After weeks of revision and more than a few sleepless nights, 3,800 students - two-thirds of them women - have taken the first hopeful steps towards studying medicine or dentistry next year.
Overseen by 350 invigilators, the entrance exam - consisting of 120 multiple choice questions.- began at Brussels Expo, just by the Atomium, at 9.30 am on Wednesday.
The aim is to obtain 10/20 in each of the tested areas, including "scientific disciplines" and "communication and analysis." They must also get 8/20 in each of eight subjects (chemistry, biology, physics and maths for part one; logic, communication, ethics and caring for part two).
The number of students from outside of Belgium has seen an increase since the first session of the entrance exam in 2017. The selection test attracts a lot of Frenchmen "given that in general, the cost of studying is more affordable for all in Belgium, as is student accommodation," said Julien Nicaise, director of Ares and organiser of the test. The director also emphasised the global market appeal of medical studies as a reason for the increase.
Many candidates see their future as doctors, with 85% of them entered for the medical test and 15% for dentistry, a similar proportion to previous years. The majority (4 out of 5) will be taking the test for the first time, while 808 of them have already tried.
After a long day's examination, aspiring doctors and dentists will have to wait until July 20 before knowing their results. There is one small innovation: they will receive their review copy of the exam on-line. Previously, it was necessary to travel in order to consult it.
A jury comprising ten professors from five universities has been charged with discussing but also drafting the questions, assisted in this by forty or so experts.
The Brussels Times