In this era of the knowledge economy, we are moving from ‘knowing‘ to ‘applying‘.
This is where the CAT is also changing.
CAT is now a 2 1/2 hr test. We cannot predict the question types, but we can conclusively note what has happened historically.The number of questions has decreased progressively and the questions have become tougher in terms of the reasoning intensity.
The Verbal Shift:
“The type of questions are more or less the same, but the total number of questions have reduced “The options are becoming lengthier and closer
The PS shift:
“Questions are increasingly becoming reasoning intensive that interlinks diverse concepts
CAT 2003: 40% questions
CAT 2004: 60% questions
CAT 2005: 75% questions
The DI/Logic shift:
“From Calculation-intensive to reasoning-intensive
What the CAT will continue to test is basic managerial aptitude – number crunching, accuracy when racing against time, stress management, time management and endurance. A manager needs to successfully garner, analyze, interpret and communicate data. A good manager needs to be not only precise, but also be adaptable to the changing scenario and be able to think on his feet. More than 175000 students take the test (as per 2005 data) and less than a percent finally get through; the exam attempts to get the best students. In this test, only the best will survive.
The CAT shall continue to be reasoning-intensive, where interlinked concepts are going to be important. Speed and accuracy were the methods used to tackle singular concepts with a large number of questions. In these changing times, it would be more appropriate to use the case study approach, which leads to holistic learning and ensure applicability of the fundamentals in practical real life scenarios. The attitude of the students needs to change from mugging and memorizing which was earlier used, to win this percentile game. It requires the student to internalize concepts and apply them in different contexts.
In life as well, we see multiple concepts thrown in simultaneously, and this is what any professional selection process would be looking at and so would the IIMs. CAT will look at conceptual understanding and ability to apply them in broad contexts. This brings us to the crucial point that if you are prepared for the CAT, you will be prepared for the XAT and the other aptitude based entrance exams for an MBA.
IMS wishes all students all the very best!