Noida, India (PressExposure) July 28, 2011 -- IIM Calcutta officially announced CAT 2011, the entrance exam for the 13 IIMs and over 150 B-schools in India, on 25 July 2011. CAT 2011 will be held in a 20 day window between October 22, 2011 and November 18, 2011. The details of CAT 2011 will be updated in the official CAT website, http://www.catiim.in from Monday, August 8, 2011 onwards.
MBAUniverse.com spoke to Prof. Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT 2011 Convener and Professor of Marketing at IIM Calcutta to know more about the changes implemented in CAT 2011 and to know the objective behind the changes.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What is the rationale behind the change in the exam pattern, such as reducing the number of sections and sequential timing of the sections?
A: The pattern that will be followed in CAT 2011 is not something new. We followed this pattern way back during 1995-96, when CAT was a paper pencil based test. The reason why we have reduced the number of sections from three to two is because we want proficient students at our IIMs, who would be equally competent in both Quantitative Ability as well as Verbal Ability. Till last year we have seen many students who had skewed efficiency.
The reason for making the sections 'timed' is that the CAT takers spend most of the time on their strong areas and lesser time on their weaker sections. This leads to a skewed score. They get high percentage owing to the fact that they have spent much time in their strong section, but on the other hand the sectional scores vary a lot. Keeping these facts in mind we have made these basic changes in the exam pattern.
Q: How would these changes benefit the CAT 2011 takers?
A: This new pattern will help the CAT 2011 takers perform better. Often the candidates cannot focus on one section properly thinking about how much time to spend on the other sections and then they again come back to the previous section for revision. In the new pattern, the test takers will have no option but to put their entire concentration on one section for 70 minutes without thinking of the other section.
Q: The last few CATs have seen a dip in the number of registrations as well as final number of test takers. Do you think that the number of test takers will rise this year?
A: The reason for the dip in numbers can be many including the economy, placements, the technical glitches in the first year of computer based CAT to name a few. But things are definitely looking up now and so are we. Students are now much more familiar with the computer based CAT. This year, three new test centers have been added in Bhilai, Dehradun and Jammu. The number of branches of Axis Bank has also been increased to 201 so that it is easier for the candidates to access the CAT Vouchers.
Q: What are your expectations from CAT 2011?
A: We are expecting to offer a successful and equated test throughout the test window. We are confident that CAT 2011 is going to help us in identifying the appropriate candidates for our programs, and that the examination will be fair and equitable. Considerable effort has been invested in maintaining similar level of difficulty across papers. A small number of statistically and psychometrically validated questions are randomly inserted in each question paper as equating blocks. These will be used for establishing post test equality across the days. We are hoping to get some really good students.
Q: What is your message to the CAT 2011 takers?
A: Focus on your preparation. You should not leave out any aspect of the sections as we look at your competence. It is advisable that you take the practice tests which will be made available shortly so that you become familiar with the new pattern of timed sections as well as navigation and functionality of the test.
Apart from focusing on CAT, you should have a long term focus ready. You should be sure about the fact that you want a career in management and not just succumbing to peer or parental pressure. CAT is just a means to reach your goal, not the end. You should be able to sustain yourself in the long run in the field of management. You should be a responsible citizen and should be able to contribute to the society for a greater cause.
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on CAT 2011.