Well, its official now! The Common Admission Test (CAT), for admission into the elite Indian Institutes of Management will be a computer based test (CBT) from this year onwards. IIMB issued a press release to this effect yesterday:
The Common Admission Test (CAT) of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow, and Shillong is going to be a Computer Based Test (CBT) from this year onwards. The test will be conducted in a window of about ten days sometime at the end of the calendar year. CBT CAT will be a candidate friendly test in terms of flexibility in the selection of test date, ease of registration process, better physical environment and test experience, and enhanced security in terms of biometric identification of candidates and video monitoring.
There have been reports about this from February itself, as the IIMs wanted to model CAT on the global tests such as GMAT, GRE & TOEFL and a high level committee was said to be evaluating the pros and cons of it. Evidently the pros outweighed the cons as the IIMs are going ahead with the paperless test from this year onwards.
I’m not sure whether this is a good move though! Firstly, there’s the ambiguity about whether it will be a test with a uniform level of difficulty or whether it will be one of varying complexity – you know, the next question will be decided on the response to the current one. Secondly, what will be the format? Same old 105/90 multiple-choice questions split into three sections each? Or some new-fangled stuff like essay questions etc? Timeframe? Same-day-test? Slots-booking with Prometric ETS (the official testing partner)? Cost? Of the application AND of the coaching? (I’m sure the latter’s gonna increase a lot!)
I guess all of those queries will be answered once the official CAT Notification is released later this summer. Let’s wait till then…
P.S: I’m still undecided whether to take this test this year! I’ve taken it four times, with two moderate successes, one abysmal failure and one oh-so-near-yet-so-far result but have been steadfastly keeping off it for the past three years. Well, one thing’s for sure…I won’t be having to buy new pencils this time