CAT crash blamed on virus attack, more students affected
Hundreds of students were unable to appear in the computer-based Common Admission Test (CAT) for the second day today as authorities rescheduled the test to carry out repairs at the labs where computers suffered virus attack that disrupted the first day of exam.
New Delhi: Hundreds of students were unable
to appear in the computer-based Common Admission Test (CAT)
for the second day today as authorities rescheduled the test
to carry out repairs at the labs where computers suffered
virus attack that disrupted the first day of exam.
CAT, being conducted through computers for a period of 10
days from November 28 to December seven, got off yesterday to
a troubled start owing to computer virus attacking 24 of the
104 exam centres. The authorities today decided not to hold
the test at these affected centres.
Candidates who could not appear the test have been
notified and are currently being rescheduled within the
testing period, said Prometric, the American firm which has
been entrusted with the task of conducting the tests for
around 2.41 lakh candidates for admission to IIMs and a few
About 2,000 students could not appear in the test
yesterday due to the virus that affected the computers at
about 50 labs in these 24 centres.
"Exhaustive plans were developed and put in place well in
advance of the start of the testing window. Unfortunately, the
particular viruses and malware that attacked the test delivery
system were not detected by the anti-virus software at the
testing centres," said Ramesh Nava, Vice President and General
Manager, Asia Pacific, Japan and Africa, Prometric.
Technicians have been dispatched to address these
isolated problems, Prometric said.
"Candidates are our first and foremost priority and
Prometric is making every effort to provide all CAT aspirants
an opportunity to test," Nava said.
Prometric and the IIMs have put out an announcement in
the IIM-CAT website, saying that candidates affected by this
closure will also be provided with new appointments within
this year`s testing period.
However, there was confusion among students on whose exam
have been rescheduled.
"We were not informed immediately. When there is change
in the schedule, we must be informed immediately. The change
in the schedule adds pressure on us," a student said.
Prometric said it has generated new appointments for
individuals who could not take the test and they are in the
process of being contacted through SMS and email messages.
The launch of the computerised CAT involved delivery of
exams at more than 360 testing labs in 104 centres.
"It is an ambitious project but well within the means and
experience of Prometric," Prometric said. Nearly 20,000
candidates completed their exams yesterday, it said.
Months of preparation went into research, item writing,
test design and construction, application development and
processing, test registration and scheduling, test centre
preparation, test administration, scoring and reporting, it
"We understand how stressful it is for candidates to
adapt to this new computer-based format. We truly regret the
additional stress that candidates were subjected to over the
first weekend of the CAT 2009, and are doing everything we can
to make the rest of the testing experience as smooth as
possible," said Soumitra Roy, Managing Director, India,
The computer-based test was marred by technical glitches
yesterday soon after the exam was started. Students faced
problems in opening the computers at the exam centres in
Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Bhopal.
The labs that were closed today include 11 in Bangalore,
eight in Bhopal, six each in Lucknow and Mumbai, five in
Delhi, four in Ghaziabad, two each in Varanasi and Hyderabad
and one each in Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Kolkata and