The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a highly competitive examination for entrance to engineering and science graduates. It is useful for getting admission into post-graduate engineering programs at college or university level.
Applications of the GATE exam: A GATE score is useful in securing admission into M. Tech courses and for getting jobs in the public sector in India in companies such as NTPC, IOCL, HPCL, GAIL and BHEL. It is the only avenue for Indian students to secure government jobs and admission in the best colleges here.
If you are keen to clear the GATE exam in the first attempt, we share some pearls of wisdom for you to pick up and work on. With the help and advice we offer, you could be doing your final year B. Tech Engineering and still secure a very high grade on the GATE.
Strategic approach for getting a high rank on GATE: Here, we offer strategies and tips to the average Indian student wanting to make the grade in the GATE and further on. To begin, you should know that it isn't easy to secure good grades on GATE. It takes many months of concerted effort to do well in them. Preparations for this exam isn't a matter of a day or a month but spans a year.
All about preparations: If you are an Engineering student and in the fifth semester, it is the right time to start your preparations for GATE. By this time, you will have covered most of the course's syllabus, so you can set aside a few hours a day for preparing for GATE. Begin by studying for two hours a day for this exam.
How the paper is designed: The GATE question paper is designed to test you on the following parameters:
Memory: These are based on principles and facts, so students need to answer these types of questions from memory or from a one-liner computation.
Comprehension: Questions are devised in a way to test the student's understanding level of the basics of his or her field by making easy conclusions based on basic ideas.
Analysis and composite: By posing such questions, candidates must present data, images and diagrams as part of an analysis.
Your study strategy:
- Write down your goals: If you're sure you want to study for the GATE exam, the first thing you should do is to make a timetable for study and set your study goals. Familiarize yourself with the basics of your subjects and then periodically test yourself.
- Study the exam pattern: Also, analyze the syllabus by looking at the questions. You will find that this exam that spans three hours, consists of 65 questions for 100 marks. The paper is divided into two parts: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type. There are also two sections of the paper: General Aptitude and Technical and Engineering Maths.
- Sift through the topics: Separate the topics from unimportant to important from the examination point of view.
- Choose standard study material: Select good books and study material for your exam. Not more than a couple of books per subject are ideal for perfect preparation for GATE. Your first line of study preparation should be physical books whereas secondary sources can be coaching notes, course material and online videos.
- Where do you stand in the competition? Download the last 10 years' papers and start solving them to know just how much you know of the topics there. At this stage, don't panic if you don't score high marks. This is the time for you to motivate yourself about doing better and start organizing yourself to study better and smarter. Take a mock test to check your strengths and weaknesses and begin to work on the latter.
- Have separate notebooks for each subject: Have a notebook each for separate subjects from which you can revise in the run-up to the exam. Attempt a free mock exam of 30 minutes' duration of the subject you are most confident of and see which areas of it you need to improve in.
- Devise a study strategy: Tackle the most important topic of each subject first. Try to complete one topic in three weeks until you finish all of them of each subject. Revise everything you learn and on weekends, just revise and do practice tests. Within the last two semesters of your Engineering course, complete studying all the subjects of the final year.
- Revise, revise, revise: By the time you reach Semester 7, revise all the topics once more because the more you revise, the easier it is to recall what you've learnt. Though it may sound a cliche but this is the reality, GATE is not your semester exam that you will pass with one night’s study. You need revision and practice.
- Don't have any study backlog now: If there are still some subject of the final year to complete, do it now.
- Take tests regularly: By doing this, you sharpen your mind to the twists that can appear in your exam paper which might take you unawares if you don't practice more. Solve one quiz a day.
- Clear all doubts: Take your lecturer's help to clear any doubts. Be clear about all aspects of every subject. Now, practice hard on the maths section as you stand to get full marks here. Take the help of teachers, friends and the guidebook with whose help you are preparing for this exam.
- Continue to take mock exams in online mode: The final exam will be conducted in online mode, so it's important for you to have some experience of this. However, don't choose a new topic but one you're familiar with as it will only confuse you and you will lose precious time during the paper.
By following this plan with full dedication, you will easily pass this exam with flying colours.
Tips to do better in the GATE exam:
- This exam works on negative marking. So, attempt only those questions whose answers you're sure of or you will lose marks.
- 25 marks are set aside for the Mathematics section. By practicing well, you can score all 25 marks. Concentrate hard on the aptitude section which fetches you 15 marks, again you can get all of these marks if you study hard for it.
- Focus on subjects like Engineering, General Ability and Maths which not only comprise 30% marks of the entire paper but which can take your total up really high.
- Be calm and relaxed before the exam or you will only ruin your performance with nervousness.