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Over two lakh CAT candidates

T. Ramachandran
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Test to be held in two sessions daily between October 22 and November 18; there are three centres in Kerala.

More than two lakh candidates, including a few thousand from Kerala, are expected to appear for this year's Common Admission Test (CAT) between October 22 and November 18 in their bid to gain entry to the country's 13 Indian Institutes of Management and other institutions.

As the test window period opens up, those who have chosen to appear for the test in Kerala will troop to one of three available venues to take the tough online test that will possibly open the gates for their entry to the country's IIMs, including IIM-K in the State. Within the test window period, they have to appear either for the 10 a.m. test session or the 3.15 p.m. one, depending on the time and date chosen. The three centres available in Kerala are: All India Institute Of Local Self Government, Corporation Building, Kacheripady Junction, Chittoor Road, Kochi; Sree Narayana Gurukulam College of Engineering, Kadayiruppu, Kolencherry; and the SNES Institute of Management Studies and Research, Chethukadavu, Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode. This time, the CAT website provides maps of the test centre locations along with directions about how to reach there.

The number of candidates who had registered themselves for CAT 2011 country-wide totalled about 2.05 lakh when the registrations ended at midnight on October 4. The majority of the candidates, about 73 per cent, are male and 27 per cent female. There has been a marginal increase in the number this year, compared to the 2.04 lakh last year.

In Kerala, the number of students who appeared for CAT had touched about 4,300 in 2008 before declining to about 2,400 in 2009. Last year about 2,700 students had taken the test at centres in the State.

Candidates should check their test centre location, travel time and traffic conditions in advance, and plan their travel accordingly, advised Soumitra Roy, Managing Director, Prometric India, which is responsible for the actual conduct of the test. “A map with travel directions is available for all test centres on the CAT website. Candidates should also get all their documents in place a day or two before the test day to avoid any last-minute stress,” he said.

Video

A video on CAT test day procedures has been made available on YouTube.

Candidates have been advised to reach the test centre at least a hour and a half ahead of the test session — those who have opted for the morning session should be there by 8.30 a.m. and those who have opted for the afternoon session, by 1.45 p.m. Once they arrive at the venue they have to look out for signboards and staff wearing official IIM CAT jackets, who will provide any assistance required.

Candidates must bring their CAT 2011 admit card and requisite photo identification the details of which have been listed on the official site.

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and differently abled candidates have to bring other documents as well. Candidates will be allowed to check in for the test only after undergoing security checks. Friends or relatives accompanying them will not be let into the test centre.

The check-in procedure includes image and fingerprint capture.

Change in format

There is a change in the test format this year, which the number of sections being restricted to two instead of three.

And candidates will not have the option of switching from one section to another in the course of the 140-minute test. They will have 70 minutes to complete each of the Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning sections. Each section will have 30 multiple-choice questions.

Practice test

“All candidates are encouraged to take the practice test on www.catiim.in and familiarise themselves with the exam screen layout, navigation tools like ‘Next', ‘Previous', ‘Mark', etc., review screen and on-screen timer. This would also enable them to understand the concept of the timed sections and alleviate any apprehension they may have regarding the new format,” said Mr. Roy.

“Prior to the commencement of the actual test, there will be a 15-minute tutorial that candidates are advised to go through,” he said.

If there is a power outage or any technical disruption the candidates will be able to resume the test from the point at which they had stopped because the data will be backed up.

If the test cannot be conducted on a particular day they will be contacted and the test rescheduled within the testing window period.

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