Having burnt their fingers with the computer-based Common Admission Test in 2009, the Indian Institutes of Management and Prometric -- the US-based firm which has been assigned the task of conducting the exam -- have proposed a few changes to ensure this year's exam is conducted without any technical glitches.
These include a longer testing window to provide candidates with more choices, a longer test-site preparation period, an improved technology for both registration and delivery, and fewer sites (online centres) to ensure a better test experience for the candidates.
According to them, the reduction in sites will not compromise the nationwide reach and availability of the test.
"We are taking every possible step to ensure a successful administration for CAT 2010 candidates. To avert potential overlaps in schedule with college exams, Prometric has recommended an earlier testing period. The final dates and details on registration and scheduling will be announced officially by the IIMs," Prometric India MD Soumitra Roy said.
CAT, mandatory for those who wish to study at IIMs and over 150 other B-schools, faced flak from various quarters last year after its new computer-based version was marred by a series of technical glitches, followed by a retest and delayed results.
To avoid a similar 'failure' this year, Prometric has reviewed all the processes and technology employed during CAT 2009, including the protocols that ensured a successful administration during the final days of testing.
The US software firm has also reviewed the performance of the sites used during the CAT 2009, partners and, most importantly, feedback from the candidates.
The CAT 2010 programme claims to incorporate information from the comprehensive audit that was conducted after the CAT 2009.
"We are currently finalising the list of local technology partners who will work with us in the areas of site readiness, test administration and on-site technical support," said Roy.
This year, the computer-based CAT will be conducted by IIM Lucknow and IIM Calcutta. In 2009, it was conducted by IIM
Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore. Himanshu Rai, chairperson (admissions) of IIM Lucknow, will take over as the CAT convener from Satish Deodhar, who was convener last year.