Candidates who lost their booked slots for the Common Admission Test (CAT) due to technical glitches are now apprehensive about getting a slot at the centre or date of their choice.

‘Prometric’ which is conducting the online test for admission to IIMs this year is unable to give complete assurance. It is only promising that priority will be given to retain the same test location and the best available time slot.

“It only means we don’t even know where our centres will be and it’s unfair we are chasing time slots than concentrating on preparation,” remarks a student. Many feel the circumstances are not ideal to take such an important test considered to be gateway to good careers.

“We are not in the right frame of mind and even one wrongly answered question can decide fates,” says a student. In fact, top CAT trainers like TIME have demanded cancellation of the computer based test for this year given the huge deficiencies.

‘Unfair advantage’

In an open letter to IIMs, P. Vishwanath, Director, TIME, said that online test has given umpteen problems to candidates apart from providing unfair advantage to many. “Bugs in the testing software led to some students getting extra time. When every minute counts, some students get unfair advantage,” he said.

Repeat of questions

Repeat of questions is another major concern. “Aspirants from day three are at a distinct advantage because by simply mugging up QA questions from last few years’ CAT papers they can increase their attempts in QA to as high as 17-18 questions out of 20,” says Gautam Puri of Career Launcher. This is a disadvantage to those taking the exam on the first day.

Improper guidance

Students also allege that improper guidance about the test interface (END button on Review screen and deselecting an answer already marked) has also led to premature submission of the test by many. Moreover, poor levels of invigilation were also leading to examination malpractices, they claim.

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