CAT calls, but don’t panic

CAT calls, but don’t panic

New Delhi: Akash Chawla, 21, is juggling two worlds as he prepares for an internal assessment, due on Friday at his university, and the Common Admission Test (CAT) for the Indian Institutes of Management on Sunday.

First-timer Chawla, a bachelor of technology student at the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, devotes 4-5 hours a day for CAT. “Time management is at the core of it—how to do things fast and efficiently," he says.

An estimated 290,000 students are expected to write the test this year, against 230,000 students last year. For most, the biggest fear is the surprise element.

The Last two years have seen substantial changes in the test’s pattern. Experts say it is moving closer to the Graduate Management Admission Test—a standardized test for admission to business schools in the US and a few business schools in India—format.

“First, the number of questions dropped from 123 to 75 in the last two years and second, the time allotted has gone up from 2 hours to 2.5 hours," Shiva Kumar, director (research and development and academics) at Career Launcher, a CAT coaching firm, says.

Qualitatively, the questions stress more on analytical skills than English, says Kumar.?Successful students agree. “CAT is now more about judging your thought process," says Sobhanjeet Rath, a student at Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies.

Kumar who coaches students to bell the proverbial CAT, says they need to identify easy questions first and try scoring at least 40%. “Students must go in there to get at least 110 (out of 300). That should get them calls."

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