GATE: The Right Start (2)

Success in GATE involves significant efforts on the part of the individual, but it brings immense glory and promising career prospects to the engineering graduates. A recognizable score in GATE offers a kick start to the career of the student. This start benefits the successful candidates both directly and indirectly. Direct use of score card is in admission for higher education and opens up multiple career avenues for the candidates. Indirect use of GATE score are seen as the confidence building measures to the candidate that supports the four years engineering studies as well as the capacity of the candidates for future challenges in engineering jobs. However, in addition to GATE scores, marks scored in graduate degree are equally important. GATE is scheduled in the month of February, i.e., during the 8th semester. Hence, a student has only about six months available if he/she begins preparation during the 4th year of engineering. Most students are perplexed as to when to begin preparation for GATE. The best time to start the preparation of GATE is from the 3rd year itself.

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Why start from 3rd year?

The following are the logical explanations to why third year is the most opportune time to begin GATE preparation:

  1. Strong Foundation: During the first two years, engineering students get well-acquainted with the methodology of engineering studies. The students acquire ability to understand engineering problems and to search for useful references in textbooks for strengthening fundamental concepts. The students attain a mature level of understanding the aptitude based applications of mathematics in solution of engineering problems. First two years basically cover the fundamental courses, like engineering mathematics, engineering mechanics, material science, etc, that are common to most of the engineering disciplines. Extensive coverage of topics enables the students to ascertain their capabilities and interests which aids in choosing appropriate path of career.
  2. Competitive Circle: Apart from strong foundation of engineering studies, the first two years also provide ample exposure and opportunities to build personal relationship with classmates and seniors in the engineering stream. This comes in as handy guidance while simultaneously creating a competitive environment for preparation of the competition within the group of classmates. Students can easily engage in group-discussions on various topics with friends and teachers and clarify doubts. Sincere students create a competitive circle which is essential for sustained motivation and confidence. Instead of unhealthy jealousy, aspirants must see each other as competitors and try to outperform each other.
  3. In-depth Coverage: As trends suggest, most of the high scoring topics prescribed in the syllabus for GATE are from 3rd and 4th year course of engineering graduation. Thus, an exhaustively study of the course subjects of 3rd and 4th year is quite useful for preparation of GATE. To add to this, the courses in 3rd and 4th year are comparatively more difficult than 1st and 2nd year. 4th year is considered the toughest in the entire course; hence the students get very less time for preparation.
  4. Collection of Resources: Success in GATE needs motivation, confidence, determination, time, books, energy and hard work. Selection and assembling of these essential inputs are the most critical and time consuming tasks. One must be totally motivated and be full of natural curiosity. The conversation with classmates instigates self-confidence and maintains the spirit of competitiveness. A small mistake of choosing the wrong book can nullify all the efforts. Hence, the aspirants must give sufficient time to get fully motivated and determinant for preparation. They must invest quality time in selection of text/reference books for studies and preparation and selectively form a competitive circle of classmates.

To sum up, it is recommended that the students must start the preparation of GATE from 3rd year itself. They must try to strengthen their concepts with the help of competitive circle comprising classmates.

  B.E.(GEC Rewa), M.Tech.(IISc B'lore), IRSME
  Ajay Kumar Tamrakar is currently serving Indian Railways as Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer under the prestigious cadre of Indian     Railway’s Services of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME).
  Author of ‘Wiley Acing the GATE Mechanical Engineering
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