With 4 days to go for CAT 2015, turn blind to pattern changes, advise faculty

There are  changes in CAT 2015 which are quite well known by now.  Some of these include, three Sections instead of two, onscreen calculator, 180 minutes instead of 170 to solve the paper and some questions to not be of MCQ nature.

The pattern changes have bothered most CAT takers ever since they were announced  and given that there are only 4 days to go for CAT, the fears seem a little larger than life now.

The fact is that the changes mean nothing, not at least for the exam takers. Many coaching centres  have tweaked their teaching methods to suit the changes, the hard truth is that they make no difference to CAT prep, rather, they should not.

T Rammohan, head of CAT Prep at PT Education, says that for those who are serious about studying for CAT, these changes mean nothing. “How has anything changed. The portion to be studied is exactly the same. Why make such a big deal about pattern changes?”

A professor from an IIM added, that patterns change to tweak the selection process and to get in the kind of diversity that b-schools cry for . “The attempt is to level down the importance of Quant and give people from various academic backgrounds a fair chance.” With some non-MCQ, the idea is to give those with a non-Quant upbringing a chance to score.

The general contention from faculty at some of the CAT-taking schools was that if the basics are right, the pattern change should not affect any aspirant. “Candidates should stop worrying about Sections and just concentrate on getting a hang on overall performance,” advised a faculty member.

Some of the changes have also been brought about to decrease the dependence on short cuts, which is a forte of coaching centres.  The idea is that those who do not have the means to join a coaching class, can also hope to do well.

Prof Rammohan says that for the next four days it would be ideal to just concentrate on what and how one has prepared so far. “Don’t learn anything new. Just do the Mocks. No point worrying about anything else.”