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Home » Detail about CAT Exam

Detail about CAT Exam

CLICK HERE : Expert Suggestions on Computer Based CAT : 2014 - 2015


Test Duration and Pattern

The duration of the test is 2 hours and 30 minutes including initial 15 minute tutorial. No breaks will be given during the test. The test consists of questions that evaluate a candidate’s quantitative, verbal, and logical & data interpretation abilities. Therefore, there are a total of three sections in the test. There will be about 60 questions in the test.

At the test venue, each candidate will be seated at a desk with a computer terminal and he/she will be provided with a scratch paper for calculations. After the test, candidate must leave the scratch paper at the desk. Rough work cannot be done on any other paper/sheet, as nothing will be allowed inside the testing room.

Disclaimers Regarding Conduct of CAT

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, 1872 and/or the Copyright Act, 1957 and/or the Information Technology Act, 2000. 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.

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.

How to tackle the online CAT-2010

The most pressing question on the minds of the students is 'How do I tackle the Online CAT?' However, the most obvious thing that one notices in the question is the emphasis on the 'Online' aspect more than the one on 'CAT'. Well the answer to this question is to keep it simple and not to worry about the 'Online' format as much as the 'content' of the paper.

One can get familiar with the Online format through the "CAT 2010 Practice Test" on http://catiim.in/ and through online mock tests.

The key to doing well on CAT has always been

1) Sound preparation

2) Getting the Basics right

3) Plenty of practice on Sectional Tests

4) Taking a good number of Full Length Mock CATs (Online) simulating all possibilities

5) Self-belief

'Sound preparation' encompasses looking at questions from previous years' CATs and understanding the 'syllabus' of CAT. First, one should make a list of all ics/areas on which questions have been asked in Quantitative, Logic & Data Interpretation and the Verbal section.

Then, one should assess whether one is 'proficient', 'average' or 'needs improvement' in each of those areas. The areas that fall in the third category is what one should look at quickly addressing rather than hoping that questions from that area do not come in CAT2010!

The IIMs, through CAT, test the students on their understanding of basic concepts and this is where 'Getting the basics right' plays a vital role. Often students look for the toughest material to practice without realising that their understanding of concepts as simple as LCM & HCF is not as good as they think it is.

CAT has often trapped students with simple and elegant questions that probe into their understanding of the basics. A quick recap of all the chapters in Quantitative and the concepts involved in each of them would go a long way in rectifying this.

One key aspect of CAT has been its unpredictability in terms of the pattern, the question types, areas emphasised and the difficulty level. However, CAT 2010 has eased the unpredictability to an extent by mentioning the pattern beforehand (3 sections with a total of 60 questions).

Students should try to strengthen their performance in each section in terms of speed and accuracy by practicing on a good number of sectional tests. Students should also ensure that they get enough practice of all kinds of full length papers through a comprehensive Mock series program.

This ensures that one is exposed to relevant and plausible question types which increases one's capacity to deal with any surprise in CAT2010. However taking lots of mocks is not the only preparation strategy - analysing the mocks after the test is over and learning from ones mistakes is, in fact, a key step, which students often overlook.

Finally, the most important ingredient in tackling CAT 2010 successfully is self-belief - the conviction that the effort that one has put in over the past months will yield positive results.

Constant worrying about the end result only makes the task much more difficult to accomplish.

So keep your spirits high and elevate your level of preparation in the next one month leading upto CAT. Success will belong to those who can follow this advice religiously and keep up their belief quotient.

About CAT

CAT mandates that the test taker perform equally well in all sections of the test. It is not sufficient to get a good score in the test as a whole - the candidate also has to perform well in each of the three/ four sections of the CAT paper. When we talk of performing equally well, we have to look at it as a relative measure. Among the one lakh plus candidates expected to take CAT this year, you should be able to score a certain number of marks more than the average in each of the selections in order to qualify. Hence you have to aim at crossing a minimum cut - off mark in each section to be eligible to get a call for the Group Discussion (GD) and Interview stage.

The minimum cut-off required in each section could vary from IIM to IIM and also for each of the other 30+ institutes that use CAT scores for their selection process.

It would be fair to assume that the cut - off scores required for many of the other institutes would be slightly lower than those required for the IIMs.

If proper planning is not done, there is a danger that one may actually get much more than the total minimum required marks to be eligible for the IIMs but one may not cross the cutoffs in a particular section. This brings us to the basic rule that applies to the CAT paper - do reasonably well in every section rather than concentrating on and doing extremely well in every section rather than concentrating on and doing extremely well in one/ two sections. Getting a very high score in one or two sections at the expense of the others would fetch you nothing and defeats the very purpose for which you are taking the test!

The key to crack the CAT exam is to keep your cool and maintain your composure during the entire length of the test. This may sound deceptively simple but is easier said than done. The pressure levels would be high, yes, but you have to use your adrenaline to work faster and smarter. There is no point getting bogged down at any point in the paper. CAT does not require/ expect you to attempt all or even nearly all the questions. It is test of speed but not only of speed. Accuracy is needed too!

It is no great secret that the test itself comprises a significant number of questions that are not very difficult. The knack, then, would be to maximize your score by completing the easy ones rather than getting bogged down by the more difficult ones especially since, no extra marks are awarded for solving the more difficult questions.

Even within each section, there is very clear need for a planned strategy of attempting questions. Unless a clear cut timed strategy for attempting the test is in place, there is every chance that one may miss out on very easy questions which may be at the end of the section and instead end up solving all the difficult questions that may have been given at the beginning. It is imperative to realize that there is no rule that says that the difficult questions will be at the end of the section nor is there a rule that says that easy questions are at the beginning of each section. Then why should there be any discrimination while attempting the questions? The common tendency among students is to start the section from the very first question. Much as it may be the best starting point, it loses its relevance if all the questions in a particular section are not read. By not reading a question or a set of questions, one is obviously at a disadvantage when compared to a student who carefully plans out the time limits within each section and ensures that he or she picks and solves the easy questions given in each section.

One important point to note for the CAT exam is that, there are no individual cutoffs for the areas within a section. The instructions on the front page of the question booklet of CAT clearly specify that you should do equally well in all sections. Hence, depending on your comfort level in each of the areas, you should allocate the time for the areas within a section.

There is negative marketing in the CAT paper and for every wrong answer a certain score is deducted from your total. The IIMs do not disclose the way they calculate the negative marks for the wrong answers.

One Golden Rule that needs to be followed is to ensure that there is no question which is unread at the end of the test. This will ensure that all possible easy questions have been attempted or at least looked at. Unfortunately, CAT does not have any special notations pointing to the easy questions and neither do they scream out at you from the paper. It is up to you to find them and make sure you do most of them. The easy ones could be anywhere - at the beginning, in the middle or at the end - just about anywhere.

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