NOTICE for AKUites

Notice for AKUites

All students from AKU who wish to help their juniors clear the rigorous AKU admission process are encouraged to submit a written piece about their AKU interview/test experience at theakuchallenge@gmail.com! We are sure the readers (prospective AKUites) would love to have your contribution on this blog.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

AKU Entry Test 2018 Advice

Update 6/21/2018: I got in touch with some of my other classmates, one of them shared this folder, which contains resources for the test: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B_3ns-YNncCAS3BENmo2d2xGaDQ I urge you to jump into the "Read Me First" file and go through the minimum that is advised to cover from this folder. Also go through the "AKU ADVICE" file. (It also contains so-called past papers of AKU's test by Anees Hussain, but as mentioned in the Read Me First file, these are fake and unreliable. With that said, if you want to check them out go ahead and do so for practice's sake.)

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Salam everyone!

By the time you're reading this, hopefully your final exams of A Level/FSc etc. have gone well, and you're probably now considering starting your preparation for the AKU MBBS aptitude test to be held on the 1st of July. I'm writing this in order to give you all some sense of direction.

First of all, like I mentioned in my previous post, pretty much all I have to say is contained in the guide I wrote and shared after my own admission last year. Here is the link again: https://goo.gl/Q4e8Wg

Please do go through this, especially the entire section on the entry test, which is very useful. However, I'll summarize the essentials in one place here.

Sample Test

Here is the sample AKU aptitude test paper, do go through this to get a very brief overview. https://www.aku.edu/admissions/Documents/sample-paper-MBBS.pdf

English Section

For the English section, go through this sample test here, for this most closely resembles the English section on the AKU test for the last few years after they updated the format: http://practice-test.englishlanguagetesting.co.uk/

They themselves actually state we can head on over here in their sample test I've provided above.

Biology/Chemistry/Physics

For A Level students who have taken the SAT 2 as well recently, are satisfied with their prep for it and their A Level concepts, it's best to grab FSc books and go through them as much as feasible with the syllabus AKU provided alongside them. Here is the syllabus: https://www.aku.edu/admissions/mbbs/Pages/curriculum.aspx
Focus on topics not found in A Level that overlap between SAT 2 and FSc and do them well via SAT 2 books and practice questions, and do the rest from the FSc books of course. You can also use AKU EB (AKU's own board for matric/FSc) past papers, which I've collected over here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8zG6ETp7LjBcWZRSW5seE5wU1U

A Level students who did not sit for the SAT 2 should focus on making sure their A Level concepts are strong and then move on to SAT 2 books and work especially on topics that aren't covered in A Level but do overlap between FSc and SAT 2. Do as many questions as you can from SAT 2 books as well as the official past papers of SAT 2. Once done, move on to spend the remainder of your time with FSc books as above. Again, use AKU EB past papers and syllabus too if you want to, both of which I've linked above.

FSc students on the other hand need not dive into A Level books. Make sure your FSc concepts are very, very strong. If you have taken the SAT 2 then it's great, but if not, SAT 2 is something you'll definitely have to use for your preparation as it will help cover syllabus with a focus on MCQs. Use the AKU EB curriculum and past papers I've linked above as well. You need to have an overall grasp over the FSc syllabus and be comfortable with attempting MCQ style questions that will check your clarity concerning the concepts.

In my personal experience, I did well in A Level and in the same period of time took the SAT 2, in which I performed well too. As an A Level student, I had a strong grasp on both A Level and SAT 2. However, I still felt that the test was definitely hard. Thus, in my opinion, the test was majorly FSc based. With that said, the SAT 2 is definitely something that is useful and an important bridge between the different syllabi, and most students who passed the test will agree that it's integral for your preparation. Furthermore, it's hard to be sure where the test will come from as there's difference of opinion from year to year.

For the SAT 2, here is a folder I made during my preparation for it, which might be helpful for you: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8zG6ETp7LjBRi0yd0R6YjZiZ28

In summation, A Level students follow this order: A Level --> SAT 2 --> FSc.
FSc students follow this: FSc + SAT 2.

Mathematics Reasoning

The first thing I'd like to say is that it's not going to be any more complex than your usual Matric/O Level math, since Math is not even a requirement to be studied at FSc/A Level for medicine in Pakistan. With that said, it should be noted that questions aren't basic maths, they do have an element of problem solving/logical thinking involved, which is why it's titled "reasoning". The way I prepared for this was very briefly revise my O Level math concepts and ideas. FSc students should revise their Matric math, of course. After that, if you want to, you can try out the New SAT math questions (not SAT 2 math, I'm talking about SAT 1). Open up this link: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/practice/full-length-practice-tests There are 8 practice tests here under the "Resources" section. Click on "Show all" under each test, open the "SAT Practice Test (test number)" file and the "SAT Practice Test Answer Explanations" file, and then you can use the math questions for your practice (ignore the English parts).

More important than that however, I feel are the International Kangaroo Mathematics Contest (IKMC) questions, which was first recommended by one of the founding members of this blog in this post: http://theakuchallenge.blogspot.com/2012/11/aku-test-prep-guidelines-by-subject.html In fact, go through this entire post as I used this as well for my own preparation (and go through other posts in the past concerning the entry test too, minus the part on English as that section has been changed a lot over the years), although this is like 5 years old. For practicing the IKMC questions, open up this link http://ikmc.kangaroo.org.pk/download/3162/past-papers.html and practice questions of "class 9-10" of the different years. The answer keys are available there as well.

It's hard to pinpoint where exactly the questions come from, but basically they test your ability to think rationally. Do revise topics like probability etc.

Science Reasoning

In my experience this was basically a cluster of science questions from bio/chem/phy. If you really want to dive into "reasoning" then try out these ACT science questions: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-preparation/science-practice-test-questions.html However, like I've said in my guide, they're more difficult than what shows up on the AKU test. Honestly, some of the questions didn't even seem too "reasoning"-like to me. Just make sure your sense of science is strong and focus on your preparation for the other science section. Over the years of studying science, if you were someone who took active interest in your subject and tried to make sense of it, you should have developed the skills to solve these questions. Beyond that, do as many SAT 2 practice questions as you can.

Attempting Techniques and Other Tips

One important aspect is the negative marking. The pure sciences portion have a -0.25 mark for every question you get wrong. So you have to be very careful with that. Most of the times when you are confused between multiple options, it's best to leave a question unanswered, and I can tell you I left more than I guessed on. On the other hand, the science reasoning and mathematics reasoning sections don't have any negative marking, and in their case, feel free to guess. In fact, don't leave any question unanswered.

Another thing I'd like to talk about is timing. The English section has its own separate time and it's pretty sufficient. The science portion as a whole with the pure sciences and reasoning sections is all in one go. I personally went once through the pure sciences and eliminated questions that I found easy. After that, instead of wasting time on guessing questions, I spent a decent amount of time on maths and science reasoning because there's no negative marking there. I did all questions there without any pressure, and then spent the remaining time on the pure sciences questions. This helped because instead of wasting time on questions that have negative marking, it was better to make sure I answer each of the non-negative marking questions with full concentration as there I have a chance of getting a mark even if I guess without the risk of losing marks. Thus, do time everything carefully and keep your eyes on the clock.

Finally, do note that if you can't figure out the correct answer at first glance, try eliminating the wrong answers first as much as you can to narrow down your options. This is a very basic technique for attempting MCQs but I felt that it's important to reiterate it here.

Don't lose sleep over anything, make sure you take regular breaks, and best of luck! Feel free to comment any questions/concerns below, or email me at akuhelp@outlook.com.

(Do check out the comments below as I've addressed lots of things below.)

- Mohammad Yasrab, AKU Class of 2022.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Admissions Open for MBBS 2018-2019 (Last Date: 28th May) + Complete Guide for Preparation By Yasrab

Greetings everyone!


My introduction


Yasrab here, from the class of 2022. This is my first post, so I'll begin with a little introduction about myself. Just like you, I was searching frantically a year ago for any help/advice/guidelines for helping me achieve my dream of gaining admission into Aga Khan University's MBBS programme, and that's when I came across this wonderful blog. A year later, here I am in my hostel room, writing this post, as the responsibility of running this blog has been passed down to me by the wonderful people who set it up in the first place.

This blog played a major role in helping me achieve my goal, and I cannot thank Sohaib, Lubaina, and everyone else who contributed to it enough for the help rendered. After I got in, I felt that it's my duty to play my part and independently wrote a complete guide based on my experience regarding the admissions process, preparation, the entry test, the interview, what I think is required, and so on. The founders of this blog not only gave me the opportunity to share my guide but also take up responsibility of running this blog from this point onward.

As the admission season has started, I felt that this is the perfect time to make my first post here. Through this post I aim to provide some basic guidelines regarding what you need to do and how you should orient yourselves to efficiently get your applications going. I will continue to update this blog.


Complete guide on preparing for admission into AKU's MBBS programme based on my experience


Firstly, here's the guide I wrote, titled, "Preparing for admission into AKU's MBBS program". It's nearly 17,000 words long (around 60 pages) and deals with everything that I deemed necessary for aspiring students to know, including: applying online, overview of the entry test, preparing for the entry test, filling in the Stage II Information Form (that comes after you clear the entry test), everything pertaining to the interview from sitting posture to questions that I was asked, acceptance letters, how candidates are selected (in my understanding), and so on.

I honestly feel that this is all of the advice and tips that I have to offer in one document and suggest that you keep this with you and go through it as you progress through the admissions process in the next couple of months. Of course, this is simply advice and a narration of my own experience and interpretation of the entire process, so do take it as nothing more than that. At the end of the day, it is your own journey, and all we can do is share what we experienced. Derive whatever benefit, good, and help you can from our experiences.


Here's the guide: https://goo.gl/Q4e8Wg


Do access it from this link, for I do tend to update the file and it automatically gets updated in this link. There's a version number on the cover page with the same link above so do note that when opening the file to see if it's been updated or not. If you decide to download it and keep it offline, click the link on the cover page from time to time to make sure you have the latest version.

Let me know if any link is not working (either in this post or within the guide above) and I'll be sure to look into that as well.


What to do at this point in time


The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the AKU website and the main MBBS page in particular: https://www.aku.edu/admissions/mbbs/Pages/home.aspx It's going to be something you'll keep referring back to until you get the final decision regarding your admission. 

Next, you should download the Programme Information Booklet (which you can see on the right side of the page underneath "Related Information", or click here: https://www.aku.edu/admissions/Documents/programme-information-mc.pdf) and make sure you go through it.

At this point in time, the sections most relevant to you are going to be the "Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery" section (pages 12 to 18) and the "Apply Online" section (pages 24 to 27).

Make sure you understand the entire online application process. The steps in the Programme Information Booklet couldn't be any clearer than they are.

From the main page, you can also click on "How to apply" and that link will also lead you to a very straightforward description of the entire process. The actual link where you fill the online application form is: http://www.aku.edu/apply-online 

Once you open that link, you can begin your online application. If there's still confusion, I highly recommend going through the "FAQs" towards the upper right (or click here: https://www.aku.edu/admissions/Documents/faq-online-application.PDF) and "Understand the Online Process" towards the upper left (or click here: https://www.aku.edu/admissions/Documents/online-process.pdf). Have these files open while you go through the online application process. 

If you have any questions for which you can't find answers in the FAQs or the details AKU has provided, then feel free to email them at email addresses they have provided:
  1. In the "Understand the Online Process" document they have on the online application page, they mention online.application@aku.edu
  2. Then there's mbbs.query@aku.edu in the Programme Information Booklet
  3. They also mention admissions.query@aku.edu when you open the "How to apply" link
Concerning the online application itself, when I had questions, I contacted online.application@aku.edu and did get a swift reply. Beyond that, for the majority of the concerns that I had, I contacted mbbs.query@aku.edu and had my questions/concerns addressed right away. I haven't sent any email to admissions.query@aku.edu, but it's there as well. Thus, feel free to email them regarding any question you have when filling the online application, and I'm certain your issue will be addressed. You can also call them at +92 21 3493 0051.

And of course, feel free to comment below any queries you may have and I'll be sure to address them to the best of my ability/knowledge as well.


Good luck!!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The AKU Challenge Legacy

Hey guys!

A lot has changed with regards to AKU admissions and the way to go about them.

This blog was originally created by Sohaib Qadri (who has graduated from AKU by now) and was then run by me (Lubaina Ehsan). But, I am going to be graduating soon. So, we have brought in new blood to handle and update this blog from now on.

This blog post is to welcome Mohammad Yasrab.
He's dedicated towards helping out those who are looking for a place to answer their queries regarding the AKU admission process.

Power to you, Yasrab!
Take good care of this blog.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Updated Information for 2015

The links below can also be found at http://www.aku.edu/admissions/undergraduate/medicine/Pages/MBBS-Programme.aspx

Information and Eligibility Criteria for 2015 can be found here:
http://www.aku.edu/admissions/registraroffice/Documents/programme-information-MBBS.PDF

Sample Paper for 2015 can be found here, this is to give an idea about the pattern of the test to the candidates:
http://www.aku.edu/admissions/registraroffice/Documents/sample-paper-MBBS.pdf

Curriculum of Biology, Chemistry and Physics for 2015 can be found here:
http://www.aku.edu/admissions/undergraduate/medicine/Pages/curriculum.aspx

Let us know if you guys have any further queries,
Best of luck! :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Advice for FSC Students

Hey guys.

This blog post is to answer all the queries we have been receiving with regards to preparation for AKU Admission Test that FSc students are to do.

Well, a few students of an FSc background currently studying at AKU were asked the following questions and their responses were noted.

Question #1. What Books and Resources did you use to prepare for the AKU Aptitude Test?
Question #2. Did you take any tuition or the likes for the Test?
Question #3. Any other advice for FSc Students appearing for the AKU Aptitude Test?

Paras's Response

Hi!
1) I used Sindh board books for chem, bio and physics and SAT 1 books for math and english. Didn't use any specific book for scientific reasoning. Scientific reasoning mostly tests your common sense but it had a lot of time consuming paragraphs. The advice i'll give for this section is to study the other subjects really well so you can do them quickly and have time for this section in the end.
2) I didn't take any tution specifically for the AKU test. The tutions I used to take were for the general MCAT conducted by NTS.
3) Instead of wasting your time trying to study A level books at the last minute, re-read your own books FSc books. However, avoid rattafying them and work on building your concept. The majority of mcqs test the big picture, not the details.

Bilal Mirza's response:
1) Sat 2 barons for basic sciences and fsc books. Maths from Sat official study guide and Barron's. 2) Nope. No tuitions 3) FSc students should focus more on science reasoning and the maths section. Umm... Organic chemistry is very important and most of it is covered in FSc. Students ought to practice physics questions from sat 2 tests. Well, basically, learn to apply the concepts that they have learned.
Noayna's response:

1) Well, the fsc books are more than enough to prepare for the science section but I did go through the practice tests given in the SAT bio/phy/chem books. Maths is fairly easy and its all the basic stuff so I just practised from the SAT book, 3-4 tests per day(for a week) were enough to reacquiant me with maths 😛 Googled practice tests for reasoning on the last day! oh and SAT se english mcqs, along with some random fsc books. 2) No, I didn't. 3) Not really. The test is easy, just remember what you were thought over the two years and practice as much as possible. The more you practice, the lesser are your chances of messing this up!


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Hope this blog post was of help. Feel free to ask any other questions or forward any queries present. Cheers!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

AKU OPEN DAY 2015

Open Day is here!
Many of you have been inquiring us about this so decided to put it up here.

Here's the link for the details regarding the Open Day:
http://www.aku.edu/admissions/registraroffice/Pages/Outreach.aspx

Date: Sunday, 22nd February, 2015
Venue: Sports and Rehabilitation Centre, The Aga Khan University, Karachi.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Interview Situation

Congratulations to all those who cleared the AKU Aptitude Test!
Now comes Step #2; The Dreaded AKU Interview that has so many myths associated with it.

Last night my friends and I were discussing about this year's test, interview, those who cleared the test and stuff when one of them said a truly quotable quote:
"Know what, Lubaina, the AKU Blog that you guys run is sort of counter-productive when it comes to the interview prep because a lot of people are reading your interview and if all of them answer the way you answered then their interview won't stand out."

And, my friend was absolutely right. So, before any further ado here's lesson #1 for the AKU Interview:
Show them how you STAND OUT.
Show them how your spark is DIFFERENT from the rest.
Show them that you DESERVE to come to AKU.
After all, out of all the applicants ONLY 100 are selected and if you want that to be you than you have to show them how you're unique. Everybody debates and everybody plays football but not everybody can make debating and swimming seem as if they are more than just talking out loud and splashing in the water.

The interviews put up at this blog are just to give the readers an idea about how it goes.

For further tips about the AKU interview, read our previous posts:
- AKU Interview Guidelines
- Sohaib's AKU Interview
- Lubaina's First AKU Interview (Just realised how I never got around to writing about my second interview)
- Mayera Tufail's AKU Interview


Feel free to ask any questions or sort out any queries that are bothering you.
This will be it for now.
Cheers!

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