“Too many cooks spoil a broth” has got too old now, so to give a replacement of the old adage to the world. Too many managers and people knowledgable about managing, sat in a room some where and decided
“There shall be light” and CAT went Online …
and since then the whole wide world in India, has become aware of another fact of life, ” Too many managers spoil the CAT”.
A country in which education demands headlines only when coupled with caste, finally there was something which recieved a lot of eyeballs. After all it was CAT, the premier exam in India, which was going through a revamp. Every Indian who has had some amount of education was following and having comments on a topic which was not cricket, movie or politics. The most ironic thing with the CAT going online was, finally it would be the mouse which would bell the CAT.
As most of the pundits must have predicted, even before the cat started yelping with all the system crashes which are happening nowadays, CAT 2009 didnt prove to be quite a success. Actually to that I would say that this is expected, after all its a change and humans generally learn from our mistakes. The only thing which befuddles me is, a particular oragnisation called Prometric was given some 40 million Dollars (source : some friends so dont sue me if the figure is wrong) for a 5 years contract and they end up screwing all this so badly, which is the most shocking part of this whole episode. Specially a company which has been in the business since 1990 and (supposedly) had a good record in conducting such exams (acc to wikipedia).
The overall test process would prove to be a pain in your arse. Most shocking part of the test was when they asked you to remove your wrist watch and deposit even them with those guys and to this day, I am wondering what could be the possible explanation for such an act. (some mysterious signals emitting from them might be the source of all the computer crashes that Prometric is suffering :P). The whole process means waiting for long long time and getting bored, thankfully I had taken my mobile (which ofcourse I had to submit 😦 ) which meant that I could have entertainment in form of facebook for some time.
Coming to the actual test, the first reaction of mine as soon as I got out of the room was “Was this supposed to be a mockery of the CAT that used to be”. I was disappointed by the fact thateven a person like me didn’t find the test tough, given that I havent been in any way even close to CAT prep. Even another frnd of mine felt so.
The test s/w wasnt any way close to what you would expect from a CAT paper.Being a s/w engineer myself, i was more concerned with looking at the design and there are many observable flaws in it. One being, the “End Test” button being very close to next button. Once I almost clicked on the End Test button by mistake. (Thank God!) Although have to say, the review feature is nice, pretty good.
All done and dusted away with the test, I am still unsure as to the reasons of making CAT online, except may be saving up on a lott of papers, but beside being an enviornment friendly one, this step doesnt excite me very much. If they are thinking of going the GRE way, then they should keep one thing in mind. CAT is a highly competitive exam, on which the careers of many people depends and some people are really senti about CAT while GRE score is more of a guideline instead of being a cut off total, so a bit of disrepancy there wouldnt matter as much as one in CAT scores. I still dont know what would be they do about the varying level of papers through all the days of this process. And yet, the most stupid part of this being an online test was, they didnt even tell us the scores after the completion of the test. I dont know why in God’s name couldnt they have declared the score with this being an online.
I know it be would be nigh impossible, but I wish that CAT returns to pen and paper, afterall these CAT people must have huge egos and they wouldnt want a balck mark on their records and they will go ahead and definitely come up next year with some improvements in CAT 2010 (hopefully). But CAT 2009 will definitely count as a not so succesful experiment, atleast in my eyes!!