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Updated: December 16, 2009 23:20 IST

CAT 2009 will not be scrapped: IIMs

Anita Joshua
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Students who appeared for the Common Admission Test (CAT) coming out of a centre in Bangalore.
The Hindu Students who appeared for the Common Admission Test (CAT) coming out of a centre in Bangalore.

This year’s computerised Common Admission Test (CAT), which was marred by technical glitches, will not be scrapped, the exam committee announced on Wednesday.

Despite the problems that candidates had in taking the first online Common Admission Test (CAT) for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), there is no move to revert to the pen-and-paper mode. And, neither will this year’s examination be scrapped.

This was announced by the CAT Committee here on Wednesday after a meeting with officials of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. Briefing journalists , IIM Ahmedabad director Samir Baruah said: “IIMs have decided to continue with the computer-based test for 2009. We also look forward to computer-based testing in future.”

According to the Committee, a fresh test will be held for those who genuinely had a problem with the online examination that ran into trouble at many centres across the country. Given the fact that some candidates – who may have done poorly in the online examination – are using the publicised glitches as a pretext for demanding a re-test, Committee members said the IIMs would put in place a system to identify the genuine cases.

As to whether the IIMs would revisit the contract with the American firm Prometric – which had been selected to conduct the online test – Mr. Baruah said the priority right now was to ensure that no candidate suffers owing to the problems that crept into CAT 2009. However, he did not rule out a review of the contract; stating that the entire test would be reviewed to ensure that such problems do not occur in future.

About the charge that the online examination had developed problems because of overload, Mr. Baruah said it had an in-built capacity to accommodate 3,40,000 candidates. And, only 2,40,000 candidates appeared for it.

Referring to data and feedback from students, site and audit reports, the Committee informed the Ministry that the problems faced by the students in the first edition of the online test varied from complaints of premature exit through ‘Exit/End’ button, slow speed of computers while reviewing and refreshing questions, rebooting of computers and connectivity disruptions besides missing graphics.

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