ECAT Test Instructions: 8 Things You Should Know

Planning to take ECAT this year? Never taken it before? Or retaking it this year with renewed hopes to get through?

You’ve come to the right website! Take out 10 minutes to read through following instructions and you will certainly be geared up for surmounting this peak with the right set of essentials!

Engineering College Admission Test (ECAT) is the complementary selection criterion for taking admission in an engineering institute in Pakistan.

The test is set by the University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, and assesses students’ aptitude in subjects like English, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer, Statistics, etc.

In the previous year, UET held its entry test in 13 different cities nationwide, with over 46,000 aspirants appearing in the test, contesting for 2500 seats in various campuses of UET and its affiliated colleges.

Tough competition! And that brings us to devise a smart plan to score well in this test.

So, get to your notepads and scribble down these instructions mapped out to make ECAT convenient for you.

1. What To Prepare?

UET has the following subject groups for ECAT to cater the Intermediate, A-Level and DAE students studying varying subjects:

  • English, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry
  • English, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science
  • English, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics
  • English, Physics, Biology, Chemistry

For each subject, the UET issues a list of topics each year. The topics are included in the textbooks of Intermediate part I and II, A-Levels or DAE. The questions assess an in-depth conceptual clarification of the syllabus.

2. Steps For Preparation

  • Focus on the textbooks first and foremost
  • Get some authentic key books or study materials if you still feel your concepts are not clear.
  • Print out past papers for a vague idea of how the examiner sets the paper
  • Group study is the key to getting through this stressful time.

3. What To Carry?

Often, students are seen panting around and inside the test centers before the test initiates. Some forget their admittance cards, others some stationery and then there are some who go too far by carrying something not needed in the first place, e.g., a mobile phone!

To refrain from getting any extra stress on the exam day, prepare the following items or documents before leaving for the center:

  • Computerized CNIC, Matriculation or Intermediate part I certificate
  • Passport size photograph
  • A copy of your domicile certificate.
  • Computerized “B” form (In case the student is under 18 years of age)
  • Admit Card
  • Clean clipboard (If any material is written on it, be it your CNIC or Roll number, you won’t be allowed to carry it inside the center)
  • A ballpoint (blue or black only)

4. What Not To Carry?

  • Mobile Phone or tablets or any smart gadget
  • Calculator
  • Any material that’s helpful regarding test
  • Handbags or opaque pencil cases
  • Staplers
  • Any weapons

5. Know The Scoring Scheme

Getting yourself acquainted with the scoring criterion of ECAT before even starting the preparation for the test. This way, you will completely understand how much caution is needed while preparing for and attempting the test.

The test consists of 100 MCQs that will be assessed according to this scheme:

Correct answer – 4 marks

Wrong answer – negative 1 mark

No answer – 0 mark

For instance, out of the 100 MCQs, you attempted 50 as of right, 30 as wrong and the remaining 20 were left unsolved. Your score thus becomes:

(50*4) – (30*1) + (20*0)

= 200 – 30 + 0

= 170 out of 400

That seems pretty bad.

Now, you know there is this hindrance of negative marking for each wrong attempt. Better leave the MCQ unattempted than selecting the wrong answer.

6. Time Management

For any test, temporal consideration is mandatory. For attempting ECAT, the aspirants are given a time of 100 minutes. That makes 1 minute for 1 MCQ. Quite a task!

Considering the division of the MCQs as

  • English – 10 MCQs
  • Chemistry – 30 MCQs
  • Physics – 30 MCQs
  • Mathematics – 30 MCQs

most students try making it as simple as it seems – 1 minute for each MCQ, disregarding the fact that some of these queries may be more difficult than the rest.

So what’s the plan?


Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!

Ask yourself the following questions and devise your customized scheme to solve ECAT:

  1. Which subject did I prepare the best? Attempt it first! This will make you feel less burdened through the test.
  2. Which subject is the most tricky for me? Attempt it last! This way, even if you’re getting wrong answers or no answers at all, at least you’ll know that the rest of the paper was attempted well.
  3. Aren’t calculations time-consuming? Isn’t the English portion relatively short and easy? Attempt the MCQs in the English portion first, so you may score 40 marks easily. And save your time for the hefty mathematical, statistics and physics calculations.

With this time division, let’s hope you feel less confused in the exam when bombarded with full 5 scores of MCQs from 4 different subjects.

7. Filling Out The Answer Sheet

Panic hits students as soon as the question papers and answer sheets are handed over to them. Pacify your thoughts and focus on the test for straight 100 minutes. No flashbacks, no frustrations, no future escapes! There’s plenty of time to brood over this stuff once you’re done with your test.

The answer sheet provides you 5 options for each MCQ to choose from. The options are given in the form of bubbles that need to be filled in the following way only:

  • Make sure you fill the bubble completely. Half-filled bubbles are discarded by examiners.
  • The pen marks shall not come out of the bubble boundaries.
  • Double bubble fillings are considered wrong.
  • Tick marks or encircling of bubbles are not considered even if the option is right.

Every answer sheet has a carbon copy usually given separately. Students are given these so they can score themselves after the test by discussion or matching their answers to the textbooks.

8. Rechecking

This sounds gross and outdated, considering the 1 to 1 ratio of MCQs and minutes. But hold on! You don’t need to leave it for the moment you complete the entire test.

Do it subject wise! Complete the portion of one subject and then, just confirm if you’ve attempted it all or if you need to reconsider some unattempted questions.

Or keep checking while filling the bubbles if you are aligning your answers on the answer sheet with respect to the MCQs given on the question paper. Often, students miss out on one MCQ and the subsequent attempts go wrong.

With these simple instructions in mind and a clear picture of what you wish to achieve in the future through this test, you are well-equipped for ECAT this year.

Good luck with your attempt, fellas!