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Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

Life at IIM-A

- by Vinamra Srivastava *

A 2 week veteran at WIMWI now...

What a time it has been once the classes have started! It seems as if I have been here for ages but when I look at the calendar, reality dawns on me that it has just been two weeks...

Let me first describe how a particular weekday goes here for me. I get up at 8:00... the worst moment of the day... I have started hating that alarm ring-tone and have developed a fear of it... and hence, keep on changing the alarm tone often! After great difficulty, I get out of the bed with my eyes all red due to the unending mugging of the previous night.

Classes start at 9:00 and three lectures take place, each interspaced with a 20 minutes break. Since I am in the new campus, it takes me time to go to have breakfast at the mess which is in the old campus. I prefer to spend those precious 15-20 minutes in sleeping extra! Hence, skipping breakfast has become the norm. At 1.10, the classes get over and we all trudge to the mess with a constant fear in our hearts... the dreaded quiz notice board!

This is the notice board that�s placed outside the mess and whenever there is a surprise quiz at 2.30 pm, a notice is out up there. And on an average, you have about 2-3 quizzes every week... so you can do your maths to find out how many times you have to skip lunch. Now its not necessary that you skip lunch when there a quiz at 2.30, but then somehow you feel its better that you go back to your room and study instead of munching your time away. There probably are two kinds of people who still have their lunch when a quiz is announced... One who are studious and are ever prepared for any quiz, and hence, who don�t need to go back to the rooms for a last ditch revision. The other are those who have become so immune to the system that they know ki padh ke bhi kuch zyaada faayda nahi hone waala... so might as well relish the tasty mess food! I belong to neither of the categories till now but am somehow pretty sure of joining the later very soon.

I usually sleep for an hour after coming back to the room so that I have some strength to sit late in the night. And after the sleep, its study time till as long as your eyes permit you to stay awake. Haan, include the dinner trip to the mess in between which provides a good break from the monotony.


The entire teaching methodology is case study based. Every subject hardly has much theory, unlike our engineering days. We discuss a practical case and apply our studies and theory to crack the case. Every student is expected to come prepared to the class with the case going to be discussed.

We have been given a detailed schedule for the entire term that specifies on which day and what time, what is the case going to be discussed and what prior readings the student needs to do for the same. Hence, everyday, we have to do the reading and prepare the case for the next day�s classes. This activity takes about 2-3 hours for each subject, so with 2 lectures due the next day, nearly 8-9 hours goes in this preparation. And apart from this is the backlog studies you have to do, the group assignments and other arbit stuff..And that�s precisely the reason why fachchas are awake mugging till late into the night or early mornings at times, depending on circumstances. In general, a sleep of 4 hours or more is surely bliss.  

But I am slowly getting adjusted to this schedule. I had problems in the first week, where I was in a sort of trance, not being able to respond to the frenetic activity taking place around me. But the second week saw a change in me which I cautiously made an effort to implement. I was much more relaxed, realizing that the work load will always be there, and hence, there is no use getting worked up and tensed about it. So I started taking things in a much more relaxed and mature manner. I started reading the newspapers, started talking to my friends and family on phone and in general keeping a cool mind. All these things might look mundane to anyone outside WIMWI but trust me, in our first week here, we felt as if we are completely cut out from the external world and are living a life of our own. Its still the same case but my mindset of responding to events has changed.

We have had 3 quizzes till now... two went pathetic, one was quite decent. But I am already getting immune to such vagaries. My funda now is to study as hard as I can, Take time out to do simple stuff that relaxes your mind and then not bother too much about whats gonna happen. I am sure things will take care of themselves.

However, life at WIMWI, as I am realizing slowly, is extremely rocking and fun-filled apart from the mugging that the fachchas have to do. There are loads of other activities happening. The dormitory culture is absolutely awesome and we have frequent dormitory meets and dinners where all the dormitory tuchchas and fachchas basically chill out and have fun. So there is lots of stuff to rest your mind when you are down and out with the workload.

It�s a great learning experience. When I sit back and think of the kind of stress and long hours that I have put in, it makes me shudder, but then I also realize that in the end I do manage to come out of it and hang on. This is what makes this place so absolutely great.

You pass through fire and then come out rock solid to take on anything in the world. This is probably just the beginning and there are many long tiring days ahead of me, but I have now started enjoying this place and this schedule and am confident that even though I might curse every morning about the lack of sleep I am getting, but in the end its gonna make me super tough, ready to withstand anything. 

One great thing that makes this place rock is the tuchchas. They are all gem of people and have great enthusiasm. They always help us out, understanding very well the kind of stress we go through and they ensure that we have our share of fun as well. All in all, it�s a close knit family here... one large family.

The second thing that rocks here is the mess... Awesome food is all I can say. The mess is managed completely by a student committee, as is the case with everything else at campus... students do everything. There is great variety in food everyday and it tastes yummy. I never expected the hostel food to be so good and that provides a great relief when you come down to the mess after a tough day.

There are loads of other great things happening here and will list them in due course of time.

Yesterday night was a long one. I slept at 6:00 am... Had to submit our first WAC (Written Analysis and Communication) report today. This WAC submission takes place 3 times in the term... all on Saturdays... today being the first one. But the next 2 Saturdays don�t have it, so that�s good.

I am going to my mama's place after the submission that will take place in the next half an hour. The post submission time today will be a chill period for all of us. We all have studies to do but are all so tired after the hectic week capped by the report writing, that this Saturday evening/night is fun time. We will party, have fun, sleep, watch movie and basically relax ourselves. I will go to mama's place to get a break and a change of environment. Have to also catch up on my sleep!

I am leaving now for the submission and then for a relaxing evening... Will be back soon!!!

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