The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test held in India. This test scores a person on the bases of quantitative ability, data interpretation, verbal ability and logical reasoning. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration programs.
The test is conducted every year by one of the IIM's based on a policy of rotation. In August 2011, it was announced that Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) would also use the CAT scores, instead of the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET), to select students for their management programmes from 2012-14 year. IIM-Ahmedabad will conduct CAT in the months of October/November
The Common Admission Test (CAT), like virtually all large-scale exams, utilises multiple forms, or versions, of the test. Hence there are two types of scores involved: a raw score and a scaled score.
The raw score is calculated for each section based on the number of questions one answered correctly, incorrectly, or left unattempted. Candidates are given +3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect answer. No points are given for questions that are not answered. The raw scores are then adjusted through a process called equating. Equated raw scores are then placed on a common scale or metric to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores. This process is called scaling.
Test Pattern and Duration
Since last two years, the structure of the test has undergone a few changes. It is predicted that the official conducting body- IIM Bangalore may change the test pattern of CAT 2016, based on their discretion. However, it is expected to be similar to the last year’s exam pattern. CAT is a computer based test which consists of 100 objective type questions.
There are 3 sections of the test are,
- Quantitative Ability (QA)
- Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC), and
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR).
The Quantitative Ability and Verbal& Reading Comprehension sections consist of 34 questions, whereas the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section caries 32 questions. Along with the objective type questions, there are some non-MCQ questions in each section. Candidates have to answer in the space provided to them.
The total duration of the test is 180 minutes or 3 hours. However, each section of the test has a time limit of 1 hour each. The test takers cannot switch between the sections and have to attend the test in a particular order. The order of the sections is-
- DI & LR, and
As per the marking scheme, each question carries 4 marks and there is negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer. There is no negative marking for the non-MCQ questions.
Four scaled scores will be presented for each candidate: an overall scaled score and three separate scaled scores for each section. As the three sections evaluate distinct sets of knowledge and skills, scores do not correlate across sections. A high score in one section does not guarantee a high score in another section. Percentile rankings are provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.