Now that the results are out and I have passed all exams, I can tell you the story.
So, one fine day in December, or actually last day of November, on the bright Sunday morning, I was deciding between going home for a few days or attending a friend’s wedding the following weekend. Checked a few options and realized that there is a particular train that goes to my hometown once a week- on Mondays. That suited well, I still had time to book the ticket, reach home by Tuesday, spend a few days there, study and be back in time to write the exams.
Oh ok, I need to tell you the exams part also. I am enrolled for a distance learning master’s course and the exams for the same were scheduled from 15th to 19th Dec. I had a flight ticket for vacations booked for 20th. As the last min opportunity to spend time at home arrived, I jumped to it. Booked a tatkal ticket for almost 2.5 k. I didn’t stop there. I even booked a return flight ticket for 13th to be back in time for exams. Needless to say, I had not studied at all till then, I didnt even know names of half the chapters but was confident that 10 days will be more than sufficient.
Being the obsessive organized person (?) that I am, I decided to download and print the hall ticket in advance. I had received an sms a couple of days ago saying the hall ticket was now available online. When the hall ticket appeared on screen, the exam dates appeared as: 1/12/14, 3/12/14, 5/12/14. I was confused. Super confused. I checked the name and roll number on the hall ticket. Those details were indeed mine. Then I checked the courses’ numbers and names. Damn. Right again. I quickly switched back to university homepage and searched for timetable. Well, the dates for my courses matched the ones on my hall ticket.
And then it dawned. I had checked the time table almost a month ago and it had read- Tentative. Well, I can’t be blamed. Who would expect tentative to be so tentative? I hadn’t paid a second thought to that word. It was only in hindsight that I realized university releases multiple time-tables. Well! What purpose does the tentative time table serve? Everyone knows the exams will be in December.
So, there I was, with 22 hours for an exam for which I had not studied apart from writing 10 essays for assignments 3 months ago. I called mom and complained. She cajoled me to study as much as possible that day, write the exam the next day and if am not satisfied with my performance, catch the train for which I had a ticket anyways. Called dad next. It was one of the very few times I heard a hint of disappointment in his voice: Basically, you are telling me that you just booked a tatkal ticket for 2.5k and then you realized that you have an exam tomorrow. You are more responsible than that. That’s all. I felt so disappointed in myself.
Next, I called P and G and cribbed and demanded some favors. I need print out of hall ticket. I want someone to drop me to exam center tomorrow morning. I need someone to keep checking on my study status. Oh, I also want a particular brand’s blue pen for writing.
Finally, I sat down to study. The good part is that the exam paper has 10 questions and any 5 of those have to be attempted. I picked 12 chapters out of 16. Slow and steady… the day went by and I kept reading without having much time to reflect. I managed to sleep for 7 hours before the exam. P got me breakfast, print out of hall ticket and dropped me to exam center the next morning.
It wasn’t as bad as I was dreading. One needs to write more than 2500 words in 2 hours. Given the limited writing practice that I have nowadays, I could not have written anymore than I managed to, even if I was better prepared. I decided to appear for other two exams as well. At least there was 1 full day for each of those. J gave me a surprise visit at the exam center after the 2nd paper and we had a fun evening before I set out to prepare for the last one. After exams, when classmates were discussing how they had studied only for 2 weeks or 3 weeks, I kept my mouth shut.
Not having to study (or to pretend to be studying) during vacations was the best thing that came out of this confusion.
Recently, I was going through the university website for subjects for next semester and there it was: Announcement- Results for Dec 2014 exams are now available. My heart skipped a beat. I hesitated before keying in my roll number. Phew! I had passed. Scored marginal in 1 but the other two scores are actually pretty good for this kind of theory exams. My reaction was- Yay, I can tell the story now, with a happy ending. And stay in illusion that at least a few people care about such stories.