Throughout the country, only 4,429 students attempted the exam on the first day

The Common Admission Test (CAT), the gateway to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other B-schools, recorded thin attendance as the exam began on Thursday in 61 test centres across 36 cities.

IIM Kozhikode is conducting CAT this year, which will go on till November 6.

The results are expected to be announced on January 9.

Testing services provider Prometric, in an official statement, said 4,429 candidates registered for CAT on Day 1. “There are no scheduled tests tomorrow, and testing will resume on Saturday, October 13.”

The test was conducted in seven centres in Karnataka, all in Bangalore. As expected, they were largely empty with most students choosing a later date for their exam as a precautionary measure. In one or two centres, there was no afternoon session.

The paper consisted of two sections with 30 questions each. As announced, the first section was quantitative ability (QA)/data interpretation (DI) and the second was verbal ability (VA)/logical reasoning (LR). Each section was allotted 70 minutes, with a total of 140 minutes for each paper. The students were given a 15 minute tutorial to familiarise them with the test.

Most students who attempted the test on Thursday termed QA as difficult and VA as easy. Deepak C. said, “This is the first time I’m attempting CAT. Quantum was a little difficult.” Santosh U., a working professional, felt the exam was tough overall as he was not fully prepared.

Coaching centres agreed that the difficulty levels had increased. Sai Kumar, director, T.I.M.E., Bangalore, said: “The quality of the question paper has gone up significantly.” However, he said the pattern had largely remained the same.

A press note from VistaMind said: “There has also been a gradual shift away from arithmetic to algebra, geometry and some higher maths.”

As for the second section, reading comprehension (RC) passages were approximately 400 to 600 words long. “This allowed students to save time, which could be spent on VA/LR. Not all RC passages were the same for all students. As per last year’s pattern, there were three passages with 10 questions overall.”

A word of caution

T.I.M.E. has a word of caution for the students taking the test in the slots from Monday: “Students who were carrying only their college ID cards were denied entry, unless it is supplemented by an ATM/credit/debit card bearing the student’s name, as announced on”


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