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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

CAT: Rise after a drop

Why has the number of CAT 2011 applicants increased (though marginally) after last year’s dip?

education Updated: Oct 19, 2011 10:26 IST
Pooja Biraia and Sucharita Kanjilal
Pooja Biraia and Sucharita Kanjilal
Hindustan Times

This year about 2.05 lakh candidates have registered for the CAT, the entrance test for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and 150 other business schools in the country. However, this is the first year when the number of applicants has increased, though marginally, after a drop last year (2.04 lakh) and the year before in 2009 (2.42 lakh).
It’s also observed that of the total number of registered candidates, the number of male applicants has far surpassed that of the women. Experts, students and academicians give their views on this sudden spurt in applications and on the gender trend.

Given that the number of applications started dropping after the onset of the economic slowdown in 2008, the reason for the increase in applications can be attributed to the positive placement scenario last year, which encouraged more students to apply, says Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT 2011 convenor. “Good placements last year have encouraged more people to apply. This is also an indicator that our economic situation is improving,” he said.

Another reason for the rise is the decision of other institutions to accept scores of this test in their selection process, starting this year.

“Registrations might have increased marginally because the management schools of the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Faculty of Managements Studies, University of Delhi, have subscribed to the CAT this year onwards,” said Moorthy.

Though it’s a marginal development, the rise in applications can also be attributed to the change in the format of the CAT, says Parag Chitale, director, CPLC. “Till last year, a lot of students would focus on their strong sections and utilise the extra time for the remaining sections. However, with the sectional time limits put into place this year and the change announced well in advance, students have been given enough time to practise test papers based on the new format. So now, more students, who are comfortable with this new format have applied as it gives them a chance to balance out all the sections, something that the IIMs are looking for,” says Chitale.

Applicants’ profile
Of the total number of registered candidates, 73% are male and 27% are female candidates

The ratio of admissions to CAT applicants was 1:153 in 2008 and 1:125 in 2009. The ratio of students getting into US Ivy League colleges was 1:10

The cities in which the highest numbers of candidates have been scheduled to take the test are New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune

With 3000 seats on offer and 2.05 lakh candidates, about one in 80 candidates will make it to the 13 IIMs this year

Cat dates
The Common Admissions Test (CAT), a computer-based test for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and 150 other business schools in the country, is slated to be held from October 22 to November 18 this year

Skewed sex ratio among applicants
The CAT seems to be a test dominated by the men, with close to 1.50 lakh male aspirants registered with just 27% women. “The reason for the difference could be that a majority of CAT applicants are engineering students and engineering colleges have a similar skewed sex ratio. Since such a large number of men apply for the CAT, it is natural that a similar ratio of them will get into the institutes,” says Parag Chitale, director, CPLC

First Published: Oct 18, 2011 11:36 IST

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