10 Reasons Why the CAT Shouldn’t Scare You

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The CAT is now a computer-based test and students are already squirming in their seats with hesitation. How will the test be conducted? What should I expect from this new process? Here are 10 things you need to know about CAT:

1. CAT is a computer-based test (CBT) not an online test: The CAT will not be administered over the internet. The test will only be loaded on your computer and you will have to answer the test on it. You might even have access to scratch paper and pencil.

2. Same skill set, new approach: The skills required to answer the CAT remain the same — the ability to handle high-school level Math and English and work well under pressure. The level of difficulty of the questions remains the same. Brush-up your test-taking abilities and get used to taking tests on the computer in a controlled environment.

3. CAT will not shift to a GRE or GMAT type of pattern: CAT is going to be a computer-based test not a computer-adaptive test as is administered in the GRE and the GMAT. Most likely, Prometric ETS that makes the tests will take care of this.

4. You don’t need to be a computer geek: Almost everyone is familiar with a computer these days. However, for those who are still apprehensive, polishing your basic computer skills is all you need to ace the CAT. Practice taking tests in a controlled environment on a computer.

5. The CAT will remain unpredictable: Equip yourself to deal with contingencies. In the country CAT is still the most unpredictable and challenging test for admission to any postgraduate course. Do not expect shorter DIs and easier DI-LR sets.

6. Soon, most tests will be computer-based: Every year, the administrative offices at top institutes have to deal with an overwhelming number of applications. The stress on the administrative staff is tremendous and it is only a matter of time before every test becomes computer-based. Although state-level tests and XAT and FMS are paper-based, no one can rule out a change in the near future. Even the MAT has become computer-based from this year.

7. Every batch of students will have a different question paper: No particular group of students will have a competitive advantage over the other. There will be multiple sessions of tests over 10 days. No two centers have the same paper at different points of time. Do not choose a slot at the end of the 10-day period in the hope that the experiences of those answering the test before you will be of some help.

8. All sets are equally difficult: The sets although different, will have the same level of difficulty. This will be ensured by Prometric ETS. The CAT is about consistency; so be thoroughly prepared across all areas and sections.

9. CAT will remain a CBT: The IIMs have signed a deal with testing and assessment firm Prometric worth $40 million. The IIMs will soon have no role except getting the final scores from the company. Presuming that the number of applicants will consistently remain in lakhs for a few years, the CAT shall remain a CBT. Even if the process displays teething problems, the IIMs are likely to deal with the errors and computer failures rather than give up on the process entirely.

10. CAT for all: The CAT can be cracked by people from all backgrounds. You do not need to be an IITian or have the backing of a top-notch institute to ace the test. The CAT however does require that every student is well-prepared, committed and gives it the best shot possible.


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  • 3 comments ↓

    #1 Your Guide To Common Admission Test (CAT) | KoolKareers.com on 08.02.09 at 12:11 pm

    [...] per recent developments, CAT is scheduled to be a Computer based test from the year 2009. A student with a qualified Bachelor’s degree with CGPA or at least 50% [...]

    #2 What To Expect From CAT This Year | KoolKareers.com on 08.07.09 at 11:53 am

    [...] are flooded with questions that have been framed to intentionally bowl the student over. With CAT going online from this year the situation has become even more [...]

    #3 Online CAT: Preparation Strategy You Ought To Know | KoolKareers.com on 11.26.09 at 11:22 pm

    [...] study preparation for online CAT does not depend on the medium of CAT. Whether CAT is a computer-based test or a paper-based test, the basic nature of your preparation does not change. The CAT certainly [...]

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