My full sympathies with all those who have been wronged by CAT 2010
A year ago I was in the same boat as many of u are in today. I along with fellow puys from across the country tried our best to get some answers from the IIMs through legal channels. We even sought the legal route and eventually our case was dismissed because of the loss of time. The esteemed judge felt that we had been tooo late in registering our complaints.
So hurry up in case u want to get the right results
the folllowing is an excerpt of the letter we used for making our voice heard:
I have a few queries regarding the CAT 2009 process:
1. I feel I had an easier QA on my day. But this implies (according to some famed Psychometric and Normalisation processes) that my marks (percentile) would be scaled down. And this in turn implies that even before I sat for the test, the maximum percentile I could hope for in QA was a 98 or 98.5 percentile at most. SO MUCH FOR THE level playing field theory.
2.In all their correspondence, the IIMs have categorically stated
"Unlike testing on a single day (as CAT was in the past), whenever multiple day testing is undertaken, a large number of questions have to be developed with the same level of difficulty. This requires a different technology for generation of tests and establishing their equivalence. All the tests over this 11 day period were dissimilar while asking questions that test similar concepts. However, by design, the test included a few questions that were common in at most two tests. This is a standard practice followed by all tests that are offered over multiple days (including GRE, GMAT, TOEFL etc) to develop equivalence in terms of difficulty between two tests."
My understanding from this press release is that the all the papers are supposed to be of the same level. THEN WHY THE NORMALISATION?
According to the DISCLAIMER released on 28th Feb by the IIMs
"The scores reported are the scaled scores arrived at by establishing psychometric equivalences to adjust for any variation in difficulty levels across the tests."
An apt eg of the contradiction in the process.
3. From various previous posts on exam days I gather that the difficulty levels across sections was varied on different days. For eg. Day 1 VA difficult while on day 2 QA difficult.
A possible flaw is the LUCK FACTOR. And hence the dubbing of this year as a LOTTERY at best (this is not to undiminish the achvmnts of some great scorers, just a complain at best)
If person A who is really good in QA and QA on his day was difficult (as per IIMs), this means he can score bucketful of marks in QA because he happened to be at the right place in the right slot!
Similarly, many cases might be thought of to highlight the fact that CAT this year had a more than necessary weight put on the LUCK factor!
And this is again against the famed LEVEL PLAYING FIELD THEORY
4. IIM A was the conducting authority this year round. Only they (with due respecty to IIM S) released their interview list. I believe it is more of a prestige or ego issue with Mr Satish Deodhar and his fellow IIM A conducting authorities.
Even during the fiasco-days, there were reports that other IIMs (IIM Calcutta leading the protests) were averse to take into account CBT CAT due to the various anomalies involved. There is quite a chance that these IIMs are playing a waiting game and trying their best to ascertain the public response to the results.
So kindly chip in with more issues that have been plaguing your minds!
5. how do the IIMs decide that a particular section on a particular day was difficult. It is something that is riddled with a barrage of subjectivities. For eg. if on a particular day, the relative percentage of serious candidiates is high (which is definitely unknown to the IIMs), there is quite a chance that their high scores would be interpreted by the authorities as an EASY PAPER on that day! As a result, many of the deserving folks would suffer on account of some lax accounting standards.
6. There were quite a bit of students who had to re-appear for the CAT exam on Jan30th and 31st. They were notified on the same a month in advance. The IIMs publicly claim that on these 2 days the papers were going to be of the same difficulty as was the difficulty level in the original phase. Doesn't it imply that these select students get an unfair advantage after knowing the difficulty level beforehand.
As a very serious MBA aspirant, I can say it without a shadow of a doubt that for any serious aspirant knowing the difficulty level on a prior basis is a massive advantage as it helps one to fine tune and zero in on a particular strategy.
7. It is now being observed that IIMs and Prometric are defending their precarious position by stating that their marking scheme is in sync with the GRE GMAT patterns.
This is a blatant case of copying foreign methods without appropriate preparation to implement it in a different setting.
GRE GMAT are Computer adaptive tests and CAT 2009 was a Computer Based Test. To anyone who knows the difference between these two highlighted words, the Psychometric evaluation can't be used for CAT 2009.
8. The IIMs had categorically stated that CAT 2009 differs from its previous editions only on the basis of the computer interface.
Now, they have introduced marking schemes which allott more marks to a difficult question attempted. This is against the very essence of CAT till now - find out as many easy doable questions and do them in the stipulated time.
In the absence of the appropriate information regarding the changes in the examination and evaluation pattern, many serious candidiates are now in a state of shock and disbelief. At the same time many high scoring candidiates have expressed their surprise on the high scores.
9. Also, there is quite a bit of chance that delaying the results so late has much more to do with the fact that the IIMs knew that they would be flooded with complaints, RTIs, PILs etc. It was only on the pressure generated by other Management institutes (that take CAT scores), that the IIMs were forced to release the results on 28th of Feb.
10. It has been found out through various forums and various people who sat for the exams on different days that the level of difficulty was varied across sections on different days. For eg if on Day 1 English was difficult, on Day 2 Maths was difficult. In such a scenario how can the IIMs and Prometric compare English and Maths difficulty levels and then assign marks accordingly.