"This year, candidates probably noticed the effect on salaries and employment due to economic slowdown," explained Satish Deodhar, CAT convener and faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Every year, nearly 1,000 applications are rejected by the IIMs due to discrepancies in the forms. However, this year no applications were rejected, since candidates could edit their forms online.
The registration window for CAT 2009 closed on October 11, a 10-day extension from the original deadline owing to a long list of bank holidays in September, which prevented many from buying CAT vouchers.
Deodhar thinks the response to computerised CAT has been encouraging. "Until last year thousands of applications used to get rejected due to incomplete information. This year there have been no application rejections on the grounds of incomplete information," he says.
Sixty-five per cent of the total registrations belong to engineering, technology and architecture, 23 per cent to commerce, economics and management, seven per cent to science and three per cent belong to arts streams.
Prometric, the company that will conduct the CAT exam, is yet to compile the final data but preliminary statistics state that 26 per cent of the applicants are women. Eighty two per cent of the candidates are general candidates, 11 per cent are from the reserved category. Moreover, 71 per cent are with work experience of less than or equal to six months, Deodhar added.
Prometric, a technology-enabled testing and assessment services company, will conduct the computer-based CAT exams, scheduled between November 28 and December 7 this year in 32 cities, through 105 secure computer-based testing centres specially prepared for the examination.