This is one of the first questions which pop up in the mind of aspirants who wish to appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT). It is important for the candidates to know who will conduct CAT 2018 because with a new exam conducting body in the picture for the entrance exam, few changes are introduced every time. But the question remains, who will conduct the CAT 2018 exam?

The candidates will officially get an answer to this question in the month of June/ July, as every year around this time, the name of the IIM who will conduct the exam is announced. Also, by the end of July, other important dates for CAT 2018 will also be available.

The exam for CAT has been conducted in 2017 by IIM Lucknow, in 2016 by IIM Bangalore, in 2015 by IIM Ahmedabad, in 2014 by IIM Indore, in 2013 by IIM Indore, in 2012 by IIM Kozhikode, in 2011 by IIM Calcutta, in 2010 by IIM Lucknow, and in 2009 by IIM Ahmedabad.

Saw the pattern yet? Most of the older IIMs like IIM – Ahmedabad, IIM- Lucknow, and IIM- Indore, have conducted the CAT exam two times. However, IIM – Bangalore, IIM – Kozhikode, and IIM – Calcutta are the older IIMs but have not conducted the entrance exam twice.

So, it is expected amongst these three IIMS, the chances of IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta are higher for conducting the CAT exam. 

In the past 3 years, CAT has taken absolutely different shape as the testing partner of CAT exam was also changed in the year 2014 from Prometric to TCS. This change has also prompted IIMs to change the CAT exam pattern, testing window, number of questions, number of sections, scoring pattern, type of questions among others.

The IIM which conducts the exam brings a major change in the entrance test and each year CAT exam would be different in one or other way from the earlier one. So those who will be preparing for the CAT 2018 should be prepared well to face more changes in the CAT 2018 exam pattern – both in structure and contents.

Wondering why every year CAT is reviewed and changed? To this, Prof Bandyopadhyay commented that “one of our concerns is, score in Quant dominates the percentile rank in CAT. As a consequence it brings in skewness to the selection process towards a particular set of candidates from a particular background. This year we intend to address it by making some changes in the test content and also by rationalizing weights assigned to different components of the test. This we hope will create a level-playing field for all candidates, no matter what educational background they come from“.

Over the year, many changes have been introduced in CAT exam. From 2013 to 2017, here is how the exam has changed.

IIM Indore introduced major changes in CAT 2014. IIM Indore conducted CAT 2013 and CAT 2014, with that it brought about many changes in the entrance exam. However, major changes were done in CAT 2014 as against CAT 2013. There was 60 number of questions in CAT 2013, where were then increased to 100 in CAT 2014. Also, the duration of the test was also increased for CAT 2014, from 140 minutes to 170 minutes. However, the major change was that the sectional time limit was removed in CAT 2014, and the Test taker could move between both the test sections within the overall time limit of 170 minutes.

A new and better version of CAT was initiated by IIM Ahmedabad for CAT 2015. The first B-school to conduct the first computerized format with the testing partner Prometric was IIM Ahmedabad. Since the exam was held in the online mode for the first time it turned out to be a nightmare for many candidates as many technical glitches were reported.

After 6 years, the IIM Ahmedabad was again assigned the responsibility for conducting the CAT 2015. However, this time CAT was totally revamped, structure wise and as well as in content. The changes made by the IIM Ahmedabad in CAT 2015, carried the exam to the next level and was not anticipated earlier. IIM Indore even after making so many changes when it conducted CAT for the second time, lagged behind in the number of changes brought about by IIM Ahmedabad.

The first timer IIM Bangalore changed scoring pattern in CAT 2016. IIM Bangalore conducted CAT 2016 for the 1st time and the exam was marked with paper leakage at one of the centres. However, the issue was timely addressed and it did not harm the prospects of the test takers. IIM Bangalore changed the scoring pattern and reduced the number of questions from 28 Non-MCQs in CAT 2015 to 25 Non MCQ questions with a 0.33 marks deduction for each wrong answer (Only for MCQs). The number of questions in each of the 3 sections remained the same with the same time limit.

5 Major changes were introduced by IIM Lucknow in CAT 2017. Like every year, the CAT exam was given a slight of a makeover. In the CAT 2017, the Non-MCQ/ TITA questions were reduced. Another big change has been in the marking scheme. In CAT 2017, 03 marks are given for every correct answer and there was a deduction of 01 mark for every wrong answer.

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