I have been tracking the IIMCAT for 20 years now, and have been analysing it professionally for more than 12 years now.
Shameful dereliction of duty by Testing authorities
- The testing authority is of a true Yankee pedigree. They hardly understand the Indian cultural milieu, and have tried to transport a whole system from the US to India without adequate and much-needed local cultural adaptations. The IIMs are desperate to make the CAT an international test, and they think that only Prometric can help them do it. (on a philosophical note, I would think otherwise, as we know that the American model of capitalism itself under a dark, ominous cloud)
- My first brush with their insensitivity was when they uploaded the first training video (for CAT applicants) in August on YouTube, and I found that two Indian looking characters speaking in amazingly irritating American accents were trying to share process gyan with Indian students. My reaction that day was "IIMCAT to gayi paani mey. This company will ruin it this year". Please refer my blogpost on this topic.
- Today, on the first day of the hallowed CAT, the entire system came tumbling down.
- The test was cancelled at more than 10 locations in India. Thousands of hapless, stressed-out and anxious students were given no clue as to what will happen next. I found students crying, desperate and totally lost out.
- Countless errors cropped up at almost all test locations. The software acted funny, and students were left totally bewildered.
- For several minutes and hours, at many locations, the test was delayed beyond the official start time (that now seems to be the least of their mistakes!)
- There are no problems
- These are isolated incidents
- Nothing has been cancelled
- No servers have crashed
- Don't un-necessary blow things out of proportion
- Errors will happen, what else did you expect in such a big exercise
(and the IIMs ought to have told them)
- India is a developing nation, not a post-modern society like the US
- In India, writing a competitive test is not an individual affair, it is a family affair
- The social reputation attached with success (and failure) in writing competitive tests in India is ABSENT in the USA
- People work hard for upto 24 months preparing for the CAT - that's not a joke
- The local dynamics of India are quite different - when a technician tells you that a job will be done, he means it will be done in the 3rd or the 4th attempt (Hence, at least 2 dry runs must be done before attempting anything as grand as an online pan-India IIM-CAT) for the first time
- Make assumptions about things - how can we be wrong on anything? We are too big to fail
What we expect now
- A public apology by the IIMs and Prometric - come on! Accept that you goofed up big time and say sorry. It will only increase your stature.
May better sense prevail. May the students' efforts get the right benchmark, and may Indian management education once again enter its halcyon days.
DEAR IIMs - RESTORE THE ORIGINAL GLORY OF THE IIM-CAT.
Important tips for students (IIM-CAT takers) - the authorities have said that testing will continue as per schedule. Nothing is cancelled. Please report in time, on all days. Do not at all assume that tests are cancelled. And as for the tests on day 1, the tests were easy (compared to last year), and anyone who has taken proper training should do well. Those who are unfortunate in not being able to write the test, should wait for an sms or email telling them of the fresh testing slot. So here's wishing you BEST OF LUCK for a great future ahead!
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