary had directed all departments to make comprehensive arrangements for smooth and flawless conduct of the admission test.

District administrations, under the supervision of their divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners, have finalised all arrangements at the examination centres, he said. He said that district police officers would be responsible for security and deployment of police personnel at the test centres. He said that police would ensure extensive patrol and technical sweep of the area before commencement of the test.

Walkthrough gates and mobile phone jammers will be installed at all major centres. Entry of unauthorised persons to examination centres will be banned under Section 144, the VC said. He said that parents and other attendants of the candidates would wait at waiting areas near test centres. Traffic police have been directed to ensure smooth flow of traffic near the test centres, he said.

Emergency healthcare services will be ensured at all centres. These will include fully equipped ambulances, doctors, paramedics and emergency medicines. Moreover, nearest teaching hospitals or district headquarters hospitals would be on high alert to deal with any emergency. Arrangements have been made to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to all centres during the test.

UHS has already issued roll numbers and instructions to the candidates. Candidates are not allowed to bring cell phones, calculators, laptops, watches or notes to the test centre. Each candidate has already been issued admittance card with specific QR code.

According to regulations of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, it is mandatory for a candidate to appear in the entry test for admission to any public or private medical/dental college of the province.

This year candidates will compete for 3,405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in three public dental colleges of the province. Besides, there are 2,590 MBBS seats available in 21 private medical colleges and 555 BDS seats in nine private dental colleges affiliated with the university.