CAT 2015 application pool diversifies; Non-engineer applicants up by 9%
CAT 2015 application pool has diversified with the pool of non-engineer CAT applicants growing by 9 per cent apparently due to new CAT pattern and the expected rationalization of CAT 2015 question paper.
According to IIM Ahmedabad, which is conducting CAT 2015 on behalf of all 19 IIMs, the total number of non-engineering applicants for CAT 2015 is 1,00,585. Last year, the total number non-engineering applicants were 72,885. Thus, 27,700 more candidates from non-engineering background applied for CAT 2015.
This also shows that the interest of engineering students in MBA education has declined. As per officials, the number of engineer CAT applicants has fallen by more than 6,000. As compared to 1,24,103 engineer applicants in 2014, the applicants from this technical discipline in 2015 is only 1,18,079. There is a significant increase in the number of candidates from non-engineering background from 37% in 2014 to 46% in 2015.
While CAT has already broken the record of the past 5 years with increased application number of 2,18,664, it has also shown some positive trends in the applications with increased number of non-engineering and female candidates.
In terms of demographic divide also, 16% increase in applications have been received from the North-Eastern states, which has met the aspirations of Prof. Tathagata Bandyopadhyay, CAT 2015 Convenor of a diversified applicant pool.
The content of CAT 2015 questions is expected to be rationalized to make it more convenient for candidates from different academic disciplines. The CAT pattern in past years had witnessed more candidates from engineering background qualifying for IIM admissions. The key changes in pattern include introduction on non-MCQ questions and introduction of calculator which may be in favour of candidates who find it difficult to solve Quant section.
CAT 2015 Convenor Prof. Tathagata Bandyopadhyay had earlier predicted that the change in pattern of the exam is likely to bring more diversity to the management classrooms. “We believe the new exam pattern will help us identify candidates from varied backgrounds who will become future leaders in their chosen profession. Such a move will also help IIMs bring in greater diversity in the classrooms and will go a long way in enriching the learning experience,” he had stated as the implication of the change in the exam pattern of CAT 2015.
Let us have a look at the changed pattern of CAT 2015. The following table will bring to you the comparative analysis of the CAT 2014 and CAT 2015 exam patterns.
3 – Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
2 – Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning
Number of Questions
Quantitative Ability – 34
Verbal and Reading Comprehension – 34
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning – 32
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation – 50 (34 + 16)
Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning – 50 (34 + 16)
1 hour for each section
No sectional time limit. Candidates free to switch between sections
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Non-MCQs
On Screen basic calculator will be provided
Calculator usage not allowed
No negative marking for non-MCQs
1 day, 2 slots
2 days, 4 slots
The answers to the non-MCQs will have to be typed on the keyboard to the space provided. These questions can be of any number and at any section. This type of question will not involve negative marking scheme for wrong answers, which is another added advantage.
The total duration of the exam is 180 minutes with exact 60 minutes to answer each section. CAT 2015 will have sectional time limit of 60 minutes. The total number of questions is 100, divided into three sections, namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC). Candidates will not be allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. QA and VRC will have 34 questions each, and DI & LR will have 32 questions.
Candidates will not have the liberty to attempt any of the sections first, rather, they must answer the sections in a pre-specified order, as per the officials, which will be same for all the candidates.
Highest registration in 5 years
Earlier, the CAT convenor had confirmed that the total number of registrations (2,18,664), for CAT 2015, was highest in the past 6 years. The 5-day extension offered in the registration window resulted in in 35,632 more registrations for CAT 2015. The CAT registration deadline was extended from 20th September to 25th September.
Prof. Bandyopadhyay, Convenor, CAT 2015 said that the increase in application number has doused speculations that the charm of MBA is on decline. “Of late, some observers have expressed concern whether CAT examination is losing its potency because of slight decline in numbers in recent years, except last year. This year’s applications, a five-year-high, should put such doubts to rest,” said Prof. Bandyopadhyay.
He, however, added that the decline in applications over the past few years only indicated that only the focused students were applying for IIMs. “From the data of the last few years, it is evident that in recent years more focused candidates are taking CAT than when we touched the peak in terms of the highest number of registrations,” he said.
More female candidates
The number of female candidates in the applicant pool has increased, from 59,211 in 2014 to 69,176 in 2015 - an increase of 17%. In the year 2014, the female candidates constituted 30% of the total applications. But, compared to 2014, the share of female candidates has increased by 2%.
“We have been striving to bring diversity to our classrooms and these changes should reflect in the next PGP cohort at IIMA. I am sure we would see increase in diversity for other IIMs as well,” said Prof. Bandyopadhyay, adding, “We also see the diversity reflected in the number of transgender applicants, which stands at 80.”
Maharashtra records highest increase in applications
Sharing the increase in number of application from sates, CAT officials said that there has been a 26% increase in the number of registrations from Maharashtra (6,973),the highest increase among all states, followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,181, about 9%), and Telangana (1,909, about 23%). Also, there has been 16% (457) increase in the number of registrations from the North Eastern states of India.
The CAT Convenor said that one of the reasons for the substantial increase in registrations in Maharashtra could be attributed to the setting up of IIM Nagpur.
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news on CAT 2015.
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