CAT on a hot tin roof yet again

Divya Trivedi New Delhi | Updated on January 05, 2011 Published on January 05, 2011

A file photo of students appearing for the CAT exams in Bangalore.   -  Business Line

The CAT seems to have been let out of the bag before it was time. Ten days before the scheduled announcement, the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2010 results were visible through the URL, claim students.

Although the CAT 2010 Convenor brushed aside the incident, close to 50 students were able to see the results, according to MBA students' forum

The link was also uploaded on from where it spread like wildfire. Subsequently it was removed by the site moderator. Mr Hitesh Devalia, who runs the Endeavor coaching classes in Ahmedabad, was one of those who entered his roll numbers and was able to see the scorecard. The link said 2009 results, but when the roll numbers were entered, it showed the 2010 results.

“It was a complete scorecard. There was a section-wise break-up, marks, and the photograph. Around nine of my students were also able to see their results,” he told Business Line. His theory is that it could have been hacked by somebody, as it happened once before in 2004. The other possibility is that there was an internal link testing going on and somebody from the organisation could have put it out in the public domain.

“In all probability, the administrators of the ‘' Web site were testing the results system when the URL became publicly known. This is a strange and clumsy testing practice; the release candidate of any web-based application should be password protected and revealed only to a select test group. Certainly not be publicly accessible until launched,” according to a write-up on

Psychological repercussions

While such incidents might not affect the admissions process, they might result in students' erosion of faith from the system, said Mr Devalia.

“There were technical glitches even when the CAT went online for the first time. There has been a 15-20 per cent drop in CAT aspirants. Such incidents may psychologically affect those aspiring to enter the IIMs,” he said.

The 2010 CAT Convenor, Mr Himanshu Rai, from Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow, told Business Line that the incident will not be investigated.

“I have no clue what happened. Servers were being taken down by us and we will be uploading the results. Meanwhile, whatever happens, it is not our concern. The results will be officially available on January 12,” he said.

Testing agency

Prometric, the testing and assessment agency which partners the IIMs to conduct the online CAT, has also denied having a hand in the premature results leakage. “Prometric is not a part of this at all,” said a Prometric spokesperson. In this case, there was a separate web consultant to help the IIMs with the results, said Mr Rai. He refused to divulge the name of the partner saying it was confidential and would be revealed only after the announcement of results.

Mr Devalia's scorecard showed a percentile of 99.87. One would have to wait till January 12 to find out if he has indeed scored as much or not.

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Published on January 05, 2011
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