The computer-based debut of the Common Aptitude Test-2009, which has had a jerky run and was characterised by a number of upsets, is nearing a close.

Prometric, the computer firm which is conducting CAT this year, said on Tuesday that candidates who had not been able to take the examination even till December 8, which was the extended date for the exam, would be accommodated in the coming weeks. The website of the IIMs states that within a fortnight a date will be announced for all the candidates who could not take the examination.

Despite the ordeal of the examination nearing a close, candidates are still unable to rest easy. Worries are rampant that viruses that marred the examination procedure will also affect test evaluations. According to Prometric, the ongoing reconciliation processes to date had verified that no results had been deleted or modified by a virus attack.

Another widespread concern is about the marking scheme which has not been divulged. The practical guide to CAT-2009 states: “The test consists of multiple choice questions that evaluate a candidate’s quantitative, verbal, logical and data interpretive abilities. There are three sections and about 60 to 70 questions in the test. There is no penalty for questions that are left un-attempted and negative points will be given for wrong answers.”

TIME director Ulhas Vairagkar said: “The CAT exam is usually accompanied by an instruction sheet which specifies the marking scheme, quantum of negative marking and sectional cut-offs if any. A student often attempts questions on the basis of marks allotted for a question.”

This time there were no guidelines for the marking scheme. How the examination will be evaluated has students worrying.

Explaining the method for evaluation, CAT-2009 convenor Satish Deodhar said: “The marking scheme is similar to last year’s CAT. The evaluation will be very similar to the manner in which GMAT, GRE and TOEFL are evaluated. All of these are multi-form tests and CAT too has become a multi-form exam as it was conducted over many slots across several days. Psycho-metricians will award scores to the performance of each form and then do a comparative analysis of the scores of all the forms.”

Another student who appeared for CAT-2009 said: “Some other management exams also do not divulge the marking scheme. But it always helps to be aware how one will be marked.”

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