Common Admission Test: Extra time = happy aspirants

Most of the applicants who appeared for the exam yesterday lauded the exams for being conducted smoothly and the additional 30 mins given for answering the paper

The Common Admission Test 2016 (CAT), an important entry point for those seeking admissions for an MBA degree, was held yesterday. Considering the number of changes introduced to the CAT this year, students had expected a very difficult paper.

Most students found difficulty in attempting the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LDRI) section. File pic for representationMost students found difficulty in attempting the Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LDRI) section. File pic for representation

But, they were relieved to see a decent number of approachable questions in the question paper. Many applicants added that extra time in this year’s paper (170 minutes instead of 140 minutes, like in 2014) helped them in giving more time to important questions.

Some glitches were also reported at a handful of centres, but students did not complain about the loss of time. Most of the applicants who appeared for the exam yesterday appreciated the quick candidate verification process, and lauded the exams for being conducted smoothly.

Difficult sections
Out of the 100 questions divided between three sections—Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) and Quantitative Aptitude—most students found difficulty in attempting the LRDI section.

“Overall, this was the hardest section of the test, and only those with a very strong background in mathematics could attempt maximum questions. Anyone who attempted four out of eight sets is safe,” said Ravi Handa, a mentor and expert in this field. He added that overall the paper had more or less the same difficulty level as last year.

“The surprise this year was the high number of Non Multiple Choice Questions (Non MCQs) across the three sections. Almost one third of the questions were non MCQ (33 questions out of 100), which would contribute to increasing the difficulty level of the paper and would have put the brakes on all those who take chances and mark answers based on random guesses,” said Prashanth Nair, director of TIME in Mumbai.

Mixed reactions at IIM-A
This year, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) conducted the examination with CAT testing agency Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and the changes brought into the exam received mixed reactions. While most candidates complained about the LRDI section, there were other problematic areas as well.

“Apart from LRDI, the verbal ability section also had many Non MCQs, which cut our chances of attempting the questions. Even the quantitative aptitude section had some tricky questions,” said one of the candidates. While close to 2.19 lakh students had registered for the CAT examinations this year, it is still not clear how many finally appeared for the paper.

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