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Number of CAT applicants falling
MUMBAI, SEPT 26 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 26 Sep. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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The Common Admission Test, the route to IIMs, has probably hit a rough patch. The unquestioned king of B-school entrance tests — used to gauge the popularity of business education in the country — has for the first time extended its registration deadline by a week, probably to convince more candidates into queuing up for the test.
“The number of people applying to take CAT has been falling. When the IIMs conducted the paper-pencil test themselves, they looked at restricting the number of takers. But, now that it has been outsourced, the revenue from CAT is suddenly important,” said an IIM faculty. For years, the entrance test has been the IIM’s golden goose; in 2007-’08, India’s blue-chip B-schools raked in ` 2.98 crore just by conducting CAT, reports Times News Network.
But in 2009, after 33 years, the test graduated from being a paper-pencil one and that, experts said, left out a large number of aspirants from smaller corners of the country who were not comfortable taking the computer-based test. This year again, the number of cities where test centres have been set up, too, has fallen.
Has that affected the number of those interested in taking the test? Prometric, the American company conducting the computer-based test for the IIMs, said in a press note, “The decision to extend the registration period was undertaken in order to provide candidates with additional opportunity to register and at the request of some candidates who required a longer registration period.”
So the last day of registration, which was to end on September 30, has now been pushed to October 7. CAT convener Himanshu Rai said extension of the registration period had nothing to do with the falling registration numbers. “I don’t have the data on how many students have registered for CAT-2010 but those wanting to take CAT would have done so by now. Also, if someone has decided not to take the test, they wouldn’t.”
However, Promteric, which earns its money on the number of candidates who register, is probably looking at converting fence-sitters to rushed last-minute registrations. “What otherwise would explain the reason for extending the dates to sell vouchers too?” asked Arks Srinivas, director of TIME (Kolkata), a coaching academy. He added that there could be no logical reason to extend registration but the falling numbers of CAT takers that had prompted Prometric to keep counters open for longer.

 
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