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Hey everyone, gonna try to keep this short and sweet. I reside in the US, I'm in my final year of high school, and I'm planning to apply to several medical schools in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi area of Pakistan (specifically Shifa, Fazaia/Air, Army, etc) once I finish high school. Since the College Board has stopped administering the SAT subject tests, I need to take the MDCAT instead. The thing is, it seems like there's a pretty big lack of MDCAT info/prep, and the same with the entrance tests for these med schools. I know academies like KIPS/STAR/STEP help prepare you for the MDCAT, but I don't exactly know how reliable they are, or how well they prepare you for the MDCAT. Is there any other foreign student here who's also applying to a Pakistani med school that's going through the same experience and stress I'm facing? Thanks.
 

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Hi there. I went through the same stress with the MDCAT last year. I decided to go through the self study route with help from some youtube channels that taught the pakistani boards curriculum. From my knowledge, an academy provides you with the right resources like practice question books, and overall guides you on what to study, etc. But, i’m not sure how good the lectures are ( so: I ended up buying the KIPS academy practice books from bookstores in pakistan and used those for my practice instead).

Some advice for the MDCAT from my experience, I did Alevels and having that knowledge was helpful in passing the exam. However, I do suggest getting your hands on the textbooks they use for the pakistani curriculum because having gone through their books I found the MDCAT to be overall easier ( I got some great information regarding the books and more from @nimrahwrites on instagram, so do check her out! ) Personally- I used the punjab textbooks for biology and physics and federal textbooks for chemistry.

As for the universities you stated, I don’t have any experience with those, sorry!

P.S: the youtube channels I used for prep :
*Physics: physics in seconds, physics ka manjan- bilal zia
*Biology: Irtisams biology
*Chemistry: (only used the federal board textbooks)
 

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Hi, I'm also a high school senior here in the US and am planning on applying to Shifa, Fazaia, Dow, and Aga Khan. I agree with the other poster, based on what i've read on forums on here and have heard from others who have taken the MDCAT, the best way to go besides enrolling and studying with an academy (KIPS or STARS) is self studying using Pakistani curriculum books and test prep books (Dogar Publishing has a great one). I'm honestly in the same position as you, there's no information or resources to help foreign students from the US applying to schools in Pakistan. I've done a lot of research myself on resources and people's experiences applying (locally as i've yet to find a foreigner and their experience) and will attach a list of websites/resources that are super helpful and link test prep resources. Also based on what i've heard the now-discontinued SAT II prep books are helpful for some sections of the MDCAT and the AKU test (if you are applying there). You may also want to look into resources for school specific tests (Shifa now has their own test) if any of your schools have their own tests now. I know a lot of private medical schools are shifting to making their own tests count in their aggregate calculations instead of the MDCAT, and instead just requiring that students simply pass it.

One suggestion I would have is going to the actual Pakistan Medical Commission Website and looking at the in depth MDCAT curriculum breakdown they have and comparing it to whatever course work you've taken in high school (biology, chemistry, math, english, and physics) so you have a better idea as to what to study. Also pay attention to the dates of tests, I know schools like Aga Khan in Karachi are making their exams much earlier (end of July) meaning foreigners have to start studying well in advance because of the amount of material covered. I know in Pakistan prep programs are starting now (almost 6 months in advance) so i'd suggest you start studying now, in order to cover everything and pass whatever entry tests you end up taking. I know prep academies like KIPS and STARS have self-paced prep online.

One last tip I have is constantly check the Pakistan Medical Commission website and the website of any school you're applying to because i've noticed that policies and rules change drastically every year.

I have a forum post (which level of difficulty is required for equivalence...) about US equivalency to the Pakistani system and just the whole US to Pakistani system conversion and requirements from the IBCC if you wanted more information about that as well. I've done a lot of research about the whole process in the past 4 years and would be more than happy to share more info / answer any questions of yours or any other foreign student applying this year. Also I'm thinking about making a separate post for US foreigners applying so other people like us can share any information and answer questions.

For you in particular if you don't mind me asking, do you know if you're going to take a gap semester first year of college so you can take the MDCAT and entry tests or are you going to try to do that simultaneously with college in the US. I'm debating it because there's so much to cover for entry tests studying wise and the test dates coincide with the semester. Anyways good luck !!

Resources for MDCAT/Entry Test Prep and Application Advice (mainly Aga Khan as that's my top school so I've done more research about it, but theres a lot more out there for Islamabad/Rawalpindi schools too)
  • Random and More on Instagram and Youtube (SUPER HELPFUL)
  • @nimrahwrites on instagram for MDCAT resources
  • @here_akmal on instagram for MDCAT resources and prep
  • I've heard of a test prep company like KIPS called Heuser, but there isn't much out there about them
  • medangle_premed on instagram posts daily MDCAT questions and is a well established self-study test prep resource and has full length practice tests
  • Premed.PK is an online MDCAT question bank
  • the PMC (Pakistan Medical Council) has it's own self-study test prep resource they launch closer to the exam date
  • MedTastic Days on Youtube for IBCC equivalence and a general overview of the foreign application process (She's Canadian so the equivalency part is bit different than ours)
  • Online MDCAT Preparation | MDCAT Study for MDCAT self study prep

 
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