It is obvious that the popularity of GATE (i.e. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is growning day by day because of its advantages. It is THE ONLY gateway to get into IIT (for masters and PhD), if you failed to get in IIT for UG courses through JEE. Along with this, you can get admission in 20 national level NITs and all top regional colleges. Overall, in short, you can say, if you want to do M.E./M.Tech, GATE is the pathway. But that’s not enough. GATE has one more importance, viz. its syllabus structure. Many of us don’t know this side of the GATE exam. The GATE syllabus is designed such that it covers all basic from a particular stream viz. Electronic and Telecommunication (EC), Computer Science Engineering (CSE), Civil Engineering (CE), etc. Once you prepare for GATE, i.e. once you study the GATE syllabus, you can even apply for various profile job oriented examination like IES, PSU’s exam, DRDO, ISRO, etc. It had been seen last year that many (almost all major) PSUs have given jobs without conducting their entrance but on GATE score.
This is why GATE is getting enormous popularity. In 2010, 1,13,531 these many aspirant applied for the exam, which increased to 1,49,948 in 2011,which further increased to 1,76,944 (appeared) in 2012. From distribution function you can say at least 2 lacs students will appear for GATE in 2013. [NOTE : The above mentioned numbers are from EC branch only]
So in such breath taking competition, one must plan very well during preparation itself and must follow the dream. I am trying to write down few steps which may help aspirant to find the proper path which leads to IITs by cracking the GATE exam. It is advised to all aspirant to modify the paths mentioned below as per their IQ and understanding levels with lot of thinking and planning.
STEP. 1] Realizing what is your demand?
It is very important to know the answer of this question : “Why you want to give GATE?” Many has dream to get into research or to do PhD, for them GATE is mandatory. But it is observed that a major crowd give GATE because they don’t fetch a job in UG for themselves. GATE is like a second chance for them to get a good colleges and try once again for the campus placements for M.E./M.Tech. And for whatever the reason you apply for GATE, you target the IITs only. So a simple answer to question asked is simple i.e. to get into IIT. But I feel that’s gives birth to one more question, WHY IITs? One may go to IIT because of the reputation of these institute which may help them for good jobs, one may go to IIT for research oriented job, one may go to IIT for PhD or for better PhD scope in foreign universities. So better you be clear why you giving GATE and what you want after 2 years of your MASTERS
STEP. 2] Understanding the scope of the subjects
Once you are clear with WHY GATE? You must start chasing your dream by following proper preparation steps. And for this you must know the SCOPE of the syllabus. You can check the GATE 2012 (last year GATE) syllabus here CLICK. Understand the subject and topics it is covering. GATE IS ALL ABOUT BASICS. So understand the basic and its scope in application of a particular subject. This will take its own time. eg. When I think of NETWORK ANALYSIS subject, all circuits, current and voltages, Thevenin’s and Norton’s, etc come in my mind. But that’s not enough, this subject has a lot more. There are so many topics, which one must NOT ignore before concluding that “I know circuit analysis that’s why this subject is easy for me” (This is one of the mistake I made in early stages but recovered in time coz of starting of early practice sessions). I would like to say, don’t bother if subject is easy or hard, just start it preparation as you know nothing about it, start from a scratch/zero.
STEP. 3] Whom to give importance and why?
After following STEP 2, you will be knowing, as per GATE syllabus, what subject you know in how much depth. Studying syllabus mentioned on GATE website has enormous importance while starting the preparation. Understanding the syllabus will lead you ahead half the way. Subjects which seems easy initially may not remain easy after studying the syllabus and so on. So after completing the study of syllabus, you will be knowing which subject most likely to study first (to gain confidence) and which last (to score more possible marks).
STEP. 4] Proper calculation of time in hand till 10th February
After knowing what you need to prepare and practice, one must know how much time he/she has in hand before taking exam. One mistake which many aspirant do while preparing timetable (even I did the same and faced the consequences later in results) is allotting time to subject to prepare only. I prefer to explain this with an example. Lets say, I am allotting 20 days to Communication, and I will plan myself to read the course in 20 days. But at the end, I don’t have time for practice. Practice plays an important role in GATE preparation and cracking the GATE exam. So allot time to a particular subject keeping two aspects in mind : studying/reading (to understand the concepts including BASICs) + practice of MCQs. (For EC, I will prefer Kanodia and Brilliant Tutorials are more than enough).
“I believe, in GATE, it is not important to cover all subjects before exam, the important is to learn the most of it”
STEP. 6] Study seriously and follow honestly
Be motivated, be inspired, be aspired for GATE and study honestly. It doesn’t matter how much you are studying for GATE daily, call it 2 hours, 4 hours or even 14 hours, the only thing matters is how much you are becoming confident after covering syllabus. It’s better to TARGET the syllabus by 31st December, so that you can get ample of time to practice papers. For practice papers, you can try GATEFORUM test series which is so far doing good with quality of question. Solve around 30-40 practice papers including previous papers before GATE exam. People study Previous Year GATE paper during preparation which is good to get confidence but I personally feel one must use previous year paper for evaluation of preparation i.e. to evaluate how depth you are prepared for the GATE exam.
STEP. 7] REVISION
Allot only last 10 days to revise the syllabus and a practice paper daily along with revision. The more you practice in the last period before exam, the more confident you will get and more accurate with the timing during last 3 hours of examination.
[NOTE : Since MATHEMATICS + QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE holds 30 marks and they are huge subjects to cover, it is advised that one should give at least 30 minutes each everyday. This subjects are more on practice and less to read/study. For QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE, one must read QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE by R S Agrawal. It has chapter wise approach and one can read a chapter in 1 day or 2 days and later can allot time to ENGLISH VOCABULARY/WORDS. along with Maths simultaneously from the first day]