The Telegraph
Sunday , November 29 , 2009
Since 1st March, 1999
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First-day CAT delay rattles aspirants

Calcutta, Nov. 28: Ritwik Ghosh was tense and kept praying all along. Sitting for CAT was not the only reason for his anxiety.

At the 20-year-old’s exam centre, the Heritage Institute of Technology (HIT), three other candidates were sitting before their computers but the questions just refused to appear on screen.

Ritwik, a student of mass communication and videography at St Xavier’s College, said: “Imagine how tense I was when I saw three people just sitting there, waiting for the questions to appear on the screen. I was praying hard that the same should not happen to me. It did affect my performance.”

The HIT was not the only centre in Calcutta to report hardware glitches. On the first day of the first online Common Aptitude Test, all eight centres here allegedly started the test 30-45 minutes late. Some candidates at the HIT started having problems accessing the questions an hour into the test. Around 85 candidates in the city were unable to take the test.

At the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM), 34 examinees slotted for the morning session had to go back without taking the test.

“I sat for two hours after logging in, waiting for the questions to appear on screen. Nothing happened. At least two of us could not take the test this evening from our centre,” said Barrackpore resident Arnab Sarkar. The 20-year-old MCA student of Punjab Technical University appeared for the test at the EIILM in the evening slot.

“Numerous technical glitches marred the test and affected the students’ concentration and time management,” said Naveen Saraf, the city head of Career Launcher, a CAT coaching institute.

Most IIM aspirants did not book slots in the first two days fearing delays. “We had asked our students not to sit for the test in the first couple of days to gauge how matters proceed. Now we are worried about problems in the coming days as the number of candidates will increase,” said Kaushik Kapoor of Erudite, another CAT coaching institute.

Soumitra Roy, India managing director of Prometric, the US-based testing service provider for the test, said: “As a result of isolated technical issues, some candidates are being rescheduled and provided a new appointment via email and SMS.”

The check-in time for the first session is 8.30am. The test is from 10am to 12.30pm. For the second session, the reporting time is 2pm and the test is from 3.30pm to 6pm.

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