CAT kicks off with 4,066 candidates appearing on the first day
The Common Admission Test 2013 (CAT) got off to a smooth start across seven centres here on Wednesday. The online test, which is being conducted in 40 cities over 20 days, is the gateway to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top B-schools in the country.
Though the first day is traditionally a lean one, the Koramangala centre for the test appeared to be a preferred one as the others, apart from one in Malleswaram, were located on the outskirts of the city. Many were convinced of landing a seat in an IIM due to the drop in registrations for the test across the country.
MBA seat aspirants like Koustubhi Dutta from Kolkata, who is an engineering graduate and is working, called the drop in registrations “a positive and welcome development”. It will reduce competition, she said, but maintained that the IIMs will continue having high cut-offs to ensure that only the best get through.
Nipunn V, a final-year B.Tech. student, said, “The job market has been hit by recession, which is the reason MBA is losing its sheen. But the top colleges seem to do well with placements.”
Ms. Dutta added, “Though there are many private colleges mushrooming in India, the placement scenario is very poor, which according to me is the reason for the dip. Also, career preferences have changed over the years.”
Commenting on the increasing trend of working professionals with an experience of two or more years registering for CAT, Divya Dinesh, a final-year BBM student from Jyothi Nivas College, who plans to specialise in HR, said, “Coaching centres for CAT preparation do not cater to students as much as they do for those with professional experience.”
On the other hand, working professionals like Shaliki Sharma, said those with work experience would have enough practical knowledge of how the industry operates. “But an MBA degree will help me in theoretical understanding,” she said.
Among those who wrote the test were budding entrepreneurs. Ayeesha Khanna, who hails from New Delhi and is a final-year student at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, plans to venture into advertising and marketing. She said, “I wish to be an entrepreneur someday. The management education is just the right training I need. The Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, is my dream destination.”
Meanwhile, coaching centre T.I.M.E, in its comments on the first day of the exam, said the paper sprang no surprises as far as the pattern was concerned. “With regard to the composition of the paper itself, many students felt that the paper was doable, in the moderate level of difficulty.
Test takers felt that those who are strong with core concepts in the test areas would have been able to do better,” the centre said.
Test provider Prometric said a total of 4,066 candidates appeared on the first day of CAT.
A release from it added that there are no scheduled tests on Thursday, and testing will resume on October 18.