Rank: 4, Batch: 2016
Place: Calicut, Kerala
Through campus recruitment I was selected in L&T Construction. I was posted at Kannur international airport project. After working for ten months I decided to resign. I had this dream of becoming a scientist from my childhood and I knew that I need to go for higher studies to achieve this. For getting into IISc Bangalore or the IITs I knew that that I need to crack gate. So I went to Ace academy for GATE Coaching in July 2015.
My first reaction
I was really happy but was not that much surprised about my result as I knew that I was going to get good rank on exam day itself as I attempted all 65 questions confidently. Answer keys from reputed gate coaching institutes were out within weeks after the exam and my marks were above 90, so I was expecting a rank under 20.
I want to thank the almighty for giving me courage to quit my job and follow my dream, my strong belief in God helps me to keep my head cool all the time as I know he will make sure that things will end well. I want to thank my parents and relatives who stood by me in all difficulties and supported me throughout. I want to thank my friends who were there to clear my doubts and making me laugh in those tough times. Last but not the least I want to thank the entire ace academy team for giving me such a successful gate oriented coaching and made easy team for conducting those valuable mock tests.
As I said earlier I went to gate coaching at Ace academy Hyderabad in July 2015. Classes were over by November end and I came back home. I prepared with all my energy making sure that I study at least ten hours per day. At Ace academy after the regular classes I used to get only one to three hours daily to study. So it was really important for me to make the most of the last 2 months available for me. I was able to revise the class notes and solve the questions in the study materials within December and I was focused on online test series in the last month. I also attempted three Centre based mock gate tests in January.
If you are good at the basics of your subjects and can recall all those things, self-study is enough. If the subjects were not taught properly in your college or you didn’t care about that at that time then you should better join a coaching institute. In my case after working for almost a year I was really out of touch with my subjects and really needed good coaching.
A. Study schedule
I always had a plan for the next two months which specified subjects to be finished before some tentative target dates. As I said earlier after the classes at coaching center I hardly got two hours to study and solve problems. So whenever we got a holiday I made sure that I get at least ten hours to study. In the last 60 days I used to get ten hours on daily basis. First I finished the class notes and study materials and made short notes which I used for the last month revision. Then practiced the online test series and solved previous year IISc question papers. I made sure that more than two subjects are studied in a day alternatively and both theory and numerical type questions are done daily to avoid getting bored.
B. Strong and Weak subjects (How did I prepared them?)
Thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, engineering mechanics, strength of materials, machine design were my strong subjects and I gave more time for them initially and gave less time in the revision stage. I studied the theory in-depth and noted down the important and frequently asked formulae.
Mathematics, production and theory of machines were my weak subjects and I gave them more time throughout the gate preparation. In addition to understanding theory and formulae I practiced a lot of previous year questions for them. I think practicing is the only key to tackle your weak subjects.
Books and e-sources
I did not use any other material other than the class notes and study material provided by the gate coaching institute.
I solved a lot of problems covering different models. I made sure that I am really in touch with the aptitude section throughout by making sure that my time table includes practicing aptitude questions once in a week.
As I said earlier I have attended three mock test, two of them from made easy and one from ace academy. I think they are really important for success. They really give you a confidence boost by showing you where you stand among other well prepared gate candidates, they help you analyze your strong and weak points. They teach you how to handle the pressure and write the exam without tension, they are like the warm up matches before the real match.
Managing time is a crucial part of the gate exam which is also related to your speed and accuracy. You can manage time efficiently with continuous practice only. I tried many approaches for finalizing the way I should attempt different sections and finally I came to a method which was suited to me. I skipped the aptitude section and went directly to the technical section and started solving from the very first question itself. In the first round I solved only the easy questions which mainly required to recall simple formula or concept and some two to three steps to arrive at the solution. Once I completed the easy questions of technical section, about 90 minutes were gone. Then I went to aptitude section and did the easy questions in about 20 minutes. Then I came back for the long questions which either required more steps and calculations or has something new about them and required more time and care.
I don’t have a separate strategy for the interviews, I have been reading the short notes I prepared for GATE and checking out the frequently asked interview questions. I think the knowledge about what they are and what they do also comes into pictures when preparing for PSUs.
As of now I am really interested in working for DRDO and BARC. If I am not able to get through those interviews I will join IISc Bangalore for M.Tech.
Advice to fellow students
In my point of view there are three key elements for success in GATE exam. First thing is building a strong base in the subjects. Without the base, mugging up formulas or previous year papers won’t help much as there is so much of them and you will get confused. You can use the class notes and study materials from reputed coaching institutes or you can refer standard text books if you have enough time. Second thing is practicing. Once you have base in all subjects solve as many problems as possible. Solving the previous papers will give an idea about important topics and formulae. Solving problems makes you fast and accurate. Do all the practice online tests and attend the mock GATE tests to get advantage over other candidates. Third thing is about time management. Start preparing from day one and don’t think that you can pull miracles out in the last month. Make a plan at the beginning itself.
Be ready to sacrifice everything else and execute your plan. Say no to excuses. Tell yourself that I want success as much as I want to breathe. Keep calm and believe in yourself. Do your best let GOD do the rest.
All the best my friends.