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Nearly 2 lakh students appear for CAT 2006
A total of 1.91 lakh students appeared for the Common Admission Test, held in 23 cities across the country on November 19. The exam is the first step towards admission into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management and many other top business schools.
Included in this figure are 22,000 OBC candidates and 12,500 SC-ST candidates.
Students who sat for the test described the question paper as moderate.
The 1.91 lakh figure marked an increase of about 21,000 over the number of students who sat for the test last year, despite a change in the eligibility criteria this year.
This new eligibility criteria stipulated that students in the general category need to secure 50 per cent marks -- their counterparts in the reserved categories needed to secure 45 per cent marks -- in their graduation exam.
The number of questions this year was reduced from 90 to 75, while additional time of 30 minutes was allotted. Earlier, CAT was a two-hour exam.
These CAT candidates are competing for 1,350 seats in the six IIMs. The number of seats, however, is expected to be increased after the Oversight Committee recommended a phased, 54 per cent hike in the capacity of central educational institutions over the next three years.
Nearly 33,000 students, about 15 per cent more than the number of candidates last year, sat for the test in Delhi, which was conducted across 33 centres.
The Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow was in charge of conducting the test in Delhi and Lucknow. IIM-Lucknow Director Devi Singh, who was in Delhi for the last few days to supervise the conduct of the examination, said the test went off well without any hindrance.
"The exam was conducted in a peaceful manner in 33 centres across the city. We deputed one professor for each centre to ensure smooth conduct of the test. There was no problem reported by any student pertaining to conduct of examination or the question paper," he told PTI. "We had sought help from police and adequate security arrangements were made."
The exam was conducted at 12 centres in Lucknow where it also went off well.
The test was conducted between 10 am and 12.30 pm.
About 6,500 students took the exam at 11 centres in Gujarat amidst tight security, IIM-Ahmedabad officials said.
Varun Singh, a student in Ahmedabad, termed the paper easy but expected the cut-off marks for admission to IIMs to be higher this time.
Another student, Aman Saxena, said the paper was different from last year's as only 75 questions were asked instead of 90. "We were confused regarding the attempting of questions as there was one negative mark for each wrong answer," he said.
"The additional half hour was very useful as we had extra time to attempt each question," said Rachna Goyal.
Reports said the test was also conducted without any hitches at places like Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore and Bangalore.
Manish Soni, who had come to Ahmedabad from Udaipur in Rajasthan for the test, said the mathematics section was easy, while the English one was tough. "Overall, it was a moderate paper," he added.
About 8,600 students appeared for the test at six centres in Chennai, where students said the questions in the English section were a bit tougher than those of last year.
Candidates also appeared for the test at one centre in Coimbatore.
The test passed off without any problem in the West Bengal capital, IIM-Kolkata Director Sekhar Chowdhury said. "The CAT exam passed off peacefully. No news of any disturbance or untoward incident was reported during the day," Chowdhury told PTI.
In Indore, 4,981 students appeared for CAT at four centres, officials said.
A couple of years ago, CAT was rocked by a question paper leak, leading to its cancellation and the holding of a fresh test.
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