One of India’s most sought-after entrance exams — the Common Admission Test (CAT) — will be flagged off on Saturday, with 2.05 lakh students appearing this year. However, CAT is expected to be tougher and more challenging this time.
“There is no doubt that this year’s CAT will be difficult, but the larger challenge that the students face is to complete the exam within the given time limit of 70 minutes per section,” said Janaki Raman Moorthy, Convener of CAT 2011.
Till last year, CAT comprised three sections — Quantitative, Verbal and Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation with 20 questions in each. This year, the paper has been divided into only two sections — the first being Quantitative and Data Interpretation and the second, Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, with 30 questions each.
However, the larger issue that is a point of concern is the technical glitches. “After first 15 minutes, my screen had blanked out. The officials at the test centre refused to cooperate and told me that the time we lost due the technical fault would not be compensated. It took them about half-an-hour to restore the test. Let’s hope, it is better organised this year,” said Abhinav Goel, who appeared for CAT in 2009.
However, last year, CAT exam was smoother with fewer technical glitches and power outages in most centres. With the test being conducted across 36 cities and 223 computers labs in India, both the IIMs and the testing agency —Prometric — claim to be equipped to handle any technical difficulty this year. “In every centre, 10% of the machines have been kept aside as buffer,” added Moorthy.