Now, belling the CAT to be tougher for aspirants

IIMs decide to change exam format this year

Now, belling the CAT to be tougher for aspirants

Those aspiring to study in any of the premier B-schools may find the Common Admission Test (CAT) tougher this time with the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) changing the format of the examination to be held in 99 cities in November next.

The IIMs have increased the number of questions in each section to 50 from the previous 30. The test duration has been increased to 170 minutes from 140 but the time available for each question has been reduced from 2.20 minutes to 1.42 minutes.

“It’s a longer examination with a lot more questions. I don’t think the IIMs will reduce the number of questions. The challenge is now bigger than ever before. Speed is now the essence. The luxury of spending some extra time on the tough questions is now gone,” Shobhit Bhatnagar, an IIM-Calcutta alumnus and founder of Gradestack.com, said.

He described the increase in duration of the test as “substantial”, suggesting that aspirants will need “proper practice” as solving 100 questions at a stretch takes “much more examination endurance”. “Most of us are not used to taking tests for three hours at a stretch,” he added. 

The silver lining is that the IIMs have given the candidates the option of choosing the amount of time they wish to devote to each section according to their ability. 

They may switch from one section to another through the duration of the examination.This would reduce stress level during online examination, Manaswini Acharya, professor at International Management Institute, Gurgaon, said.

“The freedom to navigate between the two sections has to be judiciously used as it may result in time wastage or unintentional dropping of questions unanswered,” Uday Salunkhe, Group Director of Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai told Deccan Herald. In the new pattern, chances are that the test will cover the syllabus extensively. 

This accentuates the need for thorough preparation with little liberty to ignore any portion of the syllabus, he added.   Kirti Sharma, spokesperson of Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, said, though CAT 2014 appears to be difficult for aspirants at this point in time, they have the advantage of nearly a month’s extra time for preparation as the test will be held in November.

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