CMAT September 2013 exam loses track, AICTE still in denial mode
Sreetama Datta, 21 Aug 2014, #CMAT
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After much-hyped plan to conduct September CMAT 2013 at centres abroad came to a halt, technical glitches during the testing have marred credibility of the pan-India MBA entrance test even as AICTE which conducts CMAT denied having received any formal complaint from test takers on their test experience.

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The technical snag in different slots were reported from many centers and students’ forums were abuzz with concern on various issues including wrong questions in CMAT exam, non-aligned online question paper format, and malfunctioning of answer commands during the test.

 

Technical glitches 

According to media reports, many candidates could not mark the answers despite successfully attempting some questions. Some candidates also complained problems in formatting as long question appeared in a single row, making it time consuming for test-takers to scroll left to right to read the full questions.

The AICTE which conducts CMAT, however, denied any malfunctioning during the five–day test that ended on September 30. When Careers360.com contacted AICTE Chairman Dr. S S Mantha for his official comment, he denied any such technical glitch.

“We have not received any formal complaint on technical glitches from any of our centres. If such complaints reach us, we have a committee which will look into it,” said Dr. S S Mantha.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a statutory body under Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India, conducts Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) twice a year- September & February. The next CMAT for admission for academic year 2014-15 is scheduled in February, 2014. The better of two scores are used for admission to B-schools.

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‘CMAT abroad’ plan scuttled

While announcing September CMAT, AICTE had advertised that the national level test will be conducted in 67 cities including five cities in foreign countries. The five scheduled centers abroad where test was scheduled for 29th September included Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Kabul (Afghanistan), Kathmandu (Nepal), Lagos (Nigeria), and UAE (Dubai).

AICTE, however, abandoned its abroad plan a few days before the test began in India on September 26. According to the AICTE officials, an approval from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was still pending on permission to conduct CMAT abroad.  When asked on the cancellation of test plans abroad, Dr. S S Mantha said that AICTE is still in the process of getting approval for the same and the plan will hopefully be implemented in the next test season.


The end result of the ‘CMAT abroad’ plan only showed that AICTE tried to demonstrate its capability without calculating its preparations. In the race to become first national MBA entrance test amongst CAT, XAT and others, to mark a presence in the market abroad, AICTE misjudged the efforts required for the same.

‘Quality’ and ‘Conduct’ in question

While AICTE remain unfazed with the eroding credibility of CMAT, about 70, 000 test-takers who appeared for September CMAT now pin their hopes on the CMAT results schedule to be declared on October 20.

“Only the result will show us whether the answers we marked was actually recorded,” said an MBA aspirant who appeared for the test on third day of September CMAT test window.  

While announcing CMAT, AICTE had claimed that “The initiative was taken to address the issue of physical, mental and financial stress being imposed on the students through number of entrance examinations being followed by the institutions for admission into all Management Programmes in AICTE approved institutions.”

But the recent hiccups during September CMAT raise serious concern on the credibility of the national level test.No doubt, AICTE CMAT faces many questions now. The test which has already been touted as an ‘easy test’ will have to do much more to improve both on quality and its conduct. Many States have abandoned their state-level MBA entrance test in favour of CMAT and now AICTE will also have to answer all participating B-schools which have accepted to allow CMAT score in their admission process.

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