CAT 2015 on Nov 29, in 136 cities, for 180 minutes, few non-multiple answers – what do the changes mean?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015  notification is out. Check here The biggest change – that the exam will be held on one day only – November 29, 2015 – in two sessions.

The last time the exam was held on a single day was in 2008 when it was conducted in a pen and paper format. 

It is estimated that since TCS and IIM Ahmedabad will have to keep ready 650 tests centres in about 136  cities, the exam is being held as late as November.

The exam, this year is being handled by IIM Ahmedabad, the CAT Convenor being T Bandyopadhyay.

Registrations will begin on August 6  (and close on September 20, 2015) for admissions to 20 IIMs, which include the new ones announced in the last budget.  This year, registration will be only online, a move initiated by the Prof Rohit Kapoor, the former CAT Convenor.

Admit cards will be available from October 15 (1. 00pm), till the exam date and results will be known in the second week of January 2016. These results will be valid right through the year, till December 31, 2016. 

Some other highlights:

*Candidates will have an option to tick 4 test centres and be given either one of them, keeping in mind the availability 

*Duration of exam increased to 180 minutes, instead of 170 minutes. QA and VRC will have 34 questions each and DILR will have 32 questions.

*Some of the questions in both the sections may not be multiple choice type, some will direct answers which will have to be typed on the screen. 

*Candidates will be given 60 minutes to answer one Section and will not be allowed to switch Sections in between.

*There will be provisions for an online calculator on the screen. 

Incidentally on the CAT website, CAT 2014, still stares back as the most visible number on the site.

What do all the changes mean for CAT 2015 aspirants?

* Since not all will be multiple types questions, some will have non-objective  or lengthier answers, which will have to be typed on the screen. This move seems to be in the direction of attracting more non-engineers. Testing writing/English skills may be the motive here if the answers sought are long in nature. However, unlikely this feature will make too much of a difference to the overall picture. 

*An online calculator will be allowed, which will in fact make life easier for aspirants. This move should help both, engineers and non-engineers as candidates will tend to get back to  basics for computation, which is better than mini strategies often used. 

* Exam on one day will mean less speculation on whether taking the exam earlier in the season is better than  latter.  Last few years saw countless strategies spring up  on whether ‘first-day, first-slot’ was an easier paper and so on and so forth. 

*Unlike earlier years, there is no push for CAT aspirants to fill in the forms earlier and tick their choice of centre to avoid disappointment later. With 650 test centres, large scale disappointment is not expected. 

There are not many changes in CAT 2015, not glaring ones at least. Since CAT 2014 was a fairly peaceful affair,  it was expected that much of the earlier format would be retained. 

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