Months of hard work and anxiety ended as thousands of management aspirants in Mumbai appeared for the Common Admission Test (CAT) on Sunday morning.
With most students describing the test as "simple", this year too CAT had its share of surprises.
While the choice of questions was increased to 5 from last year’s 4 questions, the marking system per question stood at 4 marks as against 1 or 2 marks in the previous years.
"CAT keeps giving surprises every year. This year, the level of the test was a little simpler. In fact, our mock tests were comparatively tougher than the final paper," smiled Juzer Kathawala (23).
"There was no significant change in the paper excepting quantitative which was much easier. The verbal section was difficult since there were closed answer choices and hence difficult to chose the right one," said A Srinivas, Director of TIME (CAT training institute).
He added, "The paper is going the GMAT way with five choices. Looking at the paper, an aspirant who will score between 92-96 marks is assured to get a call from at least one IIM."
With an additional half-an-hour this year as against the usual 2-hour exam, students said that the extra time helped. "Since I am weak in math, I used all the extra time in solving that section," said Supriya D’Souza, a final year engineering student.
For Lucky Sharma, the English paper turned “tougher” and Maths was easier. “When it was a 2-hour paper, there was no real time to read all the questions. With the extra 30 minutes, we can now at least skim through all the questions,” said the 23-year-old.
While last year the number of questions asked was 90, this year it was down to 75 questions. “For those who were well-prepared would have easily been able to answer more than 50 questions,” said Yusuf Tashrifwala (20), a final year engineering student at MH Saboo Siddik College of Engineering.
This year, 1.91 lakh-odd aspirants appeared for CAT from across the country. While there are around 6,000 seats in the six Indian Institute of Managements, the 80 management colleges in India offer 12,000-odd seats on the basis of CAT scores.