Cheated by CAT 2013

Honorable IIMs and Prometric,

This year I decided to sit for CAT 2013 along with 1.73 lac other students, to get through a B-school of my choice. As a working professional, I had decided this to be my last attempt for the coveted IIMs. Having written the exam earlier, I knew the structure of the exam and the strategy I should follow to maximize my scores. I had heard of this mystical creature called normalization, no one knew what it did, but we were told it was for our best. You never provided any transparency and I believed this was because you were flawless.

I studied hard through the year, giving mocks, revising concepts. I overcame my weakness in the Quant section, meanwhile maintaining consistency in my stronger section of VALR. I gave my exam on 6th November 2013, dreaded quants and did not attempt too many questions. Verbal and LR, I found to my liking and attempted a decent number of questions, confident about securing a good score.

On 14th January as the clock struck 9, I checked my scores amid server crashes, to be disappointed. Despite doing well in quants my dreams were shattered looking at the VALR percentile, 68. I was in shock the entire day and assumed that I must have had a bad day where I simply misread or misunderstood. The next day, I talked to friends and lo and behold, they were in a similar situation! These people, whom I have known to be good in verbal, had done poorly in that every section. Surprising? Did all of us somehow misunderstand the paper? Coincidence? I thought not. Searching online, I found a petition already in place for disgruntled candidates, a majority unhappy with the VA section, everyone claiming to have done much better in mocks and previous exams. Tell me how kind Sirs, that so many students have a complaint against the scoring in primarily one section, VA? Did all of us, after 1hour 10minutes had passed, have a bad day? Let us assume that out of the 4,000 students who have signed the petition, about half the claims are baseless. Even then, do you not owe an answer to the remaining 2,000? The future lives and careers of these students lies in your hands and you say that there is “no system for re-evaluation”? Last year, you said there were 80 students whose scores had been tampered with. This year, with a sizeable number asking for re-evaluation, should you not look into the matter? If an error has been done by the system then this should be rectified instead of waiting for the issue to fizzle out.

Several institutes have started putting up shortlists and names of deserving candidates do not feature on them. You may have respect and recognition around the world for being the top B-schools in India, however, the examination process is flawed and needs to be looked into.

– Disappointed and Cheated

Read Next