New CAT Exam Format – 2011

CAT 2011 will have two sections instead of three. The first section will consist of questions relating to quantitative aptitude and data interpretation. The second section will comprise verbal and non-verbal reasoning and logical reasoning. The number of questions have been reduced from 75 to 60. Each paper consists of 30 questions each. Also, the time limit of the examination has been increased from 120 minutes to 140 minutes since last year. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions of one section with the help of an on-screen countdown timer.

The papers are to be attempted one after the other. After a student completes one paper, he will not be allowed to redo it again. The number of days on which the test will be conducted has remained the same. CAT exam in 2011 will be conducted from 22nd October to 18th November, for 20 days. Students can choose any day they want, by pre-booking the date subject to availability.
The CAT 2011 will provide a 15-minute tutorial before the test begins. The test will be conducted across 36 cities, including the newly added Jammu, Dehradun and Bhilai regions. When the online CAT was launched in 2009, thousands of MBA aspirants were at a disadvantage because they had no practice to the new format, little experience of computer based test and further faced technical glitches. Around 18,000 applicants had to re-write the test, which triggered off protests and bad publicity for the IIMs and the test conducting authority.
In 2010, the IIMs and Prometric joined hands to produce an immaculate test across 33 cities. But the number of test takers reduced, this however might see a change this year.
Currently, there are 13 IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kashipur, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Shillong, Ranchi, Rohtak, Shillong, Tiruchirappalli and Udaipur.
The key to success, therefore, lies in two important parameters:
Accurate Answers:
The CAT test evaluation involves negative marking also. Every student will be awarded 1 mark for a correct answer and will pay a penalty of 1/3 mark for each wrong answer. Hence, it is important to get a lot of correct answers and as little wrong answers as possible.
Selection of Questions to Answer:
There will not be sufficient time to answer all questions on the CAT, so one must choose the questions to answer in a smart fashion. It is wise to answer all questions one knows and half the questions one is doubtful of, and not answer any question about which one is clueless about. Effective Time Management:
Since all the questions cannot be answered given the short time duration, along with smart answering, the students must also be efficient. Students can take around 2 minutes for each question; if it is a question that the student knows very well, then he can complete it within 2 minutes, and use the time saved on a more difficult question. CAT is all about performing under pressure and managing time efficiently during the test. The ideal preparation period should be around 5-8 months.