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The common admission Test (CAT) is getting a format makeover.According to a statement released by testing agency prometric and IIMs, the first section will focus on quantitative ability and data interpretation ,while the second will be on verbal ability and logical reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits.Though the number of questions remain the same for 2011,but will have two sections instead of three, and students will get an additional five minutes to tackle them.It will be a 140-minute exam. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions in each section, which will have an on-screen countdown timer. Once the time ends for the first section, they will move on to the second without having the option of being able to go back. Although new in the computer-based version of CAT, this format was previously used in some of the earlier paper-and-pencil years,” the statement, released on Monday, said.The change is vital for the entrance test as admission to IIMs is based on sectional cut-offs. “This move is aimed at being student-friendly. There are many students who lose out on a seat as they would have failed to perform in one of the sections.An additional five minutes have been added to the existing two-and-half hours available to students. This includes a 15-minute tutorial that will guide students through the process. “Considerable effort has been made in maintaining a similar level of difficulty across papers. A small number of statistically and psychometrically validated questions are randomly inserted in each question paper as equating blocks. These will be used to assess post-test equality across the days,
The test, which holds the key to admissions to the 13  premier IIMs and other major B-schools in the country, will be conducted between October 22 and November 18, 2011.



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