“Kya?!”, he exclaims, “you haven’t applied for it?!” A couple of passers-by slow down their strides to have a better look.
“I am not taking the eLitmus test.” I said again, this time with a bit more composure. My friend’s mouth was oscillating between open and shut with remarkable regularity. Finally, he shuddered himself back to his senses. “Theek hai yaar, whatever pleases you.”
eLitmus was the in-thing that year. Everyone in my wing, my hostel, my college was taking that exam. Apparently, it prepared you to face the ‘real, corporate world’. So everyone rushed to take the exam and paid the rather steep fee for it as well. After all, who doesn’t want to be prepared for the ‘real corporate world’?
I was one of the five (or less) people in my batch who conveniently ignored this latest craze. Everyone, else was, of course, hell bent on proving me wrong. “Don’t you want a higher package?” “Don’t you want to prepare for placements?” “Don’t you want to get a boost to your career?” were the questions shot at me. I just shrugged.
Why? You ask? Here were the primary reasons:
1. I’ve always been scared of exams. My sentiment may not be reflected all over my score-cards, but there has always been something about tests that have bothered me. I try my best to be normal, in my defense, but sooner than later, I give up. The sole reason – Linearization. Linearization is , of course, the breaking down of any quantity into numerical values. The concept that anything and everything can be broken down to digits. An exam is nothing more than a living, running example of the same.
What may be weeks of studying, or months of understanding, or days of hard work, it all comes down to a single two-digit integer that gets etched in stone. Institutes, employers, and even your relatives associate you with the number. You score less, you have no say. The AIEEE rank, the JEE score, the GRE score are your only attributes. The professional world recognizes you by these numbers, establishes your identity.
I consider exams the biggest piece of BS invented by man. If you are going to judge a person based on one performance on a single day, you are never going to judge the person correctly. It is the most clear-cut case of judging a book by its cover.
2. Despite everything they said about eLitmus, they ignored hard facts. The highest package via eLitmus was just a little higher than the average package for my college. The average package doesn’t even come close. Sift through the list of companies that actually pick up students on the basis of eLitumus scores, you find a bunch of mass-recruiters. Here’s what really happens : They take students via eLitmus just to make up the numbers for the financial quarter. They don’t consider recruits as exceptional, no matter what the score. Would you really want to be a last-resort employee for a mass-recruiter.
Right now, I work for a big-four consultancy company. The recruiters here have either never heard of eLitmus or they laugh at its mention. What they want are proven professionals, or students whose academic performance has been consistent over 4 years. Not a one-day flash in the pan.
Needless to say, I did not suck up and pay 1.5k (a big amount in those days) to this stupid company trying to mint money out of panicky students during college placement season. I am happy to say, I was right.