Rank: 28, Batch: 2018
Place: Nagpur, Maharashtra
I always believed that if you pay attention to what is being taught in class, you don’t really need to actually sit down and study for any exam. I started to study for gate around a week prior to the exam, but mind you, I do not advice the same. I am a lousy procrastinator and I don’t wish to encourage such behaviour. All there is to GATE is to pay attention in class and not forget what you learned in the last semester, and basically you are done.
My first reaction
IIT already lets out the answer key and your responses, so one tentatively get an idea about the rank, so I would say it didn’t really come as a surprise but never the less it was a moment of fulfillment for me. The most priceess thing about the result would still be, according to me, the expression of my parents and their sense of pride for having me as their daughter. The credit goes to them, and also my friends and professors here in college who always believed in me (even though I didn’t seem to do much). Specifically for GATE I would say, Suryamani Kumar (AIR-9) was the person who pushed me farthest, encouraging me whenever I felt like a looser. And also my Thesis mentor Sanmarg Mitra, who maintained a very nice way of passive aggressive encouragement.
As already mentioned, I did not join any institute. I would suggest to just focus on every topic that you already have in your curriculum and revise them all thoroughly before GATE. Also there are lot of materials available online and also the book by Dr. BK Das.
A. Study schedule:
As you might expect from me, was nothing definitive. I would sit with the book of Dr. B.K.Das whenever I felt motivated enough.
B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)
In the matter of strong and week subjects, well, I will highly recommend that first you should identify your strengths and weaknesses, and first target your weaknesses head on. There are a lot of materials available online and you can even ask for them from your faculties. DO NOT leave your weak areas uncovered. For me, the weak section was numericals and I specifically focused on them so much so that except one, all my GATE numericals were correct. This has to be the attitude towards the weak areas that they become your ultimate strength.
Well for the aptitude part, one simply needs to revise the class 10th and 12th formulas for maths and physics. Do that and you are basically sorted for all types of aptitude exams in future.
I didn’t take any mock tests, simply because I didn’t have time after I started my preparation, so don’t rely on my opinion on this part.
GATE AR itself is not a time constrained exam. One mostly gets enough time to comfortably complete their paper and then go for a revision check. But as for my approach, I first tried to solve all the 2 mark questions, specifically the numericals, because they will take more enthusiasm than any other type of questions. Next I tried solving all the match the following questions, then the theory questions. This approach works best as for numericals you have to be in the best possible mindset to get them exactly right, then the next level of complexity is the match the following questions, because you might get stuck or a ‘brain knot’ when solving those, so try to solve them second. Theory questions are very straight forward, if you know them, you will solve them, if you don’t, there really isn’t much you can do about it.
I am sorry, by far I do not have a solid strategy. I will spend the first two minutes of the interview gauging the panel of interviewers and then form my strategy accordingly.
I am very interested in Product Design and Conservation. So let’s see what happens.
Advice to fellow students
Well I would advice the students to not be like me, and start to study significantly before the exam. Also please do not be intimidated by the exam, it is tough, but trust yourself to be tougher.
P.s.: For any sort of help for last minute study materials and time management, or even for some encouraging pep talk, anyone is free to contact me. All the best for your future and please wish the same for me. 🙂