New CAT New RULES, Online CAT, CAT goes online with new rules to look out for

The Indian Institute(s) of Management (IIMs) finally decide to conduct the Common Admission Test (CAT) online. Almost three lakh students seeking admission into IIMs in November this year will be able to appear for the Common Admission Test online , as India's premier management institutes seek to transform the over three-decade-old examination system and provide more flexibility to IIM aspirants by adopting an internet-based system reports the Economic Times.

Sources close to the development revealed that besides modalities, the CAT committee is also considering an upward revision in the exam fees from Rs 1,300 for CAT 2008.Further, the candidates will no longer get a copy of their paper, a practice followed since 2003.

The online CAT test will be based on the GRE-GMAT format. All questions will have multiple options. The IIM (Indian Institutes of Management) and other premier business schools have reportedly agreed to conduct the online test for CAT.

According to IIM Sources, there could be at least three sets of question papers, which will be used in different cities during the CAT Online Test. There may not be any significant changes in the question pattern, but timing could be factor while conducting the online tests. The new computer-based test (CBT) will be embraced by IIMs across Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shillong, and will allow students to select a date convenient to them from a specified period of 10 days.

CBT CAT will be a candidate-friendly test in terms of flexibility in the selection of test date, ease of registration process, better physical environment and test experience, professor Amarnath Krishnaswamy of IIM Bangalore (IIM-B) told ET.

The new system is also expected to help the IIMs cope effectively with the increasing number of candidates every year. While around 95,000 candidates took CAT in 2003, the number rose to about 250,000 last year, reflecting a growth of over 163% and bringing the administrative system under severe pressure.

The incoming IIM-A admission chairperson Diptesh Ghosh said, “The CAT applicants will continue to have choices of 23 centres across the country. CAT applicants are growing by nearly 40,000 a year and computer-based test would make the task easier for CAT organisers and three lakh applicants this year.”

Besides the seven IIMs, which conduct the exams, the CAT results are also used by 124 other management institutions to enroll students.

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