The Common Admission Test or CAT, the passport of making it to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will be held across 32 cities same as last year but the number of test centres will be lower. This is because of the extended CAT 2010 exam window.
The exam went computer-based for the first time last year and was held for 10 days but it was riddled with many problems especially in the first three days. US based testing agency Prometric was roped in to conduct the computer-based CAT.
“The testing window now has been extended to offer students a greater choice of dates. We will reduce the number of CAT centers per city to ensure a much better student-experience. We can cut down the number of centers because we will be holding CAT across more number of days,” said Soumitra Roy, MD, Prometric India while talking to the media here today.
Prometric is also finalising multiple technology partners to execute CAT 2010 unlike last year, when NIIT was its sole IT partner.
“We are taking every step possible to ensure a successful administration for the CAT 2010 candidates. To avert potential overlaps in schedule with college exams, Prometric has recommended an earlier testing period. The final dates and details on registration and scheduling will be announced officially by the IIMs”, he added.
Besides the eight IIMs, there are over 120 management schools registered with CAT that use the CAT score for admitting students.
While 2.16 lakh candidates could satisfactorily appear in the test during the 11-day testing window last year, over 7000 odd students took the test in January this year during the second phase as they could not take the exam in first phase due to virus attacks and hardware problems and had opted for a re-test.
Roy explained that the virus attacks that happened last year were because of usage of dated anti-virus software and unlicensed operating systems by many colleges. “We have also given a report to the IIMs on people who were trying to impersonate someone else’s biometrics,” he said.
The number of testing centres and technology partners will be finalised by the end of this month and the IIMs are expected to publish the first advertisement for the test by end of August.