CAT 2006 is now dead and buried. And with that the hopes and aspirations of the 1.9 lakh odd (minus the 3000 elite, off course!) aspirants. Some of them having spent a good part of 2006 in honing their skills and sharpening their pencils!! Well, the sad part is thatI was one of those who did just that.
After 8 months of training and preparation, the D Day finally arrived! I had followed the suggestions given by my training institute to cease studying a couple of days before the test and to sleep early on the eve of that day. I woke up fresh on that day, and was in high spirits in anticipation of this test. Much had been talked about it, speculated, predicted about the pattern of the test.. now it was time for some action.
I arrived at the test center about 1 hour before the start of the test procedure. As serendipity as it may seem, I met an old friend of mine from my pre university days and we chatted about our college days, future ambitions and the like. That definitely helped me control my nerves during those final moments leading to the test, where you see many aspirants totally burying their heads doing last minute preparations.
The test procedure started at 10 am, after everyone had occupied their alloted seats. A predictable thing about CAT is its unpredictability! So much was the tension in the air, that those 20 odd minutes before the bell felt like hours! One thing that caught my attention, as it would have to any other aspirant was the fact that for the first time in CAT history, each question contained 5 options as against 4. Though it might be a strike of lightning for some, I had already written a few mock cats in this pattern and had actually put a bet with my friend on this [patting my back… :)] . But these slight advantages (if I can call so) vanished the moment I opened the paper.
The Verbal section, which I was betting myself to score heavily turned out to be a scorcher!! Each question more
intimidating than the previous.. add to it an extra option to scare the living hell of me. The options were so confusing and looked so alike that even after 4 days, the various training institutes are in loggerheads as to which is the right answer! Some how, that shook my psyche and was dreading the other two sections to follow (DI and Quant). I had already over shot the time I had originally alloted for VA, so my back was to the wall.
But coming to DI, I was pleasantly surprised. The questions were no were as intimidating or scary! I was so alarmed at the simplicity that I was scared to mark the answers even when I solved it, lest there is some trick that I might have missed. But, in the hindsight, that was the reason I lost a bit more time in this section too and couldn’t capitalize it to the hilt.
Quant has traditionally been a haunting subject for me. Its not that I dread maths. On the contrary, I actually love it. But, such is the type of questions that used to come that, one needs more than just love for the subject :). But, in this case, the paper setters must have had a walk in the park before setting the paper. The ruthless dont-even-dare face of Quant was replaced by a beautiful kiss-me face of a lady!
So to sum it, CAT 06 was different, actually was different in more ways than before. And the one who held his/her nerve during that crucial period will come out the winner.
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