$40 million to be spent by HRD for the new CAT format for IIMs

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To create and maintain the new CAT format for IIMs, HRD will require to spend a whooping amount of $40 million. A leading provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment services, Prometric, has bagged the contract to computerise the test from this year. Nearly 2.5 lakh students take the test for a mere 1,500 seats in the seven IIMs. After following the paper-pencil format for 33 years, the Common Admission Test (CAT), touted as one of the toughest entrance tests for entry into IIMs, is said to be the most expensive test too. Unlike in the past, the test this year will not be a one-day affair. It'll be held over 10 days towards the end of November. Till 2008, CAT was held only on the third Sunday of November every year. Not surprisingly, the IIMs are possessive about CAT. Maintaining that the difficulty level and number of attempts for students will remain unchanged, Chandra said all IIMs are involved in the conduct of CAT. According to Prof Satish Deodhar of IIM-Ahmedabad, who is coordinating the conduct of CAT 2009, the fees has been fixed at INR 1,400 for general category students and INR 700 for SC/ST students.

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