July 17, 2010

The Effects of Early CAT- The Predictions

As we all know that, the Common Admissions Test (CAT) 2010 will begin in last week of October, a month earlier than the usual November-end. After CAT 2009, CAT has lost its charm but still, aspirants are hoping for the best this time. We all are expecting that this year the MBA aspirants well face glitch free CAT. They will have a better experience of CAT unlike previous Year. As there are a lot of changes in CAT 2010 including early schedule unlike previous year (2009). There are a lot of predictions about early CAT.
For e.g.;
How does an early CAT 2010 affect preparation of aspirants?
What will be pattern of questions?
Will it be easier paper?

And many more…..
Here are some predictions by the experts.

1. Lesser Time To get Prepared to Bell The CAT –  As the CAT will start in OCTOBER this year, preparation time has been reduced by a whole month. Which means that, the students will have to advance their ‘final push’ by about 30 days and concentrate more on studies now. Coaching institutes will hasten to finish their theory classes and move to a full-test practice schedule sooner. If you are person with a job and juggling your CAT preparation with a fulltime job, you should be doing now what you otherwise would have done after one month.
Let's see the other face of coin, the ‘preopening of 30 days’ is more psychological than real. The exam seems like it has been proponed, but you could also be taking the test after November 15, in which case your preparation schedule would be the same as in previous years.
There is a high chance that when it comes to selecting a testing slot during CAT 2010 registration, a large number of applicants will try to book a slot closer to November 23 than to October 27. However, since the slots will have limited seats, there will be a rush to get the later slots and only a few lucky/early ones will get them. Late registrants will have to accept a slot closer to October 27. It would help to keep this in mind when planning your preparation. Those who will be able to get registered for exam on later dates, will have some extra time to get prepared well, but still you need to be careful too, as last year many students had reported that the test was very tough. So you need to be careful and prepared for any surprise too.
With the CAT being conducted earlier, the students are advised to take fewer simulated tests but ensure that the self-analysis between two tests is rigorous enough to help you peak at the right time before the CAT.

2. Is CAT 2010 Going to be Easier – The plan for CAT 2010 will require Prometric and the IIMs to create 40 tests with a total of 2,400 questions (assuming 60 questions per paper as CAT 2009). Creating 2,400 questions of high difficulty is a humongous task and as the CAT has been outsourced to PROMETRIC with a purpose to free up faculty time in first place so it’s quiet less probable that the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) faculty is going to create them.  Professors at IIMs and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) already tend to have their hands full with consultancy projects and at most they may be involved in approving questions but not creating them. Which logically means that, the questions would largely be prepared by Prometric, which in according to experts’ opinion, doesn’t have the wherewithal to create 2,400 high-difficulty questions. So they will end up making an easier paper with replicated questions which will be more formula-based than logic-based.
Prometric, has however said earlier that they “work closely with IIM professors along with specially trained subject matter experts from other well-regarded Indian universities (for question creation). Each exam question is written, edited and reviewed in an iterative process. All modifications and approvals are tracked electronically in an audit trail.”
Experts imply that although this might be the stated process, it does not seem like it is practicably follow able. Mind you, this is just a speculative prediction, though an interesting one to ponder upon.

3. Frequent mock CATs – Even in the case of early CAT, coaching institutes are not going to reduce the number of mock CATs, but they would have to alter the schedule. With lesser time on their hands, one might see more working professionals sign-up for websites that offer online tests anytime and anyplace at one’s convenience rather than use coaching institute mock CATs which are held on scheduled dates.

4. More prep time for other entrance exams – Those appearing for CAT 2010 in the earlier slots will have a month or even more to prepare for the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) entrance test, Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) and Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET), the latter two of which usually take place in December. The most benefited ones will be those who have not had a satisfactory performance in the CAT and are setting their hopes on the next set of exams in line. SNAP has been scheduled on 19th December 2010 and IIFT on NOVEMBER 28th.

5. Shorter Time Span to buy other B-school forms – Business schools accepting CAT scores such as MDI Gurgaon or IMT Ghaziabad traditionally end their form sales about a week before the CAT exam date. This helps them sell more forms, even to candidates who otherwise might not buy them after experiencing a bad performance during the CAT. In previous years, these institutes have closed their form sales around November 20.
With the CAT 2010 starting on October 27, these b-schools will now have to stop selling forms in October itself. But still we should not forget that IMT, Ghaziabad start selling the forms again after CAT almost every year.

So the best advice for all the MBA aspirants is - Please study, and leave rest of the things for these about 100 precious  days. Everything will be alright. :) :) :)

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