Candidates who have lost their booked slots for the CAT due to closure of labs owing to technical glitches are apprehensive about getting a slot at their convenient centre on a convenient date.

Prometric, which has been entrusted with the job of conducting CAT online test by the IIMs this year is not giving total assurance to the candidates on this issue. Much to the amusement of candidates it is only saying that priority would be given to keep the same test location and provide the best available slot.

“It means we don’t even know where the centres would be. For such an importance test we are busy chasing the slots than concentrating on preparation. It is unfair,” says a student whose test was cancelled. Students are raising some concerning questions on their ability to take the test in such an atmosphere. In a crucial test like CAT considered by students as a gateway to good careers being in the right frame of mind is very important. “Even one wrongly answered question can decide on their fate,” says a trainer.

In fact, top CAT trainers like TIME have dem

Crashed servers leave CAT aspirants tense
anded the cancellation of computer based test for this year given the huge deficiencies. In an open letter to the IIMs, P. Vishwanath, Director, TIME said that online test has given umpteen problems to the candidates apart from providing unfair advantage to many. “Bugs in the testing software led to some students getting extra time for the test. In an exam where every minute makes a difference in scores and percentiles some students were getting unfair advantage over others,” he said.

Repeat of questions is a 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 extremely unfair to those who took the exam in the first few days.

There are several other issues that are questioning the very quality of the test and the image of IIMs. Students 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, unacceptably poor levels of invigilation were also leading to examination malpractices including copying.

Interestingly, IIMs have failed to address to these important issues raised by the aspirants while Prometric is only talking about rescheduling the slots.