Students will be questioned in two sections instead of three

The Common Admission Test, the qualifying examination for admissions to the Indian Institutes of Management, will be held over a 20-day window, from October 22 to November 18.

More importantly, the IIMs have, in a release, announced two minor changes in the CAT 2011 pattern. First, it reduces the number of sections from three to two by simply re-arranging the existing sections. Students will be tested on two sections — Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. Previously, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning were a separate section comprising 20 questions each.

Secondly, while the total number of questions remains unchanged at 120, the IIMs have announced that the duration of the test will be 140 minutes against 135 in previous years. More critically, students will be forced to stick to section-wise time limits; each section will have to be completed in 70 minutes.

Unlike previous editions of CAT, where candidates could go back and forth between the three sections, now the test will be implemented sequentially.

As in previous years, a 15-minute tutorial will be provided before the start of the test. Further, in coming weeks, Prometric will release a practice test to provide candidates with a feel of the timed sections, as well as navigation and functionality of the actual test will be made available in the coming weeks. Professor Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT 2011 Convener, said: “Considerable effort has been invested in maintaining similar level of difficulty across papers. A small number of statistically and psychometrically validated questions are randomly inserted in each question paper as equating blocks. These will be used for assessing post-test equality across the days.”

More test centres

In addition to last year's 33 test locations, Bhilai, Jammu and Dehra Dun have been added to the list of centres. This will help in bringing CAT closer to the northern States of the country. Candidates will also be able to purchase CAT vouchers from 201 Axis Bank branches, an increase of 30 outlets, the release added. More details will be available on the website www.catiim.in by August 8.