Ten candidates scored 100 percentile in the Common Admission Test (CAT), results of which were announced on Saturday. This was the lowest since CAT 2013, when eight candidates managed to get a perfect score.
This came despite a tweak in the test, which was supposed to make it easier for candidates from across all disciplines and level the playing field, had little effect. Once again, though, all 10 toppers who scored 100 percentile were from engineering or technology backgrounds.
In fact, 19 of the 21 candidates who fell just short of the 100 percentile mark and scored 99.99 percentile, too, were from engineering and technology backgrounds.
The examination is considered a gateway into the 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and over 100 other top B-schools and was held in November across 376 centres in 156 cities.
According to an official communique from IIM Kozhikode that convened CAT 2019, all 10 candidates who scored 100 percentile were men — six were graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology, two from the National Institutes of Technology.
As many as four of the 10 candidates hailed from Maharashtra, while the other candidates hailed from Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Even among the candidates who scored 99.99 percentile, 19 of the 21 candidates were from engineering and technology backgrounds.
“This year’s CAT examination was one of the smoothest held in recent years. IIM Kozhikode feels privileged and expresses its gratitude to all stakeholders on behalf of all 20 IIMs for seamless conduct of CAT 2019. I also take this opportunity to congratulate all successful aspirants and wish them luck for the remaining stages of the exam,” said Debashis Chatterjee, director of IIM Kozhikode.
Candidates were allotted an hour for answering questions spread across three sections without being able to switch between sections. According to CAT tutorial experts, the restriction in movement across sections during the test made by IIMs has been a way to make the paper stream agnostic and provide a level playing field for non-engineering candidates.
“IIMs having been trying provide a test paper where engineering or non-engineering stream doesn't matter but a candidate's approach to it. High level mathematics questions have been few, which is why there have been many candidates from non-engineering backgrounds who have scored very high this year," said Ramnath Kanakadandi, National CAT Course Director, T.I.M.E, one of the leading CAT tutorial centres.
In all, 209,926 candidates took CAT 2019, the highest in the past 10 years. There were 134,917 male candidates, 75,004 females, and five transgender candidates.
IIMs will now release their shortlist for the admission processes based on, among other things, the CAT scores. More than 115 other non-IIM institutions will also use CAT 2019 scores this year for admission into their management programmes.