Its less than 24 hours to go for the most eagerly-awaited-examination of most graduates – the Common Admission Test or CAT 2007 – for admission into post-graduate management courses all over India and specifically, the hallowed IIM’s. I have written this exam three times earlier (four, if you count a re-test that happened as a result of a paper leak) – once as a third-year student (in-eligible at that time), then in my final year of engineering and lastly in 2005, when I was hoping for a shift in careers. It wasn’t the case of third time lucky for me coz even though no IIM calls were forthcoming, whatever did come through, didn’t fructify as I’d have liked. But as they say, you may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try! So after giving CAT 2006 a cold shoulder, I’m back at trying out my luck again in CAT 2007.
In the recent years, CAT has diversified considerably. Not only has the range and scope of the paper seen a marked change, but also the pattern – scoring or otherwise – has seen a decided shift. The negative marking has changed and so has the duration of the test; from 2 hours to 2-and-a-half hours. But some things never change. Like its stick-iness to the show-your-competence-in-all-three-sections or the division of sections under the LR/DI – PS – VA/RC headings. This time around, I think these may be the changes that would be rung-in this year:
Five sections: PS may be split into Modern Maths & Arithmetic/Algebra LR & DI may be split into separate sections
Negative Marking: Progressive negative marking – first five incorrect answers will attract 1/3 penalty, next incorrect will have 1/2 so on.. Negative marking for non-attempts [EDIT: Too radical; don’t see it being implemented]
Newer Genres: Decision-making questions Facts/Inferences/Judgment questions Verbal questions with a logical twinge to them Maps/Pictures based questions [EDIT: WTF! What was I thinking when I typed that??]
All of this is just off the top of my head. Haven’t had much time to think about it in-depth y’see !!! Bah! Who am I kidding??? Itz the only thing on my mind for the past few days…heck even the street-cats remind me of the exam and even my Garfield avatar. You notice the header image? Thatz not placed there just like that! It has some significance……go figure.
Here’s wishing all the very best of luck for every CAT aspirant and exam-appearer. Do not panic, take the changes (if any) in your stride, collect your wits around you, remain calm and composed, be confident in your strengths and give it your best shot.