CAT 2023: Unprecedented 'Mandatory Question' in Slot 2 leaves Students Worried; CAT Convener Clarifies Doubts – MBAUniverse.com Exclusive

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MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
November 27, 2023
Common Admission Test (CAT) is known for throwing surprises year after year. Apart from raising the difficulty level of the CAT 2023 paper very significantly, candidates were also foxed by a question marked as ‘Mandatory Question’ in the Slot 2. This ‘error’ had caused a lot of anxiety among the test takers as a ‘mandatory’ question has never appeared in the history of CAT. MBAUniverse.com promptly reached out to CAT 2023 Convener at IIM Lucknow to clarify the matter. Responding to our query, Dr Sanjeet Singh, CAT 2023 Convener, has clarified the issue.
CAT 2023 Exam Error, Mandatory Question Appeared in Slot 2

Common Admission Test (CAT) is known for throwing surprises year after year. Apart from raising the difficulty level of the CAT 2023 paper very significantly, candidates were also foxed by a question marked as ‘Mandatory Question’ in the Slot 2. This ‘error’ had caused a lot of anxiety among the test takers as a ‘mandatory’ question has never appeared in the history of CAT. MBAUniverse.com promptly reached out to CAT Convener at IIM Lucknow in the late evening of November 26 to clarify the matter.

Responding to MBAUniverse.com query today afternoon, CAT 2023 Convener Dr Sanjeet Singh has clarified the doubt, and assured CAT exam takers. Before we get to his response, here is a quick recap of the issue which surfaced last night on social media.

CAT Expert Arun Sharma confirms ‘Mandatory Question’
Widely respected as one of India’s foremost CAT Expert, Mr Arun Sharma, who took the Slot 2 of CAT 2023 exam, and has confirmed the appearance of ‘mandatory question’ in CAT 2023 exam. Speaking on a webinar, Mr Sharma said: “While I was taking the CAT exam in Slot 2 today, Question No 19 in my exam paper was marked as ‘Mandatory Question’ However, this was not part of instructions given at the start of the paper.” He questioned why such a question appeared in the CAT exam paper.

Students confirm Mandatory question in VARC Section
Apart from Mr Sharma, many other students who took CAT 2023 Slot 2 exam confirmed that a question in their exam paper was also marked as a ‘Mandatory Question’. Earlier in the day, a Slot 2 Test Takers at the IonDigital Zone at Noida, Delhi NCR, told MBAUniverse.com, “I found a mandatory question in VARC section. Now I am worried whether not attempting this question could disqualify us from the entire exam or from the particular section.”

Head of a leading MBA Test Prep company also confirmed that some of their students faced this issue.

CAT Convener Clarifies Issue
Noticing that this ‘error’ is causing a lot of anxiety among the test takers, MBAUniverse.com promptly reached out to CAT Convener at IIM Lucknow on late evening of November 26 to clarify the matter. Responding to our query today afternoon, CAT 2023 Convener Dr Sanjeet Singh has clarified the doubts and assured CAT exam takers.

Responding to MBAUniverse.com query, Convener Dr Sanjeet Singh, said: “There was no mandatory question in CAT 2023.” He further added, “There is no implication even if candidates answered it incorrectly or left it un-attempted because these are Short Answer (SA) type questions with no negative marking.”

Dr. Sanjeet Singh is a Professor of Decision Sciences Area and Chairperson of Admissions at IIM Lucknow, the convening IIM for CAT 2023.  

Students fears allayed
This response from CAT convener will help soothe the nerves of CAT 2023 test takers, who found the exam much more difficult than previous years. It is expected that candidates may not score well in CAT 2023 due to the high difficulty level. Experts predict that a Score of 80 out of 198 is good enough for scoring 99%. Read more

All eyes are now on the release of CAT Response Sheet next week, which are official answers to CAT Questions. 

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