After seeing a steady rise for the last five years, the number of applications for the Common Admission Test for Indian Institutes of Management has seen a drop for the first time.
In 2007, there were 2.2 lakh applications. Last year, the figure was 2.46 lakh. This year, there have been 2.41 lakh applications.
“Candidates probably noticed the drop in salaries in the last placement season because of the economic slowdown. Also, the slowdown would have dissuaded many from taking a break from their jobs to study,” said professor Satish Deodhar, from IIM-A, who is in charge of CAT. “Those who want to pursue further studies after graduation because of the bad job market might opt for a masters degree because it is easier to get admission and requires little investment.”
The drop in the number of CAT applications has also been reflected in the number of students enrolling with coaching classes.
“This is a clear indicator of people losing confidence in the economy and the job market. Even a one per cent drop in a test that usually sees a 10 per cent growth shows a change in mindset,” said Arkss Srinivas of TIME Institute. “People are clinging on to what they have and do not want to risk taking a break from work.”
This is the first year that CAT is being conducted online and figures released on Tuesday provide for the first detailed analysis of applications.
Preliminary data shows that 71 per cent of aspirants are fresh out of college with up to six months of work experience.
The test will be conducted online in 20 sessions held between November 28 and December 7.