Ending months of speculation the IIMs recently annnounced that the CAT exam is going online from November 2009.
Now this raises several issues. As the TOI notes:
If the exam goes online, not all students will be able to take the exam on the same day as is the case now. The exam will have to be conducted in staggered batches within a window period of a few months. The other change will be that instead of the current single exam paper, the online test will have several different papers of the same level of difficulty.
The report also notes that the exam will be 'similar' to GMAT and GRE except that the results will not appear instantly.
However, I am not sure if that is factually correct. The GMAT and GRE follows a Computer Adaptive model. As the Princeton Review explains:
The computer adapts the test to how you answer the questions. You’ll start off the test with a question of medium difficulty - if you answer it correctly, question number two will get a bit more challenging. Get that one right, and question number three gets harder still. The opposite is true as well. This system continues until you get to the end of the section and your ability level on that subject is determined.
Will the CAT also go the computer adaptive way or will it be a random set generated each time from a master bank of questions? We don't know yet.
Change is always difficult to accept and there may be some hiccups. But I am sure a way will be found to ensure the test is 'fair', computer adaptive or otherwise
Currently there are two admission tests in India which are solely online:
a) BITSAT - for BITS Pilani, Goa (and now Hyderabad)
b) NMAT - for NMIMS
Any of you who've experienced these tests, pls do drop me a line at rashmi_b at yahoo.com with your contact number. Folks who've taken GRE/ GMAT - I'd like to hear from you as well.
And of course, all are welcome to join in the discussion in the comments!