Candidates who wish to appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT) this year for admission to top B-schools across the country will have to prepare themselves to answer descriptive questions, along with multiple-choice ­questions.
This change has been announced by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to deal with any criticism that the existing multiple-choice format favours students from an engineering background.
In another change, the duration of the test has been increased to 180 minutes instead of 170 minutes. There will be three sections, quantitative aptitude (QA), data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR) and verbal and reading comprehension (VRC). QA and VRC will have 34 questions each, and DILR will comprise 32 questions. “Some questions in each section may not be of multiple-choice type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen. The tutorials will clearly explain this change. Also, candidates will be allowed to use basic on-screen calculator for computation,” says Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, convener of CAT-2015, on the CAT website.
CAT 2015 will be conducted in two sessions in a day. The test will be held on November 29, 2015, in 136 cities comprising 650 test sites. Candidates will be given the option to select four test cities in order of preference.
Candidates will be allotted 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. The tutorial to understand the format of the test will be available on the CAT website from October 15, 2015. CAT 2015 score will be valid till December 31, 2016.
Two different test forms will be administered in two test sessions. To ensure fairness and equity in terms of performance of candidates across different test sessions, the scores will be subjected to a process of normalisation. A candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA, awarded by a recognised university. Each IIM shortlists candidates for its second stage of selection differently. The process may include written ability test (WAT), group discussions (GD) and personal interviews (PI). IIMs may use previous academic performance of the candidates and relevant work experience for shortlisting and ranking at various stages of the admission process. The processes, academic cut-offs and the weightage allocated to the evaluation parameters may vary across IIMs.
Candidates clearing CAT may be eligibile to join postgraduate programmes in management, fellow programmes in management and executive fellow programmes in management at IIMs. Names of non-IIM member institutions will be announced on August 6, 2015.
Mark your calendar
Online registration: August 6 to September 20, 2015
Download of admit card: October 15 to November 29, 2015
Test date: November 29, 2015
Release of results: Second week of January 2016
Names of non-IIM member institutions: To be announced on August 6, 2015