LAHORE - More than 65,000 candidates including 41,000 female students will appear in Punjab Medical & Dental Colleges’ Admission Test (MDCAT) today (Sunday).

Divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners of respective districts will act as ‘focal persons’ to look after the arrangements. The University of Health Sciences (UHS), which is conducting the test, has deputed around 5,500 invigilators and around 1,000 superintendents and deputy superintendents.

The test shall be held simultaneously at 28 centres established in 13 cities - Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sialkot, DG Khan and Hassan Abdal.

The test shall start at 09:00am. The candidates, however, must reach their respective centres at least one hour before the commencement of the test as gates would be closed at 08:15am and nobody would be allowed entry after that.

In Lahore, UHS has established eight centres-Examination Halls of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lawrence Road; Examination Halls of Punjab University, Wahdat Road; Government Comprehensive Girls High School, Wahdat Road; University of Education, Township; Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road; Govt Postgraduate College for Women Samanabad; Divisional Public School Model Town and Government College of Science, Wahdat Road for 19,000 candidates.

The test shall comprise 220 multiple choice questions (MCQs), divided into four sections namely Biology (88 MCQs), Chemistry (58 MCQs), Physics (44 MCQs) and English (30 MCQs).

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

Total marks of the test are 1,100. There shall be negative marking in the test like previous years and while 05 marks will be awarded for each correct answer, one mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer.

UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Junaid Sarfraz Khan said that the Punjab chief secretary had directed all concerned department to make immaculate arrangements for smooth and flawless conduct of the admission test.

The district administration, under the supervision of concerned divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners, had finalised the security and logistic plans at their respective centres, Prof Junaid told The Nation. He added the district police officers would be responsible for security and deployment of police personnel at the test centres. Police would also ensure extensive patrolling and technical sweeping of the area before the commencement of the test.

Walk-through gates and mobile jammers would be installed at all major centres. Restrictions would be imposed under Section 144 on the entry of unauthorized persons in the premises of examination centres, he informed.

The VC further said that parents and other attendants of the candidates would be provided waiting areas near test centres. Traffic police had been directed to make proper traffic and parking arrangements to ensure smooth flow of traffic near the test centres, he added.

Emergency healthcare services would be ensured at all centres including fully equipped ambulances, doctors along with paramedical staff and emergency medicines. Moreover, the nearest teaching hospital or district headquarters hospital would be on high alert to cope with any emergency. Arrangements have also been made with power supply companies to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply at all the centres during the test.

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

According to the PMDC regulations, 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, the candidates shall compete for 3405 MBBS seats in 17 public sector medical colleges and 216 BDS seats in three public dental colleges of the province. Besides, there are 2590 MBBS seats available in 21 private medical colleges and 555 BDS seats in nine private dental colleges affiliated with the university.