The latest changes to the Common Admission Test (CAT) are a step in the right direction. The CAT 2014 notification will be released tomorrow in leading newspapers.
Students will not be able to cry anymore about the biggest issue which has been affecting them for the last 5 years - Normalization. Normalization will happen only across 4 sessions which reduces the chances of wild variations. Statistically all 4 slots will have enough people for a far fairer assessment.
The best news though is that you can allocate your time as per your strengths and weaknesses among different sections. I strongly believe that management is as much about making choices as it is about ability and aptitude.
The last piece of great news is the increase in the number of questions. It will result in street-smart to-be managers who will use innovative ways to score faster and better as compared to last few years where a conventional approach with donkey work would also get you there since time factor per question wasn't so huge. This is my personal opinion. 60 questions in 140 mins vs 100 questions in 170 mins. I'd always prefer the latter pattern. It helps sift out the truly smart and intelligent guys from the only hard workers. (The last time CAT had 90 questions was when it was paper pencil in 2008! It's been 60 since then!)
The other welcome change is the complete discontinuance of the CAT voucher being sold offline. Not only does it save cost, it also puts an end to a lot of malpractices around the offline selling of vouchers. You may be interested in this interview we did with the outgoing IIM Indore director last year. He explained how CAT vouchers went online. As far as change in the pattern is concerned there was a hint of something like this happening in his interview with us last year. Watch it from the 17th Minute onwards - Future of CAT!
It is good to see Rohit Kapoor and the new director - Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan bringing in more positive changes. We also feel there is a merit in a IIM conducting the test for more than one year as there is continuity.
Prof. Rohit Kapoor
Lastly, I'm very happy that the results will be declared in December itself. I think it helps students get rid of the uncertainty. It helps them apply to various other schools in a more informed way. Also, it helps them prepare for the next stage earlier and better!
- The registration for the CAT 2014 will remain open for 56 days beginning from August 6 and closing on September 30. Students will be able to download admit card from October 16 to till examination date. The results will be declared in the third week of December 2014. Unlike previous years, the IIM-Indore has cut short the window period for holding examination. The CAT 2014 will be conducted only for two days this year i.e. on November 16 and November 22 only in forenoon and afternoon sessions. The examination will be conducted in 99 cities comprising 354 test sites. (Source : TOI)
- No sectional time limits. You can browse across various sections.
- Time limit has gone up from 140 mins to 170 mins
- Questions have gone up from 60 to 100
- No offline voucher buying. Only the online mode available.
- You cannot select a slot of your choice. You can choose up to 3 preferred cities ranked from 1 to 3. CAT 2014 software will randomly allot a slot based on your preferences.
It will be an interesting new pattern of conducting the test. It will also be a test for TCS. The earlier agency Prometric had drawn a lot of flak for two reasons - Normalization issues and the CAT 2012 results fiasco. Given that so many thousands will take the test simultaneously across 99 cities and over 350 sites, TCS and IIM Indore will have to ensure that there are not too many technical glitches.
(The author is also the creator of this platform)
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