Monday, December 29, 2014 at 11am

Glitches in CAT Exam Results Raise Ire in India: MBA News

CAT exam results

The announcement of CAT exam scores over the weekend in India was met with anger as glitches prevented candidates from accessing their scores online, reports The Times of India. The CAT exam is the standard admissions examination for candidates looking to study at the nation’s prestigious IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management).

Naturally, candidates vented their displeasure towards IIM Indore, the institution in charge of convening the test this year (unconventionally, taking on this rotating role for a second year), on social media. Most notably, one poster (representing a group of students) penned a 1,330 word diatribe on Facebook, which was liked by over 1,100 people.

As well as the technical issues, students were also unhappy that the date of the results’ release wasn’t confirmed until very shortly prior to their release, with the school only committing to the ‘third week of December’. Indeed, there was reportedly no communication from the school whatsoever.   

Will IIM Ahmedabad fee hike further contribute to declining number of CAT takers?

The IIMs are famously competitive, with the top-ranked IIM Ahmedabad – 8th in the 2014/15 QS Global 200 Asia Pacific Ranking – accepting only 0.25% of applicants in 2013 (at Stanford GSB, the most competitive school in the US, the figure for the class of 2016 was 6.8%). However, registrations for the CAT exam fell to a new low this year, with only 189,759 signing up (compared to 194,000 in 2013 – a seven-year low in itself) – a decline that many ascribe to the fact that non-IIMs do not generally accept CAT exam scores. Proposals to raise the number of IIMs by six in 2015, taking the total number to 19 and increasing the number of available places significantly do not seem to have bucked the trend. The more widely-accepted GMAT, on the other hand, seems to be on the rise, with 2013’s figure of 22,878 takers in India marking a high.

Around  170,000 registrants sat the exam, with a total of 16 scoring perfect marks – double the number that achieved the same in 2013, despite a 67% increase in the number of questions and a 21% reduction in test time, although an option to switch back and forth was added.

News that an 11% fee hike at IIM Ahmedabad is likely to be followed by a raft of other IIMs is unlikely to help reverse the decline of CAT exam takers. Inflation of academic costs has been cited as justification, but this probably won’t soften the blow too much for those from whose pockets these increased fees will be paid…

Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of TopMBA.com. He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.

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