The biggest and most popular MBA entrance exam of the year, CAT 2011, is ending today, 18 November 2011. The exam which received 2.5 lakh registrations had commenced on 22 October. In these 20 days of testing, Prometric, the exam executing agency, reported a glitch free test with no major complaint received from test takers.
In the year 2011, IIM Calcutta continued the good work and maintained the success. There have been some positive trends, which have contributed to the success of the big MBA entrance exam this year.
In this article, MBAUniverse.com analyses the trends which led to another successful CAT exam season.
Rise in CAT 2011 Registrations: CAT 2011 witnessed a rise in the number of registrations. From 2.04 lakh test takers in CAT 2010, the number of candidate registrations reached 2.05 lakh in 2011. Commenting on the rise, Prof. Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT 2011 Convener from IIM Calcutta, had told MBAUniverse.com, “The rise in number of CAT takers is evidence to the fact that there is still growing demand for MBA among the students. Though it is a marginal rise, I am hoping that the number will increase in the coming years.”
New test pattern of CAT 2011: The major highlight of the exam was the change in the pattern of the test. The test which was primarily known for the three sections was merged to two sections. Instead of having Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning sections, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section was merged with Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability. So the two sections became Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning.
The fact that the new pattern was announced well in advance and was not kept for a last minute surprise was appreciated by the experts and the test takers. “They didn’t have to worry about which section to choose first and how much time to give for which section,” mentioned Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher.
Practice tests offered by IIMs in advance: In order to make the test takers acquainted with the new pattern, IIMs had offered a Practice test for the test takers well in advance, from the month of August.
Uniformity in pattern & difficulty level: As far as the difficulty level is concerned, it has been Moderate to Tough. Nishit Sinha, CAT expert and author mentioned, “The questions in CAT 2011 were of mixed difficulty level. There were tough, moderate and easy level questions. The questions of the first section, i.e. Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation were very much calculation intensive. The Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section was of moderate difficulty level.”
The uniform difficulty level was maintained throughout the test. As Prof. Moorthy mentioned prior to CAT 2011, “The exam pattern and the level of difficulty will be maintained throughout the test which will be held in 40 slots in 20 days.”
CAT 2011 Videos: Prometric and IIMs provided CAT Day videos at the CAT IIM website, www.catiim.in for the test takers. The videos in a step by step manner showed all the details of the test day which the test taker will have to undergo. This not only helped the test takers in preparing himself, but also had a fair idea about what to expect, Dos and Don’ts for the test day.
Timing of the test: The test takers did not have to worry about losing time during the test in case there was any glitch in the system. The duration of the test depended on the timer shown on screen. Even if the computer hanged for sometime, or the candidate had to be shifted to a different computer, he or she didn’t lose time. The timer showed the time where the test taker had left the test.
Also there was lots of buffer time in between the two slots, so that a candidate could complete the test without worrying about anything else. There were buffer days left between the tests owing to festivals, as well as to rectify certain errors which a test center might have faced.
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more analysis of CAT 2011.