Saturday, August 28, 2010

IIMs explain how they mark candidates

The Indian Institutes of Management have revealed how they mark candidates in the competitive Common Admission Test. Not everything depends on how you perform, what also matters is the difficulty level of the paper you take. The IIMs along with Prometric have devised a formula to equalize the scores of candidates taking the varied versions of the test. This year, the IIMs will also allow management aspirants to change the date and the venue of sitting for the exam too. 

Himanshu Rai, chairman of the 
CAT 2010 committee, said: "We are allowing candidates to change the test taking location and time till September 30. But a new venue and time slot will be given based on availability." The IIMs have also worked out a method of "fair assessment," for the CAT will use multiple test papers. 

"However the difficulty of the content may vary slightly with every paper, but will be comparable. To facilitate fair comparison, each form will contain a small number of items that will be shared with one or more other forms. These items are termed as equator blocks. By comparing responses to these equator block items across multiple forms the candidates' ability level will be evaluated and the precise difficulty of the forms calculated," stated the IIMs. 

Later, equated raw scores will be placed on a common scale to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores, a process called scaling. Officials said that raw scores will be calculated for every section based on the number of questions the candidate has correctly or incorrectly answered and also omitted. Three points are given for each correct answer and 1 negative point for each incorrect answer. There will be no points for questions that are not answered. 

A CAT paper consists of three sections and each would be evaluated and four- scaled scores will be given to each candidate. However a high score in one section would not guarantee high scores in the others. The percentile rankings will remain constant. They will be provided for each individual section as well as for the overall exam score.