When is the ideal time to begin serious preparation for GATE?

The 3 Ps: Planning, Preparation and Practice

All engineering students deal with common syllabus in first year of their graduation. This is also the stage when they have sufficient time and exposure to explore their future prospects in different fields of engineering, research, public sector, administration, etc. Students must evaluate their abilities and competencies while they choose the field of their own interest. A good score in GATE examination is a great start for the students with keen interest in the fields of Higher Education and Research & Development. The GATE examination tests the fundamental as well as the applied knowledge of the students across various fields. Hence, they should prepare thoroughly by focusing on both the aspects of the subjects.

  • It is highly critical that the students choose the right study resources as standard text and reference material under able guidance of their professors and mentors. Students must rely on study material which can be easily understood. If one is keen to join coaching classes (although it is not necessary), it should be done after due diligence and consultation with peer groups. Besides, there are plenty of useful learning resources which are available online.
  • Almost all the questions in GATE exam cover derivatives and applications on different systems. Hence, students must compulsorily go for fundamental and applied concepts of the subject.

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All of the above can be achieved easily without any stress with following simple tips:

  • Focus on GATE exam from second year along with your usual preparation for semester exam.  You can begin by matching the syllabus content of GATE with your usual syllabus and achieve the depth of the subject to an extent that you only need a brush-up in future for that portion. You may prepare exhaustive notes keeping in view the requirements of GATE examination. You must follow the same strategy during third year as well.
  • In the beginning of final year, you must audit your preparation for the GATE exam. You must then set a target to complete rest of syllabus within two-three months i.e. up to the month of October.
  • Once you are clear about the syllabus, chalk down a timetable to complete the syllabus well in time.
  • At all stages keep collecting the cracks of the subject, topic-wise in separate note book which will be helpful to remember the important points at a glance.
  • Use your favorite topics as your competitive advantage, for succeeding in GATE exam. 
  • In the last phase of preparation, you must focus on revision and practice. Your continuous practice in solving previous year’s papers will give you a fair idea of what the actual paper would be like. It will also brush up your basics and highlight areas which need improvement. Solving more and more test papers is the best way to keep improving as you prepare for GATE.
  • While solving test papers, set up an ambience which simulates the actual test with no breaks, no disturbance and a definite time limit. This is a very effective arrangement, which duplicates the real test environment, thus allowing you to prepare without any stress.

The aspirants aiming for good score in GATE Exam should plan their studies with their degree courses as usual, and should devote three months of their final year for practices with perfection on previous question paper.

Preparation for GATE exam can be summed up as 3P: Planning, preparation and practice.

About the Author

Dr. B. K. Pandey

Associate Professor

Department of Applied Science

Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur

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