Open Letter: IIMs! Will you bring transparency in CAT?
Team Careers360, 25 Nov 2016, #CAT
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Careers360 has earlier reported on different issues related to transparency in CAT. We have now written an open letter to CAT 2016 Convenor seeking his response on the concerns raised by CAT takers.

 

Open letter to CAT 2016 Convenor (IIMs)

 

Date: 25 November, 2016

 

To,

Prof Rajendra K Bandi,

CAT 2016 Convenor,

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore

 

Subject: Transparency in CAT

 

Dear Sir,

 

It has been seven years since the Common Admission Test (CAT) was turned into a computer-based test with multiple testing slots. During this period, the scope of this national-level MBA entrance exam has only widened with increased capacity of existing IIMs and addition of 12 new IIMs. The efforts that IIMs have put towards making CAT scores acceptable for MBA admissions to more than 100 top B-schools in India is also laudable.

 

Unfortunately, along this journey, the IIMs have been increasingly inviting controversies for the way it conducts CAT. Doubts related to transparency of the testing system have mounted in the last seven years. This might also be one of the reasons behind stagnancy in the number of CAT registrations over the past seven years.

 

Sir, you would accept that there have been instances of technical glitches and wrong questions being asked in CAT in the past. There are also instances where IIMs have faced RTI (Right to Information) requests regarding issues related to transparency in CAT. With IIMs turning down requests for access to CAT raw scores and evaluation methodology, such issues have been reaching different High Courts also, leading to mistrust between IIMs and CAT takers.

 

We at Careers360 believe that aspirants have valid concerns. Transparency is missing from the CAT testing system at multiple fronts. As a public management institution and a torch bearer of best management practices, you also have an obligation to set high standards of transparency. 

 

Through this ‘Open Letter’, we would like to know if the concerns of the aspirants, with regard to transparency in the CAT examination and result process would be addressed. We are listing out the concerns and hope that you would respond to them.

 

Why IIMs do not release Answer Key/Question Paper?

 

Ever since CAT turned into a computer-based examination, the question papers have not been made accessible to candidates. This puts a question mark on the credibility of CAT evaluation and scoring process as the test takers do not get any chance to revisit test questions and predict their scores. Candidates get the final scores which they are asked not to doubt.

 

Also, we know that it is a standard practice with many top exams in India to release answer keys. It is done for exams like UPSC Civil Services, JEE Main and NEET where the numbers are much higher than CAT. For example, JEE Main is taken by more than 12 lakh candidates which is about six times the volume of CAT takers. So, what prevents you from releasing the CAT answer keys and question paper?

 

Why IIMs do not give access to CAT raw scores?

 

The IIMs have been denying CAT takers access to their own raw scores despite a Supreme Court (SC) order asking public examination authorities to release evaluated response sheets which carries raw scores.  IIMs have been evading CAT answer key requests and other RTI requests related to CAT evaluation process in the name of RTI exemption clauses.  However, this does not stand legal scrutiny as the SC order relating to answer key release, says that “no exemption under section 8 is available in respect of evaluated answer books” and hence “the examining bodies will have to permit inspection sought by the examinees.”

 

The position that IIMs have taken on holding back the answer keys and response sheet is in complete violation of the SC order of August 9, 2011, where the apex court says that the provisions of the RTI Act will prevail over the provisions of the by-laws/rules of the examining bodies regarding examinations. I would like to remind you that the SC in its crucial order maintains that the response sheet, which is evaluated by exam authorities, is a record of information which essentially falls under the purview of RTI.

 

Further, IIMs also cite commercial interest of testing partners as the reason behind not allowing candidates to access raw scores. On different occasions in past, IIMs have argued that the announcement of answer keys/response sheet or allowing access to raw scores will create confusion among test takers.

 

None of the above logics stand in the face of the SC order in this regard. The SC order is attached here for your reference.

 

Why do you compel CAT takers to sign Non-Disclosure Agreement?

 

CAT was made computer-based in the year 2009. Simultaneously, it was made a multiple-session test, which would be held in 20 to 25 day window. The purpose of non-disclosure agreement was to restrict advantage to test takers who could gauge difficulty level and question types from the experiences of candidates appearing in earlier testing slots.

 

Now that the testing window has been reduced to one-day-two-session only, there could not be any such advantage or disadvantage to any candidates as a test taker of the second session can hardly get any time to comprehend questions of first session. Thus, the non-disclosure clause becomes irrelevant today.

 

Also, when Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) restricts CAT takers from discussing and disclosing CAT questions or answers, it also means that any anomaly in the question paper like wrong question or wrong answer options can’t be discussed and shared in public. With this clause, you reserve the right to decide if a question asked was right or wrong; and ensure that there is no public scrutiny of your decision.

 

Thus, the controversial Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for CAT only raises doubts on the transparency of the testing system. Isn’t it time for IIMs to scrap the mandatory non-disclosure agreement?

 

Why IIMs do not publish normalisation methodology?

 

What is the CAT normalisation process? How are CAT takers from different testing slots evaluated? How is raw score of CAT converted into percentile?

 

Though IIMs broadly answer these questions, the specifics of the evaluation process have so far been kept a secret. No authorised explanation of CAT normalisation is available till date.

 

Further, IIMs claim that CAT normalisation is similar to the normalisation process of Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). Ironically, despite this claim, IIMs do not publish this detailed methodology of normalisation which is publicly available for GATE.

 

Will you make the CAT normalisation methodology transparent?

This browser does not support embedding PDFs. Please view the pdf here.

 

Why do not you classify re-testing criteria?

 

Last but not the least, you have announced that conducting retest is a possibility for candidates who might be affected due to technical glitch or any other test related problems. We would like to know what are the circumstances under which candidates become eligible for retesting? What is the procedure of application for a retest?  IIMs must come clean on criteria for retesting so that candidates may properly understand this, and claim accordingly for a retest in case of any trouble during their tests.

 

Being an elite league of management institutions, IIMs are looked up to.  You are expected to lead from the front when it comes to transparency. We expect you to come clean on the above issues related to transparency in CAT and IIM admission process.

 

MBA Aspirants and Educators look for your response on why the IIMs which are held in high esteem, are themselves failing in the transparency test?

Sincerely,

Ashish Jha

Copy to:

  • Mr Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister, MHRD

  • Mr V.S. Oberoi, Secretary (Higher Education), MHRD

  • Dr Ashish Nanda, Director, IIM-Ahmedabad

  • Dr Raghavan Srinivasan, Director-in-Charge, IIM Bangalore

  • Dr. Saibal Chattopadhyay, Director, IIM Calcutta

  • Dr. Ajit Prasad, Director, IIM Lucknow

  • Dr Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore

  • Dr. Kulbhushan Balooni, Director-in-Charge, IIM Kozhikode

  • Dr. Amitabh De, Director, IIM Shillong

  • Dr. Anindya Sen, Director, IIM Ranchi

  • Dr. Gautam Sinha, Director, IIM Kashipur

  • Dr B S Sahay, Director, IIM Raipur

  • Dr. Atanu Rakshit, Director, IIM Rohtak

  • Dr. Prafulla Agnihotri, Director, IIM Trichy

  • Dr Janat Shah, Director, IIM Udaipur

Also Read

Write to IIMs for CAT Answer Key release! Join Careers360 campaign for transparency in CAT

CAT Normalisation: A formula kept secret by IIMs

IIMs! Can you justify non-disclosure clause for CAT?
Release CAT Answer Key and Question Paper for more transparency, demand non-IIMS

IIMs! Don’t use testing partner as shield to evade CAT answer sheet release
SC order strict on release of answer sheet; IIMs remain non-committal on CAT

IIMs must release CAT Question Paper and Keys for transparency, says CAT expert Arks Srinivas

CAT Troubles: Will IIMs address these problem areas bothering CAT takers every year?

CAT 2016

 

Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates on CAT.

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Questions related to CAT

Showing 7166 out of 7167 Questions
10 Views

Can I join IIM Ahmedabad using GMAT rather than going for CAT?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019

Dear Akshat, CAT is exclusively conducted by the IIMs. So the selection for admission to any of the 20 IIMs is through CAT exam. Unfortunately no other score except for CAT score is accepted for IIM Ahmedabad. You can check their selection process at: https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgp/apply/domestic/admission/selection-process

11 Views

i am in first year of graduation. please tell the correct time to prepare of CAT. Should i start preparing it from first year itself or from second year??

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019
Rohan, every year, lakhs of students appear for CAT for admission in 20 IIMs and more than 1000 participating Institutions. Now the exam is not tough but to be able to score the percentile required for admission to IIMs and Top B schools is tough. So no time is too early for preparation. You should start preparing from the 1st year so that you can know how to manage time and also with practise you will know the short cuts or easier ways of solving problems. Here is the list of books for each section that can help you accelerate your preparation to ace the tests.

CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.


Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge.
19 Views

I am a newly qualified chartered accountant presently started working. My aim is to study mba in iim. Please tell me the procedure which I have to follow to make my journey for cat 2020 successful.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019

Dear Sai, IIMs look for Diversity factor in Academics. They have a special rating scale for Professional courses like MBBS,BDS, CA, etc. We shall help you with the admission process of IIM Ahmedabad just as an example to show how does the selection process work. There are 3 sections in CAT: QA, DILR, VRC. IIM A has released its 2019 cut off percentiles. Only those Candidates who have scored this percentiles will be shortlisted for further rounds. The cut offs are as follows:

VRC          DILR       QA       Overall

General                   70            70          70            80

OBC-Transgender 65            65          65            75

SC                           60             60           60           70

ST                           50             50           50          60

PWD                      60             60           60          70

PWD-ST                50             50            50          60

On an average IIMs need a cut off 90 percentile and more for admission to their colleges. You can check the complete selection process of IIM A at: https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgp/apply/domestic/admission/selection-process

Now based on these cut offs top 5 percentile from each Category will be short listed for WAT and PI. So inorder to be able to score these cut offs, you need to know the exam pattern and marking scheme.  CAT exam paper can be Categorised into 3 parts:

Quantitative Ability

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The Verbal Ability section and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions, Data interpretation-Logical Reasoning section has 32 MCQ questions and Quantitative Ability has 34 MCQ questions totalling up to 100 questions. Each Question has 3 marks and a wrong answer takes away 1 mark.

NCERT books will sharpen your basics and you need strong basics for preparing for any entrance examination. Once your basics are in place, because the time period for preparation is quite less, your preparation should be extensive and thorough.

Quantitative Aptitude covers almost 30% of the CAT question paper. QA can be categorised into Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Mathematics. Practise chapter by chapter and develop mental calculations. Like practise more of basic summation, subtraction, fractions and tables. Numbers, Percentage, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Ratio, Proportionality, Time-Distance, Time-Work, Mixtures, Averages, Partnership, Permutation and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Progression and Series, Line, Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Polygon, Circles, Ares, Volume, Height and Distance, Coordinate Geometry, Basic Trigonometry are few important topics.

Preparation tips:

Because this section involves mathematics and takes most of your time, your focus should be on solving the problems efficiently in the beginning. Even if it takes time, practise upto perfection. Practise as many questions as you can in the conventional way. As and when you get a grip on the subject, you can go for short cuts. Memorise tables, square roots, cube roots, conversion from percent to fraction, etc. Solve sample papers on Mathematics. In the beginning, do not worry about the time it takes. As you practise, you will get the hang of the subject and it will be easier for you.

In Verbal Ability session, command on your English, Grammar, Vocabulary, Understanding of the given paragraph are of more importance. Reading English NewsPaper will also help you in your preparation.

Preparation tips:

Read articles from time to time. Follow newspapers, magazines, and watch the news channels and browse the internet to keep yourself updated. You will need a lot of reading to help you in the comprehension section. You will need speed to help you in this section and you can achieve that only by thorough practise and reading. Take time to understand the question because most answers are interlinked.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning needs to be practised as much as possible. Comparison of data, Data Analysis, taking clues, interpreting missing data, coming to conclusions and making future projections will be covered under this Category. The questions here are interlinked and so if you get one formula correct, cracking the next few questions will be easy. So it's important to memorise and practise formulae. You should cover topics like Data tables, Data Charts, Bar Diagrams, Pie Charts, Graphs, Data Comparison and Analysis.

Preparation tips:

As this is the most tricky section, this needs a lot of practise. Solve as many sample papers as possible to get the hang of the section. Make notes when required. Regular practise can help you understand and solve the questions easily as time goes on.

Overall,once you know the syllabus, it's easier from there on.Go through the previous papers to analyse and prepare a comprehensive plan and set priorities according to the importance of different topics across sections. Customise your own study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses. Gauge your preparation from time to time by taking mock tests. Solve questions to check your levels of preparation but not to set any targets. Remember, its ok to have cheat days and relax. But make sure you have a plan and stick to it for the next few months

We can recommend a few books for you:

NCERT books to cover the basics from 6th to 10th Class

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Saxena

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum for CAT by Sarvesh Sharma

How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by Abhijit Guha



You can also download free downloadable e books at:

https://bschool.careers360.com/download/cat-ebooks

31 Views

can someone apply for NIFT without appearing CAT and GAT?

Sonali Sahu Student Expert 13th Oct, 2019

hello,

NIFT has nothing to do with CAT or GAT. Those are the exams for MBA. NIFT is for admission in fashion courses.

The eligibilitiy is just marks of your 10th and intermediate. The main point is the candidate must have qualified both from a recognised board and must be having PCM as the compulsory subject.

The exam has an age limit to be 23 and there is 5 years relaxation for category reserved candidates.

For more information please check the article:- https://design.careers360.com/articles/nift-eligibility-criteria

Hope it helps!

24 Views

Where i get CAT study material?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 13th Oct, 2019
CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.


Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.

There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.
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