Thursday, December 1, 2011

My approach to solve GATE paper (GATE 2012 ECE)

[ Disclaimer : I will try to explain my approach to solve GATE paper with an example subject like Electrical Network (This subject is common to all the branch as this is a basic subject and thats why I selected this one). I need the proper background to start explaining the background so I request you to read the article patiently]

Electrical Networks was my one of the favorite subjects during my academics. (Though out of 9 core subjects, I like 8 of them ;) ) Especially electrical networks being a basic subject, I know most of it already. I am just not comfortable with '2-port network parameters' and 'Network Graphs'  from its syllabus.
This subject has Network analysis tools like 'Mesh and Nodal' but I feel in GATE, where calculators are allowed, I will stick to the basic KCL and KVL for simple type of problems. Unless and until problem will get lengthy, I prefer not to use advanced 'Mesh and Nodal analysis'. And for circuit simplication, 'STAR-DELTA conversion' is a way easy if you analyse the properly. During circuit analysis or most of the GATE paper, its better we stick to ATS (it is not Anti-Terrorist Squad or something), it is the main shortcut which will keep you away from falling in tricky questions set in GATE papers. ATS stands for Analyse, Thing and then Solve.
When my students solve their test papers, I observed one thing. Students just read the question and go for it. They just don't think what is given and how it can be done, as soon as they read the question (sometime they don't even read it completely) they start solving it and many time they fall in my trick of time consuming lengthy process. Thats why I invented ATS method to solve GATE paper (or any competitive exams). In exams like GATE which I negative marking scheme, I feel, its not important to attempt 100% question, instead try to attempt the most of them 100% accurracy. for example, if I attempt 10 question and get 4 wrong, where I took all the time to attempt all 10 question, in stead I may use the same amount of time to solve only 8 but with perfection.
So whenever we get paper in hand, (after doing all bribing and praying to God), have a quick look at the papers and observe that paper can be completed in 3 hours. (Coz why would they (IIT walas) design a paper which could be completed in specified time) Then start solving with the mentality that 'I need not to attempt everything, but how much I attempt, I need to attempt it perfectly'. Start solving paper, read the question twice (instead for only once) coz in first reading we may miss something or like P2 computers our mind may work slow in recalling the concept on that particular topic, so read it twice which will give our mind ample of time to think and choose the approach. This whole process of reading twice the question, I consider it as Analysis (A from ATS). If you do the first the first step of Analyzing properly then your mind will the rest for you automatically. Once mind is ready with the concept which you are going to use to solve that particular question, just don't jump for it. Give it few more seconds to select the approach for solving it. Coz there might a single way to solve the simple problem, but there must be a multiple ways to solve the questions which are asked in GATE (or any competitive exam). This 'selecting right approach', I called it as second step of my plan, Thinking (T from ATS). Once you have approach, go for it and if you have a single doubt or confusing leave that problem there itself and go for it. Coz once you have doubt then I suggest not to take risk of attempting it and getting negative marks. Solve the problems which are comfortable and confident throughout the paper first and then later you may come back to the problems you left and start thinking about it from scratch. Ok, so when you done with analysis and thinking, and you are confident about the concept and approach, all you need to do is to solve and find the answer i.e. third and final step of ATS viz. solving (S from ATS). And I am 100% sure once you follow the steps you will definately going to increase your score, by not solving more questions, but by not attempting question which are not sure of, in other words, by simply avoid negative marking.
This GATE paper solving strategy was developed by observing my mistakes in GATE 2009 and my students. It is a mixed life experimence and you may need to modify it as per your requirements. Comments if you make any changes in the approach so that I may learn something from you


  1. Hey Ankit,
    Your blog is very informative..n thanks a lot for sharing u r knowledge..i was jst surfing through net to get some motivation for preparing for GATE..when i came across ur blog..I am a ECE student and appearing for gate in 2012..but i am highly confused about my preparation..subjects like signals and field theory doesn't interest me but they have higher marks distribution..subjects like digital electronics which i love have lower marks distribution..plzzz help u even i have dreamt about joining research..but not sure in dese 50 days am i b able to crack gate...u r views will b of great help to me..i also follow zahid sir n both of u are very kind to all gate aspirants...:-):-)

  2. @Mahe
    I have already mentioned about your queries in my recent article. Kindly follow

  3. That's true. Analysis is something very important. In GATE 2012 a simple 2mark question from digital was wrongly attempted by me coz I jumped to solve without looking into where the '1' and '0' appeared in the diagram!

  4. Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.
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  5. how much minumum enough for iit ec

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