It has been a quest for a long time for many engineering students about how to do well in the GATE exam. Is there any single success formula for it??? This article provides you the necessary tips and advice to crack GATE exam.
Well,first answer this question yourself….
What do you mean by doing well in GATE???
People have variable answers to this.
For some, doing a M.Tech has got some meaning only if you do it from the IITs.
Many fall in this category. So your score needs to be pretty high.!
For some,doing an M.Tech from IITs is not enough….the discipline is very important…how much prospect it has…go for it only if you have passion for the subject…so,say if you are looking for Microelectronics at IIT Bombay as your only option you need to have a king-size score.!
For some, doing an M.Tech is all that he wants…..very few fall into this category.
And for some, GATE for doing M.Tech???…..2 years too expensive to waste…they go for PSU jobs and get interview calls if they secure a very high rank.
And ya….a huge no. of people, if not more than 90% ,fall into this category.
The most important fact that a GATE aspirant needs to keep in mind all the time, is that if you want to do M.Tech all that matters is the GATE SCORE…the All India Rank is a meaningless number.!
Now let us discuss a few important points about how to prepare for GATE.
As a strategist, you need to know which are the topics where you can score the most giving minimum effort. These are Engineering Mathematics and General Aptitude sections. If you have a good preparation you can back yourself to score the entire 30 marks allocated for this section. So these two topics need to be given the highest priority for good GATE score.
Coming to the technical section,the most important point for any candidate is that he should first sit and identify his areas of strength and weakness. The easiest way to do this is to go for a diagnostic test which is readily available in most guide books.Try to increase your confidence in the areas of strength and find out easier ways to deal with your weak areas making sure that you don’t give huge effort in grooming yourself up for these weak topics as it will not give you the bulk of the marks that you are looking for.!
Next,practice as many questions as you can. But most importantly,try to investigate a question.Don’t just look at the question and solve or go through the solved answer….try to figure out a possible conclusion from the question or some other questions answered in the process. If you come across a question which you feel is important for you, note it in a diary made separately for GATE. It’s often very useful to make a note of what goes or should go through your mind when you see the question at first glance. Let me give an example,
Find the minimum value of 4x + 41-x
If you know how to solve this,you are through.!
But in case you don’t know and you have little time,you need to hit the fovea centralis in one go.!!
So here I introduce the concept of THOUGHT PROCESS which you should generate in your own way and make a note in your diary for every question.So in this case,
Thought Process- Since a minimum no. is required,definitely we have to find one inequality.
Just looking at the sum,it’s pretty easy to understand that if we multiply 4x & 41-x we get a no. which is independent of x which is equal to 4.
So we can go for AM>=GM inequality.
or, (a + b)/2 >= (ab)1/2
or, (4x + 41-x)/2 >= 2
or, (4x + 41-x) >= 4
Therefore the minimum value is 4.!
‘Thought Process’ is your own unique way of looking into a problem but should be generated whenever required. Nevermind if this takes some time & you are able to solve lesser questions per day compared to your friends, this is much more effective than running a counter and blindly solving a huge no. of questions.!
Next comes Time Management.
As usual in most competitive exams, the clock is your biggest enemy.!
The GATE paper consists of 65 questions- 30 1mark & 35 2mark questions.
Now the question is….which section to attempt first??
There can be several ways of attempting the paper & you need to experiment & find out which one suits you the best.
One thing is for sure that the speed that you have when you are starting the paper is much less than what you have at the middle of the exam. Again,it’s inevitable that there will be some amount of anxiety at the beginning & you would love to face some easy questions at this point & keep the bombarding questions to be addressed later.
Keeping these things in mind, I would personally follow this method-
I would start my paper with the 25 1mark technical questions. These are relatively easy & at least you can understand quickly weather you can solve them or not.
Next I would go for the 2marks common data questions & linked answer questions.
These include a total of 8 questions and each set of questions are linked. So if you know the topic,then you can score quickly in these sections.
Then I would go for The General Aptitude Section.(10 questions).
Upto this,I have gone through 43 questions & I would back myself up to reach upto this point in 90-110 mins.
Finally,what is left over is the 2mark technical question section(22 questions). Try to finish this within 45 mins.
So, you have taken roughly 105 + 45=150mins.
Or for that matter say 160 mins.
You have 20 more mins to go through some questions which you feel you can give a try.
One can go for any other method but the basic objective should be kept in mind…..Beat The Clock.!!
Next & perhaps the most deciding factor is Negative Marking Control.
In these remaining few months of your GATE preparation develop a mentality that you will attempt only those questions where you are sure enough to get that correct. Even 1mark can make a big difference to your rank & affect the GATE score considerably. So practice hard & try to curtail the negatives to a minimum as possible.It’s like you can take a single or push for a couple of runs or look for a boundary. But either go for a six or gift your wicket to the opposition is in no way a sensible option.!!
So in a nutshell,there is no fixed protocol for GATE success but you can follow the above techniques if you find them useful as I believe that it would built the warrior in you that is required to face deciders such as the GATE exam.!
For your GATE preparation, always remember your job in the form of SCENT-
N- Negative Control
T- Time Management
Hope this article would be of some help for GATE aspirants.!!
All the Best.!!!