Chalk it up to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) merging their MBA admissions into the Common Admissions Test (CAT) fold or to the gloomy employment outlook in the IT sector, but the proportion of engineers taking the test this year is 4 percentage points higher than that in 2010.
Detailed statistics about the CAT 2011 registration demographics show that as many as 64% of the total candidates come from engineering background compared to 60.39% in 2010.
CAT 2011 will also be taken by fewer freshers. This year, 32% of the test-taking population would have work experience of more than 6 months compared to 27.35% in CAT 2010, an increase of 4.65 percentage points. 13% would have worked for a period of 1 to 2 years and 12.5% would have worked for more than 2 years.
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A total of 205,345 candidates registered for the CAT 2011 between August 17 and October 4, 2011, marking a miniscule rise of 1,078 candidates (0.53%) compared to the 204,267 people who registered for the CAT 2010. The test will be held over a 20-day window between October 22 and November 18, 2011.
Revealing the detailed CAT 2011 data to PaGaLGuY, CAT 2011 Convenor Prof Janakiraman Moorthy also appealed to candidates to read the instructions on their admit cards carefully before reaching the test centers and carry identification proof as instructed.
As many as 618 candidates will take CAT 2011 under the 'Differently Abled' (DA) quota, compared to 640 in 2010. DA test-takers are typically provided aids such as magnifying glasses, wheelchairs, hearing aids, abacus support or a scribe at the test center.
The split across reserved categories remains more or less the same as last year. While 80.5% candidates belonged to the general category, 11.8% came from the non-creamy-layer other backward classes, 6.1% from scheduled caste and 1.6% from the scheduled tribe categories.
Approximately 3,000 more women will appear for CAT 2011 compared to 2010, a rise of 1.3 percentage points. While in 2010 26% of the test-takers were females, the proportion rises to 27.3% in CAT 2011.
At 24.5%, those who have studied commerce, accountancy or management as their undergraduate degrees comprise the second-largest group in the CAT 2011 educational background demographic after the engineers. Students with science and arts degrees continue to fall in a small minority. Remarkably, CAT 2011 will also witness 556 medicine graduates appear for the test.
Nearly a quarter of the test-takers would appear for the CAT 2011 from the Delhi region, including satellite towns such as Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad. Mumbai and Bangalore are the second and third biggest test centers at 9% and 8.9% respectively. Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai follow suit at 6.4%, 6.3% and 6.2% respectively.