Common Admission Test (CAT) aspirants this year will have a short testing window after IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A), the convenor for CAT 2015, announced that the test — which is usually held over a week — will be held only on one day, with two sessions. Last year, too, the testing period was reduced to two days with four sessions.
Moreover, the number of cities where students can take the exam has been increased to 115 from last year’s 99.
IIM-A also announced that women candidates will be allotted testing centres closer to their city of residence.
CAT scores are used for admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top business schools. Close to two lakh candidates register for the test each year.
“A single-day test will enhance the operational efficiency and quality of the test content. The decision was unanimous and was taken after a CAT group meeting,” said CAT convenor for 2015 Tathagata Bandyopadhyay.
With this single-day test, the scoring and controversial normalisation of marks — (equating scores of students based on the difficulty level of the exam) will become easier and transparent, academicians said, and will prompt more students to appear for the exam.
“The normalisation of marks will become easier as the pattern of questions and the difficulty level will be the same. In 2013, there were 40 sessions of exams and t he score for each session would be normalised as per the difficulty level of the questions. It was a herculean task that also led to gaffes. I hope this change is for good,” said a former CAT convenor, requesting anonymity.
In 2013, CAT found itself in a legal tangle over its normalisation process, with students alleging discrepancies in the raw marks and percentile. Some students also filed court cases asking IIMs to make available all raw scores before admissions. The cases were, however, dismissed later.