7,100 students register for CAT on additional day

Marginal increase in number of candidates compared to last year

7,100 students register for CAT on additional day

As many as 7,100 students registered for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2014 on Friday, which was the extra day given for the purpose. With this, the total tally of registered candidates has shot up to 1.96 lakh from 1.89 lakh.

Aspirants and tutors in the City are calling this a sign of a gradual renaissance of the exam that has seen a decline of interest from aspirants in the past few years and has also been badly battered by controversies.

Speaking with Deccan Herald, Rohit Kapoor, faculty at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore and convener for CAT-2014 said, “The numbers this year are higher than last year and it is a positive sign. The losing charm of the exam is something the public can debate about and not me,” he said.
 
The total figure of 1.96 lakh candidates is higher than the previous year’s 1.94 lakh candidates.

Academic head of coaching institute TIME, Srinivas Belvi called this year a “game changer” for the exam, especially after it was recently revamped.

“The agency conducting the exam has been changed and there might be a possibility of more colleges now depending on CAT scores. The number of colleges taking CAT scores had reduced from 100 to around 80. Maybe this will change now,” said Belvi.

In the last two years, CAT had attracted a number of controversies involving inflated marks and discrepancies in the test results that gave the exam a lot of negative publicity.
This year, however, a number of changes were made to the exam.

A new agency has been hired to conduct the exam. Conducting the exam for only a few days, instead of a month-long window, has been welcomed by students. 

Candidates like Kundan Kumar, a software engineer working in the City for the past two years, have a lot of apprehensions about the credibility of the exam and its losing charm.

“Most candidates who appear and make it through the CAT are engineers who seek a higher growth trajectory. However, now due to the start-up boom, many are getting good salary packages after competing their course itself. Another factor is that the barring a few top IIMs, placements are not good in other IIMs,” said Kundan. Nevertheless, Kundan will be taking the exam in November.

Although the total number of candidates registered is no doubt higher than last year, it is nowhere close to over two lakh candidates that it used to attract.

For example, in 2008, 2.76 candidates registered for the exam. In 2011, the number was 2.05 lakh.

M Jayadev, associate professor, Finance and Control, and Chairperson for Admissions, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) attributed this trend to candidates prioritising exams according to their capabilities and their opting for degrees abroad.

John Williams, academic head, Career Launcher coaching institute, is of the opinion that the dip is due to gradual disenchantment with the MBA degree in general.

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