This year’s Common Admission Test (CAT) is about two months away. The test will have surprises for aspirants when it comes to the test pattern and the admission criteria for various IIMs. The test will have a new pattern and with three sections — QA (quantitative aptitude), DILR (data interpretation and logical reasoning) and VRC (verbal and reading comprehension). In another change, the IIMs have extended the registration date for the test till September 25. In the first of a two-part series, we look at the major changes and surprises for aspirants when it comes to the test pattern.
According to experts, the number of questions per section would be - QA 34, DILR 32 and VRC 34. Candidates would not be able to switch between sections at any point during the test. Each of the sections will be allotted 60 minutes each, ie, an overall time of 180 minutes.
Non-multiple choice-type questions are being introduced in CAT 2015 and a few answers will have to be typed on the screen. Use of basic on-screen calculator will be permitted during the test.
Elaborating on the individual section timing and 10 additional minutes, Ramnath Kankadandi, CAT course director at Triumphant Institute of Management Education, says, “While this is not new, we had this for three years recently in CAT 2011, 2012 and 2013. This takes a huge burden off the students’ minds as they are able to allocate time wisely across sections. This year, students will be effectively taking three different tests, and can, therefore, focus on a single section at a time, without worrying about the others. The non-MCQs are a first for CAT. While complete details on the number of these questions is not available, we are sure that the preparation that students put in for the MCQs will be sufficient to answer these questions as well, albeit with a slight disadvantage of not having the options to guide them.”