CAT 2011: Do not perceive CAT as end in itself, says convener Prof Janakiraman Moorthy

 | July 28,2011 11:22 am IST

Prof Janakiraman Moorthy, IIM Calcutta professor and CAT 2011 convener, spoke to CoolAvenues.com on major upheavals in CAT 2011, normalization process, Prometric chair, technical issues and more.

 

What are the major upheavals in CAT 2011?
I don’t see major issues this year as this is the third year of CBT, we have learnt many things in the last two years. I am in touch with the past conveners, CAT committee members and IIM Directors for advice and guidance.


Now when test dates are announced, as convener what’s worrying you the most?
Several activities have been scheduled for the next 5-6 months. I am having a CAT committee that consists of admissions chairpersons from other IIMs. Responsibilities are shared by all of us. CAT is a sensitive examination, so we would like to take care of every aspect of the examination before it commences.


CAT was to be made into a two-paper pattern?
The CAT 2011 will have only two sections instead of three. The first section will focus on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation; the second on Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits. The examination will be 140 minutes. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions within each section which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move to the second and will no longer be able to go back. Although new in the computer-based version of CAT, this format was previously practiced in some of the earlier paper-and-pencil years.


There is a decline in number of students taking CAT. What could be a possible reason for the decline?
It is difficult to attribute any particular reason for the decline. I believe the numbers will stabilize at the current level or show a slight positive trend. Now the economic outlook is good, the placements went on very well last year, and more IIMs have started their operations, hence, there can be slight positive trend.


Last year, many students felt betrayed by the ‘normalisation’ process?
As you are aware different papers are used in the examination, it may cause some concern to the participants. Considerable faculty efforts go into to the construction of paper to make sure that the level of difficulty is the same for all the papers. Students should not pick up one or two questions from a paper and compare with other question paper. One paper will have some easy and some difficult questions. Overall difficulty level across papers will be the same, Students need to compare one paper with the other if they want to and not individual questions. A small number of statistically and psychometrically validated questions are randomly inserted in each question paper as equating blocks. These will be used for assessing post test equality across the days.


We heard talks about a Prometric chair. What is it all about?
IIMs are looking at instituting a faculty chair which will look deeply at ‘psychometric’ issues but all this is only being discussed as of now.


Is there any backup support by Prometric in the event of a technical failure?
Last year it self an IT technology auditing company was in the implementation team. Through out the test, technology people will be there to attend to the issues if any. Each centre will have a few additional terminals as buffer. In the event of any issue, the applicant will be moved to the other machine with out loosing any time.


Your advice to students taking CAT this year

Applicants should not perceive CAT as end in itself. The pattern of the examination has been announced in advance; hence I believe that it will help in focusing their preparation.

 

Concluded.

 


 

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Comments


macgoel on 07/31/11 at 08:49 am

Respected Sir,
Myself Mayank Goel want s to prepare for cat preparation and currently i am doing job and this is related to a field job means my city changes so how should i prepare myself for CAT..please anybody which can tell me how to devote tym for the same.and what are the new paterns for cat exam


neetu on 08/03/11 at 05:38 pm

Dear Mayank

The new pattern for MBA is as follows
The CAT 2011 will have only two sections instead of three. The first section will focus on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation; the second on Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits. The examination will be 140 minutes. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions within each section which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move to the second and will no longer be able to go back. Although new in the computer-based version of CAT, this format was previously practiced in some of the earlier paper-and-pencil years.

To prepare for CAT you can follow the CAT 2011 preparation calendar


macgoel on 08/05/11 at 06:35 pm

Hi Neetu
Thanks for the info. I really appreciate your efforts