No glitches, CAT passes Day One test

Most found questions on expected lines; others preferred to wait and watch

Nearly 436 students appeared for the test on Wednesday in the City. At ICFAI Business School, a computer crashed but it was restored immediately.

Prometric, the US agency which conducts the test, said that all candidates who took the test successfully completed it without facing any technical problems.

As many as 4,548 candidates had registered for the test on the first day. The small number of candidates has been attributed to fear of technical snags that had marred last year's exam.

According to CAT coaching centres, very few candidates opted for Day One as they wanted to 'wait and watch'. Most candidates, especially professionals, are set to take the exam in the later days.

Noting that Wednesday's low turnout might be the result of last year's infamous technical snags, Ajay Arora, Director, TIME, CAT coaching centre, said most candidates didn't face any problems.

Trainers take test

On the first day, many coaching centres sent their trainers to take the test in order to find the difficulty level. According to sources, a few coaching centres have offered Rs 15,000 as incentive to their instructors who score cent per cent in their specific subjects.

One of the candidates at Merit Trac Services Pvt Ltd, a centre in Jayanagar, was the director of a coaching centre. Asked about the difficulty level of the exam, he said that students who have prepared systematically would not find it difficult to bell the CAT.  
Although speculations were rife about the exact number of questions, elements of surprise were kept to the minimum. There were 60 questions in three sections.

Shraddha Lanka, a student of Manipal Institute of Technology, said: "The test was much easier than expected. When I opted to take the test on Day One, many had discouraged me saying it could affect my performance. But, I managed to give my best."

Many candidates like Ankit Magon, an IT professional, too, found the test on expected lines. He had been preparing for CAT for the last three years.

In the words of engineering graduates Smitha Shenoy and Nitin Kakade, who also took the test, they decided to take the test on Day One as a long wait could have increased their anxiety levels.

"The sooner you write the test, the better for you. It helps in de-stressing you," Smitha observed.

Contingency measures

This year, IIMs have introduced various contingency measures to accommodate as many students as possible if things go out of control.

At many centres, back-up seats were arranged for students if their computer terminals developed any glitches.

In the City, many centres didn't conduct the test in the afternoon. According to Himanshu Rai, Convener, CAT 2010, this was because IIMs had decided to reduce the student load on the first day.

This was to ensure that students do not face any problems.  "We are pleased that the administration met our global standards, and that candidates were able to take the test under appropriate testing conditions," said Soumitra Roy, Managing Director, Prometric India.
According to a few students, the section on Quantitative Ability was the toughest followed by Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
Srinivas Shankar Belvi, Senior Manager (Academics), Career Launcher, CAT coaching centre, said that most serious candidates would take the test on November 1.
This year, many students tried to take last slots so that they could get adequate time to prepare.
Although the candidates were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the expert pointed that some Day One candidates might discuss the paper with their friends.
Tight security arrangements were maintained at all CAT centres and students were subjected to several rounds of checks.
DH News Service

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