New rules for CAT 2011 exam

New Delhi: The Common Admission Test for the IIMs this year will have two sections instead of three and students will have 70 minutes to answer each of them.

The test will be conducted online within a 20-day period from October 22 to November 18.

"Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions in each section which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move to the second and will no longer be able to go back," said Prof Janakiraman Moorthy of IIM Kolkata, who is the convenor of CAT 2011.

While the first section will focus on `quantitative ability and data interpretation` and the second part will be on `verbal ability and logical reasoning`.

This year, a 15-minute tutorial will be provided before the start of the test.

The total duration will be two hours and 35 minutes including the tutorial.

"Considerable effort has been invested in maintaining similar level of difficulty across papers. A small number of statistically and psychometrically validated questions are randomly inserted in each question paper as equating blocks," Moorthy said.

Prometric, provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment, will conduct the online test in partnership with IIMs.

Three new cities – Bhilai, Jammu and Dehradun – have been added to the previous 33 test locations to bring CAT closer to the northern states. Besides, to reduce difficulties in purchasing CAT vouchers, candidates will also be able to purchase CAT vouchers from 201 Axis Bank branches, an increase of 30 outlets then last year, said a statement.

A practice test to provide candidates with a feel of the timed sections, as well as navigation and functionality of the actual test will be made available in the coming weeks.

This will help candidates to go though them carefully to familiarise themselves with the screens, layout, and navigation, the statement said.