IIM CAT goes online, minor glitches on day one

The Common Admission Test (CAT 2009) of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) was conducted for the first time as an online test across the country today and some technical glitches were reported from various centres though, overall, things went off well.

"As a result of isolated technical issues some candidates are being rescheduled and provided a new appointment via email and SMS," Mr Soumitra Roy, Managing Director, Prometric India, which has been selected by the IIMs to deliver the computer-based test.

Mr Roy did not give details about the number of centres and candidates affected by the glitches.

"The CAT 2009 has certainly not been cancelled in any of the test centres. In fact, thousands of tests were successfully delivered in hundreds of test centres throughout India. To accommodate the maximum number of candidates, Prometric and IIMs delayed the start of the morning session by about half an hour," he added.

More than 2.41 lakh candidates have registered for the CAT this year, slightly less than the number of students who had appeared for the prestigious examination last year.

The test will be held over a ten-day period upto December 7, with two sessions every day. It was conducted in the paper-and-pencil format for the last 33 years.

Meanwhile, the IIMs have made it clear to the candidates that disclosing, publishing, reproducing, transmitting, storing, or facilitating transmission and storage of the contents of the CAT or any information therein in whole or part thereof in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronically or mechanically for any purpose, shall be in violation of the Indian Contract Act, the Copyright Act and the Information Technology Act.

"Such actions and/or abetment thereof as aforementioned may constitute a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term up to three years and fine up to Rs. two lakhs. Candidates who want to appear for CAT have to agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement at the time of the test," the IIMs said in a disclaimer on the CAT website.

It also said computer based testing is a proven and reliable process that is administered to tens of millions of people each year.

"As with paper and pencil testing, or virtually every other human endeavor, a very small number of problems could occur that might prevent a test from being delivered and/or a result from being generated. In the unlikely event this does occur, every effort will be made to correct the problem, up to and including the administration of another test," it added.

The CAT is a pre-requisite for admission to various management programmes conducted by the elite IIMs, including their flagship two-year Post-Graduate Programmes (PGP) in Management. Many other institutions also use the CAT scores to finalise admissions to their management programmes.

The examination is being conducted in 32 Indian cities through 105 secure specially-prepared computer-based testing centres.

The seven IIMs are located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore and Shilling.

Four more IIMs are due to start functioning from the academic session 2010-11 at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Rohtak in Haryana. Two others in Uttarakhand and Rajasthan will be set up the following year.

The CAT score cards will be available on the CAT website from January 22, 2010.

Given the huge numbers of students who appear for the examinations in comparison to the 2000-odd seats on offer at the IIMs for their flagship PGP, CAT has acquired the reputation of being the toughest entrance test worldwide for business schools.


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