For the first time, CAT will go online and with just 100 days for CAT 2009, aspirants are preparing hard at coaching centres, trying out various types of question paper patterns.
But how are students preparing to face CAT? What are the difficulties they are encountering?
According to coaching centres that TOI spoke to, students are finding it a tad tough with the online version, as opposed to the paper-based one.
“Many candidates told us that they were finding it difficult to stare continuously at the monitor for over two hours,” pointed out Arindam Lahiri, director (academics) with Career Launcher.
TIME regional director Ajay Arora revealed that candidates could face `computer fatigue’. “According to IIMs, the online test will be user-friendly and the pattern will remain the same, which will be advantageous for students,” Arora said.
With paper-based test, candidates could give the entire paper a once-over and then decide which section to tackle first. But a preliminary scan of the paper before solving it may be difficult with the online version, at least during the mock tests.
Anchana C, a working professional, said she has no problems making the transition from paper to computer. “During mock tests, we were given models — one section after the other and tabbed, where all sections are presented on different windows. You can alternate from one window to the next. Questions are hyperlinked, so you can go directly to the question you want to attempt,” she explained.
Coaching centres are providing question papers with different patterns. “We are giving papers with all types of patterns so that whatever pattern appears, students are ready,” said Ajay of TIME.
Another observation the trainers made is that reading graphs and passages in the Reading Comprehension (RC) section is difficult in the online mode. Unlike with paper, candidates can’t put any marking on the graph. Earlier, students could also mark difficult sentences in RC, which is now not possible.
“The RC section may pose a problem. Grasping power is higher on paper and reading long passages online will be tough. Plus, in DI and Quant and geometry sections, transferring calculations to drawings will be an issue,” said Anchana.
An IIM-B official said details of the exam pattern will be posted on the website. “Information on the nature of the online test and how it will be conducted will be posted in September first week,” said IIM-B professor Eshwar Murthy.
Source: The Times of India
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