‘Well begun is half the battle won’ says a quote which when experienced proves to be absolutely true. With the academic year coming to an end, students in colleges already feel the heat of the competitive exams waiting around the corner for them. Here is where the GATE aspirants of 2015 have a thing or two to cheer about. Firstly, they must thank themselves for having made the decision to appear for the exam well in time. Secondly, if they are aiming to enroll themselves in a study group or a coaching centre they will benefit as the batches will commence shortly.
The paper pattern of the examination has changed in 2014. The changes mainly include the following:
The tests will now be conducted online and are called as Computer Based Tests.’
The students will have to answer multiple choice questions and numerical questions.
For numerical questions the candidate has to enter the answer using the virtual keyboard.
For MCQ, an optical response sheet is provided to mark the answers.
The duration of the exam is about 3 hours.
The total number of questions is 65 and the total marks are 100.
Every wrong answer is negatively marked i.e. for every wrong answer the marks will be deducted.
The exam pattern of GATE is not very difficult to understand. Hence, options like,
Appearing for online test series or eGATE test series
Enrolling for distance learning courses where test material and notes are couriered or sent by post,
Attempting the test series of a coaching class proves helpful.
Test series enables the students to get used to the question paper pattern. It prepares them psychologically thereby reducing the stress and nervousness.
Articulate and precise notes on the specific subjects obtained from the classes helps in omitting out the unimportant topics.
Most of the prep centres hire ex IIT’ians who have a firsthand experience of the exam and can hence relate to the candidates queries efficiently.
Apart from the prep centres, study groups are a rich source for obtaining info especially with the peers studying the same syllabus as also experiencing the same anxiety. Such peer study groups also help relieve the stress as they provide a very comfortable environment for the give and take of thoughts amongst the students.
Rigorous training at the coaching centres, long hours of self study, is sure to take their toll on health which can prove fatal if ignored. A few common problems like,
Loss of sleep
Loss of hunger
Low BP or high BP
Low concentration may hinder the progress of the GATE aspirants.
So simple tips like,
Eating healthy homemade food comprising of sprouts, fruits and vegetables and pulses keeps the BP in check.
Meditation, yoga or even a 15 minute walk calms the mind down, and is helpful in improving metabolism, thereby ensuring good food intake and sound sleep.
Nuts like almond help improve memory.
Communication with family members once in a while about the challenges of appearing for the exam is a great way to relive the frustration as family will always be a great support and will always provide the much needed comfort and confidence.