The Common Admission Test (CAT), India’s one of the toughest entrance examinations to crack has undergone several changes from 2011-2012 session. Most significant part of the ensuing changes is the transformation of Test Pattern of the CAT. The most prestigious qualifying examination for admissions to Management Programmes into the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is known as the most popular entrance examination in the country. CAT has gone so many changes in recent times including introduction of online examination in the place of paper – pencil test. But the changes this time seems to be much related to the nature of the exam, questioning format and patterns and also number of sections and questions. The IIMs have decided to announce these changes much in advance for the benefit of the aspiring candidates. Following are the important changes in CAT from the session 2011-2012:
1) The most crucial changes is the introduction of two sections instead of the existing three sections. The first section of the new CAT 2011-12 will have questions from the topics of Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation. While the second section deals with questions from Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning.
2) The two sections of the examination will be administered sequentially with individual time limits for each section. The duration of the examination will be for 140 minutes (2 hours and 20 minutes + 15 minutes for tutorial). But the most important change here is, candidates have to finish the concerned section within time frame only. They have to answer 30 questions of the each section with in 70 minutes. Once a section is over, you have to move to another section. You will no longer be able to go back to the first attempted section.
3) The new CAT Online Test 2011-2012 will start on 22nd October 2011 and will be conducted for 20 days till 18th November 2011. The check – in procedure for CAT 2011 will be one and a half hours before the actual test time instead of the previous two hours.
The initial response for the changes in CAT from the students and academicians appears to be positive. Experts feel that the changes are welcome move and may result in better examination process. Changing sections from three to two without any alteration in number of questions will bring the pressure off from the students, psychologically. As per the changes, CAT 2011 will have a total of 60 multiple choice type questions with 30 questions from each section. Candidates going to appear for CAT 2011-12 can understand that there is nothing different content-wise, but they need some amount of reorientation while practicing for the examination. They need to practice more mock tests with prescribed time frame.
You can obtain more details of changes and model questions of the changed pattern from CAT official website at www.catiim.in. Details of Number of seats in IIMs and Cut offs info for top IIMs will help the candidates to assess their chances of getting a seat in IIM.