The GATE exams are coming up on 31 Jan, 1 Feb, 7 Feb and 8 Feb. You must have started preparing for this, one of the most important competitive exams; from the time you decided to apply for further studies or some of the PSU sector jobs in India soon after your graduation. Also, some of you may be busy with final year projects and placements. I would like to inform you about some important things in these last few days of preparation for GATE in case you feel that the time is running out.
- In all GATE papers, 10 questions will be asked from General Aptitude, which will carry 15 marks. You can prepare for this section very easily. These questions are of language and analytical skills. You may need a little effort to recall the mathematics that you learnt at high school. But, you can also go through some books of general aptitude and get ready for this section. No current affairs or anything like that is asked. So, no need to worry about events happened recently or 1000 years back.
- In papers of AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PI, TF and XE, engineering mathematics will carry about 15 marks. You have learnt this mathematics in the initial years of engineering. You might have prepared notes at that time, which can come handy for these questions. If you have no notes available, you can ask your juniors who would have prepared the notes for the university exams. In case, you can't find notes at all, then it is better to write down some formulae or methods in your own words in your notebook. You should write notes in a language and manner that you can understand easily. Most of the time, we think and remember in our mother tongue, so, it is good to write in that language. After all, in the exam, nobody will ask you in which language you prepared for exams.
- The remaining 65 or 85 marks, as the case may be, will be from your own branch of engineering that you have been studying for the last 3 years or more. I agree that nobody can love and remember all the subjects taught during college. So, you choose the one that you like the most from the GATE syllabus, prepare it and write down necessary things that you may not remember easily. Then, you can go to other topics and subjects.
- The GATE website provides the question papers and answer keys for all papers taken in the last 2 years. You can solve the problems and check whether your answers are correct or not. A few correct answers will give you confidence for the exam. Also, the GATE website provides mock tests for a few subjects. You can download and practice these.
- If you can't find the correct answer for a particular problem, discuss it with your friends or ask your teachers at college or tuition classes. It may be possible that your teachers may not answer that as it is out of curriculum of your university. In such a case, you should get in touch with the faculty of other departments who are teaching the subject. They may guide you to answer the question.
- If you have purchased paper solutions for your GATE paper, good! But in case you don't have that, don't worry. The syllabus of GATE can easily be covered through the books that you have been studying for your engineering. It may also be possible that the syllabus have some topics which are not in your curriculum. You can keep such topics aside for a while as this is the last phase of preparation. It is better that you don’t waste your time on things you don't know or understand properly.
- Internet is always available nowadays; you can search the topics online. There are plenty of websites that give such materials free of cost. You must take advantage of them.
- Always try to memorize the formulae in a way you can easily recall.
- Always remember the fundamentals of the subject.
About the Author
PhD Student in Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Bombay
I am Jigar Sura. I have completed B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad in 2007. I finished my M.E. in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Jet Propulsion and Gas Turbine Plants from The M S University of Baroda, Vadodara in 2009. I also served as a lecturer in Aeronautical Engineering Department of SVIT, Vasad, Gujarat in 2009-10.
Currently, I am a PhD Student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Bombay (since July 2010). Here, I have been working in the field of hypersonics.