With only about 100 days to go for CAT 2017, it is natural for aspirants to have their pangs of anxiety. What adds fuel to the fire is the historically consistent unpredictability of CAT. Known for always springing surprises at the last minute, what makes it one of the most competitive and tough exams is not just its complex questions, but its ability to catch aspirants off-guard.
Ever since its inception, Career2NextOrbit has been at the forefront of channelizing aspirants’ queries and concerns- whether it is about petitioning IIFT authorities for changing the exam date (Online Petition to IIFT: Requesting Change in IIFT 2017 Exam Date ), or asking questions to top B-School directors to help and guide the aspirants:
Keeping on with its endeavor, Career2NextOrbit team provided a platform to the aspirants to ask questions to the CAT Convener of the year, Dr. Neeraj Dwivedi (Ask a Question to CAT-2017 Convener ). There was a terrific response, however, the bulk of the questions shared were related to the preparation aspect. Our CAT expert team selected the appropriate questions from the list and shared it with Dr. Dwivedi.
Career2NextOrbit team sincerely thanks, Dr. Neeraj Dwivedi (CAT Convener 2017) for kindly consenting to reply to our questions. Given below are the snippets of discussion with him.
1) Number of MCQ v/s Non-MCQ Questions: There has been a new trend of asking Non-MCQ questions in CAT exam. These Non-MCQ questions don’t have a set of options to choose from, and the candidate needs to punch in the answers. These questions also come with no Negative Marking option.
A lot of questions were around the number of MCQ v/s Non-MCQ questions, and whether the ratio will remain the same or vary. It is important to know the percentage as the CAT percentile is always based on the relative score. No negative marking means higher chance to score while No option means the question needs to be scored. When Career2NextOrbit asked the same question to Dr. Dwivedi, he was non-committal about the number of questions remaining same and shared that the same may vary and can’t be disclosed at this time.
Bottom Line: Number of MCQ v/s Non-MCQ questions may vary this year.
2) Individual Timing for Each Section v/s Common Timing: This once again is a big determinant for the overall score. With aspirants having proficiency in one section or the other, it is always advantageous if they have the option to move between the sections. Also, in case of one section being tough, the candidates may prioritize time allocation giving greater time to that particular section. In case of Individual timing for each section, there is a certain degree of constraint, however, that enables the filtering of aspirants who are more balanced across the sections.
A lot of questions were asked around whether the Individual timing for each section will remain like the previous year or this year may see the return of common timing for entire test?
When posed with this question, Dr. Dwivedi confirmed that there will be individual timings for each section.
Bottom Line: The three sections will be individually timed.
3) Normalization Process across Sections and Centers: With such a high-stake exam being conducted in two sessions across different cities, normalization is a must to ensure fairness for aspirants.
There were some questions from aspirants, enquiring about the process of normalization as different bodies use different methods for the same. They were interested in knowing which process CAT will be adopting. When our team put this question to Dr. Dwivedi, he was quick to point that the same has been uploaded and the process used will be percentile equivalence.
Bottom Line: Percentile equivalence method will be used for Normalization in CAT 2017, and the same may be read in details at https://cdn.digialm.com//EForms/configuredHtml/756/5055//Scoring_2017.html
4) Definition of PWD Category: With the central government coming up with a new notification regarding the definition of PWD category, few aspirants were also curious to know which definition will be followed by CAT authorities?
Dr. Dwivedi shared that the definition of the category is being followed as per the new RPwD Act 2016.
Bottom line: The definition to be followed by CAT will be as per RPwD Act 2016, and its details can be found at http://www.disabilityaffairs.gov.in/upload/uploadfiles/files/RPWD%20ACT%202016.pdf
5) Definition of Work-Experience: A pertinent and constant question has always been about the definition of Work-Experience and what counts for it.
With quite a few questions around this, Career2NextOrbit team approached Dr. Dwivedi who was quick to point out that part-time engagements, as well as Internships, will not count towards Work-Experience.
Bottom Line: The work experience till 31st July 2017 will be counted. Only full-time experience after the graduation must be entered. Part time / Project / Internship / Article ship / Pre-graduation work-experience should not be entered and will not be considered as work experience.
6) Mock Test availability: Practice always helps and the closer it can be simulated to the real scenario, the better it is. No matter how well prepared one is unless he/she has practiced well in the simulated environment, there is always a probability of faltering at final frontier.
Naturally, a lot of aspirants asked questions around whether the CAT authorities will be providing a Mock test to aspirants for familiarization purpose.
When Career2NextOrbit team asked this question to Dr. Dwivedi, he confirmed such plans and shared that the same should be available to the aspirants by the end of October, and will be available on the official CAT website.
Bottom Line: Mock Test will be available on the official CAT website by the End of October.
Last but not the least, Dr. Dwivedi assured us that every step will be taken to ensure that CAT-2017 is as glitch-free affair as possible. We are sure that CAT 2017 is in safe hands and will be a good experience for all aspirants.