Anuj Kumar Prajapati
Rank: 2, Batch: 2018
Place: Mumbai, Maharashtra
My first reaction
I had a good feeling after coming out of the exam, but I wasn’t confident that I’d score this good. I’ve always been an average student during my UG with some good extra curriculars. And I was aiming for top 100. So yes, this was a bit unexpected.
I cannot think of anyone else, but my parents. It’s a result of their hard work too, not just mine. But obviously, I cannot forget the role of my teachers.
I did join Made Easy, Delhi. The teaching quality was quite good. Helped me learn a lot within a short time. But the best thing I received there was the competition. I was surrounded by students from IITs and NITs. I knew I had to work hard to compete with them.
But staying away from home has certain disadvantages of its own. Apart from increased number of chores, there were health issues owing to the quality of food and water available in those areas. Staying with your relatives (if any) wouldn’t do any good to your preparation schedule. Traveling must be kept to a minimum.
A. Study schedule:
My schedule was quite affected over health issues in the initial months. For the time my lectures were going on, I concentrated on whatever was being taught, especially the basics. I reconstructed my schedule when I came back to Mumbai in on the 3rd of December. Learning from the past mistakes I decided to put more efforts in test series. I would invest at least 2 hours for the analysis, sometimes even more.
B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)
Nptel is a great source, but also time consuming. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a tight schedule. For beginners, it’s ideal. The same goes for reference books. I would say, prepare only specific topics from books in which you are unclear of the concept.
Aptitude section needs only two things: a fresh and open mind and lots of practice. The first 10 questions in GATE are crucial, they can be time consuming sometimes. Do not get trapped in those. Questions from English are difficult to predict, you may or may not know the answer. I would suggest moving through the first 30 questions as fast as one can.
Mock tests are very important. It serves two purposes: exposure to new type of questions and familiarising with the environment you’ll be facing in the actual exam. Due to time constraints I was able to join only one test series. But if one has ample amount of time he/she may look more than one series; the more the merrier. It hardly matters which test series you join, as far as their solutions as reliable.
I try to follow this rule, but could never completely obey it. In the first hour, try to complete the first 25 questions. Skip the ones which take time, and come back later when you have attempted the last ones (i.e. 55-65). And if you still have time after attempting the entire paper, recheck your calculations, people are prone to making mistakes in this area, and so am I.
Currently I have no concrete plans for my future.
Advice to fellow students
My advice to the future GATE aspirants is to practice as many questions as you can. Solving a question isn’t a big deal, but solving it accurately within the given time is. Here, the test series comes into picture. For a test of 3 hours, equal amount of time should be given for the analysis. Try to minimise your negative markings over time.
Wish you luck!