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! We are sure the readers (prospective AKUites) would love to have your contribution on this blog.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

AKU Test Prep Guidelines by Subject


If you want info on how to study for English, alot of info about it has already been provided in the post: Format of the AKU test and Time Management!

If you really want to prepare something, i would suggest going through a few SAT critical reading and sentence structure questions for practice. But don't waste your time on this as you can never really predict what questions will come in the test. As for the argumentative essay, please pay attention in your General Paper classes in Alevels. If you don't take GP, try having a little interest with newspapers (preferably the international and letters to the editor sections) to broaden your scope of knowledge. I'm saying this because the argumentative essay we encountered in 2012 was something about whether or not
Aid is helpful for the development of a country with regards to education etc. and you had to support your answer with 2 relevant examples. In the flurry of the moment, i thought of Pakistan and Somalia, both of which are receiving aid but aren't really growing. With hindsight, I think Somalia was not the best of examples... but ah well.


Know your Alevel Physics WELL. Read through a book of SAT 2 Physics. Make a formula sheet if necessary. Look at the AKU cirriculum and find the stuff you need to study (for example, the Michelson Interferometer, Black body radiation, etc). Once you've done that, look at the Inter Physics books and try to understand the concepts as much as possible. You don't need to go very deep with the details as its often hard to comprehend those mundane inter text books. What matters more is being strong in your concepts (being able to apply them to new questions) and being able to manipulate formulas and units with ease (a good mental-math ability is a plus).


Again, know your Alevel Chemistry with all its reactions really well. Benzene chemistry is a top priority as alot its questions come up in the test. I would advise having a good knowledge of inorganic cheimstry too (look at sulphur and it compounds more deeply). Try to understand why a reaction takes place and how its products came to be rather than rattofying (wrote memorizing) all of them. Chemistry, for the most part, is not ratta in the first place. (Don't agree? go talk to Sir Nicholas Jayanathan). SAT 2 Chemistry can be of help but I wouldn't recommend it. I found the book 'Advanced Chemistry' by Philip Matthews very helpful as it made alot of Chemistry make sense to me. I relied significantly on this book when using the AKU test cirriculum. Either that, or you could scan the Inter Chemistry books for more ratta-based info.


This may sound like the tough one to prepare for, and although i didnt delve too deep in the inter bio books, I scored 20/20 on this section, Alhumdulillah. (My few 'tukkas' were correct too. tukkas = calculated guesses). I studied my Alevel Biology quite thoroughly and also did a very good job with SAT 2 Bio (complete with notes on all the new and important stuff). The reason SAT 2 Bio is helpful is because it is really good at summarizing things into points and tables, especially when it comes to Taxonomy. 'Tax' is just annoying. Sopers has a good table with all the phylums you might want to know, but i didn't bother (doesn't mean you shouldn't too). I looked up and made notes of the intermediates of Glycolosys using the Inter Bio text book, but honestly speaking, it never came up in the test. Why? Because AKU doesn't just want rattofiers, it wants people who can understand, analyze and correlate. SAT 2 Bio also covers the Ecosystems chapter in a much more succint fashion, which means you don't have to waste excessive amounts of time reading that same chapter from the Inter book. Basically, go for Alevels Bio and SAT 2 Bio completely. If you really have time and feel like putting in the effort, study all inter books thoroughly. But after reading this stuff, im sure you'll run out of fuel eventually.

Here is a link to a SAT 2 Bio book. I used Barrons, but content should be the same in this too.

Mathematical and Scientific Reasoning

This section is probably what matters most. After all the studying and whining over the inter books and what to study, it boils down to this: the two most unpredictable sections carrying a total of 60 MCQs (thats equal to the number of MCQs for Bio, Phy, Chem combined!). Even if you've rattofied all the Inter books, this is where AKU seperates the wheat from the chaff. You can't clear this section untill you can think logically and a bit out of the box. This is because there isn't really much you could use to study for this, you just need good common sense.

Alright alright, lets downplay the anxiety a bit. The majority of questions in scientific reasoning were relatively easy. It even had questions from Bio, Phy and Chem. There was one about what bases to adenine and cytosine bind with. Come on, everyone knows that, (right?). Alhumdulillah, i scored 30/30 on this section. I didn't think it went that good after the test, but you never know what Allah has in store for you.

But beware! Mathematical reasoning has a few questions which really get you thinking. If you are decent at Kangaroo Mathematics competitions, you'll get a feel of the kind of questions that come up. Look at the sample paper again; it has good examples of the math questions. If your like me, who loves questions that get you thinking critically rather than just answering immediately, then this will be the best part on the test for you. It was fun, to be honest. (Disclaimer: these words are coming from the a guy who was the IKMC 2012 Gold Medalist at the Student Level, Alhumdulillah!)
_   _  _  _  _ _ _ _______ _ _ _  _  _  _   _

So basically, once you've read all this, what you've got to do is.... STUDY! But once you've reached the limit and are finding it hard to sleep in the weeks or days before the test, with your mind getting nightmares of a tough test, with your hands often up in dua with regards to the test, or you just get sick at the prospect of studying any longer cuz you feel its pointless now, consider yourself ready for the test. Yup, you're done. Stressing yourself further won't help, because the majority of the paper is based on things you can't really prepare for in the first place. And in the end, whatever happens is the decree of Allah. Put your trust in Him and get a good nights sleep on the eve of test day.

Sorry for the loooong post again, but im sure this will help you. All the stuff in one place.
This is the post where you should be asking more questions; so get commenting!


  1. As Salam Alaikum.

    Dr Afshan told me about your blog and it was very helpful! AKU has been my sole aim since a long time. I've been focused towards medicine entirely and nothing else. I'm in AS at the moment so I have time. What do you recommend I should be doing? Also, some say that you NEED to give your SATs for getting into AKU. Is that true? I'm really confused.

  2. Walaikum Assalam,

    Hmmm, someone actually finds this blog helpful. Believe it or not, this is the first comment on the blog! Maybe ill feel motivated enough to complete the non-existent 'how to clear the interview' section as well, heh

    Good to know you are focused. Maybe mentioning this is a bit early, but keep in mind that in AKU interviews they will ask you why exactly you are so focused towards medicine and why you want to go to AKU. Don't worry about this now though.

    What you should be worrying about, as an AKU-aspiring AS student, is acing your studies and getting extra/co-curricular certificates. Thats it.
    Getting good grades in your CIE is what actually matters because AKU doesn't take school transcripts but that doesn't mean you ignore school exams/tests. You must ensure that you understand all Alevel (AS + A2) concepts thoroughly so that you can get a high score on the AKU admission test and in CIEs. And this can easily happen if you study well from now. Don't concern yourself with studying extra material (like maybe sat2 books) for the AKU test right now. Just do your Alevels well. Its what will count most for you on the test.

    Alright, i don't know how these rumours come about, but you DO NOT NEED TO GIVE SAT to get into AKU (unless you are a foreign student, in which case you also have to give MCAT from this year on). Ofcourse, anything extra you have studied always helps, but that's it. Its not a requirement.

    Apart from studies, focus on getting certificates. Sports/dramatics/debate/skills/community-service/volunteer-work/student-council-positions/school-society's-board-memberships/mathemtic-competitions/nstc/etc there is a lot more you could do. They basically look for all-rounded people who can study well and are good at some other stuff too or can display leadership.

    Hope this helped. Sorry for my long comment.
    PS: I didn't know Dr Afshan knows about this blog. Regardless, you can always get great advice from her about these things. I made sure i did. I hope you'll do that as well.

  3. thank you so much.... this post is actually quite helpful.
    iam currently in A2. can i complete my aku prep if i start now, and do i need to take classes for the aku test prep like anees hussain and others?
    And how much do your alevel and olevel grades matter, because i have 1A in olvel, the rest ere B's and 3A's in AS LEVEL.
    do you also have any idean about admissions into DOW and ziauddin.
    sorry for asking soooo many questions =P
    thanks in advance.

  4. do you also know anything about the 2013 AKU dates, i checked the website it's not there yet.

  5. Ace, start studying for Alevels!
    Your grades are ok with respect to olevels and AS seems great, MashaAllah. Dont worry about that anymore. Look towards your A2 CIE exams and prepare well! If you get your Alevels right and make it your strength, most likely you'll be clearing the AKU test too (without even studying anything outside your alevel syllabus).
    Do not waste your time by going to anees hussain, students inn, etc. Its just a waste of time and money and will just make you stressed. Their question papers suck. Ive tried some of their books, they are very lame. If you want to do questions for practice, then try SAT 2 practice tests for bio (and chem + phy if you feel the need). And also go for a few kangaroo math questions. Critical thinking and analysis is what really matters, belive me.

    As far as AKU dates are concerned, ill try finding out and posting tomorrow iA (i hope i dont forget to ask). You'll find them on the page.

    DOW and Ziauddin, i applied to both. Study the inter syllabus for DOW (thats pretty much it) and Ziauddin's test is a piece of cake (so easy, you'll be laughing. But make sure you have a bit general knowledge about pakistan, its national sport, flower, etc.)

    Btw, last year, application deadlines for AKU were in mid february. I hope you are not late.

  6. Hahah yes please! Yes, I'm aware of that. They ask such questions in the interview.
    Oh awesome! I am studying and Alhumdulillah have sufficient extra-curricular activities from sports to debating.
    Thank God! I've been really worried about this.
    Yes, it most certainly did. Thank You so much. Long comments are the helpful ones :)
    I'll be sure to do that.

    1. can you help me about tests any idea?

  7. np!
    Btw, for an extra-cirricular certificate opportunity, i would encourage you guys to volunteer at the CCF carnival coming up on Feb 17th 2013. Check out their facebook page and volunteer! (+ spread the word to your friends!)

  8. Can you confirm the Aku test date for 2013 ?
    Anyway this is a really good blog.
    CONTINUE WRITING LONG POSTS. It really helps alot. Trust me.

  9. There is "SO" much stuff I didn't know about the test. O.o

  10. hey! this blog is really helpful. btw is that true that AKU doesnt prefers Fsc students? cause i did olevels and jumped to Fsc cause according to people for medical one should opt for Fsc.
    i am a bit confused can you guide me regarding that?

  11. @Tanveer: Jazakallah, i really appreciate your feedback. Im a bit tied up with stuff at AKU, but once im free, ill try posting more. The test date will be announced for sometime in June and applications will start in April. No fixed date yet (the date for the open day has not been decided yet either.)

    @Nayab Farooq:
    Not sure if it prefers/doesn't prefer FSc students. But i can tell you this much; the majority of students in my batch have done o/alevels. But don't let that set you back. The AKU admission process is one of the least biased/unfair ones ever. FSc will definitely help for government medical colleges like DOW, but AKU is indifferent to the candidate's system of education; it looks at the student as a whole. I hav many friends who have done FSc and are studying with me at AKU. Its about how you manage to study excellent and also gather extra-cirricular achievements.

  12. Oh yes. As soon as you're done with your work. You need to right more. Because there are students dying to get into Aku. You are very lucky. VERY. And a little info about anything. TRUST ME THE MOST TINIEST DETAILS MATTER. If not to everyone. To me it does.
    Tell us more about the environment there ? What makes it different from all other institutions ?

  13. if we just study sat2 bio and other sciences,is it is enough?
    and for maths u are advicing sat1 maths or kangroo?

  14. Will studying maths in my a-level give me any advantage for getting into aku or should I just focus on my sciences?

  15. Math in A-levels is not necessary. It olevel level math. It just involves much more critical thinking and analyzing. They are fun questions to be honest. Logical and Interesting. Some are tough to solve. Try kangaroo math questions (or some similar math questions from another source). They don't focus on formulae, they focus on your logic.

  16. Hi :) Im done with AS at the moment. And I really want to get into AKU no matter what. :P I just wanna know that is it important to give the SAT test? what if we dont give it? does it matter?

  17. What are the requirements for admission in AKU? I want to give my A-level exam and SAT aswell. If I dont get a good result in AS and A2, and i get a good result in can i apply for admission on the basis of my SAT result?

  18. Can we leave questions in the test? The sample says attempt all questions, doe sthat mean leaving a question would leave to neg marking? Please help asap!

  19. And do u have any idea about the passing percentage of a single sub section?

  20. is an excellent online resource to prepare for the AKU entry tests. Definitely worth trying. It is a complete system with following features,

    - Smart Analytic to help your prepare better.
    - Compare your performance with the other students.
    - The system keeps log of wrong attempts for future revision
    - 7000+ good quality, error free MCQs.
    - Every single question explained.
    - MCQs sorted by subject, topic and difficulty level.
    - Mock tests for GIKI, NUST, ECAT, MCAT etc format.
    - Complete personal log of how one has performed.

  21. Is this blog still active? Well, I've completed my A-Levels last year (in 2013) and have been on a gap year ever since. Just wanted to ask, would that disadvantage me as far as my chances of getting selected are concerned? Thanks and I'll look forward to your reply, Syed.

    1. Im from Syeds batch at AKU, I thought i should reply.
      There is no such disadvantage if you are on the top of your game when u give the test and interview. The interview for you will be the only place where you shall be asked about the reasons you took the gap year, how it affected you, how you used your time and did u achieve anything of significance. Generally AKU looks for intellectually competent students who seem to have a balance of work , fun and rest. If you are having too much rest and lethargy then i would recommend you to become more active and enroll yourself with volunteer service or get an internship. Wasting time does not look good on profile anywhere.And prepare well for your test. That is your first hurdle to get into AKU and your gap year doesnt affect your chances in this at all.

  22. Hi.. I just needed to ask that there is a lot of stuff in inter (such as crystal systems, etc) that is not even mentioned in the syllabus given on AKUs website. Do we need to still do that, or can we overlook it?

    1. Im a third year medical student,
      So all that inter stuff is not your priority for the AKU terst. It will be most essential in your NTS exam but not at AKU. AKU test is more reasoning and critical thinking and have maths much like the SAT test exams have. There is a portion that tests your knowledge from inter books but it is a very small part of your exam.

  23. Hi. I got 68% in my Fsc. I consider myself an intelligent student. I don't ratofy stuff like Karachi board ke nerds. Do you percentage really matter to get into AKU?

  24. This blog is wonderful and I don't even know what i'm doing here. I'm not even done with my O'levels. Keep up the good work. I hope this blog is still around when i give my test.

  25. Can you please name the author of the MCAT book you mentioned?

  26. I have 3B's in A levels. And apart from having school certificates like Best Reader, and Participation ones in few things, I don't think I have an excellent extra-curricular activity history. No MUN/ Kangroo tests, volunteer work, internship etc. Does this reduce chances of getting into AKU? And what extra-curricular things can I do now? Really appreciate any help! Thanks! :)

  27. Does AKU require SAT? I really want to get into AKU and i'm planning to stay in Pakistan for my university. If aga khan doesn't require it, then there's no reason i should be giving SAT. I also heard AKU requires math. I am going to the Lyceum and they are offering me math. I don't want to take math because i don't want to burden myself with five subjects. Please answer, it would be of great help.

  28. Hey people!
    I'm going for AKU challenge scholarship test. Can anyone guide me in this regard? Like. Which syllabus and kind of questions?
    I'll be really thankful


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