So far 2014 has been an eventful year for management aspirants and the coaching centres. In January several CAT 2013 test takers claimed discrepancies in exam pattern. In April some disguntled candidates got together and decided to sue the IIMs for lack of transparency.
Cases were filed across the country in various high courts.
Courts asked the Indian Institutes of Management and test taking agency prometric to explain normalisation method. This saga continued for the next three months.
CAT 2014 notification came out. And with it came a sea of changes. The test duration has gone up to 170 minutes while total number of questions has been increased to 100.
Then came Xaveir Aptitude test and symbiosis national aptitude notifications. SNAP has decided to re-introduce admission group exercise in its admission process.
Rumours of changes in XAT exam pattern are also going around.
XAT may introduce new sections in the test.
Suddenly, all the top management entrance exams seem to be changing thier exam or admission pattern.
Which leads to the questions why is everyone changing the test pattern and what is the idea behind these pattern chnages?
According to an expert the innumerable court cases against the IIMs is the primary reason for the dramatic changes in the CAT test pattern.
This is not the first time CAT authorities have been acused of discrepancies in the exam.
In the year 2012 IIM Kozhikode also faced similar issues.
As the result the changes were bound to happen sooner or later.
Changes in the exam pattern over a period are always welcome.
But no change should be haphazardly imposed on the students. Though many parties are happy with the latest changes in CAT 2014 a huge section of MBA aspirants are at loss.
They have no previous examples or the test papers to fall back on or understand the time management issues.
The pattern changes in the national level examinations should be well thought out affiar.Change should be the gradual and the cautious process.
For instance in March 2014 College Board announced changes in the SAT exam pattern which will be introduced in the year 2016.
Here the students will get two years to adjust to the new pattern.
Similary GMAT introduces a small change early this year after deep research.
LSAT too has an exprimental section for test takers. Results of experimental or the new section are analysed over a period of time before introducing any changes in the exam pattern.
The test taking agencies should think through every step.
Changes need to be justified.It should depend on the correct implmentation, not court orders or student movements.
We appreciate the steps taken by IIM Indore and TCS to make it a level-playing field. But the changes were random and unexpected. Many students and coaching-centres are at a loss over how to help students prepare for the new exam pattern. CAT 2014 authorities should at least release sample papers to guide students and inform them about scoring and equating process well before the scheduled exam.