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CAT 2009: 'Candidates were in tears'

December 03, 2009 17:55 IST

Following the fiasco that CAT 2009 has turned out to be, we asked test takers to share their experiences and advice for candidates yet to take the test. Here Siddharth Ananth shares his bitter experience:

I am working for an IT company in Pune. The saga started when I bought the voucher to register for the exam. After the registration I found to my dismay that all slots for the exam for Pune as well as for Mumbai were filled up. The only option left for me was to take the exam over the weekend on the November 29, Sunday from Bangalore. It wasn't much of an issue since I am from Bangalore. I landed two days in advance to do a recce of the centre, The Garden City Collegen of Science And Management.

On Sunday, as is usual, I got up early and reached the centre two hours in advance. To my horror I found a notice on the gates of the centre informing all that the exam was cancelled for the day.

To clear up the confusion I spoke to some of the officials out there. All I got was that the test was cancelled and that we had to contact the Prometric officials. This is where my anger kicks in. I call the toll-free number and I am informed by a recording at the other end that the customer care centre was closed, it being a Sunday. None of the Prometric officials or subordinates were present at the test centre to tackle or at the least inform the test-takers. The college authorities passed the buck by saying that they were responsible just for providing the infrastructure and that they were not liable otherwise.

Some of the other test-takers had sadder stories. One group had their exam cancelled on the Saturday and were informed by SMS/e-mail to come and take the test at this centre which was cancelled again. There was another group who had come from a far town for the exam. There was another group complaining that they were not sure if they could take the exam later as they had their upcoming semester exams. There were tears on some of test-takers faces. Anger and frustration ruled with the parents who had come to drop their children off. The scene wasn't pretty.

Coming back to my experience I had to return to Pune to join work, and haven't yet recieved any e-mail or SMS regarding the rescheduling. I got through customer care this morning to find out that I would have to wait another two days to get the information regarding the rescheduling.

Expect the unexpected is what I have heard umpteen times about the CAT. Well it hasn't disappointed, but it has been demonstrated in the most disgusting manner. And they have the cheek of saying that handling crises like these is what makes good managers. How have the people responsible for this exercise provided a level playing field to every test-taker is the question to be asked! Even after I do give the test, I don't think I will have any sense of satisfaction but only the relief that comes from the ending of an ordeal.

Did you take the CAT this year? What was the experience like for you? Did you face any technical glitches or did the test unfold smoothly? Share your CAT experiences and tips with us by writing in to and we will publish them right here on