CAT 2015: Stress Buster; Don't worry about the outcome, keep your cool-advises convener Prof Bandyopadhyay

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
November 28, 2015
CAT 2015 has introduced number of aspirant friendly positives and is expected to be a high scoring exam with 50% moderate LOD questions
"Don't worry about the outcome, keep your cool" Prof Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, Convener CAT 2015 & faculty IIMA

With the stage set for CAT 2015 going to be held on November 29, 2015 in 2 sessions,  the aspirants who have prepared well and wish to get admission in top B schools in 2016 are getting a bit nervous and under stress as less than 24 hours are left for the D-Day. Losing the high level of confidence can be detrimental to your journey to score high percentile and may be an obstacle to your success in the exam.

The Convener CAT 2015 Prof Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, faculty and admission chair IIM Ahmedabad advises the aspirants “Don't worry about the outcome, keep your cool.” And sure if you are positive, remain cool and calm throughout the exam, you can score high and remain motivated.

In view of  Prof S K Agarwal, Verbal Ability Expert and mentor on CAT preparation, Any feeling of pessimism or the stressful feeling, fearing some problems related to preparation, exam room strategy or unanticipated technical glitches just before CAT 2015 is uncalled for and unfounded. You have to take the bull by the horn. Be confident and remain motivated, any dip in the confidence level at the eleventh hour may turn the tables against you.

CAT 2015, a single day affair on Nov 29, 2015 will decide the fate of 2.18 lakh aspirants going to take test and seeking admission in top rated IIMs and other B schools in India.

CAT 2015 aspirants should understand that they need now a very relaxed atmosphere, full night of sound sleep without stress on their mind. Past CAT toppers like Kartik, Swapnil both students at IIM Ahmedabad and Sirshendu Sen Gupta, student at IIM Bangalore have shared with MBAUniverse.com that remaining stress free throughout the CAT preparation journey but working consistently to achieve their goal was their ‘Success Mantra’ to crack the exam with high percentile and get the desired IIM.

Another important fact that should cheer up the CAT 2015 aspirants is that the structure and content of the exam this year has introduced more aspirant friendly changes and has introduced  many positives like on-screen calculator, 25 to 30 percent test paper with such questions that would not attract penalty of negative marking, 10 minutes additional time among other features. The following positive moves by CAT 2015 should reduce your stress level and negation and infuse more confidence in you.

On-screen calculator: Aspirant friendly aid
There is no need to waste your time on calculations required for the different type of questions on the topics in Quant and Data Interpretation. The facility of on screen calculator provided for the first time in CAT 2015 will help you on all types of calculations in Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Data comparison among others.

28 No penalty questions
The Non-MCQs introduced for the first time in CAT 2015 are free from any penalty of negative marking, in case your answer goes wrong. It is expected there would be 28 Non-MCQs covering 28% of the test paper. These no penalty questions would be present in all the 3 sections. It is further expected that the first section on VARC will have 10 Non-MCQs; second section on DILR will have 8 Non-MCQs and the third section on Quant will have 10 Non-MCQs.

CAT 2015 test takers have every right to remain motivated and should be happy to note that all these 28 questions can be attempted without any fear. If you attempt them and get them right, you add 84 core marks to your score. If  some of your answers are wrong, you will not be penalized with one third negative marking and your score will remain unaffected.

Anticipate No technical glitches
Technical glitches if happen during the test not only distract the concentration but also increase the anxiety level. It is anticipated based on past year’s experience that there would not be any technical glitches during the exam nor there has been any since the opening of registration process for CAT 2015.

So far candidates have found a smooth functioning on the CAT website. Apart from small tit-bits that also occurred due to ignorance or not properly updated browser, no issue has been there in downloading the Admit Card, attempting the practice test which is full length with 100 questions and with the clarity of navigation tools. Navigation tools right from the day of the availability of practice test have been functioning well.

Friendly options in Navigation
More friendly options have been added to navigate through the test and one of them is the button to view all the questions in a section in one go. It will not only save your time in the testing room while scanning the test paper but you will also immediately come to know which question in which section you should attempt first. It will be easier to maximize your attempts while selecting the preferred type of questions.

FAQs leave no room for confusion
All the points of confusion that could have haunted the minds of aspirants have also been cleared by CAT Centre 2015. The clarification is either through the new addition in FAQs or with the detailed explanation available on the related icon on home page.

With sectional time limits; no need to manage time
This is going to help the test takers who are good in one section and not so good in other. They will not need some alarm to ring and wake them up to switch over from their preferred section to other section. After completion of 60 minutes for the section, the next section will automatically open up.

The need is to maximize the attempts with accuracy within the sectional time limit.  Now they have more time to attempt more questions as against in past year CAT exam which allowed to move from once section to other wherein candidates forgot to adhere to sectional time management. Those who tend to forget the time lines will not have to bother about it since the sectional time limit will take care of this factor.

More questions: More opportunities
100 questions will sure give you better choice to choose the desired type of questions. There would be more questions on more topics and number of questions on each topic will also be more. If you are able to solve the same ratio of questions as required in earlier CAT exams, you can get a high percentile.

Expect moderate LOD
The CAT 2015 exam pattern has brought many changes. It is therefore expected that the level of difficulty in CAT 2015 will remain moderate and not very high. CAT 2015 aspirants who have prepared and practiced well with their basics clear are expected to score high in CAT 2015.

Higher intake in IIMs in 2016
All the older and newer IIMs would be having a higher intake in 2016. The family of 19 IIMs also proposes to add another IIM in the state of Jammu of Kashmir further increasing the intake.

The intake in each of the 20 IIMs is also proposed to increase for the flagship PGP batch 2016-18.  With all this and more in the offing, you stand more chances to get admission in IIMs than earlier. Not only this, the proposed IIM Bill 2015 will empower all the IIMs to award MBA degree instead of PGDM in future.

Level playing field in CAT 2015
Candidates from all the streams of academics like Arts, Humanities, Commerce, Science, Life Sciences can expect level playing field in the testing pattern in CAT 2015 as against the skewness for a particular class of students for example engineers. Sharing the intention to improve academic diversity in IIM class rooms Convener CAT 2015 Prof Tathagata Bandyopadhyay said “score in Quant dominates the percentile rank in CAT. As a consequence it brings in skewness to the selection process towards a particular set of candidates from a particular background. This year we intend to address it by making some changes in the test content and also by rationalizing weights assigned to different components of the test. This we hope will create a level-playing field for all candidates, no matter what educational background they come from, and will remove skewness to a large extent that we referred to above. We believe such a move will help us identify candidates from varied backgrounds who will become future leaders in their chosen profession. Such a move will also help IIMs bring in greater diversity in the classrooms and will go a long way in enriching the learning experience.”

With so many positives, there is no point why you should remain under stress and nervous with negative feeling before the exam. Be positive, remain motivated as Prof Tathagata Bandyopadhyay Convener CAT 2015 advises not to worry and remain cool before the exam.  You should understand that CAT is not the last stop nor it is like it won’t happen in next year. In fact the IIMs’ CAT is because of the test takers and the test takers are not because of the exam.

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