CAT ’09 goes Online Are you ready to face the change?
What is the change?
Impact & preparation
How prepared are you?
CAT takes a cyber leap, to go online from 2009 BANGALORE/AHMEDABAD/KOLKATA: Almost three lakh students seeking admission into IIMs in November this year will be able to appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 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 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. Excerpt from notification released by IIM B on 27 April 2009. What is the Change?
A closer look at the facts
Interface : changes from a paper-pencil to Computer based
Conducted over ten days : implying different papers
Similar pattern of questions across various sets
Computer based test
You will be served questions on the screen: You can go back and forth
Format – not yet known
They can be scroll up and down or one by one questions
Impact & Preparation
Comfort with Computer
You could choose your time and location for taking the test. This is a first come first served booking model.
Book your slots as early as possible to get what you want !!
Sitting in front of the computer and taking a test can be tiring.
Build up the appetite for long sittings across different time slots.
Start preparation early to get used to the new format.
Start with short tests, move slowly to longer ones.
A lot of exercising would give the stamina to handle fatigue. It is like going to the GYM to tone up your muscles !!
If you are not comfortable in comprehending the navigation instruction, you would get bogged while taking the test.
Learn nuances of using the computer mouse for scrolling and clicking
Performance in Subjects
Impact: Data synthesis
Research again suggests that complex data become more complex if represented on the computer screens.
Comprehension drops a bit.
Complex/ lengthy data unlikley to appear in the CAT.
Practice link between computer and paper by solving more tests, puzzles.
Focus on the basics. Do not spend too much time on doing lengthy and complex data interpretation.
Impact: Concept Learning
Nothing changes really!! Get the basics right.
Focus on the basics. Do not waste your time doing very difficult and complex problems.
Use if possible "learning resources" from the web, to get used to the new medium
Performance in Subjects (Contd..)
Impact: Reading Speed & Comprehension
Research suggests that when there is involved reading on the Computer Screen, speeds drop by about 20 to 30 %. <more for those who are not used to working on the computers>
RC is likely to be shorter.
Reading speed is likely to be less critical compared to the past.
Use online material for reading e.g: e-paper, e-books.Shift as much as possible to practising on the web.
Get to do stuff that is relevant.
Do not focus on very long passages which check your reading speed, while practising for CAT.
Impact : Test Strategy
The test strategy would depend on the formats.
The strategy would differ with each format.
Practise – short tests, section wise, full length tests, proctored, different machines, different formats.
A sectional time limit, would reduce the "choice" of doing what you know best.
Build minimum benchmark skills in all sections.
Emphasis on mental calculation
Impact : Time Management
Little time to make the "do or leave decision", if questions appear one by one.
Scanning a test to choose questions becomes impossible.
Take different formats and analyse your performance across formats.
Time Management (Contd..)
Impact : Simulation
Taking it on the Computer and in a Computer Lab will make significant difference in performance.
Experience says that taking a in a simulated environment reduces the scores by atleast 30 %.
Make sure that you have taken sufficient tests outside "home" to gauge your performance better.
You would be handicapped if you do not experience a proctored environment.
Impact : Analysis of CAT
Limited scope for analysis, as there would be no test paper to be carried back home.
Nothing that you can do about it.You have to do all you can before the CAT.
How prepared are YOU? Check your preparedness with a Free Demo Test at: http://www.careerlauncher.com/ mba /online_cat/take_free_test.html