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CAT begins: Learnings from Day 1

By IMS Learning Resources
November 29, 2009 11:58 IST
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Given that the test taking format has changed and technology was involved on such a large scale there were process based glitches experienced by students. Ideally the test conducting body should have ensured that these processes were tested extensively before the launch.

The time taken at the centres to conduct the security checks and seating the students was inordinately prolonged to such an extent that in some centres the test was delayed by as much as an hour. Also, in some centres the test did not operate at all, or when it did students had to face multiple problems while taking the test. This is not just a one off case as our students across many centres have faced similar issues. A number of students have also reported that the images in a few
math questions were not clear and they therefore had difficulties in attempting these questions.

However, in case of cancellation of the test due to any technical or other issue, the testing authorities have assured that they will re-slot the students at a later date within the remaining 9-day nine day window. Students who were supposed to take the test at a centre in Guwahati and some centers in Chennai, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mumbai were reportedly told that they would be advised of a rescheduled slot. IMS assessment is that outstation students may face issues as they have will now have to re-plan their itinerary.

The second slot reportedly seems to have gone off better than the first. So we believe that as the test progresses the issues will be ironed out. IMS is sure that the CAT and Prometric together will ensure that the students are as far as possible accommodated and given a fair chance to take the test. 

IMS advice to students is:

1. That they should go for their scheduled test and not miss it for any reason. By doing this they will ensure that the test if not conducted will be due to technical reasons and not by their absence.

2. That they should if possible visit their respective test centres at least a day in advance so that they do not need to search for the test centre on the day of their test.

3. Definitely ensure that they reach at least two hours before the scheduled test as specified by the test taking authorities. Some students were not allowed to take the test for not being able to reach the centre on time.

4. Travel light to the test centres, since you will not be allowed to carry mobiles, bags, even wallets into the testing room.

5. Access your e-mail and registered mobile number regularly for any updates from the CAT authorities.

6. We would also suggest that students must see the tutorial on the day of the test before beginning the actual test. 

About the test:
As per the students the test actually was no surprise, as the CAT authorities had already stated, on their website ,what the test is going to be like in terms of number of questions, areas tested etc. There were also no surprises on the time allotted to the test which was 135 minutes (2hours 15 min).The test navigation and look and feel is also as they have already given in the CAT demo. The students also stated that the test had questions from the three sections just like the previous year's CAT and covered questions from Quantitative (Mathematics), Logical & Data Interpretive and Verbal abilities.

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