The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 for premier IIMs and other B-schools will only be two hours long as opposed to three earlier. To comply with social distancing norms during the Covid-19 pandemic, the IIMs have decided to also hold the competitive exam in three sessions, instead of two, on November 29. This will ensure fewer students in a centre during any given session. Not just the IIMs, entrance exams for other B-schools, too, have seen changes to make the process convenient for aspirants.
Himanshu Rai, director, IIM-Indore, the organizing institute for CAT 2020, said, “We will hold the exams in three sessions this year instead of two. We decided to make changes to ensure candidates get their first preferred choice of city while following social distancing.” He further said the IIMs could not have increased the exam centres without testing them. “In the pandemic, it would have been difficult to engage more centres, so reducing the duration of the paper seemed the best solution. We also want to ensure sufficient time is given between two sessions for staggered entry and exit,” he added. Each of the three sections in the paper, which ran for an hour earlier, will be reduced to 40 minutes each.
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IIMs have extended the registration date to 5pm on September 23. There will not be any further extension.
An IIM official assured anxious students there will be no change in the exam pattern.
Hemang Panchmatia, progam director at a coaching institute, said the decision to hold the exam in three slots will help reduce the crowds at the centres. “The announcement has caused some anxiety as the number of questions are not disclosed, but IIMs are likely to come out with more details by September 20,” he said.
Exams conducted by deemed universities such as NMIMS and Symbiosis, too, have made the exam process convenient for students. NMIMS will allow NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test) aspirants to opt for a test centre or an online-proctored exam at home.
Ramesh Bhat, officiating vice-chancellor, NMIMS, said there could be students who do not have access to the internet or a computer. “To make the exam convenient for them, NMIMS is offering both options,” he said.
Symbiosis will allow students to take the exam twice and use the better of the two scores for admission.
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Meanwhile, the state’s CET cell received over 48,000 applications during the two-day extension window provided for registrations for various entrance exams conducted by the state.
Higher and technical education minister Uday Samant tweeted on Wednesday about the fresh applications. Around seven lakh students had already registered for various entrance tests, including MHT-CET for engineering, which will be taken by over five lakh aspirants in the first week of October.
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