So right, yeah, CAT 2006. I'll just analyse it once in this post, and everyone who gave it, or is planning to give it, can read it, and then I'll resume regular programming. If I feel like it.
So you've all read that bit about CAT changing its stripes and so on. Seventy-five questions this time, as opposed to ninety last time and a hundred and twenty-three the time before. (And other shudder-inducingly high numbers before that.) The whole pattern had changed. No variable marking, which was a boon as far as I was concerned. Straight four marks for each answer, as opposed to the usual one- and two-markers. And only one mark cut for each negative answer. Big "whew!" at that.
My centre was in Daryaganj, in a school called, of all things, Happy School. It turned out to be not as shady as I thought it would be. Nice single desks - non-creaky ones too, which is about all that I ask of a desk with such a crucial role in my life. In fact, it kind of reminded me of a desk I used to have when I was a kid. It had a liftable lid, with space inside where you could keep your books and stuff.
Anyway, we got the answer sheets at ten, and I noticed the five options thing straight away. I wasn't really worried, though, because I was too busy feeling relieved at the fact that the sheet only had space for one-twenty answers. We got the question papers at ten-twenty, and I read the instructions, and barely stopped myself from gasping aloud. Twenty-five marks in each section, four marks to each answer - the paper was out of three hundred! I remembered that the prospectus had said that we needed to score at least one-fourth of the total marks in the sections. Twenty-five out of hundred seemed managable enough.
So everyone who has read till now must now that the English section was devilishly tough - three Reading Comprehension passages with five questions each, five paragraph completion questions and another type of question that I'd never seen before, but apparently used to come many years before. And not only did all the questions require actual application of your brain, but the options were so close that, even when you tried the elimination of options method, you were left with at least a couple of possible answers. And my predicament was even worse than others'. Because I usually score well in the vocabulary and grammar based questions. But there wasn't a single one of those this year. In one stroke they'd removed the stuff that I was actually good at, and put in the stuff that I'd been averaging fifty percent accuracy in, in the Mocks.
I finished off the English section as best as I could, and moved on to Maths. And boy, did it raise my spirit! Every question was easy! I attempted thirteen and got twelve right. And I would have scored even more, except for my inability to believe that the questions could be so easy.
Then, with an hour left, I moved onto DI, which was midway between Maths and English in terms of difficulty level. I attempted eighteen questions, got at least thirteen correct. Think I got one more correct, but only one coaching institute seems to agree with me. Thank you, God, for letting me 'get' that mathematical conference set. I feel so proud of myself for that one. 'Should have been avoided' was the suggestion most experts gave about that set, but whoo, I got that one right!
And that was it. Two and a half hours later, I was out. Feeling pretty content with myself too, though I had no idea about how others had done, of course. Since then, I've been both down in the dumps, and ecstatic, depending on which answer key I choose to believe. Still - at the end of the day, it's the IIM answer key that counts, as I read in some forum or the other, and I'll have to wait till January to find out. Meanwhile, though, I'm basking in the glory of having done much better than anyone in my class - which is not saying much, by the way, since All Mathsies Suck At English (proved via extensive research). It has raised my stock to dizzying heights. (Is this what's called mixing of metaphors, by the way?) Most gratifying.
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