Since 2009 the examination of Common Admission Test or CAT has gone online and this has cause a shift in the paradigm of entrance exams in the country. But, CAT exam has been the hallmark of every management aspirant. This is a test of quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning that is conducted presently through computer based testing. This means, students have to sit in front of the computer and provide their answers and they will have their results declared later.
CAT exam is conducted in India for the admissions into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management or IIMs and other non-IIM institutes which have registered to take into account the CAT score.
Under the computer based test (CBT), the exam is held during the months of October and November over a 20 day window period during which the students can choose their time and day of appearing in the entrance.
- The test pattern in the computer based exam is divided into two sections.
– Once a section is over, people cannot go back to it and therefore the scope of answering questions at a latter point of time becomes null.
– The first section contains quantitative ability and data interpretation while the second section will have logical reasoning and verbal ability.
– Each section is supposed to consist of 30 questions which is to be answered within one hour and 10 minutes and there is a 15 minute tutorial period, so that the total duration of the computer based CAT exam these days is 2 hours 35 minutes.
- To appear in the exam, the students should have passed any bachelor’s degree program with a minimum of 50% mark, which would be equalised for students from any background by a uniform system. There are reservations as per the MHRD of Government of India rules. With such criteria in place for appearing in the exam, the students will have a stiff competition because people with different educational background will be appearing in the test.
- Score of the CAT exam is in the form of raw score as well as percentile, where the later is used for taking up the admissions in different institutes.
- After the receipt of the score, the students can apply for different IIMs or non-IIM institutes as the score remains valid for a year.
- After the application, the students also have to pass through the round of interview to finally become eligible for admissions, and this means that the exam is tough.
- Passing in the written round doesn’t ensure the final admission to the IIMs.
The popularity of the CAT exam has been because, once a person gets the score, he or she can apply to the different institutes and is mostly exempt from appearing in the entrance exam for that institute or group of institutions. This advantage of having to appear in a single entrance makes the CAT exam quite popular among the management aspirants. Though the wish of every MBA aspirant is to get into the IIMs, a failure to get through will still keep the student in contention of taking admission in some other institute. This is the reason that many students go for the exam and therefore the exam is appeared by lakhs of students every year.