Its official now. The Common Admission Test (CAT) of the seven indian institutes of Management (IIMs Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shilong) is going to be a Computer Based Test (CBT) from the year 2009 onwards.
This was expected as number of management aspirants taking this exam has been increasing ever since 2003 from 85,000 to nearly 3,00,000 in 2008. With growing student aspirations to undertake management education the number of candidates appearing for CAT has been increasing manifold. In order to accommodate this massive increase, the IIMs have decide to undertake the CBT.
It is not yet clear that what would be the format of the online test as of now, whether it would be Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) based on the lines of GRE and GMAT or Computer Based Test (CBT). This would be clear once IIMs give some information on the same.
The test will be conducted in a window of about 10 days sometime at the end of the calendar year. CBT CAT will be a candidate-friendly test in terms of flexibility in the selection of test date, ease of registration process, better physical environment and test experience, and enhanced security in terms of biometric identification of candidates and video monitoring.
The CBT is natural culmination of the modernization that CAT has undergone. In the late 160s, multiple chose question (MCQ), and educational testing innovation, was introduced for the first time in the entrance examinations of IIMs. Later, in the late 1980s, another technology feature was introduced in the form of optical machine reading (OMR) of the answer-sheets. Now CAT is poised to take a CBT format comparable to the existing tests such as GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL but at substantially lower cost.