The new format of the common entrance test (CAT) is student-friendly and welcome
for academicians and students.
However, some among them feel that the implementation of
sectional time limits will make CAT a test of competence rather than strategy since
candidates can no longer take the test in a way that maximises the return on their
strengths and covers their weaknesses.
"The new mode of administration is student-friendly. The two major changes relate
to the format and administration of the exam. This change is very thoughtful," said
Dr Gurumurthy Kalyanaram, dean of Amrita School of Business.
"First, the new format is more cohesive. By combining verbal abilities and logical
reasoning in one section, the format composes two related cognitive functions into
one section. Second, this approach is consistent with the basic format of the Graduate Management
Admissions Test (GMAT) which largely consists of two sections - analysis
and logical abilities," Kalyanaram said.
The change was made since analytical and logical competencies are equally important
in decision making. So both the abilities are measured as accurately as possible.
The new mode of administration will prevent the student from getting obsessed over
According to Tony Xavier, head of academics at IMS Learning Resources, with the
implementation of sectional time limits, the
CAT will become a test of competence. Test-takers can no longer take the
test in a way that maximises the return on their strengths and covers their weaknesses.
"For example, a test-taker, whose forte is acing the verbal section of the CAT,
could have finished the verbal section very quickly and allocated the surplus time
to clear the Quant cut-offs. In the new format, this is no longer possible. The
test-taker has no option but to improve his attempts and accuracy in the Quant section
within the 70 minute time limit," he said.
"From our experience, we feel that test-takers who get calls from the IIMs tend
to attempt about 80% of the questions in a section and get about 85% of them correct.
So in the case of the new CAT, the target for test-takers should be to attempt about
24 questions in 70 minutes and get about 20 of them right," he said.
Candidates have to realise that the new test-format places those with better verbal
skills on a more even-footing with them, he added.
CAT 2011 will be held between October 22 and November 18.
Courtesy: DNA India