CMAT merit list - quality goes down as exam gets tougher

This article was first published in Careers360.com

As AICTE announce CMAT merit list for the first CMAT of the season held in September, the official score data shows that test-takers' performance at the bottom has further declined with share of candidates scoring less than 30 percent increasing from 57 percent in last September CMAT to 67 percent this year.

According to the September CMAT 2013 results, out of a total of 64534 candidates who were ranked, the number of candidates scoring 30 percent marks or less was 43,805.

The share of candidates scoring zero or negative marks has also increased four-fold, data reveals.

As compared to September 2012 CMAT exam where the share of candidates scoring zero or negative marks was 0.48, September 2013 CMAT merit list shows 1.63 percent of students scoring zero or below, a four-fold increase.

AICTE conducts CMAT which consist of a total of 100 questions of four marks each. The test takers are awarded 4 marks for each right answer and one mark is deducted for every wrong answer. Thus, maximum marks a candidate can obtain in CMAT, is 400. However, only around 33 percent of the candidates could score more than 120 marks.

While experts attribute this 'decline in quality' to the increased tough levels and increasing volume of test takers, they don't see a definitive trend emerging out of this merit list.

 CMAT merit list - quality goes down as exam gets tougher

While experts attribute this 'decline in quality' to the increased toughness level and increasing volume of test takers, they don't see a definitive trend emerging out of this merit list.
AFP

Sandeep Manudhane, Chairman, PT Education says that CMAT paper was tougher this year. "The poor performance of the candidates might be due to the higher level of difficulty of CMAT paper this year," he says.

"General Awareness was tough, English was not easy and the Logical Reasoning had no sets and individual questions," he says, adding, "Given the last season's CMAT question pattern, candidates might not have expected this level of difficulty," he adds. He, however, says that it is too early to predict a trend for CMAT based on last two merit lists as the exam is still to mature.

Career Launcher Vice Chairman and MD Gautam Puri attributed this dip in the performance to the increasing volume of candidates which include non-serious students also. He, however, says that CMAT Merit list does not indicate any major trend.

"The CMAT merit list is not an indicator of any major trend. The rise in the number of students scoring 30 percent or lesser percentage of marks is mainly because most of the candidates are not fully prepared for this season as they know that they will have one more option in February 2014," he says, adding, the cut-off for the B-schools are likely to remain unaffected as the performance issue is confined to the bottom end of the merit list.

"Last year, there was some confusion over number of B-schools accepting CMAT score. Therefore, only those students who were very serious took the test in September. But this time, more students took the test irrespective of their preparedness level and this has led to decline in performance at the bottom," he adds.

Is technical glitch playing dampener?

Many students had concerns over their performance due to technical snag they had faced during exams. AICTE, however, had denied such reports after the CMAT exam saying it had not received any complaints on this issue.

The technical snag in different slots were reported from many centers and students' forums were abuzz with concern on various issues including wrong questions in CMAT exam, non-aligned online question paper format, and malfunctioning of answer commands during the test.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a statutory body under Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India, conducts Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) twice a year- September and February. The next CMAT for admission for academic year 2014-15 is scheduled in February, 2014. The better of two scores are used for admission to B-schools. Many States have abandoned their state-level MBA entrance test in favour of CMAT and now AICTE.

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 23:37:29 IST