Despite popular belief, the festival most widely celebrated across the country is not Diwali or Dassera or Holi or Eid.
It is in fact the Common Admission Test or CAT as it is popularly called, which is held across the nation by the Indian Institutes of Management on the third Sunday of every November. This great event unites people of all religions, castes, subcastes and ethinicities to the common cause of wasting two hours of their life on something that actually has a 0.5 % probability of being successful – getting an interview call.
Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, Gays, Lesbians, OCs, BCs, OBCs, SCs, STs and any other living creatures which have finished or are about to finish graduation assemble across the country in various exam centres to take the dreaded exam. I took the exam for the third time in my life. The exam had its usual problems. You had to have just enough water before the exam started. The availability of water at an exam centre is not certain. Also, one shouldn’t drink too much water as one is not allowed to leave the centre even in the case of extreme lavatory-related emergencies. Oh yes, and the exam also happens to be extremely tough.
It seems I’ve lived my entire life trying – I’m still trying – to crack these ‘competitive exams’. Beginning with my Boards in 10th - my first Bublic Egjams – and then the IIT JEE ( I still don’t know why I tried that ) and now CAT. A considerable amount of time of my life has gone into trying to study for these exams and struggling to wrap my head around seemingly absurd calculations that would lead to a pretty much meaningless result. Physics was something I found particularly frustrating. There were two authors that have been single handedly responsible for the destruction of my self-confidence and the notion that I was worth my weight only in dhobi waala coal. H.C. Verma and I.E. Irodov were the aforementioned psychos.
A few of the examples from JEE and CAT prep are mentioned below.Standard H. C. Verma Question
Q. No. VI a. A solid steel ball of 150 mm diameter is rolling on the ledge of a building terrace ( dimensions 15000 mm x 20000 mm x 12000 mm ). The ball rolls of the cement ledge. At the same time Mr. Sharma is getting out of his Sharuti Altoo car that he has just parked. The ball falls on the roof of the car, bounces off and hits Mr. Sharma on the back of the head. Mr. Sharma dies.
Find the height of the terrace ledge taking the depth of the dent at the centre of the sheet steel car roof to be 300 mm.
Coefficient of elasticity of steel – 22.9867 or √528.3884 , whichever is more convenient
Coefficient of death – 1 steel ball hit on the back of the head / person
Text Book Answer : 5.5 metres ( hint : the width of the terrace is given to throw the prospective IIT engineer off track ;) )Standard I.E. Irodov Question
Q. No. Ώ¥.123.56 A solid steel ball is rolling with no slippage on a surface……… Find everything.
Text Book Answer : 5.5 metres ( if you are not a Ramayya shtudentt, you will not get the right answer ;) )
What I though when I read these : Mr. Sharma died. Who gives a shit ?Standard CAT Question
1. Ramu, Shamu, Mona, Sona, Ravi, Mohan, Rohan, Ramesh, Meena, Leena, Reena, Mini, Nimi, Rohit, Purohit, Nilesh and Monu are to set up a bonfire in the forest and sit around it. Answer the questions based on the information given below.
(i) Ramu cannot sit next to Shamu because Shamu has piles.
(ii) Sona cannot sit next to Mona because she is a racist pig and because Mona is black.
(iii) Purohit can only sit diametrically opposite to Rohit.
(iv) Leena and Meena are twin sisters and can only sit next to their respective spouses, who also happen to be twins.
(v) Nilesh is shy so he cannot sit next to a girl.
(vi) Nimi has just broken up with Rohan so she cannot sit next to or opposite Rohan or his current fling Mini.
(vii) Mohan is a transvestite and cannot sit with his legs crossed. Hence he has to sit between two extremely thin people.
(viii) Ramu and Shamu cannot sit next to Hijras.
(ix) All the people at the bonfire are unsocial bastards.
(1) Who sits next to the racist pig ?
a. Sona b. Ravi c. Leena d. Purohit
(2) Who lights the bonfire ?
a. Nimi b. Mini c. Mohan d. Nilesh
(3) Which one of the following could possibly be a girl ?
a. Ramu b. Shamu c. Reena d. Who knows
(4) In how many ways can they sit in a circle if Ramesh can only sit diametrically opposite Leena ?
a. 5789 b. 1234 c. 789 d. Cannot be determined
Hint : Average time taken for this set of questions should be less than 5 minutes.
( Solutions booklet for the above test says : Shortcut is to substitute the answers in the question ;) )
The worst part about all this is that the select few who clear these exams actually arrive at the right answer ! Can you blame me for wanting to give up ?