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CAT 2009: 'Are the invigilators illiterate?'

December 07, 2009 16:46 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, another disgruntled candidate shares her experience:

Some people quit their quiet, coveted jobs in order to seriously prepare for CAT and land up in an IIM or in the top 15 B-schools. But what happened to them is that they were not able to appear on the scheduled dates, their appointment was randomly rescheduled without their consultation and irrespective of the inconvenience of traveling to a random centre at some time on any date.

Then on the rescheduled date, they are asked to stand outside for only 5.5 hours. Then some are sent back again while a handful get to take the paper.

Then, when the already frustrated candidate enters the test lab to his/her surprise, the system keeps on logging out and the candidate has to forward through 40 questions to reach to DI/Quant section which was being attempted, not to mention the time loss, panic and instability it adds.

To top it all, the so-called professional invigilators misinterpret the test as a socialising event inside the lab with some discussing anything and everything, some attending long personal phone calls over the mobile, some actually calling Prometric and discussing why there were delays and other issues, while some leave their mobiles on with wonderful Bollywood ringtones to exasperate the already frustrated and apprehensive candidate who is now struggling to concentrate on the paper.

So, the irritating, distracting conversation vexes the candidate till he does not QUIT the test. I don't understand one thing, are these invigilators illiterate or don't they understand the gravity of a national-level career-making or breaking examination or are they simply mocking at the fatuous / unfair / relegated CAT conduct by the till-now most revered Indian Institutes of Management. Some candidates were in conversation in test lab, while others toiled with test. Only God knows whether they had completed the test or not as they still were on their respective systems.

Earlier I used to think that a slot means that a set of people will start the paper at one time but thanks to CAT 2009 now I know a slot means that one candiate starts at 1 pm, the other at 1.15 pm, the next one may be at 1.30 pm. While the students continue to trickle in, the candidates who've already started the test have to bear the additional noise (query of newcomers, issue resolving related to system and starting of test) from their fellow candidates during their ideally 'do not disturb' test. Yes, I agree this is not the case for all the test centres and candidates. but it was for me and many other sincere candidates who are left on the mercy of this unfair conduct.

CAT this year is a biased dice game, and sadly many deserving candidates will lose in this gamble.

I would sincerely request the IIMs to conduct another paper-pencil CAT this year to give all candidates a fair trial.

Share your CAT experiences with us. Write in to us at with the subject line 'My CAT experience'. Tell us what it was like and what candidates should keep in mind on test day.