"SO VERILY, WITH THE HARDSHIP, THERE IS RELIEF. VERILY, WITH THE HARDSHIP THERE IS RELIEF" 94:5-6
Salam, I, Muhammad Ebraheem, MBBS student at King Edward Medical University, am penning down my experience being an MDCAT repeater.l hope this might help those who are going through tough times to secure their admission in Public medical institutes in Punjab Pakistan.
I did my FSc in 2019 and scored 1020/1 100, it was going to be my first attempt that year and I was confident that I will secure my admission which I guess was the reason why I failed to score marks good enough (1 61/200)to get admitted in any med school in govt sector(86.6 agg).
Try, try again...
Like any medical aspirant who couldn’t perform on the first attempt, I also went for a gap year. Therefore, I joined a repeater session for MDCAT and also applied for Urdu and Biology compartment exams to improve my marks (which became 1044/1 100 later). There I cleared my concepts, made notes, and put a lot of effort so that I could crack MDCAT that year(2020). Then started the main session which was online due to covid-19 , I covered the entire syllabus in due time and was ready for the attempt when UHS announced the date for the exam which was supposed to be in August that year but soon PMC was formulated and it started to postpone the test again and again which made me lose my interest in revising the everchanging syllabus.
The actual struggle started from here, but I knew I will do it..
Still, somehow I managed it and was prepared for Nmdcat 2020, I scored 175/200 with an aggregate of 91.2 hoping that I will secure a seat this time but with merit position at 4202 1 wasn’t even able to get a seat in reciprocal quota. This made me go into a state of denial because I already had wasted a year of my life owing to the fact that I didn’t apply in any other field, l literally had no option left than to take another gap year.
l took a long break of 7 months of doing nothing in my third attempt and started to prepare for the test exactly 3 months before the date that was allotted to me for NMDCAT. Finally, I scored 188/210 with an aggregate of 93.2952 and also got my name in the 1st provisional list of Nums open merit category, and also got name in KEMU merit list, Alhamdulillah! So this was a brief story of my academics.
Now, let's come to the crux of NMDCAT!
For me, self study and my personal schedule helped me a lot in my 3rd attempt. At first, I joined a virtual session but soon I realized that this won’t help me this time as it didn’t in the first 2 attempts so I made a bold decision to prepare myself according to my own schedule. For those who never attended academies during their Matric and FSC days , I’ll suggest not to join physical academies in your MDCAT phase , stick to your own way of preparation, you can grasp concepts easily from recorded lectures which are available on numerous websites especially saeedmdcat.com and on YouTube .
Don’t stick to the syllabus given by PMC because they won’t follow it themselves, instead prepare whole chapters. Keenly study the practice tests which will be provided to you by PMC this year as your paper will be set according to that pattern, if you find any mcq out of your syllabus in PMC paid practice test, search that topic in your book and prepare it.
I did the same thing, by attempting all 36 paid tests by given by PMC. I figured out all the mcqs out of the syllabus and prepared those topics/chapters respectively. So if you want to be the next MDCAT topper, then try to follow the suggestions I am giving to you.
How to prepare for Biology section?
For Biology, both PTB(punjab board) and NBF(federal board) are a must, don’t ignore even a single side box, glossary, or even introductions, as scoring in biology will be a challenge and merit-defining move. It will be easier for you if you go through PTB first and then NBF, pointing out everything missing in PTB and writing them on separate notes, this exercise will save you from revising NBF when your exam will be near.
What to do for the Chemistry section?
For Chemistry PTB will be enough, there are just a few topics which are needed to be prepared from NBF.
For Physics, you should...
The same goes for Physics, but focus on theory too as there will be memory based questions this time especially from the last 3 chapters of Physics part 2.
How to prepare for Logical Reasoning and English?
When preparing, give English and Logical reasoning their required time, these Subjects are usually ignored but they will compensate your score if you make any mistake or any MCQ which might be problematic in your Nmdcat science portion.
Managing time during the test will not be a problem as you will be given 210 minutes, there was a misleading rumor that skipped MCQs which were attempted later were not marked by the system. I myself skipped 30-35 MCQs and found no problem in their system. The reason why the majority of students couldn’t score above 180 in 2021 were the questions that were asked out of the given syllabus.
A final piece of advice!
For me not having option B proved to be a blessing in disguise but I won’t advise anyone to do the same, if you’re passionate enough for MBBS go for the third attempt if you failed in your second but take admission in a University along with it. It would take a lot of mental stress off your shoulders which wasn’t in my case. Just believe in yourself and you’ll be successful in the end if you were honest with yourself and the time you had.
If you have any queries drop them in the comments below or if you have some questions from Dr. Ebrahim, you can contact him through his instagram id( link given below)