After the call from IIT Madras, the next call I received was from IIT Ropar. No one objected this time since Ropar isn’t really far away from Ludhiana. The test/interview was scheduled on May17-18. I and my father reached the campus at 8 a.m – an hour early than what we were supposed to report at. The campus isn’t big as of now. There’s a lot of construction going on. But, entering into a place with the board that reads Indian Institute of Technology is a uniquely pleasant feeling. 🙂
While we were waiting for the announcements to be made, I talked with the people there. It really feels amazing meeting new people and knowing the different cultures they belong to. Everyone had their own story. I was amazed to see people who travelled all the way from places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Odissa for this test at Ropar. Soon, I became familiar with most of them there. Meanwhile, we were directed to report for the test at 9 am in the CS Lab1.
The test got delayed to 9:30 and finally began at 10 am. It was an hour long online test with 30-35 questions. I didn’t study much for this but took an overview of major subjects like DS, Algos, Discrete Mathematics. But, to my surprise, there were questions from almost every subject. I felt disappointed initially and thought I wouldn’t be able to recall things. But, keeping my calm, I started solving questions. I managed to recall things. There were questions from DS, Algos, C, CN, TOC, probability, Discrete, OS. The questions from DS and C were very basic and in fact 2 of such questions were exactly the previous year questions from GATE. There were 2 questions from an out of syllabus topic – vector. The other questions were also not really tough. Only that one should take an overview of the entire syllabus for these tests. The test went fine for me.
The results of the test were announced by 1pm. They selected 40 students overall for MS and PhD. I was happy seeing my name in the list.
The interviews started by 3 pm and they were trying to complete all the interviews on May17 itself. While the other candidates were giving their interviews, I sat with my new Hyderabadi friend discussing about some topics. We connected easily. 🙂
People came out of the interview rooms with different expressions. Some were happy, some disappointed and others had weird reactions. From what I heard was that they focused on Mathematics and Algorithms. They asked simple graphs to test our basics – log(tan x), e^x, log x ( relation between these two graphs), tanx etc. They also resorted to probability, Baye’s theorem and yes Algorithms and DS was a major concern. As the clock ticked 6, they announced the next set of interviews to be done on May 18. I, being named from S had to wait for a longer time and finally asked to leave and return the other day.
The next day we reached by 9 am. My turn came after 2-2.5 hours. My interview lasted for half an hour. There were 3 people in the room.
Interviewer : How are you Saloni ?
Me: I’m fine Sir.
Interviewer: Nervous ?
Me: A bit but I’m fine.
Then he asked me the subjects I did in my four years. I tried recalling the names and answered him. He asked my about my favourite subjects to which I gave a list that started with OS. He started with simple questions like what an OS is ? Where do you find OS apart from your laptops ? Why do we need an OS? He backfired me with a lot of questions from what I said or explained. I kept on answering. I don’t know if I was correct or not. Then they gave me 2 questions from DS and Algos and asked me to try them on the board. I don’t remember the questions exactly but they were from linked list and arrays. I came up with some ideas and methods but they were not really satisfied. They asked me to think of methods with lower complexity or optimise the methods. I couldn’t think of better complexity methods.
Next they asked me if I was good at TOC. I told I am. So they gave me 2 questions – 1. Draw a DFA for some language given. 2. Define grammar for the language given. I did both of them correctly. However, I could judge the dissatisfaction from their faces with the Algos part. Anyhow, I wanted to have this experience desperately because I knew this would only bring positive changes in me. The results shall be announced a month later.
Next, after finishing with the interviews they asked all the students to gather in the Conference hall. They asked us about our feedback, reviews and experience. They thanked us for paying a visit at their campus.
All in all, it felt nice. Irrespective of what awaits next, I have lived some memorable moments here – felt awesome entering the IIT campus, meeting new people, making new friends, discussing stuffs with like minded people, learning our own strengths and weaknesses and a lot more. If I had one word to sum this up, I would say Pleasant. 🙂