A first-hand experience of CAT examination day.

Appearing for the CAT examination was a unique experience for me. The experience was unique I would say because there were months of preparation going into it, lots of effort, planning, analysis and all that comes down to 3 hours of the CAT exam which is going to decide my future career path. So much is at stake during these 3 hours.  One small mistake, one small carelessness in my end and I may have to wait another year for the opportunity to study in India’s finest B schools. Today, I am going to take you through the experience I had on the day of my CAT examination.

It was the 25th of November, 2018. I woke up and had my breakfast, bathed and prayed to god to help me on this very important day. I was in my final year of Engineering and three of us friends had booked an auto to take us to the CAT center. For backup, I had to borrow Rs 500 from my friend as I did not want cash to be an issue on this important day. And, we started on our journey to the CAT test center in Durgapur. I was relaxed during the 1-hour auto journey. I knew nerves is going to play a crucial role today. We reached the center. I could see parents and students waiting eagerly outside the main gate. I was allotted the afternoon slot of 2 30 pm to 5 30 pm. I went near the gate. There were few notice boards. I searched for my name, CAT Registration number and got my allotted room and seat number. After waiting for few minutes, we were allowed inside the campus. There was checking at various points. They asked for a valid Photo Identity Proof, CAT Admit Card was checked. My clothes were checked if any unallowed objects I was carrying. And after all the checking, I was finally allowed inside. Now, I went to the first floor of the building and I found my room. We had to take off our shoes and
socks before entering the Examination room. There was a long queue to enter the room as candidates were verified one by one on entering the room. I waited in the queue. I had a glance at my watch. I could feel my heartbeat getting faster. I also was very particular that during the exam, I do not want any distraction. So, while waiting in the queue, I went to the urinal thrice and made sure I did not have to get up during the 3 hours of exam. Now, my turn had come. I went inside the Exam room barefooted. I sat on the chair. A photo was taken of me, biometric taken and finally, I was allowed inside to and I went and sat on my allotted seat and computer.

It was a huge examination room. There were more than 100 candidates in my room. Most of them were seated. Some were going to the urinal, some were coming back, some were tensed, some relaxed. My seat was near the window. I could see the winter sun shining on my Desktop screen. Few announcements were made. We were told to read the instructions of the test and check whether the desktop is working properly. Then, a timer started and a small countdown had begun after which the Examination would start. By this time, my excitement was at peak! I was thinking a lot maybe. I was trying to calm myself down. I looked at the person sitting next to me. He seemed calm. Then I looked at my screen. Only few seconds remained for the exam to begin. I prayed to god once again in my mind. I said “Oh lord, please be with me today. I have prepared a lot for this exam. I have had a lot of struggles in this entire journey and I want to do good in my CAT exam.” And the examination started. There was silence all around the examination room. Everyone was reading the VA RC section. I started reading as well. And 3 hours went by in very quick time. First the VA RC section, Then DI LR and the Quants section. I kept fighting, kept trying till the last second of the exam. Now, only few seconds remained and I kept trying. I kept my concentration till the last remaining seconds of the examination.

Finally, the countdown of 3 hours had finished and my examination ended. I breathed a sigh of relief. It felt like a big thing was over. I had attempted quite a few questions but I didn’t know if they were correct. I didn’t know what would be the cutoff. Would I clear the cutoff? These things kept running in my mind as I came out of the Exam room. I went straight to the washroom and washed my face.  I searched for my chappals, and as I came down and out the Test centre, I was smiling. It was a smile of relief. That I did it. We all did it. At least we had the courage to sit through these 3 hours of rigorous exercise of the brain. Everyone was talking with their friends, parents. There was uncertainty in everyone’s voice. An excitement. I searched for 2 my friends. We met and took an auto back. On the way back, we discussed on a number of questions. Then one of them said let’s not discuss any more questions or we are going to freak ourselves out. I looked out of the window. The sun had set and night had fallen. I could feel the cold winter wind brushing past my face. There was a feeling of relief. There was a feeling of satisfaction. I was very happy at this moment that finally, I was able to get through the Cat examination and it was a wonderful experience which one will never forget.

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