Come November 16 and about 2.76 lakh aspirants across the country will appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2008, rated as one of the world’s most demanding entrance examinations for any graduate institute.
CAT is the stepping stone for MBA aspirants to get admitted in reputed management schools of India.
Apart from the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode and Shillong, CAT is also a mandatory entrance examination for several other leading institutes like Kirloskar Institute of Management, Mudra Institute of Communication (MICA) Ahmedabad, Nirma Institute of Management, S.P. Jain Institute, TAPAI and several others.
Some people feel that CAT is more of a rejection process than a selection process. ‘It rejects those who can’t make their minds work at break-neck speed for two and a half hours non-stop’.
The entrance exam, designed to test a student’s managerial aptitude, has seen an increase of 23 percent in the total number of applications this year and nearly 40 colleges have added their names to the list of colleges that decide admissions on CAT scores.
With a 15 percent rise from last year’s 2.4 lakh and an acceptance offer to just one in 138 candidates this year against one in 120 last year, CAT 2008 promises to be bigger and better.
From the NCR region alone, more than 50,000 students will appear for the entrance exam.
The increase in the number of students this year has forced the IIMs to arrange for more test centres. IIM Lucknow, which coordinates the exam in the NCR, has setup about 60 centres to handle around 59,000 students.
IIM-A is handling over 51,000 applications, IIM Bangalore is handling over 60,000 applications and IIM Calcutta would take care of over 50,000 students.
Of the 2.76 lakh candidates taking the exam this year, nearly 54,000 are women.
Arks Srinivas, Director, Triumphant Education, a well-known coaching institute for CAT, says, “There has been an increase of 20 percent in the enrolment of women candidates for CAT. This is mainly due to the availability of opportunities for women in sectors such as finance, human resource and marketing.”
“Of the 54,000 women, at least 13 percent have a chance of getting a call. Even though the success rate of women in IIMs has not seen a remarkable rise, the 100-odd institutes which consider CAT scores may have pushed the number of women applicants”, Srinivas further said.
Neha Shukla, an aspirant, said, “I attempted CAT last year, but I did not score well in the Data Interpretation (DI) section. I have improved a lot in that section and I am determined to secure a seat in one of the IIMs.”
The CAT committee had received more than 2.9 lakh applications this year. The number, however, comes down substantially after a screening of applications. This year, more than 7,000 aspirants have been disqualified from CAT due to minor errors in the application forms.
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