“C.A.T. cat.. Cat maane billi” –This was one among the funniest and famous songs sung by Kishore da during those good old days when CAT actually meant billi. But sadly, CAT has now become more of a homonym with its abbreviated version gaining more ground over the other. Even in his pre-school days, a kid is taught the alphabets in same old-fashioned and traditional style of “A for apple, B for boy, C for cat” in sing-song tones. But as he grows older his image of CAT as a green-eyed whiskered animal gets hazy & it slowly transforms into “a sprawling building that is engraved and embossed with the letters I I M”. No wonder, as a kid I read in many fables, watched in my favorite cartoon show that “a cat chases the rat”. But as I grew up, to my utter disbelief, the scenario took a topsy-turvy. What I now witness: instead, there’s a “rat race for the CAT chase”!!! And sadly, here the CAT is not the Tom of the “Tom & Jerry”. It is Common Admission Test (CAT): one of the most sought after management-exams in India, for getting a VIP entry into the prestigious IIMs (& not to forget the B-schools).
But the question is if CAT is “just another exam” then why such hype about it. Why is it so that in the month of October-November- month of festivals and celebrations, there are scores other whom you may find cocooned inside the four walls of their room with dull, sulky and gloomy faces; their noses glued to the notebooks or pagalguy.com; showing no signs of happiness despite the festivities taking place outside with full pomp and show? The answer lies in the question itself: It’s not “just another exam”. And next question which pops up in our mind is “Why so”?? Why can’t we consider CAT se “any other aptitude test” akin to “campus placement aptitude test”? After all both are foundation stone of an individual’s career path. And truthfully speaking, till date, I haven’t seen such levels of havoc or hype created by any other placement-oriented aptitude tests as is created w.r.t CAT. Both follow the same pattern of conducting aptitude test in 1st level and GD-PI in the next. Both boast of promising an excellent career path that lies in front of us, a lucrative and handsome package that would make our lives simpler (to which I have strong doubts). The only difference being that the former is an investment that would bear sweet fruits (handsome package) in future, whereas the latter doesn’t need any investment; if selected, the fruits are in your own hands. But the ultimate output or the goal of having an excellent career awaiting your arrival remains the same.
But again the question reverts to “Why CAT”?? (to be continued.. )