CAT (Common Admission Test) conducted by Indian Institute of Management as a pre-requisite for admission in various IIMs’ and other institutions’ management programs, sees less than two lakh registration for the year 2013. Even when the last date for registration, i.e. September’ 26, 2013 was seen to be unusually late; the total number of applicants to register is much less than the number of applicants registering every year.
Since 2009, when CAT bid farewell to the old paper pencil based examination the number of applicants to register have drastically decreased. The highest strength of applicants recorded so far was in year 2008 with as much as 2.9 lakh registrations. Looking at the bane in the number of prospects to apply, the number of seats in IIMs has been increased to 3335. Also online vouchers and easy online registration has been introduced.
It is an intriguing fact that the number of test takers is always less than the number of candidates who register for the same. Reason for not being present could be an emergency or a sense of lack of preparation. It would be interesting to see ratio of number of actual test takers for cat 2013 as compared to the ever doomed number of registrations for the year.
The present figures seem to be good news for the IIMs aspirants, as the number of registrations has dropped and the number of seats at IIMs has increased higher than ever. The completion would be easier due to less competition. This is because the dynamics of number of available seats per applicants has accordingly shifted in favor of IIM’s aspirants. The chance of any aspirant to get in to an IIM looks brighter as compared to their chances in the last few years.
After having revived a bit in the last two years, the number of registrations has again dropped to a mere two lakh, even when the strategy to bring in online vouchers was a success. As against over 1.4 lakh online sales, less than 90 thousand were brought off-line.
The result of this shear decrease in the number of applicants reflects the credibility of Cat and IIMs is at stake, and that the IIM brand is losing sheen. This is because students now prefer a course where not just where the competition is low but also the return on investment is high. Thus, the IIM applicants are looking for a job in other non-management fields.
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