CAT: Rise af­ter a drop

Why has the num­ber of CAT 2011 ap­pli­cants in­creased (though marginally) af­ter last year’s dip?

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Pooja Bi­raia and Sucharita Kan­ji­lal

This year about 2.05 lakh can­di­dates have reg­is­tered for the CAT, the en­trance test for the In­dian In­sti­tutes of Man­age­ment (IIMs) and 150 other busi­ness schools in the coun­try. How­ever, this is the first year when the num­ber of ap­pli­cants has in­creased, though marginally, af­ter a drop last year (2.04 lakh) and the year be­fore in 2009 (2.42 lakh). It’s also ob­served that of the to­tal num­ber of reg­is­tered can­di­dates, the num­ber of male ap­pli­cants has far sur­passed that of the women. Ex­perts, stu­dents and aca­demi­cians give their views on this sud­den spurt in ap­pli­ca­tions and on the gender trend. Given that the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions started drop­ping af­ter the on­set of the eco­nomic slow­down in 2008, the rea­son for the in­crease in ap­pli­ca­tions can be at­trib­uted to the pos­i­tive place­ment sce­nario last year, which en­cour­aged more stu­dents to ap­ply, says Of the to­tal num­ber of reg­is­tered can­di­dates, 73% are male and 27% are fe­male can­di­dates The ra­tio of ad­mis­sions to CAT ap­pli­cants was 1:153 in 2008 and 1:125 in 2009. The ra­tio of stu­dents get­ting into US Ivy League col­leges was 1:10 The cities in which the high­est numbers of can­di­dates have been sched­uled to take the test are New Delhi, Ban­ga­lore, Mum­bai, Hy­der­abad and Pune With 3000 seats on of­fer and 2.05 lakh can­di­dates, about one in 80 can­di­dates will make it to the 13 IIMs this year Janaki­ra­man Moor­thy, CAT 2011 con­venor. “Good place­ments last year have en­cour­aged more peo­ple to ap­ply. This is also an in­di­ca­tor that our eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion is im­prov­ing,” he said. An­other rea­son for the rise is the de­ci­sion of other in­sti­tu­tions to ac­cept scores of this test in their se­lec­tion process, start­ing this year.

“Reg­is­tra­tions might have in­creased marginally be­cause the man­age­ment schools of the In­dian In­sti­tutes of Tech­nol­ogy and the Fac­ulty of Man­age­ments Stud­ies, Univer­sity of Delhi, have sub­scribed to the CAT this year on­wards,” said Moor­thy. Though it’s a mar­ginal de­vel­op­ment, the rise in ap­pli­ca­tions can also be at­trib­uted to the change in the for­mat of the CAT, says Parag Chi­tale, di­rec­tor, CPLC. “Till last year, a lot of stu­dents would fo­cus on their strong sec­tions and utilise the ex­tra time for the re­main­ing sec­tions. How­ever, with the sec­tional time lim­its put into place this year and the change an­nounced well in ad­vance, stu­dents have been given enough time to prac­tise test pa­pers based on the new for­mat. So now, more stu­dents, who are com­fort­able with this new for­mat have ap­plied as it gives them a chance to bal­ance out all the sec­tions, some­thing that the IIMs are look­ing for,” says Chi­tale.

Amity Univesity stu­dents

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