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CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Friday, 1 May 2009, 02:27 AM

cat 2009 cat 2010 computer-based test cheatingFor one, CAT 2009 is not 'online,' it is 'computer-based.' An online test is a test which is delievered on a computer through the internet. So if you don't have an internet connection you cannot take the test. A computer-based test, on the other hand, is a regular test that only uses a computer interface. You do not need an internet connection to take a computer-based test. Hence, I would feel less outraged if 'CAT going online' mongers would use the correct terminology at least. Another term that needs to be understood is 'computer adaptive test.' In a computer adaptive test the level of difficulty of the next question depends on the correctness of the previous response. At the start of the test, you are presented with a test question of average difficulty. If you answer this right, the next question will be more difficult. But if you answer this wrong, you get an easier question and so on. In other words, no two tests are alike - each examinee will get a different set of questions to attempt based on his or her ability level.

How is a computer-based test (CBT) different from a paper-based test (PBT)?

The following points have been the main differences between a CBT and a PBT in the past. These differences may or may not be there in common admission test.

·          Higher Question/Time Ratio: The CBT allows more time per question as compared to PBT. It may also have a fewer number of questions than the PBT.

·          No Skipping of questions: Unlike PBT, the CBT does not allow you to leave a question unanswered. You must attempt a question in order to get to the next one. And once you have answered a question, you cannot go back to it.

·          Adaptive Testing: This is probably the most important difference between the two kinds of tests. In a computer-adaptive test, the computer screen displays one question at a time. The question is chosen from a very large pool of questions categorized by content and difficulty. The test starts out by posing questions of average difficulty. As you answer those questions, depending on whether you are correct or incorrect, the test poses future questions accordingly. So if you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier, with a smaller point value; and conversely, if you answer the question correctly, the next question will be more difficult, with a larger point value. The larger number of difficult questions you answer, the higher score you receive.

So what is happening with CAT 2009?

On 28th April 2009, we read the following announcement in one of leading newspapers in the country:


cat 2009 computer-based paper announcement

Many of the users might have noticed that we kept quiet on CAT becoming computer-based when all world around us was exploding with ‘CAT going online’ banners. Rendering a computer-based test is hardly a feat yet we were seeing the test prep industry competing vigorously and trying to project themselves as best-equipped to tackle the new CAT. We kept quiet because we felt there were numerous difficulties in making CAT computer-based. The difficulties such as infrastructure, large database of questions, making comparable tests to be given in different slots etc. have been quoted oft enough so I will not dwell upon those. To us, the bigger challenge was that a computer-based test is very prone to cheating. How? Here’s how-

Suppose I want to crack CAT 2009 by unorthodox means. All I need to do is to form a large group of CAT aspirants (maybe 50k to 1 lac) by connecting with all the CAT aspirants in my coaching center, city, or country. Does it seem far fetched? Not really, given the number of online CAT forums, Orkut communities, Googlegroups etc. I can certainly make a large group of CAT aspirants if I try hard enough. Only care I would have to take is to not make the group very public. Then what?

(Note- please do not try forming such groups on TotalGadha, we do not take part in something illegal or unethical)

Given the 10 days window for conducting the exam, right from day 1, the test takers start sharing each and every question of the exam after they have come out of the test center. It does not take a genius to figure out what will happen. Whether CAT is computer-based, with different question papers for each slot, or computer-adaptive, with questions being pulled from a large pool of database, the students coming later on would benefit in either case. Let’s see-

Test is computer-based- The IIMs would have to keep all the tests in different slots very comparable to each other. That means similar category (or same) questions, same difficulty levels, etc. So a student who has access to previous test papers can gauge the difficulty level, the probable cutoffs and the number of questions to be attempted, the type of questions to be expected, and prepare himself.

Test is computer-adaptive- This would be the easiest of all. If the students start sharing questions, pretty soon the later candidates will find that the questions are repeating. It has been done before- the case in point of the website ‘’ which was shut down by GMAC because it was posting live questions from GMAT. And many of the students solving questions on found that they got the same questions in their actual GMAT.

In the history of Common Admission Test, it has been only once (in 2003) that the CAT paper was leaked. But if CAT is becoming computer-based I am very suspicious that it will happen again and again.

Unless IIMs find a way to prevent this. But can they?

A million dollar question.


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Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by iim dreams - Friday, 1 May 2009, 06:31 AM

Interesting article. First time that someone has really pointed out the difference between online test and CBT .  

But the article does scare me sad What will happen to those who prepare alone ??

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Gaurav Jain - Friday, 1 May 2009, 10:52 AM
As you have stated that under CBT, you have to attempt the question to move forward and later on, you can't attempt the previous questions. So, I was wondering what kind of paper BITSAT (entrance test organized by BITS,Pilani) comes under, as in that we can browse through every questions and can change answers before final submission.
Maybe this time CAT paper can be on the lines of BITSAT smile
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Leonidas S - Friday, 1 May 2009, 10:59 AM
  Hi Tg,

Interesting article and pretty valid points.I have some more doubts.What happens if we face connectivity problems/computer problems during the exam?Will I be allowed to continue again?Waiting for the IIMs to clarify.

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Friday, 1 May 2009, 01:16 PM
  Hi Leonidas,

As I said, it is not an online exam. There will not be any connectivity problem. The test software will be loaded on your terminal itself.

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by OnTheGo _Gadha - Friday, 1 May 2009, 11:42 PM

I have not started my prep for Quants. I had planned that I would choose some selective questions in quants if I am not able to prep well for quant.

Now, the game has changed or atleast the rules have. I have to answer every question and they have to provide me with the easiest one they have got under their belt. Does it make me laugh?? No, Now I really have to put on my thinking cap.

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Abhinav Agrawal - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 12:03 AM
  Hi TG Sir,

Just one doubt, How does CBT offer more time/ ques, as compared to PBT?

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by abhishek rai - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 07:52 AM
  Do we really have to attempt each question??? This is terrifying.... surprise
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Bonhomie Fella - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 08:45 AM
  After days of hardwork we get the news that CAT is a computer based test now. Thats bizzare!! TG sir after reading your article i m convinced that its going to be a flop show. Specially things like the later you take the test the better are your chances makes the game very unfair and i m no mood to play an unfair game. My pursuit to bell the cat ends now!!
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Screwed Gadha - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 10:48 AM
  Despite the endless criticism of IIMs' decision of making CAT computer based, we should have full faith in the selection of students and conduction of tests by the institutes we are vying for to get into.
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by abhay agrawal - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 12:26 PM

Actually this is not the time to think what will happen but the time is to give all efforts. Change occurs and we should accept the change because change will not change, we have to change. so keep ROCK ON!!!

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by ajit mishra - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 01:59 PM

The new test-taking methodology has been introduced on account of the pressure being continously built by the increasing no. of test takers.

However the point to note is whether CAT will remain as transparent as it was earlier or is smthin fishy here???



Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by avijit mohapatra - Saturday, 2 May 2009, 06:28 PM
  Hello sir
Really interesting article with a perspective given on the difference of online and CBT exams ( I was aware of the difference till now)
But ;I think CAT wont make the exam on the lines of GRE and GMAT because it will affect the basic norm of CAT of choosing the smart and not the Genius.If one has to attempt all questions and that to answer them correctly in order its quite unreasonable way of selection because the basic premise of CAT prep -"Selecting the easiest questions and attempt" is getting violated.
I think CAT would rather follow the lines of BITSAT.....
Lets see whats in the bag
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by varun saxena - Sunday, 3 May 2009, 01:39 PM

Well...there is only one thing which strikes me negatively....and that is......if the candidates taking exam during the last  days of 10 day window be benefitted highly......then it will certainly result in the drop of percentiles of candidates appearing earlier!!!!....

Should not the highly esteemed institutions take some steps to prevent this????

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Jitu Krishna Pradhan - Sunday, 3 May 2009, 04:10 PM

it's really a factual article and the changes are welcome but what about the students preparing alone...


Then what r ur planning to make us more comfortable with the changing pattern (CBT)..


we hope u will come with great ideas to make us feel great about cbt.....

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Krushang Shah - Monday, 4 May 2009, 11:53 AM

Hey TG $ir,

I was in the same perplexities from last 4-5 days...

My concerns are on The TGTown..

I dont know, how should I react???...

am I happily scared??? or scarily happy???

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Nicky S - Monday, 4 May 2009, 01:47 PM
  I agree sir. In BITSAT, it was only 5 of us preparing and there were 4 students before me. I had about 3 questions repeating. In CAT this can be crucial as 12 marks and 5-6 minutes can make or break a person's future.
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by abhishek sinha - Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 02:30 PM

Hello sir,

            cdnt figure out one thing....As few hv pointed out"Attempting all questions seems improbable" as this will bring the "LUCK FACTOR " too much..

              one more thing...will questions be displayed "ONE @ a time...or will there be the paper in a say something like a pdf format?". Kindly ellighten me on this.



Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by felis maniac - Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 06:31 PM
  Thanx tg sir 4 terrifying us with this scary article! I dont know how to express my fear now,it seems like you keep building up the strength to fight a mighty cat n suddenly u recognise u are a mouse!! The whole strategy,all tips given by every sites needs to be broken now n new rules,strategies are to build up.Its just terrifying that how we should prepare ourselves to answer every question ? n 'only one attempt per question' is the last straw!Again who are they to decide which should be the easiest question to me??? I mean the same question might be easier to someone whereas not 2 me n vice-versa.Sir plzz help us out 4m dis panicking situation.Last cat i started cursing my career(10TH 89.8,12TH 78,BTECH 8.8) n again u face this!!

When is the online test series on TG coming?plz reply sir

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 06:52 PM
  Hi Felis,

We are coming up with our online membership section and our online copycats (mocks) soon. smile

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by felis maniac - Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 09:00 PM
  Thanx sir for ur quickest reply.Eagerly waiting for ur mock tonics.I hope they will be the exact replica of the upcoming cat
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Dhiraj Bhagat - Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 10:59 PM
  1. the author has paid way 2 much attention on the difference between online and CBT. even though every one seems to be using the term online, but all of them would be actually knowing that its a CBT, though the term being used is wrong. So, bhaavnao ko samjho.. naam mein kya rakha hai?

2. the author mentioned abt the time ratio. answer is one word- "Ridiculous", and the proof to this is the next thing author discussed about, ie, "No skipping of questions".

3. Even if there is a facility to get back to skipped questions it wud be a time consuming option..

4. BUT yes I am quite optimistic, coz its a new thing for almost everyone..
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Tuesday, 5 May 2009, 11:44 PM
  Hi Dhiraj,

1) Maybe the institutes know that but my gullible students don't. So don't make light of 'naam mein kya rakha hai.' Making a fool of students or scaring them in order to do business is no laughing matter. And if you are saying that institutes know that it is CBT and not an online test and are still using the term online, don't you think they have a vested interest in that?

2) As for the 'ridiculous' term, maybe you should go and do some research. CBTs give scientifically more time per question than PBTs. If the times given are comparable, the difficulty level of question in case of CBTs is lower.

3) Agreed, but the main thing is not about going back to a question, it might be skipping some questions and going forward. In short, going to any question that a student wants to, the freedom that PBTs allow.

4) So am I. smile

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by rahul krishnan - Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 01:42 PM

Cat was always synonymous with the quality of questions used in the test and the unexpected pattern it followed. Now the test developer is ETS as claimed in the link. What effect it could have on quality of test ? A possible dilution of CAT? Or one similar to GMAT?

I have a doubt : the word "online" means you are connected to a central computer(in conmmon usage an internet server- or an ISP gateway) right? {1 controlled by or connected to a computer. 2 in or into operation or existence. -} . The test comps are connected to a central server and database , be it CBT or CAT. So why is it a wrong usage? There is no correct replacement for the meaning it conveys. It may not be online via internet but the TEST is ONLINE come what may . I appreciate the noble motive behind such an article but i would say you were too harsh on criticising others.

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 01:23 PM
  Hi Rahul,

I do not think there would be a dilution in the quality or delivery of the test. In this regard, I think IIMs and ETS are unquestionable. But the cheating issue is still a looming threat. In case of GMAT, incidents of such kind of cheating are rare because (a) GMAT test takers are less in number and (b) most importantly, they are dispersed throughout the year. Hence a GMAT test taker is more or less a lone entity. Here, ETS would be trying to cram 3 lac aspirants within an interval of 10 days. And it cannot happen that students in the same city, coaching institutes, forums etc. do not share their test experiences or questions.

I have not seen 'online' being used for GMAT. Also, I am sure that if you ask students, none of them would give the definition that you give and nearly all of them associate the term online with internet. Also, don't you think calling it computer-based would keep things free from ambiguity?

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by rahul krishnan - Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 03:49 PM
  Yes. The core idea of article was possibility of cheating and somehow forgotten by the "ONLINE" saga. I agree that students who choose/are allotted early timings will be in disadvantageous position. And so does relative ranking: What if all the brainies come together on a single day? It will spell end of dreams for any average student. There are lot of imbalance it brings . And like everyone mentioned there are advantages too. I will better wait till jul to know what iims have to say in this regard.
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by vivek gupta - Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 06:20 PM

Hi TG/Dheeraj,

I agree with most of your analysis but not completely. I am not sure if the test would be adaptive or not.

My guess is it would be non adaptive. The reason is the time needed to create such a large pool of questions with same level of difficulty.  Secondly, the current education system in India. Till now, we do not have provision for scoring now and using the scores after 2 or 3 years. Also, there is no system of SOP's and all so IIM's are expected to stick with percentile system. The scoring as happen in GMAT is a very complicated algorithm and the difference in scores doesn't reflect truly the difference in correct attempts.

Now, assuming the CAT would be non adaptive, so simple CBT again, it is online or software based hardly matters. In both cases, you shall be given same time and nothing changes. The speed of Internet would be assured to be as good as software of needed.

Now, some remarks on your article.

1. In a CBT, you would be allowed to skip the questions like a PBT. Because you would get a fixed set of questions and a screen to navigate from one question to another.

2. I guess you can also change your answer option like CAT..Why not.

3. I agree with lesser difficulty or shorter pessages. The reason for this is because it takes more time to read from a computer screen vis a vis paper. So it is logical to have either lesser questions or shorter in length.



Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Thursday, 7 May 2009, 03:29 AM
  Hi Vivek,

As I have said in the article, whether CAT is computer-based or computer-adaptive it is prone to cheating in either case. As a rough calculation for a CBT, let's suppose IIMs have 4 slots of test-taking in a single day. That makes it 4 different papers per day, 40 different papers in all. Assuming 25 questions per section per paper, I am tentatively looking at 1000 question in total for every section. Good so far? Now here comes the twist-
  • To make the 40 papers comparable, the papers have to have same distribution of difficulty level of questions. They might also have to have same 'type' of questions. Otherwise, if IIMs say that a critical reasoning question of difficulty index 5 is the same as a reading comprehension question of difficulty index 5, it is questionable. Therefore, if the papers have ANYTHING common to keep them comparable, the students taking tests later on would be aware of it. If the papers do not have anything comparable, IIMs would be inviting lots of lawsuits from aggrieved parents and students.
  • To keep papers comparable, the difficulty indexes of the questions have to be predetermined, which can only happen if the questions have been given to a large pool of students before. IIMs don't have that kind of a database. So they might use old GMAT database of ETS. (Remind me to ask my students to take GMAT before taking CAT). If the difficulty indexes are predetermined through any means other than giving the tests to a large enough pool of students, it would again be questionable.
  • If the questions are to be comparable, DI questions are out as it is hard to make two DI sets comparable. Data sufficiency questions are in.

And as I said before, if it is going to be a computer-adaptive test, it is going to be a scoretop scandal all over again because questions would repeat very frequently amongst 3 lac test takers. Either way I still fail to see a way out. But I am sure IIMs would have figured something out by now. But still, if the IIMs come out with a CBT with different papers, it would be wise to ask them how they would keep so many papers comparable.

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Abhishek Vinayin - Thursday, 7 May 2009, 06:17 PM

I was going through this post of urs, I must admit it was an interesting one..... but one thing I would like u to touch upon, that is how is the "on line mode" going to impact the tests strategy for this year.
What is the most likely type of pattern shift in the question paper for this year. I know its a very vague question to answer but it would be nice even if you could touch upon a couple of probabilities.


Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by abhishek sinha - Thursday, 7 May 2009, 10:14 PM

Hello Sir,

             Even i think DI section wd undergo a reasonable change and DATA-SUFFICIENCY will play a real crucial role since it is not an easy task ro come up with so many new DI sets(of equal difficulty)cool...

            One doubt sir.I had heard that one more reason for the IIM's going online is that they want to strip the pressure off the students for a "PARTICULAR" day..and want to conduct them a couple of times a year.Did not hear any noise regarding this???sad  Any inputs on this??





Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by parth makhija - Friday, 8 May 2009, 03:27 AM
  hello tg sir
though i am not an active member on this forum but today i think i must put my views forward
sir i have been reading a lot about this latest happening of computer based cat in last couple of weeks
so today decided to post my views on it
sir i think this thing is important but is getting exaggerated beyond limits
to be honest i have seen people appreciating and cramping about this... but one question i ask them is that do we an option... and the answer i get is no... so if dont have any option then why worry about a thing to this extent
from last couple of weeks people are busy critising this decision i am busy in making my self adaptive to this format of testing
so my one and only suggestion to everyone... is that dont worry too much we dont have ay other option but to crack cat 2009 so if it is computer based make yourself adaptive to that


Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Hank Rearden - Friday, 8 May 2009, 11:03 AM

The advantages of CBT:

1) Reduces strategizing. Eg., one need not peruse any section for questions of one's comfort. Also, I believe there will be a fixed order of section presentation. So no more bothering about which section to attempt first(some may consider these to be disadvantages but it surely does save time and anxiety).

2) (if) Everyone in a batch gets the same first question and depending upon the result of each answer further questions will be tougher or simpler. Hence a level playing field for all.

And about cheating, i'm glad you're caught up in the wrong job! tongueout.

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by thelast option - Friday, 8 May 2009, 01:58 PM
  waiting for the tg online mocks
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by ravi v - Friday, 8 May 2009, 09:42 PM
  At Last CAT is becoming like gre and toefl exams
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Friday, 8 May 2009, 09:47 PM
  Hi Hank Rearden,

1) You are assuming questions will come one by one.
2) You are assuming it is a computer adaptive test.

I think I would rather wait for the structure of the test to be declared by IIMs themselves.

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Total Gadha - Saturday, 9 May 2009, 03:47 AM
  Hi Ajith,

We would be starting with our online mocks in July after CAT notification comes out. Right now, we are starting with our exclusive membership section. Have a look! smile

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by felis maniac - Sunday, 10 May 2009, 10:58 AM

I want to access the exclusive membership section but the problem is i don't have a  credit card and neither can i  borrow from any one.plz allow it to be paid also by DEBIT CARD or DD.


plz make some arrangements so that people can access this section even if not having credit card.I desperately need this1 cause it feels like  being nutty with this out of nowhere announcement of 'CBT'.plzzz help

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Deep Mitra - Sunday, 10 May 2009, 11:23 PM

I have a doubt, what do you mean by u have to attend a question ? Whether there will be a sixth option added to 5 option e.g. Dont wanna attempt....
or we will have to chose a answer within the 5 options given.
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by saurabh jain - Monday, 11 May 2009, 12:18 PM

Hi TG,

One query ....out of the discussion going on..

Presently,I am working with Infosys and have 2.7yrs of exp.I 've scored 91%ile  in CAT2007 and 93.5 %ile in CAT2008. Its been very disappointing for me, I am preapring from the past 2 yrs and still ,not able to manage to get through CAT.Could you please guide me , what is going wrong and what different approach should I take this time for CAT2009? Moreover now I am thinking for Executive courses, as by the time I ll join any B-school in May-jun2010 i will ve 4 yrs of exp. Could you tell me by pursuing executive courses I can change my profile or ve to continue in the IT industry or it is still better to go for full time MBA (2 yrs)? Please also mention the colleges .




Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Nidhi Mehta - Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 12:08 PM

Hey TG,

I understnad the concerns and advantages with the CBT pattren of CAT.

However, I have some queries relating the same:

1> As said in the article, we wudnt be allowed to go to the previous questions. But will we be allowed to move b/w the sections ? or will there be a concept called sections altogether. I hope that the questions from each section are not jumbled up. sad

2> With 3 lac people facing the new CBT pattern, I think the percentile is surely gonna go down. Please comment on the same, It is very much unpredictable to me, as to what would be the outcome of this @ the end-of-the-day. And how will this affect the admissions to various institutes.

3> Also, please help with the correct preperation guideline. Will be very obliged. smile



Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by anil cletus - Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 05:03 PM
  thats some genuine concern...........the person with aerage ability could crack in with some smart work and contacts.......the solution is obvious reduce the window period....and conduct it in a single day if possible.......
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Robin Jain - Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 03:08 PM
  Hi Tg,

As u said that the computer screen displays one question at a time. The question is chosen from a very large pool of questions categorized by content and difficulty. The test starts out by posing questions of average difficulty. As we answer those questions, depending on whether you are correct or incorrect, the test poses future questions accordingly. So if we answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier, with a smaller point value; and conversely, if we answer the question correctly, the next question will be more difficult, with a larger point value. The larger number of difficult questions you answer, the higher score you receive.

But these are the characteristics of Computer Adaptive Test and CAT from this year transforms into Computer Based Test and not in Computer Adaptive Test.
Am I right????

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by sumit jaiswal - Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 06:52 PM
  Hey....... my ques is when cat was pbt then if my number system was gd i go fr dat bt as u hv mention dat we hv to first attempt the question to go fr the nxt qustion dan what i shuld do nw shuld i go fr whole syllubs or what pls rply..........
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Rahul Aggarwal - Thursday, 21 May 2009, 02:21 PM

Nice article. Thanks for removing the dust over these "similar" looking terms.



Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by saradindu sarma - Friday, 22 May 2009, 02:10 PM

Hi TG..
your article was very informative,  even for those who have been digging around for last couple of seasons for CAT/GMAT, who wud be aware of the standard terminologies like CBT/ Adaptive test and etc..

But one point which i wud like to bring up is why are you assuming that IIMs wud be giving comparable papers in all the 10 slots/days..
just lie back and think about it for a moment... CAT has concentrated on different topics on different years.. 05-DI was tough.. 06-English was tough.. 07- Maths was tough.. 08- DI was tough with more weightage in english... The point is every year some or the other ppl have an edge over others just cuz their strong section is being tested in that CAT...[case in pt: my romie scored 80/160 in eng in cat09 cuz he was damn strong, ergo his final score scorched up to 135+]

So wat makes CAT09 of 10 days any differrent from this... there can be a situation where there would be absolutely no link between the paper of day1 and the paper of day2.. what CAT would concentrate upon is how you handle yourself into a situation that you are totally unfamilier with and do not have a ready made strategy.. so in that case all the probs will be solved.. ie no repetation of questions and no repetation of patterns...

only area of concern wud be some guys getting a raw deal as their paper myt be more difficult compared to the guys appearing the previous day.. but again some guys (like me) do get a raw deal when they walk into a Paper and pencil CAT and see their dreaded section as the toughest.. tat risk is always there... and i guess there we have to trust the IIM guys to come up with 10 papers which are similar in difficulty level... may or may not be same in pattern level.. you cant compare DI sections? fine.. give tough DI caselets in all 10.. or give easy and plenty of them in all 10 of them... RC-SC-PJ-CR.. they can be fixed at the same level..

so honestly what i feel is the easiest way to remove all possibilities of cheating are.. make them unrelated to each other.. just keep them of the same difficulty level..

i know lots of ppl wud differ with me on this.. please reply if u do smile

expecting them..


Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by sanket maheshwari - Sunday, 24 May 2009, 08:20 PM
  you r telling about this absolutely right but at the time of exam we r totally focussed on our studies not on a way to collect a numerous amount of questions by sitting and chatting on a practically CHEATING can not be possible bcoz IIM have also thinked this serious matter before doing cat online......... cool surprise
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues :A possible solution
by beena rai - Saturday, 30 May 2009, 04:16 PM
  Hi TG sir ,

This is really an interesting thread.
I appreciate the comments and critical analysis done.I have a different take on the problem in question and would like to share my analysis with all.

Total no of seats with IIMS roughly 3000.

10 days * 4 slots = 40 papers

suppose there are 5 levels of questions considering the trend of percentiles past 5-6 years.

*net = ( net answers correct after subtracting negatives in a paper based test )

Level 0 :

no answer 0 marks fetches 20 %ile ( in cat nothing right is better than something wrong : ) )

Level 1 :

2-4 Q net* --> 50+ ( 1. whether you are serious about CAT this year ) 2.1 lakh

Level 2:

4-6 net*--> 70-80 ( 1+ 2. you have the nerves and right selection of problems ) 35,000

Level 3 :

6-8 net* --> 85-93 ( are able to think creatively in 2- 3 problems ) 37,000

Level 4 :

9-10 net*--> 94-97 (1+2+3+4.You commit mistakes rarely or not at all ) 9000(900 per day)

Level 5 :

10+ net *--> 97+ % (ALL 5.You have a knack for solving toughest of problems in the easiest of ways )

9000(900 per day)

Lets assume cat is Computer adaptive ,however ,cat may give choices and still be adaptive ( like answer any 7 of these 10 Q), at every level ,and depending on your competence in that level the next level questions are served in sets of 10 [aprrox.])

suppose 8,000 questions is the database size that ETS intends to prepare.

80% i.e. 6400 questions will be of easy/medium/just above average difficulty , these are the ones which will be ,modeled on previous year question papers + some help from GRE data base + some new questions framed by ETS )

another 14% questions will be of reasonable quality higher than that of the above and may be served in Level 3 - 4 .

the last 6% are the fresh CAT questions (that should change every year)

While these questions will be and as a matter of fact still are widely known ( call it cheating or sharing or the power of networking;whatever! ) these fail to be of much use since they are easy and of little use is getting a 94+ %tile

More over which 30-40 of these 6400 will figure out in your test ? you never know ,so no point collecting thousands of questions ( collecting questions might help for coming years.but ,again, every body knows these questions ).

Lets try to figure out in terms of numbers how many guys would have seen a LEVEL 4 and 5 question only 1800 guys a day and 18000 guys

finally .That too spread across india .Chances of these guys realising and posting on net that they have actually seen a level 4-5 question!!

rare!! or if they realise but are reluctant to tell [ Here mutual relative competition plays its role ].

every year (including this year these level 4 and 5 questions will be the one prepared specially for potential IIM selections ).

We see that the top slot of 18000 is just 6% of the total junta of 3 lakh and proportionately only 960-questions ( a meagre 240 questions can be morphed to 4 sets of equal dificullty ,slightly varying in details and the solution ) can be prepared ,every year ,with utmost care by IIM profs,to ensure only high quality students qualifying cat and getting into IIMs.

The rest 94% junta will never know what these questions were coz these 600-1000 questions are served only to those who are already in the

94% plus range (those who answer these will be the one who are sure of getting an IIM call.)

As you can see this is a very simple solution that an ordinary guy like me has proposed .I expect IIM profs to deal with it much more efficiently.And they definitely will.

In CAT too ,like GMAT, from this year onwards ,a lot of people will fall in a band [around 85% fall in the <650 band ].

Finally,cutoffs will definitely go high ( relatively ) and what will matter is how to get into the 97%ile+ league.

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues :A possible solution
by Total Gadha - Saturday, 30 May 2009, 05:45 PM
  Hi Beena,

The assumption you are making that students would be sharing easier level questions and not tougher level questions because of the rarity of students. Assume 10 students are taking the exam in the first slot, 2 of which are 99 percentile category. Rest of the 8 will share their questions with others and would thereby raise the level of the students in the next slot- from 94 or 95 percentilers to 99 percentilers- since these students would have seen lower level questions they would solve them easily and move on to the higher level. And more and more of these guys will start seeing and sharing the 99 percentile questions by day 2 and 3.

Also, your argument assumes that a little bit of cheating is okay. Do you think cheating at even lower percentiles would go unnoticed and would raise less hue and cry?

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by amul badjatya - Sunday, 21 June 2009, 09:53 AM
  well, i don't know much about the pattern and possible u format, but some t.i.m.e faculty rightly said that "pattern and format don't matter as long as your basics are right and you know how to solve the question!"
if you have practiced hard enough you are sure to beat the competition any day!it is all about practice and temperament i believe!
and that is what  IIMs and other freat institutes are looking for in us i believe!!

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues :A possible solution
by Vipul Mathur - Tuesday, 23 June 2009, 01:10 AM

I kind of gravitate towards the reasoning by saradindu sarma, in a post above. The assumption that the difficulty level of papers need to be comparable is questionable. With approx 3 lac students sitting for the exam in a period of 10 days, it would boil down to approx 30K people sitting in a single day. If we assume that each day would have some finite (around 3-4) time slots it would further boil down to around 10K people in a single slot, in a day. What we will therefore have at the end of that slot, is a 'result' for that slot and a 'cuttoff' for that slot. Having this flexibility of results-by-slots will allow the papers/questions to be unrelated and every slot would be an entirely new paper. You will not be able to complain about the 'toughness quotient' or 'comparibility' because, legitimately you will have to outperform in a pool of 10k candidates only! Further, no complains about english as hard or quant being hard would be tolerated because, for any examination the underlying philosophy is that no matter what the paper is, only the best would get selected in any scenario. And if you are the best, then it is immaterial to cite the reasons of 'comparibility of toughness'.  The percentile pool doesnt have to be all encompassing - it doesnot necessarily mean to stand for 3lacs - in this new format it might as well mean as 10K people. Which only means that the 99+ percentiles would achieve a new meaning alltogether; with competiotion running into two decimal places, maybe :P

Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Aditya Rocks - Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 12:40 PM
  that is cool what you have written in this article...but let us be practical, how many of the people will be ready to share any question for that matter...let us say few coaching centers get dummy candidates to go there for the same, then how many of them will be there? 
Re: CAT 2009- Cheating Issues
by Ashwin Pagaria - Saturday, 3 October 2009, 04:21 PM

truely, students appearing at the last will benefit a lot since those who face it head on ..will help others!! thnks frnds.. thts y 1ve planed to take it in d end... wink SMART ENUF HUH?