The number of candidates who wrote the Common Admission Test 2013 (CAT 2013) has increased amid improved economic sentiment. In spite of the current volatile market condition, a total of 1, 94,516 candidates wrote CAT 2013, up from 1, 91,642 candidates who wrote the test last year.
As per sources from test administration firm Prometric, candidates who made a timely appearance at the test center carrying all required documentations completed the tests successfully. Almost all the candidates who registered for the test appeared for the same, although the total number of registrations for CAT 2013 had dipped by almost 9% to a 5-year low of 1.94 lakh, down from around 2.14 lakh applications in 2012. In 2012, a mere 1.91 lakh candidates out of 2.14 lakh who registered for CAT actually appeared for the test.
CAT is an all-India test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as an entrance examination for the management programs offered by its business schools (B-schools) as well as other top Master of Business Administration (MBA) schools.
Other than the number of CAT registrations dipping this year, many tier 3 management schools closed down as well, which cast a gloom on the future of management education in the country. However, the high number of CAT test takers has once again placed management education at a premium position in the education sector of India.
As per education experts, a change of attitude has come among candidates from the time of the registration process to the present time. Hence although the registrations were low, the turnout at the test was high. At the time of the registration process, the rupee plunged against the dollar in a major way and the economic situation looked bleak. However, from early October, 2013, the economic situation in India looked up with new remedial measures being adopted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Hence, the candidates are more optimistic about employment opportunities and business in general at present. With improved business conditions, there will be increased requirement for skilled personnel as well, which will create more need for MBAs, the experts added.
CAT 2013 started on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 and was conducted over a 20 day period till Monday, November 11, 2013 in 40 cities in India, which is an increase from 36 cities in 2012. The registration process was from Monday, August 5 till Thursday, September 26, 2013.
As per officials of IIM-Tiruchirappalli, an oversupply of MBA seats and the resultant market correction along with the downward trend of the economy could have led to the closure of some MBA schools. However, the demand for the top B-schools in India is not expected to come down, the officials added.
115 more seats have been added in 2013 across the 13 IIMs. The total number of seats in all IIMs is 3, 335 at present. This increase as well as the increase in number of test takers is expected to increase competition among candidates aspiring to join the IIMs.
Shortlisted candidates of CAT 2013 need to appear for group discussions, personal interviews and Written Ability Tests (WAT) held by the IIMs as well as other B-schools which accept CAT scores to grant admission to students.
Source: The Times of India
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