After months of preparation, 1.96 lakh students will from Sunday attempt to bell the CAT – Common Admission Test, the entry examination for Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and top business schools in the country.
The exam is scheduled to be held in four sessions on November 16 and 22. Last year, around 1.94 lakh students appeared for the test, which was conducted in 40 sessions across 20 days.
This year, a common complaint among students in Mumbai is that though the number of examination centres has increased, they are often located far away from their homes.
“Allotment of exam centres is a major problem this year. Most students have got centres which are very far from their home,” said Jaimin Shah, a CAT aspirant from Kandivli. “I have got a centre is Ulhasnagar, which is hours away from where I stay. Similarly, a few of my friends staying in the western suburbs have got exam centres in Vashi or Shahapur.”
Several students from the city have opted out of the CAT exam as they have to appear for their final year university exams in the coming week. The university exams had been postponed owing to the state assembly elections in October.
“Third year B.Com exams are coinciding with CAT. Initially, I was sure about appearing for CAT. However, when the TYBCom exams were postponed, I had to choose varsity exams over CAT,” said another aspirant.
Engineering students affiliated to University of Mumbai have to contend with another problem this year. Many have opted out of CAT after the number of examination sessions was reduced. Semester 7 exams for engineering students are scheduled to start from November 21.
Moreover, several changes in the format of the mock exams, which IIMs started offering online from October 31, left aspirants confused. Candidates claimed that in the mock tests, marks allotted to individual questions were not specified.
Also, some questions had five options, instead of four in previous years’ tests. "This time, during mock tests, many questions had five options. We also had no idea about how many marks each question carried,” said Kevin Dogra, an aspirant from the city.