If you are a CAT 2018 aspirant, this news will definitely bring a smile on your face. IIMs have decided to include more questions from management studies in order to attract more non-engineering students.
This comes as a hint to CAT 2018 aspirants just a month before the exam. One can easily predict what kind of questions will now dominate the CAT 2018 exam paper.
But why did IIMs decide to focus on different questions?
Because the classrooms in IIM continue to be dominated by men and engineers. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are trying to add diversity to their classrooms.
This will ultimately show up in corporate boardrooms of domestic as well as international companies in the next few years. IIMs do not want the CAT pattern to be biased towards engineering students.
They have realized the need for academic diversity and have thus, acted on it.
Is the CAT 2018 exam pattern also changed?
No. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have decided that the questions will be framed in a manner to create a level field for students from all streams.
It would be equally tough the crack the management entrance exam for all streams – arts, commerce, engineering and management. There is no plan to change the pattern this year.
The CAT examination (CAT 2018) will have same exam paper pattern but will neutralize the engineering bias that the questions used to have.
Is it to promote gender diversity?
It is true that the IIMs are concerned about the problem of gender diversity. According to a report published by The Economic Times on 3rd August, 2018, the percentage of women at IIMs has gone down a little this year. The report says- ‘Women constitute 26% of the class of 2018-20 at IIMs Ahmedabad, Kozhikode and Calcutta, compared with 30% in the previous batch. At IIM-Bangalore, their share has remained unchanged at about 28% for three years now. The only outlier among top IIMs is Indore, where women comprise 39% of the new batch, but that too is down from last year’s 41%’.
What kind of questions will now come in CAT 2018?
This year, CAT exam will be conducted by IIM Calcutta. CAT 2018 convener and IIM Calcutta professor Sumanta Basu has confirmed that broad pattern of CAT exam will remain same.
Like previous years, CAT 2018 exam will also have three sections – Verbal ability and reading comprehension, Data interpretation and logical reasoning, and Quantitative ability.
However, the type of questions asked in each of these sections will differ. There will be some change, as IIM Calcutta is working in framing the right kind of questions.
The focus of all questions asked in CAT 2018 will be on testing the fundamentals of a candidate. This would extend equal opportunities to all candidates.
How were the previous year’s CAT exam questions?
If one goes by the analysis of top CAT institutes and scorers, there has been a great favoritism towards testing reasoning and analytical ability. Less attention has been given to testing grammar and vocabulary of a candidate.
This is why engineers used to have the upper hand in the CAT exam since past few years. In all 20 IIMs in India, the majority of the students are bachelors.
What else is IIM Calcutta doing to minimize the engineering bias?
There is a change in the selection process of IIMs too. This change is also a result of IIMs’ decision to add academic diversity to their business schools.
IIM Calcutta allots only 15 points to CAT percentile score (out of 50) in selection process. The rest 35 points are distributed as 24 points for the personal interview (PI) and 5 points for written ability test (WAT).
Clearly, a candidate who can write well on a given topic has a higher chance of getting through IIM Calcutta. On the other hand, someone who is good in analysis but has poor writing and communication skills will not survive.
What about the engineers?
It is evident that IIMs want to take more non-engineers. But, this does not imply that engineering students cannot qualify CAT 2018.
If you have a good grammar and vocabulary, i.e. you have good analytical and English skills, nobody can stop you from getting into an IIM. No matter what, the IIMs would not compromise on the quality of students they take.
Here is some data depicting the percentage of students from engineering and non-engineering backgrounds at IIM A.
As you can see, almost 70% of the students are from engineering colleges. Around 52% are from the top engineering colleges such as the IITs, NITs, and BITS.