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CAT 2009: Test cancelled, I want an apology

Last updated on: December 2, 2009 20:20 IST

Photographs: Uttam Ghosh

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, Rahul VA shares his ordeal.

My exam was scheduled on November 28, for the evening slot. I reached my exam centre -- Garden City college, Bangalore -- at around 1: 45 pm for the test since it was mentioned that we need to be there latest by 2 pm and if not we would not be allowed to enter.

When I reached I saw a long queue standing in the blazing sun trying to enter the college. So I joined them and stood there but there was no movement. After a while I left the queue and took some respite in the shade since the sun was too much for me. The majority continued to sweat it out. After 3 pm there was an official announcement of exam cancellation.

Garden City college is on the outskirts of the city and I need to again make the long journey for when it will be rescheduled (hopefully).

In spite of recurring issues that have resulted in enormous difficulties to candidates, Prometric still did not have the conscience to accept responsibility nor to give any apologies.

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.

A little late, but not bad

Next, DKM, a 24-year-old retail professional from Hyderabad, shares his experience:

I'd selected Lords institute of Engineering and Technology as my test centre (well, I missed JNTU and CBIT due to the last-minute registration), but, I am quite glad that I chose this centre. I reached the centre before 8 am (for my 10 am exam) on November 30. Luckily, I had my music player to calm me down. We were allowed to get to the exam area at 8:55am. Our admit cards and IDs were checked. The exam area is on the second floor.

This centre was quite nicely managed. We were asked to remove our footwear (including socks in this winter!). Anyway, once we filed in, we were asked to put in all the electronics, pens, pencils, etc in a pouch. After a verbal "no funny papers in my wallet" commitment and a thorough pat down (our wallets were allowed inside along with our winter jackets), our IDs, vouchers and the admit cards were verified. I was carrying my Voter's ID (thanks to the GHMC elections) and was asked a different ID at which I turned my wallet upside down and gave him my insurance card, driving license and my PAN card, I am sure that it really confirmed that I am who my admit card claimed to be.

The proctor directed me to my cabin (amazingly neat and with enough illumination). I was then asked to put both my index fingers at a time on the scanner (stay still when it asks you to 'hold'), photographed and directed to my designated seat. A card with guidelines, a pencil and an eraser were already placed on my station (the guidelines had a statement according to which I was to keep my ID proof face up on the desk during the exam, I used my driving license here).

The computer asked me to enter my registration ID. Once the ID was entered, a screen for the username and password was up with my photograph (something that proctors have to enter). At 9:30 (as on the computer) the proctor entered the username and password. The proctors then asked if we had any queries with the process. All the queries were curtly answered (a guy even asked if we could ask for spare roughs, which got a smirking affirmative). The centre had a stock of water bottles if we got thirsty.

The amazing part was the tutorial (as on, we could go through the tutorial before 10 (against the usual word that we could not). At 10 am, the proctor informed us that they were waiting for an initialisation key from the centre head. At 10:07 we got our keys and the 135-minute test started. At the end of the test, the computer informed me that I'd run out of time and asked me to log out (as though it allowed me to complete what I was doing).

Coming to the test-taking part, after I completed the first two sections, I working again.

All the best and cheers!

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.

He spent Rs 15,000 for nothing!

Here, Garima Rawat shares her cousin's CAT nightmare:

Appearing for the CAT as a first-timer was quite an experience for thousands of test-takers this year.

All ready to appear for what is known to be one of the toughest exams, my cousin reached Chennai from Delhi at approx 11.30 am and hurriedly arranged to reach the venue (SRM University, Kattankulathur) at 1.30 pm as asked from the candidates.

On reaching the huge campus with proper guidance he managed to reach the venue of the exam, to find candidates still waiting for any kind of information. Struggling past the numerous people standing there and waiting for almost an hour, after being sorted into four batches, the server of his particular batch crashed. He was then informed to keep checking the site regularly and that he would be informed of the re-scheduled appointment later.

His CAT turned out to be a disaster: travel of 2,500 kms, time wasted and adding to the already spent Rs 5,000, another Rs 10,000 for the immediate ticket back to Delhi. For him it turned out to be a mere trip to Chennai for "nothing".

This was the plight several candidates suffered this year having travelled long distances to their respective centres just to return frustrated and disturbed, without having appeared for the exam.

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.