GATE Preparation Strategy

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an All-India examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on behalf of the National Coordinating Board – GATE, the Department of Education and the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).

The paper consists of 100 marks with 70 percent weightage given to the technical section and 15 each to Aptitude & Engineering Maths. It is very evident that a proper strategy will not only just help in qualifying in GATE but also stretch the marks to the required level for desirable college.

First of all, there is no sectional cut-off in GATE which is a great boon to many of the students. Also, with the regular GATE cut-off being around 25 marks on an average, the most strategic way to attempt the paper is to try and get as many Aptitude & Engineering Maths questions correct. Many a times, student omit the above two and focus more on technical topics, but the latter subjects are equally important as the technical ones. The questions are mostly moderate level in Aptitude and Engineering Maths and a student can easily get 13 or 14 out of 15 in each of the sections. This will enable him to cross 25 marks and at least qualify in GATE. A further addition of 10 or 20 marks would put them in the desirable college cut off bracket while putting in further effort would make them reach the topper's range.

There are several other strategies or tips for attempting and cracking the GATE or taking measures before the exam:

    • Start with the relevant books for the subject including the books for Fundamental and Basic concepts as well as for specific problems, guide book for GATE and previous year question papers

    • Always try to go through the standard books that are easily available and the concepts could be easily understood. This will improve the learning ability

    • It is also advisable in the meantime to be in touch with some GATE experienced persons for proper guidance

    • Read syllabus and question papers carefully so that it will easy for you to make a proper approach

    • Start preparing from the initial topics i.e. the basic ones and note down the basic concepts (definitions, unit, dimension etc.) as well as necessary theories, formulae etc.

    • Try to solve variety of problems from different books as it will help you to find more and more tricks

    • Try to apply your own logics and tricks in solving problems and note it down

    • Conduct self-tests based on various chapters and try to achieve a very good score

    • Practice more and more problems and follow the same procedure for the rest of the chapters and subjects

    • Finally, go for Mock GATEs based on whole syllabus

    • To do all these things one has to spend lots of time on studies and should be very sincere throughout the preparation

    • One month before the examination you should start revising the course as many times as possible so that on the day before the exam you will be prepared enough to crack the exam

Last 20 Days Exam Preparation for GATE

It’s the preparation done so far which matters and the time and the dedication put into it to get into the prestigious IISc/IITs/NITs, the reputed Tier-I institutes of the country or bag an awesome job in a Public Sector Unit.

Here are some Dos & Don’ts during the last few days of preparation -

Don’t spend time on going all over the topics again -

This is not the time to start studying again from the scratch. You need to go ahead with short notes and revise whatever practice questions and answers you have studied before.

One important thing is to take some time out to go through topics which were not yet covered by you at all. You can do it by checking at the synoptic notes of that topic mentioned in any Study Material/Text Book so that you will be in a position to answer easy/direct questions from those topics. However, we always recommend that you do not guess the answer to a question with partial knowledge on a particular topic.

Easy subjects first -

Start studying the subjects which you feel are easier to you and prioritise them accordingly. The more you solve, the more you answer correctly, the more confidence you will get and the more you get energised to attempt difficult questions. As soon as you finish a topic, you will see yourself filled with more energy and excitement to crack the GATE.

Use Short notes -

Try and make short notes from tutorials or common discussion forums or from any other study materials. This will help you speed up your preparation, as the notes don’t go into every detail of the subject. They cover the essential concepts needed for the exam and save time. This exercise will also enable you to jot down just the basic points you need to make a further revision on, as you race against time. Moreover, follow only one set of notes or material with which you feel the most comfortable as studying from different sources will only leave you confused.

Solve questions from previous years & question banks -

Try to solve as many papers as you can. If you are not able to solve or get correct answers, go back to notes and/or explanations to understand the problem at hand and move on. Don't stick to books which have vast explanation of topics.

Avoid reading from soft copies -

It’s very common for students to search on the internet, download soft copies of books and notes. These soft copies can be easily found, downloaded and shared. But the disadvantage with soft copies is that you will read them on computer and can be easily distracted to other things like music, videos, internet, etc.

It is always beneficial to make a hard copy of the important pages to concentrate well on the desired subject and avoid using the computer. You can also write down some important points if don’t want to have printed copy.

The idea is to avoid all kinds of distraction that prevents your preparation for the exam.

Don’t think too much, start working -

Do not take too much time on thinking how the next few days would shape up. Just keep your focus, remain calm and go on with your steady flow. If you think about all the subjects you need to finish, you will feel totally burdened. Just plan out what you want to study today and be sincere and complete it today. You know the end - cracking the GATE - all you need to do is to be sincere and keep working for it.

Finally, do not take too much stress or study late into the night. Giving sufficient time, eating and sleeping on time would give you physical and mental energy to put in your best for the GATE exam. Relax on the final day and sleep early.

Exam day tips for GATE Aspirants

Some tips on or just before the Exam day

  1. Reach the Exam Center Before Time

    Reach at least one hour before time. You will find a very long queue at the exam center. So, for peace of mind, it’s necessary that you reach before time.

  2. Don’t Study Anything the Day Before Exam

    Since you have already spent a lot of time studying, you need this one day break so that your mind can fit things in it properly. Try to take rest as much as possible which will relax your mind and you will be able to solve more difficult problems in the exam without stressing yourself out.

  3. Use the Given Answer Choices to Find the Correct Answer

    In few questions, you will find that it’s difficult to solve the question and get the answer. You can use the elimination methods by plugging in the answer choices and checking them one by one. Though time consuming, but at times, the strategy yields positive results.

  4. Pick Some Random Question, if You Are Not Able to Solve the Questions

    Sometimes it happens that you are not able to solve many questions continuously. If you are stuck in this kind of situation, you will start losing your confidence and your speed will go down. In that case, you should pick some random question and try solving from that question. Sometimes it’s good to start solving questions from the last part of the exam because you might find easy questions in the last part and difficult questions in the first part of the exam paper.

Hard work never goes unpaid, so keep your calm and all the best.