ICAI Online CPT Examination - A Milestone
Online CPT examination became a reality this year for aspiring CA students. Under the system, they had questions that test their knowledge and intelligence, appearing on computer screens at the click of a mouse.
This is going to be the future of the examination system in the Institute. The Institute is ushering in a revolution backed by cutting-edge Information Technology (IT). Thanks to the synergy it has created with industries which are seeking a qualitative improvement in students passing from this profession. Introduction of the online examination system makes the examination process transparent & efficient. It is reckoned by a section of experts as an improvement over the conventional system, where the emphasis is on memorizing rather than understanding concepts. The online examination system will test the student's in-depth understanding and force him or her to think before deducing a solution.
During the last one year, the Institute has built more than 130 Information Technology Training centres across the country hosting more than 4000 computers. More than 70,000 students have been trained in-house using these training centres. During the year, 24 training centres have been connected on the corporate data communication network of the Institute and the Institute had conducted online CPT examination on 28th March 2009 and 25th April 2009 using these Information Technology Training centres as the test centres. The next online CPT examination is scheduled on 23rd May 2009 across 20 cities in 21 training centres. The Institute is building an exclusive data centre for Online Examination at its Centre of Excellence, Hyderabad.
The software has a question bank and is programmed to generate multiple sets of question papers at random. It has a user friendly web interface which is very easy to navigate. Every question is identified by a bulb which is normally red and the bulb turns green soon after the student answers that question. The bulbs enable the student to go across various questions randomly and answer them. These bulbs are useful for students as check list to verify answered/ unanswered questions.
CA. Uttam Prakash Agarwal, President, ICAI who is keen on technological interventions in education to improve quality and productivity, pointed out that the online examination system slowly and steadily will replace the conventional examination pattern and it simultaneously would have a positive impact on the students. He feels that by introducing the online examination system, manpower can be utilized for more creative pursuits.
To promote online education and to reach out to more learners in less time, CA. Uttam Prakash Agarwal inaugurated Web Casting event in April 2009. It is another milestone in the history of the Institute. ICAI is the first professional Institute to do it and Mr. Uttam Prakash Agarwal said that ‘many others will follow our path’. While explaining the benefits of WebCast & Webinars, CA. Uttam Prakash Agarwal said ‘the concept of on-demand learning environment using web will go a long way & soon you will see more such events happening from ICAI. We will invite industry leaders to address our members on various topics related to the profession. Such events will not only save travel and costs associated with traditional on-site training but also create unique experience for learners. The impossible is made possible. It created a platform for many of our members residing aboard to view the seminars of the Institute live who are wanting to participate in the seminars of the Institute but not able to do so because of their geographical location’.
The President, CA. Uttam Prakash Agarwal said that the Online Examination System will usher in transparency, consistency and reliability. The modalities of how to conduct the exam was a strenuous exercise. It was done in well knitted coordination between the Information Technology Department with Examination Department of the Institute. CA. Agarwal said that the Institute will conduct Online CPT examination 10 months in a year except in the month of June and December where there will be paper-pencil based examination. This will facilitate each student to appear in CPT examination two times in a period of 6 months. CA. Uttam Agarwal said that the examination committee of the Institute has approved this proposal during its recent meeting. Considering the success of Online CPT, the President said that the Institute will look into the feasibility to implement online system of examination for other examinations as well. He added that this will not only promote online examination system but also acquaint aspiring CA students with required IT knowledge & skills.
The President while complementing the in-house team of the Institute said that our team untiringly enveloped with the enthusiasm worked judiciously towards realizing the vision of ICAI to reality. May this effort continue to reckon ICAI as the front runner for Technology infusion and diffusion in right perspective towards the society and the country in totality.
A one-day workshop on "Towards Online Examinations'' was conducted by the Institute to train Test Administrators. Eminent experts from Examination and Information Technology departments of ICAI were involved in brainstorming sessions to understand and define the Online Examination methodology. The workshop attempted to dispel myths about the conventional examination system. It aimed at providing an online examination system that assess the aptitude of the students, in line with their memory.