No change in CAT 2020 Testing Mode: Reveals CAT Convening IIM Indore

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MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
July 30, 2020
CAT 2020 aspirants should not worry about the changes in CAT testing mode as IIM Indore has already clarified that CAT 2020 will remain Computer-based At-center exam as was last year and will be held on November 29, 2020 in two slots. The registration process for the exam begins on August 5, 2020 with a registration fee of Rs.2000/-. CAT aspirants were worried whether CAT 2020 will change to an Internet-based At-home exam due to Covid-19 pandemic on the pattern of Global MBA entrance exams like GRE and GMAT. have taken this route.
No change in CAT 2020 Testing Mode

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, CAT 2020 aspirants were worried whether CAT testing mode would change from Computer-based At-center exam to an Internet-based At-home exam on the pattern of  Global MBA entrance exams like GRE and GMAT which successfully took that route in March and April this year and are still offering At-home test option to candidates all over the world, including India. 

However, IIM Indore, the IIM that is conducting CAT 2020, in its official website launch on July 29, 2020 has clarified that CAT 2020 testing mode will remain same as last year and the exam will be held on November 29, 2020, the last Sunday of November. Sharing with MBAUniverse.com, that there would be no change in the CAT 2020 Testing Mode, Prof Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore told MBAUniverse.com, “So far as the test mode is concerned, as of now the CAT 2020 is being planned similar to previous years.”   

MBAUniverse.com has also learnt that to accommodate higher number of CAT test-takers and to meet social distancing norms, TCS, the testing partner for CAT for last many years, is planning to ramp up its on-ground presence.

In addition to confirming that no change is expected in CAT Test Mode, Prof Himanshu Rai also told MBAUniverse.com that exam will be held in last week of November and CAT website will be live in August. During the last five years, CAT exam date has remained on the 3rd or last Sunday of November. The exam is held in two sessions -- morning slot and evening slot. CAT 2020 is expected to stick to this schedule. Read this exclusive MBAUniverse.com article for more details.

These developments will offer relief to more than 2.5 lakh CAT 2020 aspirants, who were anxious about a possible change in Exam Mode being talked about in a section of Social Media.

TCS adds more venues
More than 2.5 lakh candidates are expected to apply for CAT 2020. CAT exam is in the safe hands of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the largest and most experienced IT company in India. TCS iON is a strategic business unit of the IT company which works with education boards and recruitment bodies to conduct large-scale and high-stake examinations in India. Apart from CAT, TCS iON conducts the railway recruitment exams, AIIMs entrance examinations and major public service assessment tests. Prior to establishment of National Testing Agency, TCS iON used to conduct NEET and IIT-JEE as well successfully.

MBAUniverse.com has learnt from reliable sources that TCS is in the process of expanding the number of test centers to keep the CAT 2020 testing mode on same pattern and is creating additional capacity and buffer for maintaining social distancing norms and any other eventuality.

Speaking about support from IIMs and TCS, Prof Rai,“We are getting amazing support from all other IIMs, and we have a great testing partner - TCS.”

GRE and GMAT At-Home Online tests
In March 2020 global testing body ETS announced to conduct GRE exam from the comforts of the candidates’ homes. Soon after, on April 14, GMAC too announced that it would offer GMAT Online exam from home. Both ETS and GMAC from home got overwhelming response from all over the world including India which represents the second highest population of test takers taking GRE at home. In an interview with MBAUniverse.com, ETS Spokesperson Alberto Acereda the Executive Director of Higher Education in the Global Education Division at ETS in Princeton, NJ, USA shared “From GRE test takers between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, we can say that India, with 72,855 test takers, ranks third in the total number of citizens who took the test, behind the United States (295,826) and China (74,569).”

CAT 2020: Computer Based Test (CBT) and not an Internet-Based Test (IBT)
Despite being a computer-based test, IIM CAT testing mode is not of an “online exam”. Last year IIM Kozhikode which conducted CAT, clarified “CAT is not an online exam. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT); that is, a candidate will not take the exam on an internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.” 

IIM Kozhikode further elaborated “In the computer-based format, the candidate reads a question on a computer terminal and clicks on the correct answer. Additionally, the timer on the computer screen tells you the remaining time to complete the current section.”

Candidate Safety, a priority for IIM Indore
CAT 2020 candidate safety is indeed a top priority for IIM Indore. “We will do our best to conduct CAT 2020 in a way that ensures your safety and well being while allowing you the opportunity to perform at your best,” assures Prof Rai. However, taking into account the prevailing situation at the time of CAT 2020 exam date, IIM Indore has clarified that CAT 2020 dates are subject to COVID Situation and Government Announcements and states “The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 is to be conducted taking into account the COVID-19 crisis. The information provided on the CAT 2020 website is contingent upon the decisions and directions issued from time to time by the Central, & State governments, and CAT Group. Candidates are advised to regularly check CAT websites for further information.”  

CAT is a high-stake exam and determines who gets admitted to 20 IIMs and 1000+ other B-schools and Universities including top B-schools like SPJIMR and MDI. Since 2009, CAT has become a computer-based exam. There is steady rise in number of CAT exam takers during last three years. There were 199,632 test takers in CAT 2017 which increased to 209,405 in CAT 2018 and to 209,926 test takers in CAT 2019. This year, TCS is planning to conduct CAT 2020 at more than 450 testing venues in more than 150 cities.

So, get ready for your CAT 2020 exam! Read these exclusive MBAUniverse.com Interviews of CAT 2019 Toppers:

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on CAT 2020 exam