Guide for preparing GATE Priyanka Muchetty

1) Why GATE?

Around 90,000+ civil engineering students attended GATE in 2014. I am sure, this data answers part of the question. Let me be still clear, higher education adds confidence in you. If you are interested in research work and need vast technical knowledge then GATE is preferable as most of the faculties in IISC, IITs, NITs have ongoing projects in their hands and you will get an opportunity to work with such an eminent personalities.
Secondly, most of the institutes have joined their hands with prestigious universities in abroad. You might get a chance to carryout doctoral studies abroad.
Thirdly, many PSUs are recruiting through GATE score and people love to join there. PSU list is increasing every year. From this, what one can infer is , GATE is not the way to go for higher studies alone but it’s a way to enter PSUs even

2) Is coaching important? I am in 3rd year or final year. How do i prepare?

I feel, it totally depends on how serious you were about GATE in previous years of UG. If you are studying self during your semester classes than concentrate on the classroom lecture, analyze the topics/subjects keeping GATE in mind, make the notes of your own, write the formulae list. Buy well-known GATE books or install our app and refer previous years Q papers. Try to answer the questions once you complete a chapter. You may be in 2, 3 , 4, 5, 6 semester, that does not matter. Study the subjects with utmost concentration and make your basics very clear. By doing so, you are preparing for semester end exams as well as GATE in parallel. And if you have not done what i said now, then obviously answer is yes. Its better if you take coaching. If you dont have any financial and personal responsibilities than you can drop a year, either take coaching or prepare self. I will discuss on how to prepare self for GATE in my further explanation.

3) If the answer is yes than the next question would be which is the best coaching institute?

I personally feel, it is better to take inputs from your seniors or your teachers. It depends on, in which city you are. Pros and cons are with everyone. Collect the information on 2 or 3 tutorials, compare them carefully and join. Try to save time on commutation.

4) Which are the important subjects / topics in Civil Engineering?

As per the trend structural, geotech , transportation are very important.
English + GA = 15 marks
Maths = 15 marks
You can allocate one hour time daily on GA. Read english news paper and go through dictionary for the meaning of words which you don't know. You can also refer basic vocabulary and grammar books available in market. Try to solve puzzles. This improves your analytical and time management ability.

5) Are online mock test series really essential?

My straight forward answer is yes. It helps you to evaluate yourself in the sense, the method of your preparation, whether it is moving in right direction or you need to make any necessary improvement in the plan. It increases your confidence level as it depicts final GATE exam. Learn your mistakes from every test you take and try not to repeat same in next test because the same mistake committed second time is no longer a mistake. Try to analyze trend of your mistake. What is the reason, whether it is due to anxiety, overconfidence or lack of time management or not understanding/remembering the concepts you are studying. I feel it’s worth to spend time on analysis before moving forward. See to it that quantum of mistakes reduces as you progress ahead with mock tests.
Let me share few things on time management very briefly.
As we all know time is money which we can earn without spending a penny. Then why to hesitate to utilize it to fullest extent? Never restrict yourself on the number of hours you study. If you are capable then go ahead with two/three hours of extra hrs of study. Even successful people have 24 hrs only which mean it is enough to achieve anything. We usually say that i don’t have time. Remember, we always have time for things we put first and an achiever was once a beginner.

6) How to prepare when i am working?

I am sure everyone knows how much they are strong technically and their weak areas. If you are very much confident enough that you will get a job soon after taking the break for preparation and if it happens that u r not qualified then resign or else u can apply long leave of 2 or 3 months and prepare. U can also resign if u r confident on your GATE results.

7) How to decide upon job or GATE if u r recruited through campus interview?

Most of the final year students face this problem. Have to work a bit for this. U need to do a comparative analysis between job and GATE. Write your interests, future plan. Write pros and cons for both job and GATE. Find out the weightage. I am sure this exercise will definitely help u to find the solution. Discuss with your seniors who have faced the similar situation and the way they have come out. Discuss with your family, think on the financial responsibility u have to take. After this, u will have 100s of thoughts running in your mind but arrive at a most beneficial solution. U r the creator of your own destination. Never turn back if u keep a step forward i.e. do not feel later that I should have not done this. It’s a mere waste of time and disturbing yourself. Nothing is achieved by worrying, instead u lose everything. So keep going and love to take risks when needed.

7) How to decide upon job or GATE if u r recruited through campus interview?

Most of the final year students face this problem. Have to work a bit for this. U need to do a comparative analysis between job and GATE. Write your interests, future plan. Write pros and cons for both job and GATE. Find out the weightage. I am sure this exercise will definitely help u to find the solution. Discuss with your seniors who have faced the similar situation and the way they have come out. Discuss with your family, think on the financial responsibility u have to take. After this, u will have 100s of thoughts running in your mind but arrive at a most beneficial solution. U r the creator of your own destination. Never turn back if u keep a step forward i.e. do not feel later that I should have not done this. It’s a mere waste of time and disturbing yourself. Nothing is achieved by worrying, instead u lose everything. So keep going and love to take risks when needed.

8) How to prepare after graduation i.e. dedicating one full year on the GATE preparation?

Before actually starting with the GATE study you got to spend some time on preparation. Let me do an illustration. It is easy to cook if all the ingredients are kept ready and also it could be made delicious and on time. Hence,
a) Prepare a proper time table ie number of days you have before actual exam. Thoroughly go through syllabus and allot the schedule wrt weightage on subjects and most important, keep time for revision. Decide the number of quality hours you can dedicate per day. What most of us do in the beginning of preparation is, we prepare a very rigid time table in anxiety which will be very difficult to follow later. Never ever do this. Follow it otherwise there is no point in preparing time table.
b) Collect all study materials could be text books, your notes, well known tutorial notes or any online source.
c) Discuss with your seniors, the way they had planned and executed. Take guidance from your well-wishers whenever needed. Chanakya says, we should never shy to ask what we don’t know, what we want to learn from others.
d) Keep yourself motivated by reading inspiring quotes from our app or any other source for that matter. Go for a walk in the evening. Think of your goal/result of your hard work at least twice a day. This keeps you going.
e) Do not waste time re reading what you already know. You may master in one subject but that is not which is needed at this point of time. Before reading any subject which you feel is difficult then read the one for sometime which pleases you. Train your brain by doing so.
f) Do not try to read anything new in the last month. Revise what you have read till now. g) Prepare a formulae list and go through them daily.
h) Before going to bed recollect what you have done today and what you will be doing tomorrow. I read somewhere that, by doing so we will remember for longer time what we have read.
i) Success is not achieved only by staying awake at night but by keeping ourselves alert during day time. Sleep at least for 6 to 8 hrs daily. Our brain needs rest.
j) If you are taking the coaching than attend all the classes regularly. Study daily at home in parallel. By doing so, you can discuss doubts with tutor.
k) We hardly fail, instead, we give up. Never say there is still enough time. Work as if tomorrow is the final exam.
l) At times you may feel down or lazy by seeing your peers working for a company and earning big bucks, your family members may go for a trip or you may have unexpected guests. Do not get disturbed. We have enough time to do all these later. You are making a strong foundation for your bright future. Talk to someone who cares you, who is willing to guide you, who is eagerly waiting to see your success instead of getting influenced by the negative thoughts.
Update your preparation status to him/her, get the feedback. I am sure, by doing so you will be relaxed and energized. But again, do not spend more time on this.

A small tip on after GATE exam result:
Do not relax after getting your result. Visit the institutes websites, short list them, book the train tickets. If you do not, then there are chances that you may lose the institute of your choice.
Prepare on HR kind of questions like introduce yourself, why this IIT only, why this specialization only along with bit of technical questions? Try to answer with calm mind. Do not panic by seeing the IIT professors in front of you, who knows one day you might be one among them. Enjoy the conversation with them.

9) How to prepare in just 3 months?

There are quite a good number of people who have qualified by just 3 months of preparation. Which says, yes can . As there is less time, you have to be alert, prepare a time table, refer previous years Q papers, take mock tests and do proper revision.

10) I am in dilemma to either go for a job for few years after graduation before joining PG or straight away go for PG with no experience?

It’s a very important question as experience matters lot in civil engineering.
I will try to answer this question in two ways:
a) You can go for a job, get the field experience and understand which specialization has wide scope and which subject instructs you more. By doing so, when you join PG you will understand theoretical concepts very clearly. This will even help you to carry out your thesis work very smooth.
b) The other way is, if you are interested in doctoral studies than you can go for PG directly. What most of the people feel is, it’s better to go for PG before working as it will be difficult to sit and study. I mean, we have to train our mind in other direction. Most of us find it difficult and who knows one may lose interest in doing PG later. It’s indefinite. But one drawback of doing PG directly is, we will choose the specialization in the subject in which we are interested in or guidance from the seniors but not exactly by self experience.
Again make comparative study and decide.

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