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Rediff.com  » Getahead » CAT: How will scores, difficulty be decided?

CAT: How will scores, difficulty be decided?

June 26, 2009 10:56 IST

The CAT has always been a known for its surprise element and with the latest change in pattern, test-takers are understandably wary about what to expect this year.

How will the computer-based test be administered?

Does the change in pattern call for a change in preparation?

What computer skills will test-takers need?

To answer these and other CAT-related questions, Atul Prashar, examination expert at TCYOnline.com, hosted a chat on June 8. For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript: 


Atul Prashar says, Hi All, This is Atul Prashar from TCYonline.com and I am ready to to take your queries rearding CAT 2009.


yutuy asked, sir, wat computer skills will u need for the cat?

Atul Prashar answers, One merely needs to know how to click and confirm your answer on the computer screen using a mouse. Rest Majorly will depend upon your preparation for the test-Content.


meet asked, atul sir, any tips on how the DI section will be online?

Atul Prashar answers, In the DI Section, it is expected that the graphs and Tables will be on the Left half of the screen and Questions will come one by one in the right half of the screen. As Prometric is designing the CAT 2009 interface, it is their usual way of presenting the information to the test taker.


Rahul asked, Hi Sir, I would like to know on how to deal with RCs as there will be lot of inconvenience scrolling up and down the page?

Atul Prashar answers, You are right Rahul, You need to looks beyond the paper-based ways to doing an RC and learn the art of making a Rough DOT-DIAGRAM of the passage. For more information how to do that please refer to the following link - http://getahead.rediff.com/report/2009/may/08/online-cat-tips-to-crack-verbal-ability.htm  


lakshmi asked, For RC, will one be allowed to scroll back and forth?

Atul Prashar answers, It is anticipated that only Up and down scrolling will be possible. The passage will remain present on the left half of the screen and questions will keep appearing one by one or at once on the right.


kaushik asked, Sir,what are the merits and demerits of CAT goin online?

Atul Prashar answers, Please refer to our feature on Rediff reg the same - http://getahead.rediff.com/report/2009/apr/29/cat-online-challenges-myths.htm .


pokemon asked, Will there be multiple sessions / days on which exam will be held like GMAT

Atul Prashar answers, Yes! The test will happen for all the registered CAT takers in a span of 10 days. 3 sessions per day are expected. Hence, a total of 30 tests. The reliability coefficient of all the 30 tests will ensure that they are of same level of difficulty.


Rajiv asked, Is it going to be a CBT or a Computer Adaptive test?

Atul Prashar answers, It is expected that the test will be computer based and not computer Adaptive.


amar asked, , hi atul sir.. how to prepaare for CAT.. especially being a working pro. and what will make sure that i have the confidence to knock the IIM door.

Atul Prashar answers, You have our CAT FREE online Course for the same. Prepare anytime anywhere with the most advanced testing engine. for more information visit - http://www.tcyonline.com/cat2009/cat_preparation.php


RAT asked, Will the score be available on the same day? If yes how can you display the percentiles?

Atul Prashar answers, For security reasons, at least this year the scores will not appear right after the test.


pratik asked, Sir, I am a bit weak in the quant section of CAT. I also know this fact that practice is the only medicine to this ailment. And percentile in 2008 CAT and XAT was a pathetic show , albeit, I was not at al prepared for it. I am feeling a bit low this year. But , I have started preparing for CAT . Need some guidance.

Atul Prashar answers, You have our CAT FREE online Course for the same. Prepare anytime anywhere with the most advanced testing engine. for more information visit - http://www.tcyonline.com/cat2009/cat_preparation.php


Prashant asked, ? yes Atul prakashji, One very simple and difficult question, how can IIM will decide that two or more papers are of same difficulty level..... if you see IIm claim that aall the cat paper till now is of same difficulty but aaccoerding to my knowlwdge,,, CAt 2007 was tough than Cat 2008 or XAt 2009 was tough than XAt 2008, So can they decide thah two question of same marks is af same diffficulty level??

Atul Prashar answers, Prometric is one of the most experienced organisation in ensuring the same level of difficulty of all the test. There is one reliability cofficient called Alpha-coeff that is used to ensure that all the test have same level of difficulty.


pradeep asked, Sir this online CAT will be held once in a year or there will be different dats like GRE n IELTS or GMAT...that is we can give GRE GMAt whenever we want..SO is Conline CAT will be same.. PLZ reply

Atul Prashar answers, Online CAT will be held in the span of 10 days UNLIKE GRE and GMAT, which are available all year round.


satwik asked, sir I dnt Have a brilliant career 87 percent in 10th 79.2 in 12th,79.2 in b.tech.co-curricular activities are good uptil 12th standard ....I Have heard this may be a stmbling Block in getting to iims?? please elaborate??

Atul Prashar answers, Like many foreign B-schools IIMs have started giving more preference to candidates having consistently good academic record. My suggestion is - score very good percentile in CAT and keep MDI, IMT etc also as plan B.


CAT1 asked, What kinda change in the pattern of questions are you expecting?

Atul Prashar answers, There aint any changes in the pattern of questions expected. However, there will definitely be a change in the way questions are presented.


Shamik asked, In GRE, the score-calculation is different from normal score-calculation. Will the score-calculation for CAT change or remain same as before when there was paper-pencil tests?

Atul Prashar answers, Yes. It is expected to remain the same.


SAMEIROXY asked, So is it futile for individuals having lowly percentages like 58-60% in Degree level to have a try at the IIMs...?

Atul Prashar answers, There are many factors that decide your selection in an IIM. Academic excellence is just one of those.


siva asked, Sir for people with work experience of 5+ years would IIMs still consider 10th,+2 performance for admission, My 10th and 12th scores are 73 and 79% in CBSE and in direct masters I have 87% score

Atul Prashar answers, There are many factors that decide your selection in an IIM. Academic excellence is just one of those. Go for a percentile above 98 and spend quality time on your profiling before you go for an Interview.


jayachandran asked, Will the marks be different for different questions

Atul Prashar answers, This can be a possibility as it happened in the past CATs also. However, CAT 2009 is not expected to be computer Adaptive.


hunky asked, sir, how to improve in Data Interpretation in this new era of CAT with emphasis in DI being laid on more toughness?

Atul Prashar answers, This together with the fact that you will handle figures on screen and calculate them on the scratch sheet adds to the avg time per question. Hence, you need a lot of online testing practice instead of mere 5-10 MOCK Online CATS


Nikhil asked, Good Afternoon Sir, My self Prof. Nikhil Garg, from Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad. I would like to ask you that will CAT 2009 be on-line ONLY or there will be choice whether to appear on-line or appear at exam centre as usual ?

Atul Prashar answers, It will be online only, Mr. Nikhil.


SoniaGandhi asked, Will there be multiple sessions / days on which exam will be held like GMAT ??

Atul Prashar answers, 3 sessions per day are expected.


satwik asked, This year the results are expected within hw many days and will we know our scores stright after the test....

Atul Prashar answers, For security reasons, at least this year the scores will not appear right after the test.


Prashanth asked, How many months of preparation an average student may need to score more than 95 percentile in CAT. I know it depends on an individual and various other factors. If you can please give me some figures based on some factors it would be helpful.

Atul Prashar answers, Percentile decides your Rank. 95 percentile means you are among the Top 5% of the test takers. That further means you are among the top 12500 students if 2.5 Lakh students take CAT 2009. So you percentile will entirely depend upon how many people you benchmark your performance with while preparing for CAT. Additionally, maintaining an accuracy of 85% and slowly increasing your attempt in the MOCKs should be your prime focus.


parlav singh asked, hello sir!!won;t it be diffuclt to solve and read the stats while solving the DI questions?

Atul Prashar answers, Yes! it would be. Though test takers are trained thoroughly on the how to make some calculation quickly in DI, still managing a lot of data on computer screen will definitely pose problems. Hence, the mantra is practice more and more online


kaustubh asked, sir would it be possible to answer the left over questions or there would be no chance of returning back and answering once the page gets refreshed?

Atul Prashar answers, There are two ways a test is presented online - Linear or Adaptive. It is highly expected that CAT 2009 will be Linear and in a linear test you are allowed to move back and forth in the test.


evans asked, is a good percentile enough to get in a bschool of your choice? i mean even if you perform average in interviews?

Atul Prashar answers, Evans, only a good percentile is not enough to get in a b-school of your choice. There are other factors as well such as your past academic performance, participation in co-curricular activities, performance in GD/PI etc. Although a high percentile may overshadow your weak performance in the past.


satwik asked, WHICH ARE SITES on which we can experience giving ONLIne tests sectionwise as well as overall?

Atul Prashar answers, On www.TCYonline.com, in addition to what you asked, you may generate your own topic wise, sectional and MOCKs from a pool of hundreds of questions. Visit - www.TCYonlne.com/CreaTest for more information on TEst Generator


Swati asked, THe problem with finding the right coaching centre

Atul Prashar answers, If online, it is TCYonline. If offline, i definitely agree with you.


aaa asked, sir i have a final admit from iim - k . is it worth giving it one more try at the top three iims (a,b,c). i have3 years of work ex

Atul Prashar answers, In hard time like these, every B-school struggled to have all people placed. And in good times every IIM placed people well. So it is you who can make a difference in getting yourself placed. The decision is all yours.


subba asked, Hi Atul,How long does it take for a working person to prepare for CAT? what kind of study plan do u suggest

Atul Prashar answers, It takes more time overall, Subba. As a student can give more time per day to the preparation, you need to balance it out on weekend. One important ingredient of your preparation should be self-discipline. Register yourself for FREE CAT online course with TCYonline.com to exercise the same.


shon1 asked, but isnt TCY inexperienced? can we risk our careers with it?

Atul Prashar answers, TCYonline prepared 50, 000 students for CAT 2008. This happened despite the fact that CAT 2008 was not online. Visit http://www.tcyonline.com/cat2009/cat_preparation.php to see our CAT 2008 successes.


k asked, will there be more emphasis on english since online tests tend to do so?

Atul Prashar answers, CAT 2008 has already proved that Verbal will decide your overall percentile more than Quant or Di would do.


Viswanatth asked, Hello Sir, Any chance for students to do some rough workings in the new Computer Based Test?

Atul Prashar answers, You will be provided with a scratch sheet for the same.


shon1 asked, is IMS the best for mock online tests?

Atul Prashar answers, I suggest you visit all websites and compare the testing interface and level of analysis. You may try a diagnostic test at TCYonline at www.TCYonline.com/cat09


Atul Prashar says, Dear Students, This is all I have time for today. Until next time, goodbye. I wish you all the best for your CAT 09 preparation.


SoniaGandhi asked, sir would it be possible to answer the left over questions or there would be no chance of returning back and answering once the page gets refreshed?
Atul Prashar answers, In case of any further query, send a mail to tcychd@tcyonline.com



To help students with their queries and address their many unanswered questions, rediff.com will be hosting chats every week with competitive examination and CAT experts. If you would like to get your questions and doubts answered, watch this space!