The number of applicants for the Common Admission Test (CAT), the entrance exam for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), has finally risen after a steady drop in the past two years.
As registrations for the exam to the prestigious business schools closed on October 4, about 2.05 lakh had registered to take the test that will be held from October 22 to November 18.
Last year, 2.04 lakh had registered to the take the computer-based test. In 2009, about 2.42 lakh had registered. Apart from the IIMs, CAT is the entrance criterion for 150 other management institutes in the country.
“The numbers are stabilising. Good placements last year have encouraged more people to apply. This is also an indicator of the economy doing better,” said professor Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT 2011 convenor. “Also, registrations might have increased marginally because the management schools of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Faculty of Managements Studies, Delhi, have subscribed to the CAT for this year onwards.”
The decrease in candidates and simultaneous increase in number of seats increases the chances of making it to these institutes. With 3,000 seats on offer and 2.05 lakh candidates, approximately one in 80 candidates will make it to the 13 IIMs this year. The ratio of admissions to CAT applicants in 2008 was 1:153 and 2009 was 1:125. The ratio of students getting into US Ivy League colleges in 1:10.
Of the total number registered, 73% are male and 27% are female candidates. As is the usual trend, most aspirants, almost 70%, are form the metros and large cities.
The cities in which the highest numbers of candidates have been scheduled to take the test are New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.
Prometric, the technology arm of the IIMs, is conducting the CAT.
“The next step is to prepare and check all testing locations to ensure candidates have a smooth testing experience. Candidates should also familiarise themselves with the test day procedures by viewing the video that is available from the CAT website, ensure they bring the right documents, and show up punctually on the right day, at the right location,” said Soumitra Roy, managing director, Prometric India.