The Common Admission Test (CAT) for MBA admissions to the prestigious IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) that begins today has a changed avatar. For the first time, the format has transformed from a written to an online test, with the exam spread over 10 days.
Though Prometric, global provider of comprehensive testing and assessment services has printed a 4-page practical guide to assist students, coaching institutes as well as the student community have a mixed reaction to the change. “The new format will be more time consuming as students will have to do their rough work on paper, which will mean constant shuffling between paper and the computer. Also not every student might be at ease working online. I hope the organisers have thought of this,” says Ulhas Vairagkar, director - TIME, a Delhi-based coaching institute.
“The online test will only add to the usual exam pressure. Students should be introduced to global patterns of examination at the school level, rather than suddenly bringing them up in college,” says Arindam Lahiri, director -Academics, another city-based coaching center.
Students who take the exam echo the anxiety of their teachers. “I’ve been preparing very hard, but the thought of appearing for the first online exam is scary. Hope it’s a little organised,” says Akansha Sharma of Amity University. “An online exam is a great idea, but I hope the authorities have given a thought to the candidates from rural areas who don’t have an easy access to computers,” says DU student Rahul Mighlani.
However, some aspirants seem satisfied with the CAT authorities’ efforts so far. “The thought of an online exam was frightening initially, but the regular emails and updates from the exam body have been very helpful,” says DU student Rahul Malik. But it is Ulhas to puts things in perspective. “If it’s an online test, at least the result should be given right away. The results will come after two months as it used to be when there was a written test,” he says.
Inputs from Tripti Sharma