The CAT - The New ERA Of GMAT Begins

June 21, 1997 was the last of the traditional "paper and pencil" GMATS. A record number of people took the GMAT on that day. These test takers were not motivated by feelings of nostalgia. For many, June 21 was the final chance to avoid the new Computer Adaptive GMAT - commonly known as the CAT. Better the devil you know than the one you don't! Those in the test prep industry marketed the idea that the CAT should be avoided and that June 21 was the last chance to avoid it. Predictably, enrollments in GMAT prep courses were very high during the spring of 1997.

Between June 21, 1997 and October 11, 1997 the test prep industry worked hard to determine how the upcoming CAT should be taught. GMAT provided very little information. In July 1997 the new GMAT Bulletin was published. The new Official Guide For GMAT Review and Computer Adaptive PowerPrep Software were released in August of 1997. Appointments to take the CAT were made starting August 15, 1997. October 11, 1997 was the first day that the new Computer Adaptive GMAT was administered.

On one unforgettable day in December there was a huge problem with the system. The CAT (being the temperamental animal that it is) simply didn't appear for its appointment with hundreds of test takers. Oh well, CAT technology is not "purrfect."


Copyright © John Richardson 1998, all rights reserved.
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