Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fun Exam

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April 13’ 2008 I wake up early at 4:40 A.M. Having slept quite early the previous night it was difficult to avoid this time of solitude, so I decided to open my book and give it a quick reading, just some last moment revision of long unread topics. I had to sit for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) later that morning. The book acted as sleeping pill and I was back to sleep in next 45 minutes. Later I woke up only at around 6:45 A.M. Soon I rushed for some early morning preparations of the exam. Where are those pencils, eraser and pens? Oh my God, Where is the roll no.? Some freak activity starts in search of the hall ticket. Under that seat or in the box, probably on computer table, no must be in that cupboard. Some 15 min pass and tension grows, but I somehow manage to keep calm! 5 more minutes and I am pleased to find it lying entangled in wires behind my PC! Meanwhile I did all other arrangements and went to bath. Bath took around 40 minutes followed by a 15 min breakfast and TV session. What? It is already 8! The exam is set to begin at 9 and in ideal conditions it prescribed to reach the centre in 20 minutes advance. I leave for the exam centre, my dad accompanies me. We hire an auto-rickshaw. The driver rides pretty cool, everything seems to be very fine. The sun is at its usual shine, wind is blowing quite calmly and everything seems to be perfect. Punjabi Bag intersection and a left turn on Rohtak road, Delhi Metro’s construction work is in full swing. Heart starts jumping. I got to clear this exam or some fine engineering or architecture this time. How can I miss the chance of planning the city I live in! Thoughts come and pass. The under-construction Metro stations bear the tags of name of the place. Madipur, Paschim Vihar (East), Paschim vihar (West) and here comes my exam centre. Just 20-30 meters in from the main road stands my JEE centre for 2008. A whole lot of crowd has gathered there, students and parents, tensed and hopeful. There is a line for entry into the school. I wait for my turn, as I enter the centre an invigilator confirms my identity by checking the hall ticket (Thank God, I was able to find it earlier in the morning). I check for my room, bull-shit it’s again on second floor. I always get a seat at the top floor of the exam centre. Anyhow after climbing those stairs I find my room and enter to find most students already present there. I was in time; invigilator instructs me to take seat and explains the rules and guidelines to all present. We fill in particulars on Question paper and answer sheet and wait for the time we would be allowed to open seals and start answering. And here goes the bell. I start attempting questions from Physics section, meanwhile looking around to find everyone glued to his/her paper. I tried to show a similar dedication and worked hard to solve those pesky questions in Chemistry. Mathematics paper was a bit of surprise as it was easy by IIT standards. Meanwhile I apply that age-old trick of doing questions in rounds (we leave questions not done in first attempt and come back in accordance with ease of level). I also tried to maintain the balance in attempt rate of all three sections, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. 3 hours pass, not quite fast but at a very normal pace, paper – 1 is over. Now there is a 2 hour break during which no one is allowed in the exam centre, so I decide to go for a stroll in nearby areas and find something to binge upon. After walking some 1-1.2 km I spot a juice shop and prefer a Mango Shake. Probably that was only refreshment locale in that colony. On my way back an ice-cream helps me beat the heat of Delhi’s lovely summer. But to my disappointment only 45 minutes have passed and I would have to wait outside the centre. In the way it occurred to me that my attempts in Chemistry were far below desired levels, so I planned to concentrate on Chemistry and Mathematics in later half of the paper. At centre I find my parents waiting for me. I argue with them for coming there as I did not wish any one to wait for me, partially because a 3 hour wait is not worth in that kind of season and also I wanted to do “everything” on my own that day! So I passed rest of time of the break convincing them not to wait for me and playing game on the mobile. At 1:20 P.M we were allowed to enter the centre once again. In the room I wait for procedures to begin by passing time by playing game on my mobile. Soon the invigilator enters the room and I submit my mobile to him, once again same procedures begin. After the bell everyone is once again engrossed in completing the test. I start it with Chemistry, followed by physics and Mathematics. To my elation Mathematics paper contains good amount of geometry and questions which we can do by deriving the whole thing from base. At the end of the exam, I am happy having performed in a much better way. Though I know I will not be clearing off Chemistry cut-off and would not be eligible for counseling session, but still am happy with kind of performance I fared with. Out of exam centre I switch on my mobile, it searches for network and before I could call my father, my phone rings. It is Rohit, my friend in Dehradun, Uttrakhand. He throws the well known question, “How was the exam?”, and the talk goes on. Later I grab an auto-rickshaw back to home. That dirty chap or rather I would prefer to call him powerless play-toy, leaves the beautiful avenues to go for a short-cut full of hiccups and bumps! So I prefer to look into the papers rather checking out the surroundings which I would have done in the other case. 30 minutes am back to home. Later an evening with friends and PC and some television translates into a well spent day.

About the exam I can just say the best paper after class X boards. No sleep, no girls, no distractions in the exam. Exam proved to be pure fun because of my original ideology of going by the concept and attempting only to end in certain correct response. The exam boosted my morale and now I am more than enthusiastic for the next paper in the queue, as I intend to crack it with a bang!

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