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CAT 2009 experience

CAT 2009 experience

ishanpande ,  02-Dec-09
The long journey is now finally over! Phew! i gave my CAT on 30th Nov morning slot. On 28th Nov, the day CAT began i just switched on the TV and heard the dreaded news about the exam being canceled at many centers. Nervous students being made to wait in labs for hours, unsure about when they would be able to appear for the exam. The staff at the ground level, shirking responsibility, passing the buck to Prometric. Stories of the students accidently pressing the "END" button and their test stopped there and then.
All these things made me so nervous. I was surprised at the mismanagement by the country's top B-schools! Or should i say Prometric? Anyways the fact is that the stress and tension of the exam apart, me and thousands of others were simply shocked to see the fiasco that Online CAT had become. I was feeling angry about a lot of things. Being a Computer Engineer myself i was shocked to observe that the exam software has an END button right next to the NEXT button! Its common sense that a button which is not used frequently should not appear on every page!! Also if one pressed the END button i Review mode,thinking that it will end the Review, the exam ends there and then!!! These are mistakes that could have easily been avoided by testing.

I realized that instead of worrying about things out of my control,i should make the use of this time and study. I got my act together and started studying. The day before the exam these nightmares continued. Somehow i managed to relax and kept my cool. The day of the exam i tried my best to keep myself cheerful and happy. Fortunately nothing went wrong during the exam. It was smooth, though two people in my lab suffered from a Computer shut down!
I was thankful to god that nothing of that sort happened to me!

After coming back home that evening, i talked to one of my friends. He had given the exam in the evening slot. He informed me that a lot of questions from the morning slot had been repeated for the evening slot!! I got the shock of my life! Imagine if a person takes the test on the last day and notes down questions..I am sure this is possible!
Though the Non-disclosure agreement prohibits people from discussing online, how are they going to stop people discussing questions over the phone or in person?? If this is the case many coaching classes will send dummy candidates to memorize questions on the initial days and provide them to students!
I have even heard of people getting 30 to 35 minutes extra time. Even after their timer stopped, their test did not close (bug in the software)
  and they could mark their answers for 30-35 minutes!!! There was one case where the computer shut down and took 20 minutes to the meantime the student had managed to solve 3 questions on his scratch pad. When the test started again, the timer still showed the same time..meaning that this guy got an extra 20 minutes!!

How are the IIM's going to select the right candidates when the credibility of the whole exam is in question?
I just hope that good sense prevails and they sort out this fiasco.

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