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CAT 2010: A ready reckoner

Last updated on: August 24, 2010 17:13 IST

The dates for one of the biggest and most covered educational events of the year -- the Common Admission Test or CAT 2010 -- have been declared. On Monday, the Indian Institutes of Management issued a notice with the dates for the testing window and the registration details of the highly competitive test.

Last year, the CAT made its debut as a computer-based test (CBT) and much to the dismay of many test-takers, the administration of the test was riddled with errors and technical glitches. This year, in its second year as a CBT, the IIMs and Prometric have promised better handling of the test.

So as MBA hopefuls across the country ramp up their prep for this year's CAT, we present a ready reckoner on all things CAT…

Important dates
Let us begin with the all-important dates for the exam this year: 

As it happened last year, due to computers shutting down and virus attacks, many test-takers were allowed a second stab at the test, resulting in a subsequent testing window about a month after the first. While most hope that this year will be a smoother ride, with an extended testing window (from 10 to 20 days, with an additional 9 buffer days), candidates are still wary of facing a similar scenario this year as well.

Registration details
The registration forms for CAT 2010 or CAT vouchers will be made available at listed Axis Bank branches between for Rs 1,400 (Rs 700 for SC/ST candidates)

Candidates need only buy one voucher, irrespective of the number of institutes he/she intends to apply to. SC and ST candidates are required to show a copy of their SC/ST certificates when buying the voucher at the bank branch.

In an attempt to avoid last-minute clashes of the CAT dates with other exams, the IIMs will allow candidates to change the date and venue for their test anytime during the registration period.

Testing centres
While extending the testing window, the IIMs have cut down the testing centres this year. The test will be administered in 33 cities across the country by Everonn Education and Meritrac, both of which will handle the site-readiness of the test centres as well as provide technical support. The idea is to reduce the number of test-takers logging on to take the test at a single time to as to prevent the servers getting jammed.

On CAT day
The test is typically is 2.5 hours long with a 15-minute tutorial in the beginning. The test consists three sections: quantitative, verbal, and logical and data interpretation. Last year's exam had about 60 questions in all.

Each candidate will work at a computer terminal and will be provided with some scratch paper for calculations and rough work.

The exam will be conducted in 2 sessions each day -- Session 1 (candidates must report between 8-8.30 am) where the test will begin at 10 am and Session 2 candidates must report between 1:30-2 pm) where testing will begin at 3:30 pm.

To enter the test centre, test-takers need to present their CAT 2010 admit card, voucher, SC/ST certificate (if applicable) and one photo ID.

The results will be declared on January 12, 2011 along with the names of the candidates shortlisted for interviews. Each shortlisted candidates will also be issued a letter intimating them of the same by the IIMs.

Apart from regular updates on the CAT and its administration, the IIMs along with Prometric will also be launching a series of short videos with guidance on CAT 2010. These will be available on, after August 30.