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Business News/ Education / News/  CAT FAQs: Filling application form? Here’s what to keep in mind
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CAT FAQs: Filling application form? Here’s what to keep in mind

CAT convener Neeraj Dwivedi of IIM Lucknow answers FAQs on IIM admissions and the CAT application form filling process

All IIMs have an admission policy document on their website mentioning what criteria they use in the selection process. Photo: Madhu Kapparath/HTPremium
All IIMs have an admission policy document on their website mentioning what criteria they use in the selection process. Photo: Madhu Kapparath/HT

The registration for the Common Admission Test (CAT) for admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) has begun and will continue till 20 September, 5pm. This year, the CAT convener is Prof Neeraj Dwivedi of IIM Lucknow. Below he responds to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertaining to IIM admissions and the CAT form filling process. Edited excerpts:

What are some of the common mistakes made by students while filling the forms which can be avoided?

Particular care should be taken on data related to academic qualifications and work experience. IIMs use this data in addition to CAT scores for drawing a shortlist of candidates. Any mistakes here are likely to have negative consequences. It is advised that candidates keep all the documents required to be uploaded ready and adhere to the file size limits. They should also keep all information handy before filling in the form and do a final check of all the particulars entered before making payment.

What are some of the common mistakes made by students while filling the forms which can be avoided?

Particular care should be taken on data related to academic qualifications and work experience. IIMs use this data in addition to CAT scores for drawing a shortlist of candidates. Any mistakes here are likely to have negative consequences. It is advised that candidates keep all the documents required to be uploaded ready and adhere to the file size limits. They should also keep all information handy before filling in the form and do a final check of all the particulars entered before making payment.

Candidates have enough time to fill the application form carefully. After the initial registration, the application form can be completed in multiple steps. We advise the candidates to have a look at the registration guide and video available on CAT website.

They should also look at the FAQ section of the website, which covers most of the commonly encountered doubts by candidates.

What are some factors to keep in mind while appearing for a computer-based test?

The computer-based exam is no different from a paper-pen exam. No special preparation is required. However, candidates should acquaint themselves to the user interface and navigation by going through the mock test, which will be available on the CAT website in due course of time. Going through the mock test will enable them to be familiar with the navigation and they will not waste time on familiarising themselves with the interface during the test.

Also, candidates should know that the three sections of the test are individually timed for one hour each. That is, the test will automatically move to the next section once a candidate spends an hour in a section. Further, a candidate cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. This means that candidates should perform well in all three sections of CAT. Weakness in one section cannot be compensated with strength in the other section. They should also remember that some questions in the test will not be of multiple choice-type. Instead, these would require answers to be typed on the screen.

How important are CAT scores in the overall selection process? What factors can possibly compensate for a slightly low CAT score?

Most IIMs do not give importance to candidates’ prior academic performance in school and college. IIMs, however, weigh work experience. Further, performance in personal interview and WAT/GD also has its importance. Thus, candidates with lower CAT scores have chances to get into IIMs using these factors to compensate.

How are candidates graded on their work experience?

This is done at the level of individual IIMs and varies from one IIM to another. Candidates would need to visit an individual IIM’s website for more details. All of them have an admission policy document on their website mentioning what criteria they use and how much they weigh the various factors in the selection process.

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Published: 22 Aug 2017, 08:00 PM IST
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