I have been coaching for CAT for the last few months, and think it is my duty to keep my students updated about any new developments in this arena. More so this year, with the CAT going online, and many of you having loadsa questions and queries.
Here I bumped into this article, where prometric - the body organizing CAT this year spoke to an online CAT portal and clears lots of doubts.
Prometric has for the first time revealed that computer-based CAT 2009 will actually allow test takers to "scroll back and forth" during the exam. This confirmation has a lot of significance for the thousands of MBA aspirants taking the test this year.
This implies that CAT 2009 will not be a 'computer-adaptive' test, but will only be a 'computer-based' test. A computer-adaptive test offers a new question based on answer to the previous question.
Thus, one thing for clear, answer to a question will not matter in answering the next question. So it is just like answering CAT like last year, the only difference being the new medium of a computer, rather than the traditional paper and pencil.
Some more interesting insights from the interview are like the information that the total contract value for conducting the exam is a whopping 40 million USD (a cool 200 crore rupees!!). Also, Prometric is assuming responsibility for all aspects of the CAT computer-based test, including item authoring, test development, test administration, scoring and reporting services. Prometric will add resources, including dedicated test development and support staff in India for handling the project in a better manner.
About the security in administering the test, prometric ensures that enough measures are being taken for ensuring strict security. All test centres hosting CAT 2009 will employ Prometric's identity management (biometric) solution, digital image capture of all candidates and digital video recording of all testing activities
Regarding the questions, the pattern, comparison of the CAT with GMAT, and other such 'confidential' issues, prometric remained silent. Also, it preferred to remain mum on the amount to be charged by the IIMs for the test.
Thus, aspirants who have been thinking of tweaking their strategies, and waiting for the notification has this clear – Computer exam, that is the only change. Nothing more!!!