Students waiting outside the CMAT test centre in Tughlaqabad, New Delhi (Photo credit : Astha A)
The second edition of Common Management Admission test (CMAT) conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) drew to an official close on October 1, 2012. Out of a total of 60,000 students who had registered for CMAT, 48,000 students, including 32,000 males and 16,000 females appeared for the exam, SS Mantha, Chairman, AICTE told PaGaLGuY.
The exam was conducted glitch free, the chairman claimed. When questioned about the student complaints regarding a few allegedly 'wrong questions' and problems faced during the registration prior to the exam, the Chairman said, "AICTE has formed a panel of experts who will look into all the complaints." He added that if the experts found any mistakes in the paper, appropriate action would be taken by the council.
When PaGaLGuY.com had visited few CMAT test centres in Delhi and Mumbai on the first day of the exam, barring a few ‘wrong questions’ and alleged complaints about problems faced during the registration process prior to the exam, the paper was fairly easy, said test takers.However, some found the Logic Section a wee bit difficult.
“I took up coaching for CMAT but the actual paper today was far easier than any of the mocks. The Quant posed some difficulty though, ” said Swati Luhan, a BA (Hons) student from Delhi University who took the exam at New Delhi Institute of Management in Tughlaqabad Institutional Area, Delhi.
Some students claimed that there were a couple of 'incorrect' questions in the paper. According to Nitin R Jain, a mobile software developer from Mumbai, one question in the Logical Reasoning section was incomplete while another question in the Quant section seemed to have 'incorrect' options.
He added that at his centre, 3 students started their paper five minutes before the scheduled time. "However, they were asked to submit their paper five minutes earlier." Abhishek Padwal, who took the exam at GNVS Institute of Management, GTB Nagar, Mumbai said that he faced a technical glitch. “I could not complete the paper entirely because my paper auto submitted itself after I attempted the first and the last section.”
Anurag Verma, CMAT aspirant at Era Business School, Dwarka (Photo Credit: Apurv Pandit)
At Era Business School, Dwarka in New Delhi, the server failed for a few minutes before the test started. “The server failed while we were submitting roll numbers before entering the examination hall,” Anurag Verma, informed. Since no data was lost students did not panic, he added. To this, Harshul Nilani, another test taker at the same centre added that the server went down around five minutes after the test started. Although it came back soon, the server failed a second time as well later.
“When the server failed for the second time, we were asked to reopen our browsers and log in again. We were given fifteen minutes extra for the test,” Harshul said.
Test takers also questioned the reason behind being called ninety minutes early to the exam venue. At Khalsa College, Matunga in Mumbai, Swati Daruka reached two hours earlier being her first attempt at CMAT. Swati who appeared for the second slot said that she had only had breakfast since the exam was scheduled at an odd time. Echoing Swati’s sentiments, Charu Keshawani, another test taker from Delhi said that even during Common Admission Test (CAT), students are asked to report ninety minutes prior to the test time. “But there they have retina scanning, fingerprint scanning and a lot of other registration processes."
Registration was a bit of an issue is some centres. At one, students were seen pouring out even thirty minutes after the scheduled closing time of the exam. Some were completing their registrations which they could not complete at the start of the exam.
Security too, was a little wanting in some of the centres. Those from the second slot were seen wandering outside the exam halls while the first slot exam was on. Officials at the centres kept saying that all is fine despite the delay in registrations.
While a couple of colleges offered refreshments to the aspirants after they completed their exam, some ran presentations of the college and its activities - possibly to attract applicants to apply to them.
Many applicants said that they were taking CMAT only to prepare for the other MBA entrance exams later in the year. Avantika Gupta, for one. “I am taking CMAT only to feel the experience of attending a management entrance test,” she said.
Nishtha Sharma and Shikha Gupta, both engineers have planned for a future with CMAT scores and already decided on which collges to apply. Parin Thakkar from Mumbai said he hd not prepared at all. “I will take CMAT again in February. I am already working and hope to start my own business soon. If I do well in CMAT and land a good college, I will do my MBA for better prospects,” he told PaGaLGuY.
PaGaLGuY reporter Shashank Venkat took CMAT today. Below is his personal account
The centre I was scheduled to take CMAT (second slot) was GNVS Institute of Management, near Sion, Mumbai. I had tried calling the centre for exact directions but there was no response. Anyway, I reached the centre at 11.30 am, just to be on the safe side since Mumbai's traffic jams can upset any plans.
After that, a sheet of paper was passed to everybody where we had to write our names, telephone numbers, email ids and sign on it. I asked the watchman the reaons for the delay. His response was, “Arey wok kuch problem ho gaya hai. Paune do-do baje tak shuru ho jayega.”
After waiting in the line for over an hour alongside the sweltering Mumbai heat and grumbling aspirants, some action finally began around 1.45 pm when they started allowing everyone to go in for registration, but mind you, only 4 students at a time.
So, the wait extended a little bit. I finally got in at 2.10 pm and rushed for my registration. After checking my admit card with my original photo id, I was asked to go in another room for collecting the thumb impression and photograph (Incidentally, there was a lot of talk about the class tenth marksheet needed for verification. Although the notice at the exam centre mentioned that as one of the documents required, it was not needed during the registration).
The lady at the biometric kiosk, however, was unable to save my photograph for some weird reason. I suggested she try again. She still did not get it. Meanwhile, I noticed that a computer next to me had conked off due to some strange reason and the aspirant there was in the same perplexed state that I was in. Finally, our dear lady here got her act together and my registration was complete and I was given a desktop number in a computer lab in the ground floor. I was free…..only to go and write the exam.
I had barely managed to make the lab on time around 2.20 pm, 10 mins before the scheduled start of the exam. Some students came later but they were told that they will be given their entire quota of time. Then came the best part of the process - the actual exam.
The exam was a very smooth process with easy to understand guidelines given on a sheet of paper kept on every desk. Everyone was then given a password to unlock the CMAT question paper. Some of the guidelines were also repeated on the screen before the exam began. The exam itself was not too difficult, with very few questions which you could actually classify as tough in nature. The entire exam was a glitch-free affair.