To familiarise CAT aspirants with the online format of the examination, Prometric, entrusted with the task of conducting it, will soon be releasing a ‘practice test' paper.

The ‘practice test' has been designed to provide a comprehensive overview of what to expect on the day of the examination for admissions to Indian Institutes of Management.

“The practice test will be available on www.catiim.in. in about a couple of weeks to help familiarise candidates with the navigation and functionality of the CAT,” said Soumitra Roy, managing director of Prometric India.

There will be a tutorial followed by 12 sample questions in the practice test, and the candidates can take it as many times they wish. The sample questions in the practice test would, however, not be representative of the content or difficulty level of the actual test, he said.

“We came across several candidates last year who had some difficulty in handling the online mode of the CAT test due to lack of exposure,” he said while highlighting the need for the practice test.

He said the practice test has been designed with relevant inputs from the IIMs.

The tutorial will explain features like navigation around the screen, question number, on-screen timer, next button, previous button, mark button, review button and quit test button.

The CAT 2010 online test will be conducted in a staggered format starting from October 27 and ending on November 24.

The last date for registration for the test is September 30.

Assuring that CAT 2010 will be free of glitches and problems that had been encountered last year, Roy said they have even ensured back-ups in case of any hitch.

CAT 2009, held for the first time under the online format, was marred by technical glitches leading to the re-scheduling of the examinations.

Roy said they are preparing 147 labs across 78 centres to conduct the CAT test.

“The guarantee is that we will test the candidates within the testing window period,” he said.

He said a set of videos have been also uploaded in YouTube for the benefit of candidates. The videos contain registration and scheduling, test day procedure, test format and CAT scoring process among others. He said they are halfway through the registration process and it has been “absolutely flawless” so far.