by Ankur Shree
“Coaching is closed buddy – it won’t reopen!”
An attack from a bazooka would have been easier to bear at that moment of time. This was the 26th of January 2015, just 4 months before the exam that was my dream or you could say was conferred upon me as my dream, i.e. JEE advanced or IITJEE.
So my coaching institute where I studied for last one and a half years was now shut down due to some political and organizational issues – which meant now I had no one to clear my doubts, to teach the leftover topics and to prepare my test papers.
It was just one month before the commencement of board examinations. Since I was in school that neither demand attendance nor forced students to give pre boards, I had not started studying for the boards yet. Considering my current predicament, I decided to dedicate my entire time for boards preparations.
Board exam went well, but then came the JEE Mains. Let me remind you again, that in the past two months, I had not even seen a book that helps towards JEE preparation. I was still thinking of myself as a student who used to do well in coaching exams – but forgot that I had not been through a single test in past few months.
After the JEE Mains, I was quite sure that I could manage a score above 250. My friends and I decided to go for a movie and we watched Furious 7. We almost forgot our examination for those 2 hours, and then got home.
Time to check the answer keys: “Q1: Wrong; Q2: Wrong; Q3: Wrong; …”
“I don’t think these answers are trustworthy,” I told myself and switched to another site. “Q1: Wrong; Q2: Wrong; Q3: Wrong; …”
“It seems as if I am looking for wrong set,” I again consoled myself. After each and every verification, I decided to check further and came with a final score below 200. I was shocked. “What the hell just happened?”
I immediately called my chemistry teacher and my mentor on phone and explained the entire scenario to him. He understood my situation, asked me to relax and told that JEE Mains was never your goal – it was always JEE Advanced and I had managed to score well enough to apply for it. He also asked me to join a coaching that he along with a few other teachers has started in some other city. He told me that he had asked my batchmates too to join the same institute.
I was not in a condition to choose any other option. I packed my bag the same day and went to him with a few other friends. Now we all friends were together after 2 months and you all could guess what happened next. We all were up till 2-3 am, but that was never for studies. We were almost 20 students who couldn’t fit in one apartment – so we used to sleep at the coaching centre and rush to the apartment every morning to get ready. To run every morning to the apartment was the toughest job. The only good thing during that period was that we were continuously giving full length test every alternate day and our doubts were taken hand on hand. One week before the exams we were back in our town and were equally “ready and nervous” for the papers.
Then came the D-DAY. Every senior who made through this exam had already advised us to not have any presumptions about the paper. It was quite entrenched in our mind, we didn’t had any assumptions except that paper would be of 360 (180+180) marks and a good number of questions would be of “single correct answer” type.
The instructions on the paper read as follows:
Total Marks: 252, Total marks for both exams: 504
Section A consists of “multiple correct answers”: 4 marks for correct answer and -2 for wrong
There was not a single “single correct answer” type question in the entire paper. It was the worst exam that I had given till date. I returned home, and to my surprise each and every member of my joint family was standing outside the gate waiting for me. I tried to escape but I couldn’t. They all attacked me with their questions.
I said, “I have just faced the worst time of my life, please give me some space.” I managed to escape that crowd and I put myself under the shower for next 30 minutes. I didn’t know that my family members had already planned a consoling speech. As I came out, everyone stared me with their merciful eyes. Understanding the whole scenario within a few seconds, I asked everyone to please have patience till results were out.
“Congratulations! You have qualified JEE (Advanced) 2015 – Rank 4738”
Well for some of us it could be a happy ending, but for me (a person whose one attempt in JEE was still left), this was a situation of dilemma whether to take admission or repeat a year for a better rank.
The decision was finally made and today I am at IIT Roorkee, the oldest technical institute of India with a high internet speed and no limitations. So you could say, the right decision was made!
Ankur Shree is a 1st year B.Tech. student at IIT Roorkee.
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