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CAT 2016 Convenor Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi talks to Careers360 on different aspects of the national level MBA entrance exam. In this interview, Prof Bandi says that his endeavour is to “strengthen and retain the positive changes” in CAT paper implemented last year towards remaining fair to candidates from the different academic background.
As CAT 2016 Application continues till September 22, the CAT convenor cautions MBA aspirants to fill the application form cautiously as inaccuracy in the candidate’s information may lead to cancellation of their registrations also. In the interview, Prof. Bandi also talks on the measures taken to improve the test accessibility and test administration. He also advises CAT aspirants to equally focus on all test sections as he says that one can’t ‘compensate the weakness in one section with one’s strength in the other section, as the sections are timed’. Read more from this interview with CAT 2016 Convenor Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi.
Read full interview below:
Careers360: Unlike the previous year, you have kept the CAT pattern unchanged this year. What is your thought process behind the same?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: CAT aims to ensure that questions in the test do not give any specific advantage to candidates from any specific academic background or for a particular gender. Every question is carefully reviewed to ensure that it is academics and gender neutral. We want to strengthen and retain the positive changes made last year towards this.
Careers360: As the CAT Convenor, what are the aspects which you want to improve in the test administration?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: We are specifically working towards enhancing the accessibility of the test for PWD (Persons with Disability) category.
Careers360: What would be the total numbers of questions for CAT 2016?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: The number of questions varies and cannot be disclosed.
Careers360: Is the marking scheme going to remain same as last year?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: The marking scheme of CAT 2016 will remain the same as last year.
For questions other than MCQs, 3 marks are assigned for ‘correct answer’ and no marks for ‘incorrect answer or no attempt'.
The scoring scheme for Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) is as follows:
Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks.
An incorrect answer fetches -1.
No marks are given or deducted for unattempted questions
Careers360: What numbers are you expecting in terms of CAT registrations this year?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: We are not specifically working towards increasing the number of applicants. The credibility and utility of the test will influence the registrations for CAT. However, we would like to see an increase in the number of applicants from the non-engineering background and from female applicants as well.
Careers360: The CAT 2016 advertisement in national dailies and on the website mentions CAT test centres as 135, whereas the press release reads total number of test cities as 138. What is the exact number of CAT test cities?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: The CAT 2016 advertisement said around 135 test centres. The details about test cities are available during the CAT application submission process, and the test centre details will be made available in the admit cards from October 18, 2016.
Careers360: After the test is conducted in 2 slots, what will be the CAT scoring normalization process used for equating the results?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: CAT 2016 will be conducted in two sessions. Two different test forms will be administered in two test sessions. In order to ensure fairness and equity in comparison of performances of the candidates across different test sessions, the scores of the candidates will be subjected to a process of Normalization. The CAT normalization process will adjust for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalization across different forms, the scores will be further normalized across different sections. The scaled scores obtained by this process will be converted into percentiles for purposes of shortlisting.
For reporting purposes, scaled scores for each section (Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Section III: Quantitative Ability (QA) and total along with the percentiles will be published.
Careers360: In 2015, CAT was changed to one-day two-slot test, and the same has been continued this year as well. Is conducting CAT in two slots a challenge? What are the measures you are taking to execute this smoothly?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: Over the years, we have systematically reduced the number of sessions of the test, and last year we conducted the test on a single day in two sessions. We would ideally like to conduct the test in a single session, but for several operational reasons we have decided to continue with the option of two sessions on a single day. We have added some new test cities to provide better accessibility to CAT applicants. We have reviewed our faculty feedback from each of the CAT 2015 test venues. We also do a thorough inspection / audit of all the test centres before the Test, and ensure that any deficiencies in infrastructure are rectified before the test.
Careers360: What cautions do you suggest for candidates while filling the application form for CAT 2016?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: Candidates should also pay attention to the details they enter while registering for CAT 2016, especially while entering the Aggregate Marks in the academics section. Any inaccuracies in data, detected at any stage, will lead to the cancellation of the CAT 2016 application & scores.
Careers360: What is your message for the CAT 2016 aspirants?
Prof. Rajendra K. Bandi: IIMs look for candidates with good competencies on all abilities. You need to do well in all three sections of CAT; you cannot compensate the weakness in one section with your strength in the other section, as the sections are timed. Remember that some questions in the test will not be of multiple choice-type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen. Also remember that, we will allow use of basic on-screen calculator for computation.
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Yes, there is a possibility for you as you belong to the SC category. But still there are alot of factors taken into consideration while accessing your profile for giving a call for interviews bu top Business schools of India. You have a good chance provided you work on your communication skills and other skills. Also try doing internships and building your profile as these things will affect and may decide if you will be getting a call or not.
Hope it helps,
For getting in top B-schools of India like IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, FMS Delhi etc. you need good marks not only in in CAT but also in Class 10th, 12th and your graduation. If you have some work experience then it gives you more advantages.
There is no specific cutoff of percentile on which you can get into top IIMs. Since your marks in 10th, 12th is above 90% and in graduation above 7 CGPA with work experience, you can expect a call from
IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C
if you have at least
99 percentile in CAT
also you should aim for
99+ percentile in CAT
and also keep in mind that if you score
95+ percentile in VARC Section
it will increase your chances of getting in.
Click at this link to know more about CAT -
Hope this was helpful
Given below are the best books to refer for preparing for CAT examination:
1. For Quantitative Aptitude:
2. For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation :
3. For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension :
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