Over 2.5 lakh students, including 50,000 from the Delhi region, are vying for around 1800 seats in the elite Indian Institutes of Management this year.
The students will appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT) being held in 23 cities across the country on Sunday.
"A total of 2.5 lakh forms have been shortlisted for CAT 2008. Last year, about 2.12 lakh candidates had appeared for the test," IIM-Ahmadabad spokesperson Ishita Solanki said.
Students qualifying the test will be eligible for admission into IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shillong. Besides, six new IIMs are expected to start functioning next year.
Apart from IIMs, several other premier business schools take students from the pool of successful candidates qualifying CAT. This time around 40 colleges have decided to join the list of institutions taking students from CAT pool.
The IIMs have implemented OBC quota from this year and have increased their seats.
Though, the number of questions has been coming down in the last few years, the trend may change this year, experts said.
"It is hard to predict the question paper of CAT. The downward trend in the number of questions may take an opposite turn. Therefore, every student should go with an open mind," said Ulhas Vairagkar of TIME management institute.
The total number of questions for all three sections -- verbal, data interpretation and quantitative aptitude -- has been on decline for the last few years.
The number of questions, which was 90 in 2005, was reduced to 75 in 2006. In 2004, it was 123, while in 2003 there were 150 questions.