CAT 2015 being conducted by IIM Ahmedabad along with testing partner TCS is gearing up for the forthcoming Common Admission Test (CAT) 2015 to bring number of firsts and many changes with a vision to change the class room environment in IIMs.
CAT 2015 aspirants have been preparing in accordance with the CAT 2014 exam pattern and any proposed change to CAT 2015 may not be known to them till the notification, syllabus and the practice test for the exam is out. CAT as known for surprises at the eleventh hour, cannot assure the aspirants of same exam pattern and content as appeared in 2014, even if all the details on CAT 2015 are published right in the beginning with its notification.
With all these changes expected, Prof S K Agarwal, expert on Verbal Ability and mentor on CAT 2015 preparation, explains how to plan the course of next 100 days preparation.
Vision of IIM Ahmedabad
After the CAT 2015 group meeting, IIM Ahmedabad has been of the view that IIMs need to increase academic diversity in their class rooms. Accordingly the changes in CAT 2015 are proposed both at the ‘operational and content level’ to attract more students from all academic back grounds instead of the traditionally organized CAT which ends up getting more students only from a particular class whether freshers or with work experience.
CAT 2015: Changes could be more
Many changes, although, will be published in the CAT 2015 exam notification on July 26,2015, a few of them on the content part will come to be known during the course of registration and application process for CAT 2015 and with the publication of practice test. Following are the 5 key important facts which should be known to CAT 2015 aspirants to plan their preparation strategy for next 100 days
Early CAT 2015
CAT, this year, is proposed to be held in October instead of November.CAT 2015 aspirants are now left with 100 days to prepare and practice to score high in the exam.
The strategy of CAT toppers so far has been to improve the weak areas in their strongholds and further strengthen their strong areas among weak ones. Attempting sectional mocks and analyzing them to improve further should be the key strategy to get rid of confusions on various topics and questions.
CAT 2015: One day show
Ever since CAT 2009,it always had a longer testing window until 2013. Suddenly in 2014 when the CAT testing agency was changed from Prometric to TCS, CAT 2014 began its journey to a shorter testing window which was reduced to 2 days from 21 days. Now going back to its pristine glory CAT 2015 is proposed to be conducted in a single day, in 2 sessions only.
IIM Ahmedabad, the CAT 2015 convening IIM has taken a decision in this regard in consultation with testing agency TCS and is hopeful of a better and more aspirant friendly CAT this year.
It may appear awkward to many, but it is also a fact that a very long testing window creates issues like difficulty in judicious percentile scoring and ranks; score normalization process etc. CAT 2013 is an example to it. One day CAT 2015 will help not only in faster and accurate score normalization process but will also have many good after effects also like timely declaration of CAT 2015 result; early PI/WAT round at IIMs leading to early admission offers and timely beginning of academic session in 2016.
CAT 2015: Academic Diversity to be the focus
It could sound as an alert to those CAT 2015 aspirants who are very good at Quant and data interpretation section. CAT 2015 plans to reduce the weightage on Quant as it is anticipated that more candidates from Engineering and strong mathematics background score high in CAT paving their way to IIMs. More than 80% students in IIMs are from engineering background which rest 18 to 20% consists of all others.
IIM Ahmedabad is determined to diversify this academic background in IIM class rooms and proposes to design the CAT 2015 test paper in such a way that it may not be possible for the one class of candidates to score high in the exam but the candidates from all other academic backgrounds also get the equal opportunity to score high. This could be possible by reducing the weightage on quant section to enable the candidates who are not so good at quant but are good at other components of the exam to score high percentile rank in CAT 2015.
Another angle of this fact could be that now the CAT 2015 contestants with strong quant and DI shall have to prepare hard on Verbal and LR instead of depending too much on excellent quant.
CAT 2015: A whole new experience
In last 6 years since 2009, it was CAT 2014 that appeared with a totally changed face for the apparent reason that TCS and CAT 2014 convening IIM had planned to put CAT exam back on its shortest testing window. Anticipating that one day CAT in 2014 could create some technical glitches, the exam was conducted in 2 days divided in 4 sessions. Despite lot of criticisms and anticipated technical issues, entire CAT 2014 passed off gracefully with no technical problems.
Getting the feedback, now IIM Ahmedabad and TCS in partnership have moved one step further and propose to conduct CAT 2015 in a single day divided in 2 sessions. Candidates can expect CAT 2016 only a single day-single session exam with IIM Ahmedabad again conducting CAT in 2016.
Apart from this, the exam pattern also changed in CAT 2014 and candidates should expect yet more changes and surprises in CAT 2015. Prof S K Agarwal expert on Verbal Ability for CAT 2015 preparation suggests that candidates should also go through the vocabulary, phrasal verbs and phrases based topics and questions as they could make their appearance in CAT 2015.