Gaurang Goswami was shocked when he heard on Monday that the Supreme Court had cancelled the
(AIPMT) because of allegations of widespread irregularities, including mass cheating.
“At first, the delays in announcing the result made me feel that they would not cancel the test. But when they did, it came as a shocker,” Goswami said.
Goswami gave the test for the first time in May after preparing for it since the time he was in Class 11. He dreams of being a neurosurgeon.
“Yes, we have to sit for the test again but I feel it is worth it. There are many seats on offer in prime government colleges,” he told Hindustan Times.
It is estimated that more than 600,000 students sat for the examination on May 3. Clearing the AIPMT opens the doors to 15% of seats in government medical colleges across the country, except in Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which opted out of the quota.
“I feel the Supreme Court’s decision is just,” said Poonam (name changed), another student.
“I am quite certain that many candidates might have benefitted by resorting to cheating. And it would be difficult for the law to identify every single one of them. It would be a loss to all those who gave the exam after studying for it very hard.”
The Supreme Court’s verdict, given in response to petitions by candidates who wanted the cancellation of the examination, will affect hundreds of thousands. The court also ordered the holding of fresh tests within a month.
The test results, which were to be declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on June 5, have been at the centre of a controversy since the irregularities, including a leak of answer keys, were discovered.
A lot rides on the AIPMT results. Most medical colleges under the Delhi government, for example, admit students based on their AIPMT scores. This makes the test even more crucial.
“So even if I were to say, get admission in some far-off place, I would certainly keep an eye on AIPMT because I want to stay in my hometown,” said Poonam.
Not everyone is excited about giving the test again.
“Giving the test again adds to the stress we are already in. Most other colleges have either closed admissions or are in the process of counselling,” said Madhur Sharma, who wants to be a psychiatrist.
But the retest could help candidates as they have a shot at improving their scores.
“The AIPMT on May 3 was surprising and a bit on the difficult side because of that,” Poonam said. “The retest will certainly help us, now that we know we have to expect the unexpected.”
Goswami said: “It will be back to the studying table for a lot of us. We have had to attempt several tests over the last few months, so I don’t expect a lot of us will face much trouble in recalling facts.”