The early date of August was welcomed by a thrill of enthusiasm prevailing among the veins. An envelope stuck at my hand that had been sent off by the Singapore Government. I was completely mused by the invitation that had knocked up my door. Though I was aware of something as astonishing as that because my inbox had been sparked up with the flame of hope merely a couple of days ago. I had been invited to sit for the A*STAR Scholarship test that was my goal of the year. Though it had mated my mind, yet I was entirely unaware of the syllabus that the examination followed. Surfs on net and chats with wizards had proved fatal, for yet the syllabus had not yet unfolded for me. The only thing I had been able to know of was that I had to surf through the very test to break out the Indian cage.
Anyways, in the last days I came to know a bit of the exams. The three papers: Maths, English and General Ability were to comprise of questions of higher secondary level. Better late than never, just two days ago, did I lately start up preparing the R.S. Agarwal. But that fat nerd was out of the world for me. I was entirely confused, where to start from. That puzzling and startling ate up my last chances too. Though, after having prognosticated the failure in future, yet I boarded the train to Delhi.
The arrival at the hotel staggered me up, not of nausea or weakness, but of the striking interior. It was beyond fantasies. A heaven at Delhi had waited for me since days. But, the matter wasn't the outside appearance of the five star hotel but the inner being. Yes, I mean that the invigilator, the examination hall and everything else was the best for me, but the papers set up were ravaging.
A virtual narration could begin with the scholarship briefing that we were given. We had a nice interactive juncture with the Singaporeans. I had my mind cleared off from the so- called doubts of the post scholarship exam period. The next was our GAT or General Ability Test. The almost 60 of us (half batch) were giving instructions for advancing forth. We were at first told of the timings and all. I was just freaked to know that the entire 48 of general ability questions were to be done in just 20 minutes. It was a kind of practically impossible. I was just able to complete 38 of the questions. The questions were like complete the pattern kind of. There were figures given to us. But the most boring thing of the shapes that we had to complete was that they had just 5 colours. Just black, white, blue and grey. Anyways, they just seemed childish, but the questions after no. 15 were just tricky ones. But it was fun to have tried out such a level of questions.
The next, was the lunch break, after which we had our Mathematics Test. The most furious and horrid was that test. There were around 34 questions having a number of subparts. The questions covered topics including graphs, squares and square root, linear and simultaneous and quadratic equations, trigonometry, indices and surds, surface area and volume, trigonometry ( a high level one), graphs, triangles, factorization, expansions and so on. The 100 marks paper ( around 2 hours) was harder than anything and was just a total mess for me and most of my fellow mates. I still curse upon myself for not having practiced for the maths test. So I have no hope for myself being selected for the interview after a bad performance in Maths test for which 130 of us had sat altogether.
After a short refreshing half and hour break, we had our English papers. Yes, we had two tests without a break. The first paper comprised of fill up the blanks kind questions that tested our vocabularies and grammatical powers. The test wasn't like choose the right answer questions as in General Ability Test, but a bit of writing of one or two words in the answer paper was also to be done. We were also given two long comprehensions with a bit of questions that fall under the tag of trickiness and simplicity. Then we had inserting of preposition and conjunction type questions. There were around 50 questions altogether to be done in one and a half hours. The time was more than enough. The English exam 1 was just superb for me.
Next, the English exam 2 was a topic of fun, for it included writing of an essay in just 30 minutes. The topics were 'If you recommend some foreigner to visit some historical place in India, what would you recommend and why so?' The other one that I attempted was, 'The most memorable day at school.' The essay writing was fun, though 30 minutes seemed to be insufficient, anyways I made it at the right time.
With the essay framing and a check of demiurgicness, our day at the grand hotel folded up. We bade a bye to our newly made temporary friends. And with this, the day that I had been waiting for since months, ended up.
We were told during the scholarship briefing that the pupil selected, would be sent a mail in late October or early November giving a call for an interview. Its a worth giving exam, so I don't feel regretted even after having messed out the entire answer sheet with stupid answers. Though I have no hope at all, to be selected, yet I can say that this was the most memorable day that would be stored in my archives.