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CAT costlier than MAT


Even about a decade ago, when the entrance test market was a crowded one, theCommon Admission Test (CAT) was an institution, an unquestionable leader. Not only was it the passport to the elite IIMs, which conducted the test, but about 150 other Indian and foreign management schools accepted CAT scores. But over time, competition steadily inched closer, and in the fight for the pole position theManagement Aptitude Test (MAT), conducted by the All-India Management Association (AIMA), has now upstaged CAT.

The threat is real. Although some top institutes like the IITs, the Indian Institute of Science, FMS and MICA have signed up to accept CAT-2011 scores, 58 B-schools across India like IMD, Delhi, have opted out this year. The total number of colleges that have retained CAT to admit students is 155, way below MAT’s tally of 1,800.

Management schools were forced to choose between CAT, MAT and the state-level CET after the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) sent out a circular to this effect in August 2010. After the AICTE diktat, colleges opted for a test that suited the student profile they were looking for-for instance, the top colleges went in for the tougher CAT while those in the middle rung opted for MAT. Another factor in the CAT-MAT competition is that the former is more expensive than the latter-to be a part of the CAT group, a B-school must shell out a registration fee of Rs 2 lakh and another Rs 200 for verifying each score card, while the MAT registration is only Rs 50,000.

Convenor Janakiraman Moorthy admits that some colleges have opted out of CAT. “But it’s not the number of institutes accepting CAT that is important,” he says. “What one must note is that some of the country’s most prestigious B-schools admit students on the basis of the CAT.” Hari Krishna Maram, governing council member, AIMA, points out that the number of colleges accepting MAT scores is going up by 8% every year, thanks to the new B-schools mushrooming in the country.

Sunday , 11   December , 2011