Rank: 5, Batch: 2015
Place: Naihati, West Bengal
I decided to prepare for Gate when I was in second year. The reason was very simple – an ECE graduate has very few opportunities in India, especially if you are not from Tier-I colleges. Getting a core job profile is difficult for a UG ECE student, hence a masters from IITs/IISC or MS from good foreign universities are the next logical step. I couldn’t afford MS in foreign universities nor I had a good profile to get a funding for the same, plus I also wanted to stay in India, hence I decided to prepare for GATE.
My first reaction
I was expecting good results, but getting a single digit rank is something which you can never be sure of. When I saw 5th rank I couldn’t believe my eyes. All the credit goes to my parents, friends and Jadavpur university.
I started preparing for GATE during my summer vacations after second year. I started by covering the subjects which were already taught in our course. I followed standard books (mentioned below) mainly and my class notes in few instances. I used to make notes of every subject taught in our B.E course which came in handy for GATE as well.
I think it is not necessary to enroll in any coaching institute if you start early (say in 3rd year or before) and plan properly. However, if you have less than six months left and you don’t have much time to make your own notes then you might join coaching classes and buy study materials as well.
There was no proper study schedule. I used to prepare for Gate during my summer and winter holidays. I used to cover the subjects which were already taught in our B.E course by then and also the topics which were missed in our coursework. This way I was able to complete almost 90% of the GATE syllabus by the end of my 3rd year summer vacations. In 4th year I was not able to dedicate any time for GATE as I was busy with placements nevertheless I resumed my preparation one and a half months before the GATE exam. During this period I used to give a lot of mock/unit tests.
I was average in pretty much every subject except Electronic Devices. ED was my weak area, hence I dedicated a lot of time on this subject so much that I ended up liking the subject.
Books and e-sources
- Semiconductor Physics And Devices by Donald A. Neamen
- Solid state electronic devices by Ben G. streetman and Sanjay Banerjee
- Electronic Devices and Circuits by Millman & Halkias
- Microelectronics Circuits by Sedra & Smith
- Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory by Robert L Boylestad & Nashelsky
- Pulse and Digital Electronics by Millman and Taub
- Control Systems by Nagarath and Gopal
- NPTEL Video lectures by M. Gopal
- Digital circuits and design by Salivahanan or Fundamentals of digital systems by Anand kumar
- Digital Logic and Computer Design by M.Morris Mano
- Microprocessor Architecture, Programming, and Applications with the 8085 Ramesh Gaonkar
- Analog and Digital Communication System by Simon Haykin
- Principle of Communication System by Taub & Schilling
- Modern digital and analog Communications system by BP Lathi
- Electronic Communication Systems by Kennedy and Davis (just the Noise chapter)
- Elements of Electromagnetics by Matthew N.O. Sadiku
- Network lines and fields by J.D ryder (Transmission lines part)
- Electromagnetic waves and Radiating Systems by Jordan and balmain
- Antenna Theory by Balanis
- NPTEL Lectures by Prof. R.K. Shevgaonkar
- Circuit Theory by A.Chakraborty (not the WBUT one)
- Network Analysis by Van Valkenburg
- Modern Digital and Analog Communications Systems by BP Lathi
- Signals and systems – Schaum’s outlines
- Digital Signal Processing by S.K Mitra
- Higher engineering mathematics by Dr. B.S Grewal
- Quantitaitve Apti by R.S Agarwal
- Quantitaive Apti CAT by Arun Sharma
- Gate ECE by R.K Kanodia
I was least bothered about this section in the beginning of my preparation. This section was automatically covered while I was preparing for Job interviews in 4th year, so there was no separate preparation needed for GATE. I was pretty good at quantitative aptitude, but I was/am weak in verbal aptitude and mastering this is a long term process so I left it.
Yes, I did. I believe it is necessary to practice a lot before you give the actual exam. Mock tests are helpful in this regard. After giving Mock tests you will realise which are your strong/weak areas and you need to start working on it accordingly. After giving mock/unit test you need to sit with the paper and check where you went wrong or could a particular problem have been solved in a better way/lesser time.
The more mistakes you will make in mock tests the lesser you will on the D-Day.
I just answered the paper serially. Mock tests and a lot of practice had helped me improve my speed and I had no favourite area or weak area by the time I was giving the GATE exam. While solving the paper, whenever I felt the question was beyond me or it would require a lot of time, I just moved on to the next question without wasting further time.
This is the area where I would be of no help as I didn’t appear for any interview. Lucky me!
I got direct admission in Microelectronics at IIT Bombay and IISC. This was my first choice and I knew I would be getting it, hence I didn’t have to prepare for interviews. As far as PSUs are concerned, I was not interested in joining them.
Right now I haven’t given it much thought, but I will be looking forward to completing my M Tech at IIT Bombay and then maybe I will join Industry.
Advice to fellow students
My advice would be as follows:
- Practice a lot.
- Make your own notes if you have sufficient time left before the Gate exam.
- Try to make a comprehensive list of formulas, tips and tricks before you start giving Mock tests and keep updating it as you give mock tests.
- Don’t just hope to nail the exam, you have to start believing it. Your attitude and aptitude towards the exam will make all the difference.
- Don’t pressurize yourself by thinking it is difficult to beat so many students. Ease your pressure by thinking you just have to try and score > 70 out of 100, forget how many students are giving the exam.