The failure of the CAT - the entrance examination is in news now a days.
My experience with On-Line entrance goes back a many years ago when XLRI tried to convert XAT to a on-line test. It was a disaster too. The entire exam was cancelled on the day it was supposed to begin. Problems were many: the company was inexperienced, infrastructure was inadequate, logistics of testbank delivery was uncertain. I had raised many of these questions with the company. They paid attention to the question bank security and overlooked the logistical issues.
Many of those problems are a thing of the past. The infrastructure is fairly good. There are many agencies who have made a business of on-line testing. The applicants are computer savvy. Hence, it is a right time for the IIMs to go on-line.
Are there any benefits of conducting a on-line test. To my mind there are none. The speed of processing improves by a few days. But it takes many more days to conduct the test. You have to buid a huge question bank which is a difficult task. The glamour associated with on-line testing is fading.
If a foreign agency conducts the on-line test, will it succeed. Not necessarily as the CAT experience shows. But the IIM have the excuse that they awarded the task to a reputed agency.
Why did the CAT failed online. One, heterogenous environment, two, the scale of operations, three, insufficient preparations.
There are lessions for software development in CAT experience. When you have no option but to take a bigbang approach to software deployment, what should you do. Prometric will answer with hindsight.