The pattern of Common Admission Test (CAT), a gateway to some prestigious institutes, is likely to change this year. This year, the exam will have only two sections instead of three. While the first section will be about Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (DI), the second section will be about Verbal Ability (VA) and Logical Reasoning (LR).
According to Sridhar Madhavan, an educational consultant, “The new CAT seeks to not only place the testing pattern of the exam on a par with globally recognised entrances like GMAT and GRE, but also looks at making it easily attainable by graduates of all disciples, thus reducing the dominance of engineers.”
Anshul Arora, an engineering student from Bangalore, while asking a doubt about this new pattern says, “What is unclear by Logical Reasoning in Verbal is if they mean critical language reasoning as in GMAT or sequence reasoning questions like arrangements of cubes?”
However, according to the officials, the number of test days has been retained at 20 days within the window from 22 October to 18 November 2011. A 15-minute tutorial will be provided before the start of the test and the total time will be two hours and 35 minutes for the test including tutorial.
Each section will have 30 questions each and will be given 70 minutes separately and students have to attempt sections in a sequential order. This means the candidates will not have the option of jumping questions in between sections. “The fact that everybody is going to be solving each section for the same amount of time is indeed a fair way of assessing the candidates. Also, there is a fairer chance for the non-mathematic al minds to crack this exam,” says Madhavan. However, Nakul Nagarath of IMS learning centre, says,” The change though, is not going to make much of a difference to students as there is no change in syllabus.”
S. Chandrasekhar, an MBA trainer for 15 years, is satisfied of the new pattern and says, “For instance, doing well in DI and ensuring a few right answers in the QA section would be good enough. There is no more the compulsion to show your expertise in all four areas.”
However, Prof Jayanthi comments, “The difficulty level is all set to go up, and student will have to rethink the strategy and prepare accordingly.”
But one good thing is since the candidates have already been made aware of the changes; there might be fewer surprises, unlike previous years when everything was revealed only at the test centre, says Mr. Nagarath.