IIFT Diaries – Exam Time

Today IIFT looks different. Ask the students and you will know why.

No prizes for guessing, the end-term exams are here.

I never knew numbers could be so comprehensive. Math has never been a scare. I once scored a cent percent in the subject. Can’t remember in which life though. But today, Math suddenly felt Greek. As if the numbers spoke a different language altogether.

I entered the allotted classroom 3 minutes prior to the beginning of the exam and found it filled with students of both years. So, the seniors would witness our helplessness too; I sighed.

The people sitting ahead of me and behind me were both finance enthusiasts. I don’t know whether to call it a happy coincidence or otherwise. After the sheets were handed out, I spent endless (endless because I didn’t bother wearing a watch) minutes thinking which questions would be the best to attempt. My gaze rested on the row ahead of me and I saw the guy scribbling away. The time for selecting the questions must be over, I surmised. Doing an inkie-pinkie-ponkie, I decided to start the paper.

I wondered what the senior sitting next to me must be thinking. I tried not to think too much about the impression I was having on him. My pattern went on as follows: I embarked on a question, feeling as if it might be the one I will do well. Halfway through it, I realised I had lost the battle. It was like nemesis. I had a déjà vu feeling of listening in the class till about a certain point. The ‘phased-out point’ I call it. After a while of concentrating on the coursework, I just phased out. The exact same thing was happening in the exam. I remembered everything only up to that point. The rest was dots and dashes. Morse code, maybe?

When the guy behind me asked doubts related to a certain question in the paper, I realised how much beyond the danger level I was. I had no freaking clue of what he was about. No use even clarifying the so-called ‘doubts’. Even though there was a half hour remaining before time expired, whatever spirit I had of doing the paper had expired by then.

Maybe the only good part in all this was the myriad colourful messages that trended on our batch Whatsapp group post exam:

“CV point: invented new format for cash flow statement.”

“Sleeping yesterday was a good decision.”

“My only regret was why I studied at all.”

“Marks in quiz > marks in end-term.”

The group was swiftly renamed to IIFT 2016-18 | Kora Kagaz (Blank Sheet).

All this serves to make me feel a little better. But then I remember the CAs, BBA’s, BComs, and sincere engineers who study; in fact, any other person from any other background who listens attentively in class and my spirit plunges ever lower.

Feeling moody and pensive, I dropped off to a dissatisfied slumber.


Wait, the story is not yet done.

Here is a page from a second-year student’s diary:


I was sitting around observing juniors trying to catch hold of so many numbers in one breath. Being a senior was never this fun.

All that was to change pretty soon, for there were two juniors who were to sit beside me, and one of them innocently asked me to help her. Thus, ‘numbers’ struck twice – this time at a more painful spot – ego. The first stroke had not been a light one either, it made a ‘C’ out of me – a C grade.

What started after, was a race, a race against time, a race against myself, a race against all that I had earned by entering IIFT one year prior to my juniors. The race was to complete my paper and leave as fast as possible, leaving no chance of eye contact with the beautiful junior sitting beside me. Only if I had known ‘numbers’, times would have been different.

Not to be though, because I completed my paper in 40 minutes straight, and ran as if my life depended on it.

Exam times have never been the best, after all.