Shivam Thakur - GATE 2018 AIR 14 Civil Engineering -Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
Shivam Thakur

Hello, my name is Shivam Singh. I have done my schooling and engineering from Aligarh Muslim University. I graduated in June’17.

During the start of my 7th semester, that is from June’16 onwards, I decided to give GATE to check my capabilities with self study. In my first attempt of GATE in 2017, I got AIR 488 but I was disappointed as my performance in test series was much better. So after graduation, I came to Delhi and started preparing again.

My first reaction


After the GATE exam, I calculated my marks from various coaching’s answer sheets and I was getting 86.67 (which after normalization, became 86.38) so I was sure of under 50 rank.

Result was declared one day before the actual date. One of my friend Vishal called me and said you got 14 rank. I was very happy. I called my father and told him about it. My teachers helped me to build my basic concepts. My family really helped me a lot emotionally. My friends also kept me motivated. I wanna give my success credit to all of them.

Preparation


I joined Made easy.
Pros-

  • you can gauge yourself in the competition
  • you can schedule your study according to others.
  • you can clear your doubts and will have the basic understanding of subject crystal clear.

Cons-

  • you don’t have much time for self study (as my classes in month of October and November used to run straight for 10-12 hours)
  • When you rely completely on coaching notes, you might miss some concepts which the teachers thought its not important and there are chances that the question might come out of those concepts.

Strategies


A. Study schedule:

My study schedule was very consistent. My coaching timing was from 1pm to 8-9pm. After coming to my room, I used to have my dinner, then from 10.30pm I used to study and solve previous year questions, booklets and practice tests of the topic which the teacher has taught in the class. Then I used to sleep at 3-4 am. I am a nocturnal. Then after waking at 9am, I used to revise my old subject from 9.30 to 12 noon. Then I used to take my lunch and then again coaching from 1pm.

B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)

My strong subjects are SOM, structure and soil mechanics. I did not focus much on them but I used to give mock tests of these subjects as much as I can to check whether I am remembering the formulae or not. My weak subjects are RCC and steel. But the teachers of RCC and steel cleared my each and every doubt. Now I really enjoy steel structures.

Books and e-sources


I generally used to refer my notes, then previous years papers then question booklets and then mock tests. But whenever I saw any new concept, I used to follow book only for that topic. Below is the list of the books that I referred:

  • SOIL MECHANICS – GOPAL RANJAN
  • STRENGTH OF MATERIAL – PUNAMIA
  • RCC- PUNAMIA
  • SURVEY – PUNAMIA VOL 1 AND 2
  • STEEL- DUGGAL (LIMIT STATE DESIGN)
  • HYDROLOGY – SUBRAMANIAM
  • FLUID MECHANICS, MACHINES AND OCF- MODI AND SETH
  • IRRIGATION- SK GARG
  • ENVIRONMENT – SK GARG VOL 1 AND 2
  • STRUCTURE ANALYSIS – RAMAMURTHAM

For rest subjects i.e., highway, building materials and construction management, I focused on my notes only.

Apart from these, I used to watch NPTEL lectures if there was anything that I was not capable to understand.

Aptitude Section:
I did not prepare aptitude section specifically because when I used to practice mock tests, I have checked that my previous knowledge of aptitude and English is sufficient for GATE exam.

Mock Tests


Mock tests are very very important because GATE needs perfection in performance in those 3 hrs. You must attend as much mock as you can. I took test series of ACE and MadeEasy.

  • Ace test series is tougher than MadeEasy and composed of some lengthy and some short questions from which you learn long calculations and time management.
  • MADEEASY test series is at par with GATE level. You get actual feel of GATE when you attempt it

Examination Day


During exam time, I started from aptitude which I did completely except one question in one go, then I moved to technical questions. One should start from question 1 and if someone gets stuck at some question then don’t take it at your ego and leave the question. Try to catch as much marks as you can.

Interviews


For IIT’s interview, only technical knowledge is needed and no extra knowledge but for PSUs you must be sound in GD, technical and HR questions. One should read his intern report and final year project and be as much honest in interview as you can. Never try to bluff on any fact.

Future Plans


I have not decided a particular thing. I am just connecting the dots right now. Please wish me luck so that I land somewhere nicely.

Advice to fellow students


My advice would be-
GATE is an exam of perfection in what you have studied. So you should practice mock tests and revise concept again and again. Most of the candidates loose their calm during exam time, so please be calm during exam. If you don’t know any question, just leave it. Don’t take it on your ego otherwise you might end up having your exam incomplete. Revise again and again.

Good luck.!

I thank to EXPSTREET for giving me opportunity to connect to you all.