GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. It is an all-India level entrance test which tests the candidates’ undergraduate level knowledge of engineering or science disciplines. In this article, you will be reading about GATE exam tips. Study tips and strategies, which will come handy in your GATE preparation have been mentioned here.
The number of GATE test takers usually increases with each passing year. This denotes the gain in popularity that this test has been enjoying over the years! GATE craze is reaching new heights with each passing year! And the craze is here to stay!
Reasons behind the rising popularity of this test are many. First of all, GATE test provides Engineering graduates with an opportunity to pursue postgraduate education from premium technical education institutes in India. GATE scores are used to allot seats to deserving candidates in many Indian Engineering colleges (for postgraduate programs).
Apart from that, various Public Sector Indian companies (PSUs) also recruit Graduate Engineering trainees through GATE test. Such PSUs recruit GETs depending upon scores obtained by them! For some graduates, a lucrative Government job (at a PSU) is the motivating factor behind the decision to appear for GATE!
GATE exam is held once every year. It is 3 hours long test. Final year students or graduates of engineering/technology/architecture OR Master’s degree holders in Science or computer applications are eligible to appear for this test. GATE score remains valid for a period of 3 years.
Okay, we’ve covered all the important details about the test. Now it is time to move to the meat of the matter- GATE exam study tips! You will find the study tips in the next section.
GATE exam study tips
GATE exam tests how good an Engineer you actually are! It gauges the level of knowledge you possess and your ability to apply those skills to solve problems.
1 Must have: Motivation, Discipline, Dedication
It is very important to stay motivated. Throughout the entire preparation phase, be motivated and driven. This attitude will play a very important role in determining the outcome!
Set a goal and jot it down. Goal could be an M.Tech. seat in an IIT (or any other premium institute) or a job in a leading PSU, just set it and jot it down. From the very next moment, start preparing for achieving that goal. Visualizing your goal is also a good idea.
Discipline and dedication have many faces. Having a well planned time-table, healthy amount of focused study hours, consistency etc are some such faces.
Having a separate study room helps. Keep that room well arranged and clean. Useful books, notes and study materials should be easily accessible in the room. There shouldn’t be sources of distraction (TV, mobiles, laptops etc) in the room.
2 Know more about GATE Exam (Syllabus, type of questions etc)
Know all the vital details about GATE test. Get to know the syllabus inside out. Basically, the test is made up of 3 main types of questions- subject questions (depends upon your trade), mathematics questions and general aptitude questions.
After knowing more about the syllabus, it is time to plan. The success mantra to crack GATE is- plan, prepare and revise! The first step is to plan. Plan your strategy and schedule wisely!
The Success Mantra- Plan, Prepare and Revise!
3 Plan to succeed (Books, Schedule etc)
It is very important to select books (for preparation) wisely. You may consult seniors as well as teachers to find appropriate books. GATE exam toppers’ interviews are available in large numbers online! Check some such interviews and you will be able to find the books that they used to prepare for the exam!
UG level books will be useful to grab basic knowledge. For core technical subjects, going for books dedicated to those topics will be better!
Decide if you will need coaching or not. I recommend self learning. But many aspirants believe in the power and effectiveness of coaching! Coaching ensures that you get all the required materials. It’s kinda like ‘ready made’ stuff! Self learning involves in depth study of topics. Self learning will be more useful, according to me!
4 Work smart (Prepare)
Whether you take help of coaching or do self learning, it is necessary to be consistent. Working hard is good, but it is much better to work smart! Usually 6 months of solid preparation is enough to secure a decent rank. At the end of the day, time required for efficient preparation depends upon one’s aptitude and other activities (particularly job).
Create a time table and stick to it. While studying, stay focused and disciplined. Put in at least 5-6 hours towards preparation each day. As days pass, you may put in more hours, depending upon the progress you’ve made.
A telling sign of smart studying is analysis of one’s progress. Analyze your level of preparation and progress. Make sure that you are meeting targets within the stipulated time.
5 Get your basics right! Focus on the fundamentals!
The main aim of GATE exam is to test how good an engineer you are! If you are a good engineer, you must have good fundamental knowledge about your trade! This is exactly what GATE exam gauges and rates!
In-depth knowledge is what will come to your rescue in GATE exam! If your basics are strong and sound, you won’t find this exam very tough! Indulge in in depth learning sessions. Cover the syllabus in deep. If doubts arise, solve them. Understand topics instead of mugging up!
6 Practice problems
Solving papers will help you a lot. Be creative while solving them. There are many ways to arrive upon the solution. Own the one that is most efficient and short! Being innovative will also help you understand topics in a much better way!
7 Make notes
Making notes is an art. Well crafted notes are always in huge demand! You may even buy well drafted notes! I believe in self made notes.
Important parts of the syllabus, points to remember, formulas etc must find their way into the notes that you make. These notes must also be revised at regular intervals.
8 Be inquisitive. Think!
Throughout the preparation phase, be inquisitive. While preparing a certain portion, remember to ask questions. This questioning and answering style will help you prepare topics in detail. Focus on the depth!
9 Be positive. Avoid burnout
It is necessary to remain positive. Don’t let others demotivate you. Believe in yourself! Be careful about burnout. Try to have fun while preparing for GATE exam. Having a genuine passion for engineering will help you!
Find enough time to relax and have some fun. Indulging in stress busting activities will help recharge your body’s batteries! This will in turn improve your preparation the next time you sit down to study!
Eat a balanced diet. Make sure that you get enough rest.
10 Revise (focus on solving mock papers)
As I mentioned before, the success mantra is- plan, prepare and revise. After planning and preparing well for GATE exam, it is now time to focus on revision!
By the time the exam is around the corner, your preparation should have ideally finished! By this time, you must start revision sessions!
It is very important to revise the notes that you created. Solving mock papers also forms an integral part of a good revision session.
Solving mock papers will help you get exam practice. Speed and accuracy is very important, when it comes to solving GATE exam questions. Solving mock papers will help you improve your speed and accuracy!
It will also help you get familiar with time management techniques. In short, solving mock papers will help you identify your weaknesses. After analysis, you may work on weaknesses and improve.
Getting online test practice is a good idea. Getting used to the GATE online exam interface will help you avoid confusion while facing the real exam!