Afraz Siddiqui - GATE 2018 AIR 36 Electrical Engineering - Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Afraz Siddiqui

Hi, my name is Afraz Siddiqui and I’m currently pursuing my masters in Power Systems Engineering from IIT Roorkee. My GATE 2018 (EE) AIR is 36. I completed my bachelors in electrical engineering from JSS Noida in the year 2017 and joined IITR in 2017 itself. In 2017, my GATE rank was 833. I started preparing for GATE in my 3rd year of college days as I always dreamt of joining a leading PSU.

My first reaction

I was expecting the result to be out by 12 pm as in 2017 I had viewed the result exactly at 11:56 am. However IITG released the result at around 2 pm. I was hitting the refresh button again and again and there was this instant when the result screen flashed in front of my eyes. All India Rank 36 it said. For a moment I froze and then shouted out to my roommate. The rest of the evening was spent collecting wishes from family, friends, etc.

I’d like to thank my mother, Mrs Robina Mirza for all that she’s done for me. Being a single parent she’s managed things very well and provided me and my sister with all levels of comfort and education. Secondly I’d like to thank Dr. Pramod Agarwal, Dept. of IITR, who taught me so well that preparing for GATE eventually became easy.


I did not join any coaching but I did purchase some handwritten notes. These are a lot helpful and can help you learn the tips and tricks without having to look for them in standard books. Coachings although helpful, take up a lot of your time and leave no time for self study which I think is the most important part of preparation.


A. Study schedule:

It was hard to manage time at IITR as there were lots of things going on in the campus. So eventually I had to make some sacrifices. I used to wake up at 4 am in the morning, study for the next hours. Go for for breakfast, get back with the studies and continue for the next four hours, again taking an hours break and sit back for the third period of studies. However in this process I had to miss some classes too, which led to decreased performance in class – hence the sacrifices.

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

I used to pick up 2 subjects at a time – one difficult and the other easier one. I’d suggest to revise and practice the hard subjects n number of times until you master them. Make every subject your strength and nothing can beat you. However, I was never overconfident about my preparation as I had revised mostly all the subjects in 4 days time.

Books and e-sources

Networks- Alexander, Sadiku- This is the most basic book for Networks and should be solved completely by your 2nd year of engineering itself. This would take time and I’d suggest every beginner to go through this book before starting to prepare for GATE.

Aptitude Section:
Frankly speaking, I could not prepare myself for the Aptitude section because of time constraints. As the level of Aptitude section in GATE is not that high, one can easily score 10-12 mark without any preparation. I had scored 13/15 in the GA section.

Mock Tests

Yes, and a lot of them! My main aim was scoring well in the mock tests. Mock tests should be given regularly at the same time as that of the scheduled GATE paper so that you get accustomed to the exam – and nothing seems out of the league.

I had purchased test series of Kreatryx, Made Easy and Ace Engineering Academy, out of which I found Ace academy’s test series the most difficult and beneficial.

Examination Day

Time management was the part on which I had worked upon a lot as if time is mismanaged then it can lead to loss of 10-15 questions! I had made a strategy-

  • First attempt 10 questions of 1 marks. Just 10, not 9 or 11.
  • Jumping on to the 2 marks technical section and solving all the questions.
  • By now you’d have around 1 hour 15 minutes in your hands. And your confidence would already be high as now you’ve solved the 2 marks questions.
  • Finish the paper and RECHECK the marked answers.

This strategy worked really well for me and I completed the paper in 2 hours 3 minutes.


I’d say that while preparing for interview stick to the basics and fundamentals as this is all they expect from you. Learn the whereabouts of various PSU’s as they may ask this in the interviews. GD should be prepared well for. I’d say join some interview guidance program as they guide really well.

Future Plans

I wish to join IOC, ONGC or PGCIL. I’ve desired for this since the last year and finally I can hope to achieve what I’ve wished for.

Advice to fellow students

You’ve got a dream, you have to reach out and grab it by yourself. So don’t miss the opportunity.

Attempting the 3 hour exam is much more of a task as compared to the preparation of subjects. This is the reason why we see most of the people studying day and night are not able to perform well.

And, lastly – practice and revise your short notes. Again and again and again. Solve the previous year question bank- make it your best friend for the last three months! Nothing can beat hard work my friend. 😊