Most Competitive exam CAT goes Online

The CAT exam which is used for admissions by most of the MBA institutes in India and most importantly IIM’s is going online. This move was contemplated in 2008 but, it will be implemented from 2009. CAT 2009 will be a computer based test with a window of 10 days to choose from.
Students will book a slot in the designated 10 days and give the exam. 250000 students took the exam in 2008. That is some serious number and poses a large logistical challenge. Not as big as the electronic voting machines but a challenge which needs computers and Internet connection.
Students in most of the metros and to-be metros will not have a problem. But, students who are far from cities, computers and Internet might have a problem. No other details are available on how the CAT administrators will meet the new challenges.
Coming to the format of the CAT, the standard of paper CAT is not suited for a computer based test. Paper CAT is tough and requires a lot of calculations. The same thing cannot be reproduced with a computer based test. I am expecting the test makers will look into this and tweak the format accordingly.GRE and GMAT use a bin of questions and present the questions randomly to the test takers. The questions are recycled and so are the bins. Will the same strategy be used by CAT is something to be seen. There are pros and cons for the strategy. Lets see how IIM goes arround with this stratergy. The cost would also go up as it is computerized. GMAT and GRE are arround Rs 10,000 and the numer of people giving CAT also is huge.


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Rinkesh Arondekar 3/5/09 4:59 AM  

IIMs have been planning this since long. I agree that the questions must require less calculation. They have outsourced it to Prometric, which would have been the obvious choice. Now another question is will the Prometric have any role in designing the paper as well????......Well many more concerns.

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