Career launcher, CAT 2009, New CAT Online Pattern : Tags
The contours of the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2009 are set to change as the examination that will open the doors for admissions to the coveted IIMs and 150 other B-schools will change its format from a being a paper-and-pencil test to a computerbased test (CBT).
“We have got student toppers and experienced teachers to design the sample papers,” says Ms Iyer.
Triumph Institute of Management Education, which is coaching more than 70,000 students for the online CAT this year, finds that there is a 10 per cent increase in their enrolments this year.
“Though overall there could be a drop in the number of students taking the CAT this year, we have seen a rise,” says Mr Ajay Arora, Director, T.I.M.E, Bangalore. Mr Arora says that in keeping with the changed exam method, the institute has made changes in the mock test material it offers and the way the tests are managed.
CAT is known for springing surprises by tweaking the test paper format each year. The new computer-based CAT may not see much change in subjects due to a change in the testing mode. Similarity between the computer-based CAT and internationallyrecognised GMAT and GRE is expected to go beyond the fact that like the global tests, CAT too will be held on computer terminals.
In its new format, the CAT question sets are expected to be on the lines of those asked in GMAT, which means one may expect ‘difficult’ data interpretation and ‘long’ reading comprehension tests to be absent from the question papers. Rest of the sections may not be altered much, say experts.
Unlike GMAT and GRE, CAT doesn’t assess a candidate’s writing skills. As per the CAT committee, the upcoming test will have three sections on quantitative, verbal, and logical & data interpretation , with about 60 to 70 questions.
Experts also feel that since Prometric—the testing and assessment services provider that is assigned the job of conducting the computer-based CAT—has to produce 30 CAT question papers of similar difficulty levels, it may dip into the database of GMAT and GRE questions to accurately match the difficulty level.
The question sets will be provided to the candidates who appear for the test to be held for 10 days between November 28 and December 7, in two sessions each day. “This means one may expect CAT questions to have the GMAT and GRE flavour added to them,’’ said Shiva Kumar, director (academics ), Career Launcher.
However, unlike GRE and GMAT, the computer-based CAT will not be adaptive in nature . “The student would be given the option of choosing the questions he wants to attempt, unlike an adaptive test where attempting every question is mandatory. This also means the student will be able to go back and forth to questions during the test,’’ said Mr Kumar.
A shift from paper to computer monitors is also expected to impact the performance and will be favourable to those more familiar with computers, which is also where one can draw a parallel between CAT and GMAT. “Research shows reading speed drops by 20-30 % when reading from computer screens. Moreover, comprehension and data manipulation become more challenging in new medium, so sections like reading comprehension and data interpretation will see the maximum impact,’’ Mr Kumar added.
Sandeep Manudhane, founder chairman, PT Education, said since the software in the new system has no option to de-select a selected option, one need to be careful while selecting the options.
As per Reported By ET