Give CAT ,the GMAT way

I read about the same in Economic Times that CAT may go the GMAT way , Do add comments whether it will be benifitial or not .

Now the mouse will soon help bell the CAT. In what could be a dramatic shift in the entrance system of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the CAT committee of IIMs is considering to hold the test online. And if this isn’t enough, the committee is also considering to give respite to lakhs of IIM aspirants from the one-year long wait to write the toughest test, common admission test (CAT). Instead, the IIM aspirants might be allowed to take the test online for a definite number of times during the year.

The CAT committee of IIMs is in talks with leading global online test company Prometric to get the job done. The US-based Prometric, which has helped deliver tests like GRE and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), has recently been acquired by education testing company ETS. Prometric will now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETS. Thus, with CAT going online, the aspirants need not worry on the preparation front. The test can be taken whenever they are ready, confident and well-prepared. And with the test going online the students might get an opportunity to take the test even over three times a year. “It is difficult to conduct and manage the test at different centres across the country. Availability of latest technology will enable us to make an easy shift to online system. So we are talking to a few players and examining feasibility of the same,” said a member of the CAT committee. The body is working out ways to prepare a question bank that can be used for the online test. At present, the aspirants fill in forms to register for the test. The CAT forms cost around Rs 1,100 but with the test going online the application charges are expected to go up further helping the institute generate more revenues. The committee members had earlier expressed apprehension over the fact that not many aspirants taking the test are computer savvy. The committee is discussing different issues on test procedure, timing, question data bank, test centres and way to go about the online exam. However, the plans are now being finalised and a decision is expected soon. The popularity index of CAT is fast going up and this year over 2.3 lakh aspirants applied for the test. Only 1% of them will get an opportunity to study at the coveted IIMs.

Apart from the IIMs, over 111 other institutes take into account CAT score for admissions. Conducting CAT online will solve a lot of administrative work for the IIMs. Based on the CAT scores, the institutes can directly call students for interviews and group discussions thus simplifying the whole admission process. While GMAT is already conducted online since several years, the CAT committee had a tough time convincing its members for an online test. GMAT, which costs $250, is taken over two-three lakh times annually and it is part of the admission process for over 4,000 graduate management programmes around the world.

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