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When the CAT roared…

Jubin Mehta’s take on his CAT experience

They say life’s unfair. Well, it is pretty much true. What I’m referring to here is India’s supposedly most grueling test, CAT. The CAT has gone online from last year and having taken the test this year; I’ve got the privilege to provide a review after a hands-on experience. This isn’t going to be about how you handle the pressure and so on… It’s about the things I did and thought about one hour before the exam.
First ,Pro metric (the company responsible for the online software and exam conduction and stuff) has gone overboard with precautions. A one and a half hour long wait in front of the computer screen is exactly what you don’t want before a test. There are ID checks and frisking which are enough to put the White House to shame. What follows is totally unnecessary (and hilarious). You enter the hall along with half a hundred jittery sweaty youths all ready for war. They photograph you, check your ID’s (again), do some biometric tests and then allow you to take your seat. I walk to my cubicle which as expected, is claustrophobic. Not having an option, I take my seat amidst the cardboard’s that are meant to separate the computers.
And then, the wait begins. Me and that sea of black on the screen; I’m not even allowed to turn on the screen. I glance through the instruction sheet given to me. There are 17 points on it. I look around. I see people humming around me; an age old trick to keep your nerves calm. Then I look around and see lumps of entangled wires everywhere. I’ve got a gripping feeling to strangle someone. Then I begin to hum myself; calm myself down. I close my eyes. Nothing new there; the same old sea of black awaits me. I open my eyes and the computer screen reinforces the fact.
I look at the ceiling and the fact that it is painted white makes me happy. But I see some pieces of slab coming off from the edges. I begin wondering what would happen if an earthquake quaked the premise? I let the thought pass. Then I scan the hall for any hot chicks I can fix my eyes upon. As usual; I find no luck there. All I get is a boring dull elderly male who’s so soporific that he’d put sleep to sleep. Then I go on to count the number of fans and tube lights in the room and try to rationalize the fact that all the lights need to be switched on even at 10 am in the morning. Well, that’s life!
Finally, the dreaded examination began and the two hours 15 minutes went by like a breeze. At the end, I was grounded by the fact that the CAT bit me and I left the battlefield; a wounded soldier but with a hope that the CAT will not leave me stranded. I hope for the best and pledge to keep on moving till the opposition surrenders.

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