Impact of the CAT 2014 Changes on CAT exam Takers

Don’t be shocked.

We know how hard it is to prepare for the CAT with only three months remaining. Then, suddenly, the world throws a surprise. It is easy to get tossed off the game, lose the mental edge, and panic. But, don’t. By now, you know that the Indian Institute of Management, Indore (IIM-I) announced major changes in the exam patterns for the Common Admission Test (CAT). This is to make the CAT 2014 much more “aspirant friendly” according to the exam conducting body. The changes are meant to be welcome news for test takers. The changes are designed to give every aspirant equal opportunity to gain admission based on who merits.

Here is a list of the major changes:
1. Time duration has increased from existing 140 minutes to 170 minutes. As such more physical and mental stamina and endurance are required to take the test from start to finish. The body can only take so much pressure and stress before it wears out and grows tired. This is why it is also important to look out for your physical and mental health as well as CAT preparation. Eat and sleep well. Exercise. Learn relaxation techniques.
2. Purchase of offline vouchers has been discontinued.
3. The questions in quantitative ability and data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning have been increased to 50 in each section from the existing 30 questions. So divide time accordingly. Come to the exam prepared with strong fundamentals and syllabus training. The increase in questions does not necessarily equate to a decrease in the difficulty level of those questions. This means only candidates who not only come well-prepared but also come with a focused and clear strategy and strong nerves will pass. Choosing which questions to answer and for how long, and which questions to leave becomes more important. Accuracy and speed will be tested. Thus, mock tests and advance exam preparations are critical than ever.
4. The tutorial previously made available before start of examination will not be available this time. So take note, candidates should do the tutorials from the website in advance.
5. Candidates will have to make the payment for registration fee through online modes only, including credit card, debit card or through net banking.
6. Candidates will have the flexibility for devoting more or less time to each section according to their ability. Candidates also will be able to switch from one section to another during the examination timing. For this, have a clear exam strategy formulation on how to approach the test. The key is balance and time management. The challenge now is because candidates have more flexibility in taking their time for each of the sections, the sectional cutoffs are bound to increase.
7. The examination will be conducted in 99 cities comprising 354 test sites. Last year, there were 45 test sites only.
8. The CAT 2014 will give an option to prefer three test cities in the order of preference. There will be a random selection based from the options.
The CAT 2014 will be conducted twice each day on November 16 and November 22.
Good Luck!