C.A.T.! This isn’t your usual meaning of the word ‘CAT’; it’s neither the animal nor the common admission test taken in India by MBA aspirants. It stands for Computer Adaptive Test.
Haven’t heard about it before? You must not be acquainted with the name but I am sure you have seen how it works. Let me explain.
Have you noticed how sometimes while taking an online test, the level of difficulty increases with the correct answers and decreases with the wrong answers? This is the mechanism behind CAT. It adapts to the intelligence of the user and keeps doing that till it is in par with right level. What is the right level, you would wonder; let me simplify it.
The right level would be when you choose either only the wrong answers in a succession or only the right answers in a succession. The computer then becomes sure based on your choices whether or not, the candidate will be successful.
If the candidate keeps on answering questions one right and one wrong in a series, then the sequence (of throwing easy questions when the candidate is wrong and difficult questions if the candidate answers the questions correctly) will keep on repeating till it reaches the right level. The candidate has to answer a total of 150 questions out of which 100 questions are mandatory in a 3-hour time limit.
If the right level is not clear in any candidate’s performance then the computer evaluates the candidate on the performance average. If the candidate runs out of time and they have not reached the right level then, performance is evaluated based on the performance of the candidate in the last 75 questions out of the minimum total of 100. If a candidate fails to answer at least a minimum of 100 questions in the 3-hour limit, he fails. If a candidate maintains the right level of correct answers till he/she reaches the maximum total of 150, then he/she is declared as successful in the exam.