City boy among CAT toppers

More than 3,500 students who have had a crack at the Common Admission Test can expect a call from at least one of the seven Indian Institutes of Management.

The results of CAT, which will be used by the IIMs and 124 other management institutes to enrol students, were released on Tuesday. But senior IIM faculty members themselves could not throw any light on the exact number of successful CAT aspirants. Confusion reigned as the website—meant to convey the results to 2.3 lakh candidates—crashed, unable to take the load of queries from every corner of India.

Thousands of students could not view their percentile scores as they logged on at the stroke of 3 pm. “The entire exercise was an anti-climax. Even if some students got to know their percentile scores, they had no way of knowing which IIM would be giving them a call as the website had crashed by then,” TIME-Bangalore director Ajay Arora said.

But a few of the 21,000-odd examinees who appeared for CAT from Mumbai were celebrating. And 21-year-old Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay student Gourav Bhattacharya was one of them. He, like only ten or so management aspirants across India, had scored a 100 percentile in CAT (in effect, topping the exam).

On Tuesday, as the Common Admission Test score flashed on his cellphone, Bhattacharya allowed himself a smile that said it all. What made Bhattacharya’s feat even more creditable was the fact that the metallurgical engineering and material science student achieved it without taking any coaching.

A few Mumbaikars who scored above the 99 percentile were smiling along with him. Amogh Bhole and Srikanth Viswanathan from the electronics engineering department of the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) were two among them who scored in the 99.96 percentile and 99.5 percentile, respectively.

“I feel CAT is an exam that does not involve learning. You basically need to align your thought process,” Viswanathan said. Both of them, like many others at VJTI, took the exam in the middle of their final-year semester exam.

Ashish Makhija, who scored in the 99.88 percentile, was another confident Mumbai IIM aspirant who started preparing for the group discussion and personal interview as soon as the written exams were over. A jubilant Makhija trekked to Siddhivinayak temple in the evening on Tuesday. His parents stay in Iran and he stays in the city with his grandmother.

“CAT is one exam that requires more smart work than hard work,” he said.

IIM faculty, meanwhile, admitted that the load on the website was too much. The CAT admission committee decided to have a dedicated website this year after all the individual IIMs’ websites crashed on result day last year. “But this, too, does not seem to have helped. We will upload the results on individual IIM websites if the problem persists on Wednesday morning,” a senior IIM official said.

Although no trend was clearly discernible in all the confusion, faculty members said the results varied widely across the three sections—English, Data Interpretation and Quantitative Analysis. And, for most, English was apparently the toughest section to crack, teachers said.

So, if a student has not scored well in English despite faring well in the other two sections, s/he may still not get a call from any of the IIMs. This is because the IIMs—unlike other B-schools—insist on a minimum level of competence in all three sections.

“The sectional cut-off for English seems to be on the higher side at 25 this year. Quantitative analysis, which was tougher, saw a drop in the cut-off (from 40 to 30) this year. The Data Interpretation section, as always, was easy,” Arindam Lahiri of Career Launcher, a Delhi CAT coaching centre, said.

Faculty members also said there was a wide variability in performance across the three sections. And all these factors may prompt the IIMs to relax cut-offs this year.

But some things have remained the same. About 90 per cent of the successful candidates across most IIMs may again be engineering students, say senior faculty members. var RN = new String (Math.random()); var RNS = RN.substring (2,11); var b2 = ‘ ‘; if (doweshowbellyad==1) bellyad.innerHTML = b2;

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