(CAT)Common Admission Test in the making
BANGALORE: Around 2.76 lakh candidates across 23 cities are expected to take the Common Admission Test (CAT) on Sunday to gain entry into the seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). The test will be conducted between 10 am and 1 pm and 1,784 seats across 7 IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Shillong are up for grabs.In Bangalore, 26,500 are expected to take the test.
Will CAT change its stripes again? Part of the challenge in gaining entry to the IIMs is how candidates tackle the varying pattern of CAT.Emphasis is given to a flexible strategy, as question papers can dramatically change every year. Here is how the exam has evolved over the years: CAT 1999 & CAT 2000 In 1999, CAT caught everyone by surprise. The four-section paper was turned into a three section one. Prior to 1999, verbal ability and reading comprehension were two seperate sections, which were merged into one section in CAT ‘99.
The two-hour exam had a total of 165 questions. Correct answers were awarded 1 mark, and while wrong answers attracted negative marks, the amount of negative marks was never specified till 2005.CAT 2001, 2002 and 2003 The number of questions went down from 55 questions per section to 50 questions, making it a total of 150 questions to be answered in two hours.
CAT 2004 was a unique for two reasons: differential marks for questions made their appearance. The total number of questions was 123, down from 2003.CAT 2005 Differential marks for questions continued. Each section had 30 questions each. This was also the first year where negative marking was specified — 1/3 of a mark was deducted for every wrong answer.
The total number of questions fell to 90 questions.CAT 2006, 2007 The duration of the test was increased from two hours to two and half hours, while the number of questions came down to 75 — 25 questions per section.A correct answer got you 4 marks, while 1 mark was deducted for every wrong answer.
CAT 2008 Predicting how CAT will turn out this year is tough. Sticking his neck out, Ajay Arora, Director of TIME, a coaching centre for CAT, predicts that the number of questions is unlikely to change.
“For all you know, they might revert to 165 questions.” CAT 2009 The IIMs are currently in discussions on holding the CAT online as early as next year.
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