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CAT 09: The surprise factor

June 23, 2009 13:30 IST

Everybody knows that CAT is one of the most unpredictable exams held in India and abroad. Every year it presents a new surprise. The biggest one for 2009 or rather the biggest till date is the news that CAT 09 is going to be computer-based.

However, it would be wrong to assume that this will be the only surprise in store. MBA aspirants who have prepared themselves with information about past CATs wil find it easier to develop flexible time management strategies, thus eliminating the effects of a changed CAT pattern.

Towards this end, examination experts at have done a critical analysis of the previous CATs by measuring the three most crucial factors that remain tricky in all CATs. These are:

It has been observed that whatever CAT one takes for analysis, the interplay of these three factors has consistently been responsible for the 'surprise' factor.

Let us try to identify what were the indicators of the difficulty level of any section of CAT in the past. We recognise the fact that the level of difficulty is a quite a subjective experience. A section that is difficult for one candidate may be the only score getter for another. Still, a sprinter must know what the real obstacles are in his sprint so that he may adjust his pace and concentration in order to conquer them. Hence, a comprehensive knowledge of a different combination of the three factors -- which eventually boil down to TDS ie time, difficulty and speed -- will help us know the approximate dimensions of our obstacles (over and above those offered by its computer-based , which are discussed at in CAT 2009.































When we look at all the possible ways the experts explored to define "difficulty" in a CAT, we found that most times it is the interplay of the total time available, the number of questions and length and complexity of their statement that decide whether a particular set of questions were easy, moderate or difficult. Hence, the importance of analysis and daily ranking ( cannot be over emphasised.

Additionally, it can be seen that the questions are getting easier but trickier with each CAT since CAT 2004. This, together with the fact that Prometric -- the company who will administer CAT 09 -- has a track record of presenting trickier and lengthy statement-based questions in Quant as well as Verbal, has left no option for test-takers but to concentrate on each and every question that they come across throughout the year. The key is not to do more questions but to repeatedly do a balanced set of questions with optimum representation of all areas. One must understand that CAT 09 preparation is not a mere MOCK CAT game; rather one needs to know one's performance everyday and should get a chance to compare it with the best of the nation in each test.

At this crucial juncture, the FREE online CAT course offered by ( and the online tools like Test Generator ( and Challenge Zone ( come handy for a CAT 2009 aspirant. These offerings can contribute for the missing technology-link that exists between the traditional CAT prep ways and the demands of the new computer-based CAT.

TCY ( features the most advanced and user-friendly online testing engine and offers a host of FREE services and tools like FREE online CAT course, Test Generator, TCY Analytics and Audio-Visual Lectures for CAT 09 preparation.