The results of the Common Aptitude Test (CAT), conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management, was announced today. In 2011, 1.85 lakh students took the examination. The aspirational 100 percentile was managed by nine students, while 1,800 students crossed the 99 percentile barrier.
“It will not be possible to do a qualitative analysis of the results right now, given the rank-based formatting. No glitches were reported,” said Janakiraman Moorthy, CAT convener.
Ask the ones who received the results today, and the sense of uncertainty seems to prevail given the fact that this year most IIMs have put in place riders of weightage on arts and gender. Abhinav Prakash, a ZS Associate employee who scored a 99.98 percentile, said the weightage system is unpredictable. “There is a varying weightage of CAT scores in different IIMs, from 50 to 70 per cent. The weightage to board marks, and work-experience sometimes can be exclusionary,” Prakash said. He added that the system disregards the improvement a student exhibits during his student life. “Hence, if one scores well in CAT, then one deserves an interview chance,” Prakash said.
Shashank Prabhu, a student of Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, who scored 100 percentile, said that the absence of pressure did the trick for him. “This is my third attempt at CAT. In the first two years, I put in a lot of hard work. This year, I was less anxious and more relaxed since I had no tension of failure,” he said.
The other areas of concern that have been raised by CAT-takers include the absence of transparency in calculation of final scores, with many seem to complain of unexpected rise and fall in sectional or overall percentiles on discussion forums.
Students appearing in CAT 2011 took the exam in 40 different time-slots having varying levels of difficulty, and the concept of normalisation of scores has not been clear to many.
CAT’s effort to convince everyone of the correctness of this process of standardisation has also not gone down well with many candidates. Prabhu, for example, said, “This time I had got a comparatively easier test slot compared to last year when I got 93.8 percentile,” he said.
Industry experts also seem to hold the view that metrics of weightage on gender and humanities will also have an impact on the interview lists.
“This year, most IIMs have said that some weightage will be given to students from arts and non-engineering backgrounds along with some special weightage to girls. One may see some impact of this decision once the interview lists come out,” said Gautam Puri, MD, Career Launcher.