Why is AKU’s admission procedure a sham

by Awais Leghari

For many, Aga Khan University represents a glorious opportunity, a future that promises security and basically all what they have hoped for. Yet, it’s very sad to see the state of top universities in Pakistan. Despite having a reputation that extends beyond Pakistan’s borders, they have admission policies that doesn’t deserve a university of the stature of AKU.

My first problem is AKU’s Admission Test. The only thing you know about the test is that they’ll test you on Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, English and “Scientific Reasoning”. There is no definitive syllabus for each of these subjects, which adds to an enormous amount of confusion. A level students study their own syllabus, while the F.S.c students use their own material to prepare for the test. There is no one source from where the students can look for guidance. They are completely unaware of the concepts that can be tested, or in what scope would the students be asked to apply their concepts. For example, an A level student is generally given structural formulas to figure out the product of an organic reaction. On the other hand, the F.S.c student has to learn all of the structural formulas. In this way, it becomes unfair for a candidate with an A’level background when a question pops up on an F.S.c pattern, because the Aga Khan University thinks it’s fun to keep students racked up in the muddle of confusion. I come from an A’level background, and I found the test to be very difficult and unfair.

When you buy AKU’s admission forms from Soneri Bank, they give you their ‘sample test copy’, which is meant to basically provide students with the idea of how difficult, or what kinds of questions should they expect on the test.  However, it’s really nothing more than a joke. The questions on the sample booklet are no where near good for representing the kind of difficulty level, or the type of questions you can expect on the test. In this way, many students are misguided from the AKU’s administration itself, on what to expect from the test. This is unfair.

Moreover, Aga Khan University takes no consideration of what a student has done over the years in his or her school. This includes academic performance, extra-curricular activities, behavior etc. To many, this is unfair in the sense that if you don’t perform well on a test that has no credibility, you lose out on the opportunity of attending the college. AKU must provide a strong reason for why they’d want to ignore the academic performance of a student throughout his or her schooling, when on the other hand, best universities throughout the world consider this a very important, perhaps the most important yardstick when handing out admissions. This raises doubts over the admission process of the best medical university in Pakistan.

So this is why I believe AKU’s admission process needs to change and it needs to take into consideration whatever factors that are necessary in shaping a student’s schooling career. Do you agree?