Higher Education

Digital CAT divide hits Small-town aspirants

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Making themselves well equipped the national institutes are prepared to provide computer-based coaching at least in their bigger centres, most of the hundreds of institutes that offer CAT coaching in small towns don't have the infrastructure to prepare students for the digital challenge. They are advising students to read e-papers to develop an online reading habit and practise navigation skills on the computer. Small things such as grasping the question after reading it on a monitor and the ability to navigate through questions can make a significant difference to the final results, they say.

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Even the city-bred are not very comfortable with the idea of a computer-based test. This year, the exam will be held on 10 days, with separate sets of questions for each day, replacing the traditional one test for all. Students can choose the day on which they want to appear on a first-come-first-served basis. This has only added to the confusion. The CAT website, www.catiim.in, provides all the necessary support, including a demo test to help students as it brings about a generation change in the admission process for IIMs, taking it to the digital age where there is no place for pen and paper. However, unlike GMAT, the entrance test of international business colleges, and other global tests conducted online, the CAT score will not be available on the same day. The results will be out only on January 22, 2010. This will change over time and CAT may become a test like GMAT and GRE that can be taken any time of the year.

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