No more MCQs, direct answers to be typed in CAT from this year

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Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

The Common Admission Test (CAT) — one of the most popular MBA entrance examinations of the country — will undergo several changes from this year.  Besides increase in the time of the exam a new section will be added from this year. The CAT admission committee has decided to add a new section to the test on data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR), apart from quantitative aptitude (QA) and verbal and reading comprehension (VRC) sections.

“Last year, data interpretation (DI) was a part of QA and logical reasoning was part of VRC. However, the number of questions from each section will remain the same as last year. The decision has been taken since the three sections are supposed to test different abilities of the candidates,” said CAT 2015 convener Tathagata Bandopadhyay, who is a professor at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad.

Candidates will be allotted 10 more minutes to write the paper. The duration of the examination has also been increased from 170 to 180 minutes this year.

“The reason behind increasing the duration by 10 minutes is to allot equal time (60 minutes) to each sections. This year, the students will be given exactly an hour to complete each section. The test will automatically move to the next section once a candidate spends an hour on one segment. Also, a candidate cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a particular portion. This is another change from the last year’s test. Till last year, there was no such time stipulation,” added Bandopadhyay.

Another major change in the examination process would be the introduction of written answers. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple-choice (MCQ) type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen. Till last year, CAT was entirely based on MCQs where students had to select the correct option or options.

“We have decided to introduce a few questions which will require candidates to solve the problems and key-in the correct answer(s) instead of just selecting the right options among the given choices. This year, we are planning to introduce this to reduce the scope for guess work,” Bandopadhyay said. Candidates will also be able to use basic on-screen calculator for computation this year.

This year, the test will be held across 136 cities comprising 650 test sites on the same day and in two sessions. Tutorials to understand the format of the examination will be available on the CAT website from October 15.
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