“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”- Arthur Ashe
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is basically an examination of the comprehensive understanding of the candidates in various undergraduate subjects in Engineering/ Technology/ Architecture and post-graduate level subjects in Science.
This year IIT -Madras will conduct the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) on February 2, 3 and February 9, 10. GATE is considered to be one of the most sought-after examinations by the engineering community. Conducted in over 23 branches, the exam oversees a participation of more than 10 lakh aspirants.
The exam tests the comprehensive understanding of the candidate in various undergraduate subjects including Engineering/Technology/Architecture and post-graduate level subjects in Science. The exam, which is conducted online, encompasses 24 papers.
The exam papers had questions for which numerical answers must be keyed in by the candidate using the virtual keypad. However, the rest of the questions are of Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) types.
In order to succeed in GATE, a very solid preparation coupled with strong strategy holds the key to success.
Important tips to succeed in GATE 2019 –
Know your syllabus: “Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way” – Allan Rufus
GATE (specific to any branch) tends to have a very vast syllabus, and hence it remains of prime importance to look at the past trends in terms of weight of a particular subject (last 10 years of GATE exam) so that the right priority order of preparation can be made.
More frequent than often many students start preparing for GATE exam with difficult subjects (not carrying that kind of weight in the exam) thus taking a far larger risk since it is far more advisable to start with those subjects which have a high syllabus to content ratio.
Know the exam pattern of GATE 2019 – GATE has two types of questions –
• Multiple Choice questions (MCQs): These questions have options and candidates must choose carefully as there is negative marking for these questions
• Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions: These questions have to be calculated and carry no negative marking.
Know the Weight of Topics in GATE 2019 – It is important to cover the complete GATE Syllabus 2019. However, one can do a small exercise to gauge which sections, topics are much more important in terms of weight as this allows you to focus on these more than the others.
Many toppers have indicated in their tips on how to prepare for GATE 2019 that this exercise is undertaken first. Rather than search the internet for an easy solution, you should sit and check the past three-year GATE question papers.
A good picture will emerge and you will get a fair idea of the topics you need to stress more on and the topics they need to know well. Even if this is a bit of a time-consuming exercise, it is truly beneficial in all terms and aspects.
Importance of planning and making notes: Unlike clearing semester examinations of some university or engineering college, the modus operandi for clearing GATE is totally different and hence relying on question bank’s and topper’s notes shall not hold the key towards achieving success.
It is important to have a plan in place and ready notes. Go to the details of the syllabus and plan as per the months, days and hours. There are standard books available which should be the only source for preparation, it has been observed that these standard books appear very daunting to an average aspirant by the sheer coverage of topics
(Remember not all the topics are within the scope of GATE, so skim the irrelevant portion and focus on the syllabus).
As an aspirant studies the topics and chapters from their collected resources, one should start making handwritten notes. The notes should contain the concepts, the formulas (if any), and the key points on each topic. The notes should be crisp and short so that one can go through them easily while revising the subject.
Study from prepared notes only while revising. Don’t revise from the books all over again loosing on previous time and effort.
Previous years GATE questions, Sample Papers, Online Mock Tests – Practice the previous years’ questions at least twice for at least the last 10 years, the same tends to give a fair understanding of the wide gamut of questions that the GATE tends to test aspirants on.
You must solve a lot of previous years question papers and sample papers. Go for online test series and mock tests. Be it GATE online test series or test series by coaching institutes, candidates must opt for both.
This is a very healthy mode of practicing and testing yourself on the GATE syllabus for a specific subject. Try to improve yourself in every test you write. Devise strategies about which section (Aptitude: 1 mark technical, 2 marks technical) you will attempt first in the main exam, check how much time you are taking to finish each test.
This tends to facilitate a higher sense of exam adaptiveness for the aspirant and also helps the aspirant to understand the trend of mistakes (if any) that is being committed, which is really important in such a scenario.
Remember, mock tests are not about your performance; they are rather about how well you are equipped before the main battle. Obviously, you should keep track of your performance after each test, but that should be the last thing to do.
Your focus should be more on the areas where you are making mistakes. So, learn how to reduce silly mistakes, how to attempt more questions with accuracy, how you tackle the time constraint etc. If you improve these, your mock test marks will shoot up automatically.
Last minute strategy for GATE – The candidates are advised not to read any new topic during the last days. Focus on revising the concepts and important questions which you have marked during your preparation. Keep your mind relaxed and take proper sleep before the exam.
This will help you in recollecting things during exam hours. Be ready with your examination admit card and know your center before the exam day.