For anyone wanting to get an excellent score in the GATE exam, perfect preparation is important. By appearing for mock tests, you give yourself the maximum number of chances to improve your scores and perform excellently in the tests.
During your preparation period, you can give as many mock tests as you want till you’re satisfied. When you do a mock test, your score comes along with the percentile, which indicates to you your relative position among other test-takers in the country. From this, you know your position and how much more preparation you need to make to do well. Try to do better than the last test you took as this will boost your confidence. But be level-headed, not over-confident of good scores.
Mock tests should be an integral part of your preparation as it gives you a good idea of your level of preparation and you can spot your weaknesses straight away. The key takeaways for you after each mock test are:
- Whether you can finish your paper in time
- Whether you have time for revision
- Which strategy you should use to overcome your weak spots
Importance of mock tests: After a mock test, you get an opportunity to revise your syllabus well before the exam day. Through a mock test, you get to remember everything you’ve studied and it is a kind of revision for you in a simulated exam environment.
It’s good to do online mock tests as this will prepare you mentally and physically for the big day.
How many mock tests to take?
As a GATE aspirant, you need to take the right number of mock tests, neither too few nor too many. If you overdo it, you will exhaust your brain and won’t be able to give of your best. On the other hand, by doing very few tests, you will be under-prepared.
So, how many mock tests should you take? Here’s a rough guideline that will help you decide how many tests to take:
Start by taking one test a week. Do tests according to topic, then do subject-wise tests. This way, your preparation per subject will be complete and thorough.
Five months before the exam, take two tests per week. Three months before the exam, take three tests per week. In the last two months before the exam, take four to five tests per week.
This kind of practice should get you ready for the GATE exam.
Importance of practice for the GATE exam: The proverb “Practice makes perfect” suits your situation perfectly. It is highly relevant in the context of preparing for the GATE exam as without it, you can never crack the paper. Besides, as you get better at solving problems and giving the right answer, your confidence increases. This helps you manage your time better and you are able to solve the whole paper in the given time.
If you have any phobias of the GATE exam, your slowly rising graph of practice and performance will help overcome it. You won’t be nervous anymore but will view the exam as child’s play. The more you practice, the better you will become in your strong areas and weak. By doing mock tests on a regular basis, you will be able to solve all the questions given with a positive attitude.
Tips for students taking the GATE exam:Stay motivated, dedicated and disciplined
- It is very important that during your entire preparation days you remain motivated. With this attitude, you can do very well in your exam. In order to be disciplined and dedicated, set a goal and write it down. Now, start preparing for it. Visualize that goal when you prepare for your exam.
- Get to know important details about the exam. Also, learn the syllabus inside out. You should know that the test consists of three types of questions—Subject questions, Maths questions and General Aptitude.
- Now that you know this, it’s planning time. So, plan, prepare and revise. Plan your strategy and schedule it accordingly.
- Choose your study books wisely and take the advice of your teachers and guides. Read interviews with toppers and you will come to know the books they studied from. Undergraduate level books will give you basic knowledge but for core technical subjects, choose books devoted to that particular subject.
- You may want to attend coaching classes but self-learning is also a good idea.
- Be consistent, whether you attend a coaching class or study on your own. Though it’s good to work hard, it’s better to work smart. This means six months of real hard work would be enough to get a good rank. Of course, much also depends on your aptitude and other activities, like a full-day job.
- To prepare well, devise a time-table and don’t deviate from it. Stay focused and disciplined. Study for at least five hours a day, and as the time to the exam nears, put in more study time, depending on how well you know your subjects. Analyse your preparation and your progress by taking periodic tests. And lastly, be positive.
There’s no limit to how well you prepare for the GATE exam because you have no idea of how tough or easy the paper is going to be or how the tough or easy the competition is going to be. So, plan and work out a schedule for yourself. Come up with a time table and stick to your plan no matter what. Prepare thoroughly and then do your best.
Good luck and all the best!