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CAT 2009 was a nightmare he'd like to forget

Last updated on: December 1, 2009 10:13 IST

CAT 2009 was a nightmare he'd like to forget

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Abhishek Mande

CAT 2009 kicked off on November 28. So far the ride has been a bumpy one with exams being cancelled at some centres and computer glitches at others.

Rajneesh Khatri, 26, is an employee with a prominent Indian company. He is also a CAT aspirant and appeared for the test from a centre in Navi Mumbai. Khatri shares with us his experiences:

Like most others who were taking the CAT, I too made myself present at Saraswati College in Navi Mumbai two hours before the scheduled time of the exam. We had to go through a lot of security checks. Our fingerprints were taken, documents verified, identities re-verified etc. It all went very smoothly. The exam was supposed to start at 10am. At around 10.30 am we were told that they were running a little behind schedule and the test would start soon. Minutes went by and everyone started getting anxious. By 12 noon we were told that the test would not take place because of some server issues.

So they offered to transport us to the closest centre -- Pillai HOC. It turned out that the new centre was at least 45 minutes to an hour's distance away from where we were. To top it, the driver didn't seem to know the road and we actually had to ask for directions.

Finally we got there and had to go through the entire verification procedure all over again. We were assured that the test would start soon. But it didn't.

It was 2.30 pm by now and we were still waiting. Most of us hadn't had our meals but no one seemed to know just when the test would start. We were asking for a rescheduling but none of the authorities were willing to commit on that front.

Finally at around 4.30 pm the test began. It was then that we were told that rescheduling could be arranged but again no one was keen on letting us know about the new dates.

As a result only five-odd students opted for a rescheduling and went away. Most of us, including me, just wanted this nightmare to end. So we started giving the test.

The test was moderately easy. But by then no one was in a frame of mind to even attempt it.

For one, I was just plain happy to get to the end of the test. I did not discuss it with anyone neither did I think about it. I was just glad that it was all over!

Did you take the CAT this year? What was the experience like for you? Did you face any technical glitches or did the test unfold smoothly? Share your CAT experiences and tips with us by writing in to getahead@rediff.co.in and we will publish them right here on rediff.com.


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
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It was smooth sailing for this MBA aspirant

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Rachna Naidu is a 21-year-old IT graduate working in Hyderabad for a prominent IT company. She appeared for CAT this year from Sridevi Women's Engineering College. Naidu shares with us her experiences:

I had to buy a form worth Rs 1,400 from the local branch of Axis Bank. After filling the form I also had to register online where I was supposed enter my academic scores. Then I got an admit card on in my inbox, which I had to carry to the exam hall. The admit card has your testing ID that is sent by Prometric.

The registration is compulsory; without this they won't allow you to appear for the text.

Armed with the voucher that Axis Bank gave me when I purchased the form, the admit card and a photo ID, I went to the centre.

I underwent a series of checks that included a biometric verification and a photo session. They then told me to leave everything other than my photo ID, voucher and the admit card outside.

The test began on time. We had the option of going through a 15-minute tutorial where we were told how to go about giving the test online -- a kind of dummies' guide. The tutorial was very comprehensive but didn't give out any details about the marking system.

Inside the centre we were given a worksheet, a pencil and an eraser. We were supposed to submit the worksheet at the end of the test.

The test itself was quite simple. I had taken the TIME test series so I had a vague idea of what I was getting into.

But when I appeared for the real thing -- my first time -- I was pleasantly surprised to realise how simple it was! My Data Interpretation went well and the Verbal Ability section was a breeze. In Quant though I realised I needed to brush up on my formulae. There were 60 questions in all and about a quarter and two hours of time given to solve them.

Although I did not face any problems, a student who looked like he wasn't familiar with computers walked out 20 minutes after the test began. It seems he hit the End Test button by mistake and it was all over for him! I don't quite know how that happened because even after you hit the button there is a pop up telling you that proceeding further will end the test.

Did you take the CAT this year? What was the experience like for you? Did you face any technical glitches or did the test unfold smoothly? Share your CAT experiences and tips with us by writing in to getahead@rediff.co.in and we will publish them right here on rediff.com.



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Concerned but focussing on his test

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Shirish Kunder, 25, is yet to appear for the CAT. His date is December 6. Kunder has been following every single story, every single blog and forum that is out there in the virtual world. He shares with us his experiences:

I must confess it's somewhat silly, but the idea that it might happen to me scares me no end.

Online forums and blogs are giving test-takers a feel of what the first-ever online CAT looks like. And the consolation is that the test is somewhat simple and the number of questions is less. I am told the DI might be time consuming but Quant and Verbal Ability sections are quite moderately difficult.

It seems that I might be able to solve more questions than I initially hoped to. But the key, as my trainers keep telling me, is accuracy and not quantity. I am also told to brace myself for long waits and queues.

I know it sounds cliched but the idea is to keep your cool because it is after all a mind game.

Currently, I am solving papers and revising formulae. On the day before, I plan to do nothing related to the test and probably go to watch a movie. It helps me de-stress. And even though I am following the news online and on television, I will stop it after a point because there is nothing I can do but give the CAT my best shot.

Did you take the CAT this year? What was the experience like for you? Did you face any technical glitches or did the test unfold smoothly? Share your CAT experiences and tips with us by writing in to getahead@rediff.co.in and we will publish them right here on rediff.com.



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