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Online CAT ends without glitches

mumbai Updated: Nov 25, 2010 01:50 IST
Bhavya Dore
Bhavya Dore
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The last day of the online Common Admission Test (CAT) on Wednesday rounded off the glitch-free 20-day testing period across seven centres in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

CAT is the entry criterion for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and 150 other business schools in the country.

Last year, when the CAT went online, the tests were riddled with technical glitches as it became computer-based for the first time.

“It has all gone well this time,” said Himanshu Rai, professor at IIM-Lucknow and convenor of the CAT 2010.

“We didn’t even need to use the extra buffer slot we had kept ready on Friday in case there were any displacements from other testing slots.”

Rai put down the success of the test period this time to “three mantras”, including “thorough site readiness, overall experience enhancement and improved service to the candidates”.

“This year we took over the venues two weeks in advance to take control of everything,” said Rai. “Aside from the technical issues we also made sure the staff were trained to handle student problems.”

This year, the CAT helpline was functional in both Hindi and English, as opposed to the English-only helpline last year.

In Maharashtra, of the 30,296 students registered for the exam, 15,167 had registered from Mumbai. Testing agency, Prometric, will release more data about the tests at a conference in New Delhi on Thursday.

Students reported that the tests had gone well.

“I had no problems, it all went smoothly,” said Prerna, 23, a CAT candidate who appeared for the exam on Monday. “I had a very bad experience last year with my centre suddenly being reallocated. But this year when I saw that the friends of mine who appeared for the exam before me had no problems, I was not really anxious about the process.”

There were a few cases of students reporting minor problems such as being unable to login for the test initially or the computers hanging, but these were quickly sorted out.

“The positive this time was that students had a very good experience and even the problems that did arise were handled efficiently,” said Vinayak Kudva, head, product, IMS Learning Resources, a coaching institute.