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The Hurdles and Challenges of Exam Preparation:

It was about midway through my tenure as a JEE aspirant undergoing the slogs of exam preparation when the weather finally started to mirror my hopes and aspirations and graced me with heavy rains and wet, dirty uniforms every day. I set out to endure just another regular day, ardently trying to pay attention to my math professor and not the shapes the reflections of the tubelights made on his shiny bald head.

It had a reddish tinge to it that day and I was willing to bet that it wasn’t his last meal that had brought about this visual art decor. Evidently, our marks were way below his expectations. He didn’t seem pleased.

A few years ago”, he droned on, “I had the fortune to mentor a few students much like you lot. One of those students was a very talented young man. Some called him a prodigy, others preferred the term, ‘God’. He would solve complex integrals in his head and tell you the atomic weights of any element you name. We (the faculty) had no doubt that he’d get a single digit rank – double digits in the worst possible case in JEE Advanced. Guess what? He barely got a rank. It was a shock to all of us. He went into depression – it was mayhem.”

The class was silent. I didn’t even know that was possible. He paused (for dramatic effect, I guess), and then continued:

There was another boy. Not very bright, slow learner. He was usually mocked by the other ‘smarter’ kids. I still remember the way he used to look at ‘God’ – envy dripping from eyes. It was painful to watch. He would travel 20 km by bus to and from the coaching center and study during that journey. He was regular in his work and made beautiful notes. He ended up in IIT B studying the branch of his choice and then even secured an admit into MIT!”

This is just one of countless accounts I heard from more teachers than I can count on my fingers (and I never even paid attention to anything else those teachers had to say). Believe it or not, there are no ‘Gods’ when it comes to achieving what you most ardently desire – in many cases, success in exam preparation. You aren’t guaranteed a seat if you happened to have the right set of genes and you haven’t been condemned to mediocrity if you haven’t. All that matters is you remembering to put the next foot forward regardless of the weather outside. Hard work and perseverance go a long way. Let go of all pre conceived notions of who’s going to succeed and who isn’t. The future is a haze of probabilities and it’s up to you to choose your poison.

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