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Disgruntled CAT 2013 test-takers file petition in Madras high court

Published On: 28 Feb 2014 | Last Updated On: 28 Feb 2014

Following several disgruntled test-takers of the Common Admission Test 2013 (CAT 2013) filing petitions in the Delhi and Indore High Courts, eight of them have now filed a petition in the Madras High Court as well, seeking a stay on the short-listing process of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other institutes that accept CAT scores. Some of the petitioners have also requested the court to nullify the entire CAT 2013. The petition came up for admission in the court on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

The Madras High Court has passed a directive for the CAT 2013 convener IIM Indore and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), asking them to reserve one seat each for all the petitioners. The court has also sent notices to the 13 IIMs, the MHRD and Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd (partner agency of CAT 2013) to respond to the questions presented by the petitioners.

As per the petitioners, since CAT 2013 was conducted online over a 20-day window, the difficulty levels differed on different days. The normalization method is faulty as well. Candidates who did not attempt a single question have acquired a 55.46 percentile, which implies that over 50% of the 1.7 lakh candidates who took CAT 2013 have scored zero or lesser, the petitioners added. The petitioners have also alleged that there is lack of transparency in the evaluation process.

CAT is one of the most prestigious examinations in India for admission into the IIMs and other premier management institutes. CAT 2013 was conducted from Wednesday, October 16 to Monday, November 11, 2013. The Results of the examination were declared on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.

In an earlier move, disgruntled candidates had sought the Delhi High Court’s intervention for a re-evaluation of CAT 2013 Results and access to their raw scores. They had also sought clarity on the normalization process. Some candidates had filed RTIs regarding the issue. Moreover, the students have requested for a stay on the short-listing process of the IIMs. Delhi High Court had advised the students to wait till the RTI reply.

Some of the test-takers, who have claimed that there are discrepancies in the CAT 2013 Results, had also sought the intervention of the Indore High Courts to resolve the issue. The petitioners had alleged that they scored low percentile in CAT because of the faulty evaluation process of the IIMs. The MP High Court issued notices to all the IIMs, Government of India, CAT Committee and Prometric. The respondents need to present their reply regarding the doubts of the test-takers about specific information on raw scores and the normalization process by Friday, March 7, 2014.

Many CAT 2013 test-takers have stated that their scores are radically different from what they had expected and particularly dismal in the verbal section. Moreover, some candidates who acquired higher scores have got lower normalized scores than candidates with lower scores. Another issue is that candidates who had answered just one question correctly have acquired over 55 percentile scores, due to the marking pattern of the CAT examination. Candidates who scored less than 55 percentile possibly did so due to negative marking, as per IIM officials. A correct answer fetches three marks and an incorrect one Results in one mark less due to the system of negative marking in CAT.

Although few students have received responses of the RTIs from IIM Indore, the answers are ambiguous and do not provide any explanation on the topics of raw scores and the normalization process, as per test-takers. No clear answers have come from Prometric either.

Source: The Times of India

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