Sailing through GATE

a rigorous plan GATE exam is one of the toughest to crack. But with effective study plan, an early start and dedicated efforts, you can ace this diffi

Sailing through GATE

Engineering is considered a lucrative career and has been one of the most sought after options for many students in India. The number of engineering graduates increasing in the country has raised the yardstick of good job requisites in many companies.

The market, in the past few years has been witnessing cut-throat competition as well. Therefore, more and more students now aspire to further their qualification with a master’s degree in engineering. Consequently, the number of students preparing and appearing for GATE has increased at a snowballing rate.

GATE has become an essential footstep for students aiming to pursue their masters in engineering. The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is the gateway to the top engineering and science colleges in the country. Year on year, only a select few make it through this competitive entrance exam.

This particular exam is so rigorous that many students start preparing for it during their college days itself. But it takes a well-defined approach to ace the GATE exams. 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 it, students cannot afford to allow deviations and distractions. Enthusiastic working professionals often resign from their jobs to prepare for GATE while students preparing for it mostly should start preparing for it from the 3rd year of their engineering.

Working professionals find it a little difficult to prepare for this exam as they lose touch with books during their professional tenure. Therefore, it is advisable for such candidates to join GATE coaching classes to recollect and refresh the engineering concepts. 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 a strong concept. Solving previous years’ papers also go a long way in imbibing the necessary skills.

Areas to focus on
Students should focus on mathematics as mostly those with a strong base in mathematics tend to do well in the GATE exams. With good preparations in maths, you can easily score 60 marks out of 100. These exams are also a lot about logic and reasoning which is why the basic concepts should be clear for the students.

The questions set for these exams are mostly very easy and students who have prepared well for the joint entrance exam can fare well in these questions. Your engineering books are perfect to help you prepare for the exam. Apart from this, the standard GATE books by foreign authors, available in the market can also be used for preparations.

Engineering students who aspire to do well in GATE exams must focus on basic engineering subjects like networks (electronics, electricals, instrumentation) and mechanics.

These 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 six months. Do not keep the preparations for the last year as the final year of engineering has projects and seminars that take away all your time. It can be quite hectic and you may not be able to find time for all the preparations. 

Starting your preparations from the first year of engineering is also a good idea. This will help you gain a strong hold on the basics. Students whose fundamentals are good can qualify in GATE with even 6 months of preparation.

Homestretch run
For those in the final year of engineering, work on solving the previous years question papers and focus on selective studies. 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 are not direct ones.

They test the ability of students to apply the concepts they have learnt. The next six months should be utilised to solve problems and getting into the depth of the topic.
Remember, trying to finish the complete syllabus in a single stretch could be a futile attempt. Instead, students can focus on selective subjects that they find easier and are good at. Solving the last ten years’ GATE question papers in those subjects could do wonders for them to assess their abilities.

Three months before the exams, students should definitely appear for the All India Mock GATE tests. However, it is not enough to just appear for the mock tests. It is extremely important to sit after every test and analyse their strengths and weaknesses. Work on the weaknesses and improve on the strengths.

Retrospection is very important for an effective preparation. Students should evaluate their year-long preparations and analyse their learning. Revision plays a crucial role in the effort. Students should revise the basics once again, read up on important concepts and formulae. Don’t work on your weaker areas in the last month as this could lead to lowering the self-confidence.

GATE is a devil but it is a known devil. Inten­sive preparations will help you sail through the tests smoothly. Always remember, there are no shortcuts to success and only hard work will help you ace the exams.

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