The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is the gateway to the top colleges in engineering and science in the country. A limited number of intake in these college mean, only a few make it through the competitive entrance exam.
The country has observed a trend amongst the engineering students where they start working after their graduation to get a better understanding of life at work and the fundamentals to excel in their careers. The budding engineers very soon realize the importance of higher studies bearing in mind the competition in the market and mostly decide to further their qualification in their field. In additiona lot of students start preparing for GATE during their college as well.
To begin with, the students have to understand that preparing for GATE is not a cake walk as it requires a lot of dedication and diligence. While preparing for GATE, students cannot afford to allow deviations and should concentrate entirely on it. Enthusiastic working professionals often resign from their jobs to prepare for GATE while students preparing for GATE mostly start preparing from the 3rd year of their engineering.
Working professionals find it a little difficult to prepare for this exam as they lose contact with subjects during their professional tenure. Therefore, it is advisable for such candidates to join GATE coaching classes to recollect and refresh the concepts that they learnt during their engineering days. The mock tests help the working students improve their speed during the exams.
It is of utmost importance for them to read and understand and rebuild their concepts. Solving previous years papers also go a long way in imbibing the necessary skills. The students should focus on mathematics as mostly those with a strong base in mathematics tend to do well in the GATE exam. This exam is also a lot about logic and reasoning which is why the basic concepts should be clear for the students as it eases their path ahead. The questions set for this exam is mostly very easy and students who have prepared well for the joint entrance exam can fare well in these questions.
The books from the engineering days are bibles for the students preparing for GATE. Apart from this, the standard books available in the market for GATE preparation by foreign authors are also good material for reference. But due to less time it is always advisable to go through precise content developed by coaching institutes for GATE exam.
The preparation and time management for the engineering students differ from that of a working professional. For students, it is advisable to start the preparation early and the ideal time is the 3rd year of engineering with greater focus on Mathematics and Basic Engineering Subjects like Networks (Electronic/ Electricals/ Instrumentation) or Engineering Mechanics. Students should spend around 4-5 hours per week in the beginning and slowly increase the study hours by 20-25 hours per week during the last 6 months. Many engineering students start their preparation in their final year. This means they have to put in a lot of hard work.
The final year’s engineering is quite hectic with several projects to complete. They might not find enough time for either of the two. Nevertheless, they can be successful if they have invested time on subjects from their 1st year of Engineering. Students whose fundamentals are good can qualify in GATE with even 6 months of Preparation. Those in their final year should focus more on solving the previous 10 years of Questions and do selective study.
The ideal time for hardcore preparation should start nine months before the exam. During the first three months, the students should work towards clearing their basics. Clearing the basic concepts of engineering is of utmost importance for every student as the GATE questions tend to test the basic knowledge of the students. The later six months should be utilized to solve problems and getting into the depth of the topic. Trying to finish the syllabus could be a futile attempt. Instead, they are advised to select 4-5 subjects in which they are strong. Solving the last ten years’ GATE question papers in those subjects could do wonders for them to assess their abilities. Another important thing is to ensure that they focus on mathematics. A student can easily get 60 marks out of 100 which would easily get them a chance at the IITs or a PSU as per their preference.
Three months before the exams, students should definitely appear for the All India mock tests and evaluation. However, it is not enough to just appear for the mock tests. It is extremely important to sit after every test and analyze the strengths, weaknesses and work towards weaker sections. If required, students should go back and brush their basics again to ensure a better performance. Each one should remember, accuracy is the key in GATE exam.
Retrospection is important and that should be done on the last month. Students should sit and evaluate as to what has been done in the past 6-9 months. Revision plays a crucial role. Students should revise the basics once again, read definitions, and go through the formulae. They should be cautious and realize that the last month is not the time to work on weaker sections as then they would end up with low self-confidence which at the eleventh hour is not good news.
Like they say, GATE is a devil but a known devil. Proper study and being strong with the concepts will get the aspiring students through this. Always remember, there are no short cuts to success and hard work combined with serious study is pivotal in order to achieve it. There are more than 20000 students who take THE GATE ACADEMY test series every year. Main highlight is that 199 questions across six streams of THE GATE ACADEMY 2015 Online Test Series were similar to Actual GATE 2015 paper. Make sure you are one of those who sail through it by timing and strategizing your preparation the right way.
Mr. Nitin Rakesh Prasad, Co-founder, THE GATE ACADEMY