Sunday, August 17, 2008

CAT's Discriminatory Tactics !!

Why is the CAT tailored for engineering students? This question has plagued my mind ever since i heard about the exam and found out the statics regarding the students who get into the IIMs. If you don't believe me then maybe you should attend a few of the classes held by institutions like T.I.M.E., IMS, Career Launcher etc. Or you can even speak to the teachers over there who will tell you for a fact that more engineering students crack the CAT then students from a non-engineering background.

The fact still remains that if your an engineering student with excellent English skills there is no way you will not crack the CAT. Surprised? well don't be. Being an engineering student automatically guarantees that you have very good math skills this combined with excellent English skills and common sense will ensure that you crack the CAT. 70% of the paper is Math which includes DI and Quant. 25% is English and the remaining 5% is Logical Reasoning. The math is more of pure math with topics like Logs, Trigonometry, Permutations + Combinations, Indices + Surds et al comprising of the "syllabus". Math is a subject used in such intensities predominantly by the engineering students rather than students from arts background, who do not study math when in college. Therefore, how do you expect people who have lost touch with maths to suddenly rise up to the challenge and excel in this exam?

For a person who does not use math (except the common operations like +, -, div, x ) in daily life, it is impossible to recognise the twists built into the questions and figure out a way to solve them in 60-90 secs. And with the amount to cover, understand and learn, remembering everythin is a herculian task which very few people (from non-engineering background) can do.

Next your going to ask: but there are so many engineering students who also do not get into the IIMs. I repeat we're talking about cracking the exam which most of the engineering students do. Even if they don't top they do score well atleast better than most of the arts students. I suggest you go through the statics and figure out that most of the engineering students get very good marks in Math and DI. If they do not score well then you'll see that they lose out in Logical Reasoning and/or English.

CAT markets itself as an aptitude test and boasts that it tests the analytical skills of a person. I don't think anyone has ever critically examined the CAT paper. Either that or Indians have a very skewed sense of what an aptitude test is. The GMAT or the GRE exams are much more analytical and aptitude test like than the CAT. To judge a person's aptitude you need to judge his understanding and way of thinking and not how much he knows or does not know. The later forms a test of knowledge, an aptitude test is NOT a test of knowledge. I presume Indians mostly do not understand the difference else there would have been atleast one voice against the CAT exam. Its difficult to understand how finding out the number of powers in a number formed by 1004 x 1005 x 1006 .... x 2009 indicates how analytical my mind is. The math section atleast is nothing but utter nonsense with tonnes of irrelevant questions being asked. Twisting the logic of a question is absolutely fine, but the CAT architects do not know where to draw the line. They have become obssessed with twists and insist on putting so many twists in the question that it stretches into the 5th dimension. I think their moto is:

"When you can catch your nose from around the back of your head, why catch it from the front"

I have always believed that everyone should be given a fair chance at every opportunity, but i think the people who grant the PG Diploma and MBA degrees want to discriminate against the non-engineering students. India has always been a country where engineering and science is given greater importance but such open discrimination is atrocious, and that to from people who should know the meaning of spoiling a young person's career at the beginning of his/her life.

--> SJ

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