Rank: 2, Batch: 2018
Place: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
When smart cities came into discussion in India, being a planner, I was very excited to learn about it. But……“There is no universally accepted definition of a smart city” is the first line on Smart City website of India. My inquisitive hunt for question “What is smart city?” got satisfied when I got an internship at IPE Global for projects of 2nd position winner Ujjain Smart City. I witnessed brainstorming projects like value capture finance, advertisement tax, tourism enhancement workshop, etc. with extensive interaction with 4 industrious planners from SPA-Delhi. Competence and working strategy of planners influenced me and greatly shaped my attitude towards masters in urban planning. This is the main reason I appeared for GATE 2018.
My first reaction
I was aware about my marks and probable rank. Hence, it was not surprising for me. Parents and faculties are rapport of motivation. But friends, especially my roommates and our informative discussions about GATE topics helped me allot (I can say that 40% marks come through discussions).
Coaching was available but I didn’t prefer it because I thought that it would restrict my way of own thinking and alternative development technique while solving the questions.
A. Study schedule:
I dedicated whole December and January for GATE.
This quote is very relevant for my preparation strategy, because syllabi are very vast and Architects and Planners are expected to prepare for syllabi of Civil, Architecture and Planning. Hence, I spent almost 4-5 days especially for identifying topics and analyzing question papers. In the 1st week of my study, I just introduced myself with the topics through previous year question papers. I went through them thoroughly again and again and tried to understand the question paper pattern and major topics asked (for numerical and theory) and noted them down according to my understanding. Later I started collecting relevant materials for study. (NOTE: Please note that I haven’t started studying yet, it was just an introduction and collection stage.)
Memorising architects and their books and buildings
In our paper, high importance is given to architects and their books and building. I was so stressed that how could I memorize all of them. So I prepared entertaining stories in my mother tongue for each architect which included his/her building names. I spent my 2-3 days on finding building, books and preparing stories of them. It made my study interesting rather than boring. Such each small success satisfied me and lead me towards successful completion.
You will come across various formulas and strategies while solving question papers. Just note down uniqueness of each question on the spot and revise it frequently. Prepare a list of formulas especially for HEAT, LIGHT and SOUND.
The pattern is not fixed for theoretical questions. I will suggest to read each and every topic given in syllabus. For numericals, focus on-
- Heat, Light and Accoustics
- PERT and CPM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdDzybQ_9vM)
- Paint- pigment and volume
- Concrete – Volume, density and grade ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDByI8-QAK0&t=1070s)
Its never too late to start. Start reading at least one page per day of the architecture dictionary by Francis D.K. Ching. Till December, you will be master of the dictionary. Planning students should consider this on a serious note.
Is a bible for planners and we know almost everything about it. Architecture students need to read it carefully and understand standards and case studies. It will help you a lot in understanding planning aspects.
B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)
I used to revise difficult things frequently without any indolence and repeat it until and unless I get perfection in the same.
Books and e-sources
Must read books:
- Building Construction by B. C. Punmiya( First,basic and best study material)
- Architecture Dictionary by Francis D.K. Ching
- Estimation and specification by Dutta
- Gate architecture/Planning question paper set by B. K. DAS)
I didn’t give much time for aptitude section. In the last week, every day I just revised formulas of the major topics in the aptitude section and solved some examples for each topic. This preparation brought me 13 marks out of 15.
I just gave one mock test during my preparation. It is surely beneficial as it teaches you time management and reduces your overconfidence.
Attempt the section first about which you are confident. It will increase your confidence. I did my best for core subjects, hence started with 2nd section of architecture and planning. I attempted 90% paper there. It boosted my confidence and then I solved aptitude with relaxed mind. (NOTE: I never read all the questions after receiving question. I would suggest just start solving questions one by one and never overview all the questions. It might create conundrum of thoughts in your mind.)
PSUs are not available for planners.
I have applied for Urban Planning at SPA Delhi. My decision to enroll with Urban Planning at SPA-Delhi is driven by desire to connect my future with government leaders by incorporating innovative ways to bring a paradigm shift in conventional urban planning field and to build sustainable cities.
Advice to fellow students
“Don’t care, Just Dare”.
Accept the risk while answering the questions if you have prepared well. This attitude of mine took me to the 2nd position. Don’t worry. Our GATE is very easy if you prepare strategically and use your own ways and impossible if you try to follow someone without logic. You have one year to prepare, develop your strategies, keep discussing with your friends, share your knowledge, it brings you back more.