I took the Manipal MD/MS PG Entrance examination today (aka MAHE) and as it was the first ever online test I was going to sit for, I was naturally a little excited and tensed about it. I managed to work it up to a bit of a useless frenzy last night. But I must say the exam was not worth all that much of a headache. The paper was a bit unorthodox. There were a lot of exotic questions and were mostly of the “hit or miss” variety. Either you knew them or you didn’t – there was no way you could use you basic concepts or foundation knowledge to work them out. Naturally, I came out with a poor score. Just managed to cross 60%. And even then, I was the 3rd highest scorer in the session, which was topped by a guy with 67% marks. Not great by any standards.
Anyways, coming to the exam experience – the exam went really smoothly. Not a single hitch with the computer or the mouse, really fast identity verification system, cool and quiet surroundings – they were ideal for the exam, to be honest. However, the paper being as messed up as it was, there is little I can say about it going smoothly.
Overall, it was a great experience to take my first online exam and I must say a lot of kudos goes to Manipal for developing the examination software. It was really no-frills, user-friendly, no nonsense stuff.
But, me being the grumpy ol’ me, I have an ax to grind with the Mani-peeps. The evaluation system is rather unfair. In all honesty, the paper today was not like the ones before when people traipsed in and out with 70%+ scores. It would be grossly unfair to rate the examinees who took the test in my session with some of the sessions before where almost everyone had 60%+ scores. In my session only about 5 people out of 40 odd seemed to have got the qualifying marks of 50%!
I guess a fairer evaluation system would be to use a session-by-session percentile which would then be used to give the merit ranks instead of simply ordering in position by the marks scored. However, it seems that people have been making this demand ever since the online exam system took off, but for some reason, Manipal University has been loathe to take it up.
I was hopeful that there must be some sort of standardization of scores between the different sessions, because honestly speaking, I felt a bit miffed after I came out of the exam with the score I got. I know that is clouding my judgment but all said and done it is not fair to compare students who took tests on entirely different sets of papers of wildly varying degrees of difficulty using the same benchmark, without even standardizing their scores!
Anyways. I have been to Manipal before and it is one of the most awesome places to study Medicine. Yes, the courses are damn expensive (hence the cliché of a pun, MONEYpal, getting more mileage than it deserves) but then again, from what I have seen, the facilities are top notch as well. I do not know whether I would have been able to afford anything there but truth be told, I would still have liked to do better on the test.
Anyways, with that my PG Entrance exam season is drawing to a close and leaving me facing more questions – most of them more difficult than any asked in any of the entrance examinations. If you are reading this and plan to go take the MAHE, here’s wishing you all the best. May you score below 60%.
And on that note, here is the crowd favorite Manipal University Theme sung by Raghu Dixit (we were shown this when we went to Manipal for a conference and guess how shocked we were to see that the uni had a theme song… it was uber cool):
P.S.: The below 60% quip was just a joke. I hope you do well… no, really!