A few years back, when I, myself, was going through all the hassle of university admission test preparations,
a significant portion of my time went into collating all the material and finding all the resources. In addition to the mental focus and attention required in managing all this, a significant amount of cash was also a big requirement.
Finding a counselor, taking out time to consult him, getting hands on the newspapers so that important admission dates are not missed out, and going through much more. All of this amounts to way too much inconvenience for a student. It wasn’t only me though. Thousands of students appear in these tests every year.
Last year, over 41,000 students appeared in the combined entrance test for admission in engineering universities held by the University of Engineering and Technology while more than 50,000 appeared for the MDCAT.
Therefore, a lot of institutions have sprung up to provide entrance test training to the aspiring candidate. However, of all these, only Punjab Group of Colleges (PGC) has launched ‘STEP by PGC’ entry test preparation app.
The mobile application is launched for Android phones, as Android is a platform of choice for many students owing to its wide availability in Pakistan. An iOS version is also in order and will be launched in a month’s time. This app provides all entrance-test related material at one forum.
I will not only focus on the features but will also take a look at the functionality and huge database of previous entry test questions.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at this mobile application.
When I first came to know about this application, I was delighted to see someone trying to fill the gap which had been there for too long. The first look at the Application Main Menu made it clear that the PGC has tried its best to touch all the domains that can facilitate a student including the ones they are in dire need of. Here are some key features of the application:
Following are the main features of the app:
- Study resources for MDCAT, ECAT, and FUNGAT including a database of over 30,000 MCQs.
- Access to past papers of ECAT and MDCAT entrance tests.
- A ‘Counselor’ tab to get instant counseling by STEP’s Counselor.
- Latest information and news updates regarding admissions and test dates
The application, dubbed STEP by PGC, is comprehensive enough to include as much information and content that a student can need before appearing in an entrance examination. Let’s take a look at some features one by one.
1. Live admission/opportunity updates
Live admission updates form an integral part of the platform. The updates which are regularly posted on the platform include different advertisements/notices as dispatched by different universities. A regular check on this tab will ensure that you won’t miss any opportunity.
2. Practice MCQs
Punjab Group of Colleges has added more than 30,000 MCQs on the application for practice.
Punjab Group of Colleges has added more than 30,000 MCQs on the application for practice. The application includes the content for almost all the major/famous entrance tests like that of MDCAT (Medical & Dental Colleges), ECAT (Engineering Colleges), FUNGAT (FAST, UET, NUST, GIKI) and those of NUMS. The MCQs are divided in a chapter-wise fashion and are supplemented by their respective solutions. The application also includes a scratchpad which you can use for solving the questions. This option is pretty handy, especially while solving Mathematical questions.
3. Past Entrance Test Exams
The application also includes entrance tests of past years.
The application also includes entrance tests of past years. Currently, the application includes the past papers of ECAT and MDCAT from the past four years. Although exclusive access to all the content is only available to the STEP students, a portion of the total papers is available to all the students. This option enables the students to further test their knowledge against the past papers and better gauge their MDCAT and ECAT preparation.
4. Counselor Services
A counselor is available on the tap of a button for help and support.
Another option which, I can personally relate to, is the availability of inbuilt counselor services. A form is available which can be filled with the concerned query and you would hear back from a professional educational counselor. At the critical stage after one’s intermediate examinations, this option would not only help students unearth their passion but will also assist them towards achieving it.
What can be improved?
Although it is a marvelous addition to the arsenal of students all around the country, there is always some room for improvement. Here are a few things which can be improved in future builds:
- The application has primarily been made to cater the students enrolled at STEP and the standard login is only available to students with pre-registered accounts as provided by PGC. Non-STEP students can, however, log in through Facebook and gain limited access to the content. It would appeal to a much larger audience if this divide of features is removed.
Considering that the application is currently under development, we should expect a newer version of the application to come sooner rather than later. Hopefully the issues and glitched will be taken care of in future releases of the application.
Overall STEP by PGC is a great application which, I personally believe, would appear to be a worthy addition for the students. The concept of employing mobile technology for localized learning environment hasn’t been around in Pakistan and this application certainly acts as a pioneer in this domain.
Moreover, with the ongoing load-shedding of electricity in the country, the application will turn out to be a safe haven for students looking to get unprecedented access to entry test preparation material. The app offers rescue to students having any trouble with ECAT admission, MDCAT admission or NTS admission. On top of that, a smartphone will allow the students to keep practicing and prepare for the entry test examinations on the go.
With a catchy design and color scheme, the application is made to impress. Apart from a few insignificant glitches here and there, UI is also very responsive. Gathering this much content under the wraps of one application, this will surely be of significant help to the students.
You can download this application here. Don’t forget to share your feedback in the comment below.
This story has been brought to you by Punjab Group of Colleges. The opinions expressed here are of TechJuice’s editorial staff.