CAT and mouse game continues

CAT and mouse game continues


The standardised test, which determines admission to the country’s prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and many other B-schools, is being held in a staggered online format for the first time. Sunday was day two of the 10-day schedule.

Arun, a candidate from Vivekananda College, was informed about the reschedule late on Saturday. “I received a mail around 6:30 pm on Saturday informing me of the rescheduled test at GCC. I don’t know how many other candidates received similar mails,” a visibly frustrated Arun said.

Prometric blamed the failure of the tests on viruses and malwares that had crept into some of the test centre computers. Prometric vice-president Ramesh Nava said in a statement that “exhaustive plans were developed and put in place well in advance of the start of the testing window. Unfortunately, the particular viruses and malware that attacked the test delivery system were not detected by the anti-virus software at the testing centres.”

“While a significant majority of the candidates successfully completed their exams on day one, various technical issues arose at selected computers in approximately 50 labs that prevented approximately 2,000 exams from being delivered. Prometric has generated new appointments for these individuals and they are in the process of being contacted through SMS and email messages,” the announcement on www.catiim.in said.

Sunday was not trouble-free at the other centres as around eight candidates were unable to take the test at Vivekananda Degree College on account of “technical issues”. The other centres in the City too faced technical delays and isolated cases of candidates unable to sit for the test.

Abhinav Shekar and seven others were made to wait for over two hours on Sunday morning before being told that their tests will be rescheduled. “Our tests ended before they started. The moment we clicked ‘start’, the prompt said ‘Thanks for conducting our test’, ” he said. He also complained that the helpline was totally jammed and there was no communication from the organisers.

IIM aspirants also said they would have preferred the option of writing a conventional test than a completely dysfunctional online CAT. Further, candidates complained that the helpline did not work and there was no communication or interface with the organisers.
Engineering student Amit said the organisers must be held accountable for the repeated miscommunication and mismanagement.

“There is no reliable person to seek information from. All we were told is that we will receive emails and SMSs,” he said, adding it was high time the organisers took responsibility and came out of hiding.

Gautam Puri, vice chairman of Career Launcher, a CAT coaching institute said: “This is a case of mismanagement, lack of planning and implementation. There are approximately 150-200 students taking CAT in each centre and that is not such a heavy number... local servers can take that load easily. There was no proper testing of the online version of the exam.”

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