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Face lengthy questions, use calculators in CAT exam now

In an attempt to attract aspirants from different academic streams to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), several changes have been introduced this year to their entrance exam, the Common Admission Test.

education Updated: Jul 28, 2015 16:55 IST
Hindustan Times
Students-attending-the-class-at-the-Indian-Institute-of-Management-Kolkata-in-Kolkata-West-Bengal--HT-photo
Students-attending-the-class-at-the-Indian-Institute-of-Management-Kolkata-in-Kolkata-West-Bengal--HT-photo

If you are aiming to take the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015, get ready to tackle non-multiple choice questions (MCQ) and enjoy the privilege of using a calculator. These and several other initiatives taken by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) would ensure that more and more non-engineering students can get a berth in one of the 19 IIMs of the country.

This year, some questions will be non-objective type, that is, questions with lengthier answers, which will have to be typed on the screen. “This move seems to be in the direction of attracting more candidates who are not engineers. Also, CAT this year would be allowing an online calculator. As a student of international relations, I feel this will encourage aspirants such as me who belong to non-engineering backgrounds to appear for CAT,” said Ipshita Nath, a student at Jadavpur University preparing to take CAT this year.

Agreeing that the changes may help the CAT aspirants from non-engineering background, Ramnath Kankadandi from TIME Institute said, “To begin with, the preparation aspect of the exam would not change as the core subjects remain the same but what changes is the approach to the test. Earlier, students could divide time between various sections of the exam as they wished. But now they would have to devote 60 minutes at a stretch for each of the three sections.”

Also, the duration of the exam has been increased to 180 minutes instead of 170 minutes this year. The candidates will be given 60 minutes to answer one section and will not be allowed to switch sections in between.

“The section where the students would have to write may need a little more time, this will help those who have been accustomed to writing long answers. Also, the availability of an online calculator means that those who are a little weak in mathematics would find it easier,” Kankadandi added.

Also after 2008, this will be the first time that CAT will be held for just one day - on November 29. This, according to the CAT aspirants, would completely do away with the debate on whether taking the exam in the beginning, middle or end of the test window is a good idea. To ensure that the exam can be held on a single day throughout the country, this year CAT will be held at 650 test centres spread across 136 cities of India. The exam, this year, is being handled by IIM, Ahmedabad, the CAT convenor being T Bandyopadhyay and TCS will be conducting the exam on behalf of the IIMs.