Rank: 15, Batch: 2018
Place: Kolkata, West Bengal
When I turned down a lucrative job at a leading construction company, I realised it was important for me to decide what I was going to do next. After much deliberation, I decided to work towards preparing for GATE 2018 with the intention of landing a masters in one of the top schools in India. This realisation came around in the month of August 2017 and preparation began at a slow pace from October 2017 onwards.
My first reaction
Needless to say, I was elated. Though a mild fraction of disappointment passed quickly since I didn’t make it to the top ten. Full credits to my parents and my sister for always being so encouraging even when I’d be buried under office work or other distractions.
I studied on my own, since I had a few of my college resources too. Its important to pay attention in class, I’ve now realised. So often we skip classes thinking what we haven’t learnt can be lived without but that’s not true. I still feel bad about not having attended all classes or not having taken all the notes.
A: Study schedule
I’d not get too much time during office so that would mean only about an hour on weekdays and that would extend to say two three hours on weekends. Towards the last week, I put in roughly eight hours a day to make up for all the lost time.
B: Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)
Back in college Structure and illumination were my weaknesses, so I had selected a particular day where I would spend the entire day simply getting familiar with the basics of it. That helped me delve deeper into the subjects and explore more challenging questions.
Books and e-sources
The Gate architecture book by B.K. DAS is a Bible, and is a must have for anyone preparing for GATE.
I teach kids upto class X so I have always been in touch with my mathematics. Its important to know your basics. Calculus isn’t necessary but everything you’ve learnt till class X is. So anyone looking to improve aptitude should start reading English textbooks and solving basic mathematics. That’s all you need to crack the GA.
Always start with architecture first, then move to GA. A poor GA can mess up your mood for the rest of the exam, so it’s always safe to do it in the end. Also never read the entire question paper at one go. That way you aren’t able to focus on one question clearly and it may muddle your mind further.
I’m currently making my portfolio and simply waiting for the D-day to arrive. I Intend to take the interviews spontaneously.
I’m aiming for a course in building engineering and management from the school of planning and architecture. Another option is construction engineering and management from IIT Delhi. Lets see where I make the cut.
Advice to fellow students
I’d say, study a bit everyday. Don’t pile on, don’t stress it out either. Familiarise yourself with the pattern of previous papers, don’t memorize the questions. Focus on relevant and important topics, but whatever you decide to focus on make sure you are absolutely thorough with it. Also, good luck friends!