GATE 2020 Practice strategy to score more

PUBLISH DATE 2nd October 2019

While the ratio for selection in the GATE is only 15 per cent, mere clearing the exam does not guarantee a good college. Competition is even tougher for mechanical engineering, electronics and communications, electrical, computer sciences, and then civil engineering.

The Director of IIT, Delhi – institute conducting the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2020 said that he is expecting one million candidates to apply for the exam this year. On an average, about 9 lakh appear for GATE every year. Of the total, 25 per cent prepare for mechanical engineering, followed by electronics and communications, electrical, computer sciences, and then civil engineering. In these subjects, the competition is even harder.

While the ratio for selection in the GATE is only 15 per cent, mere clearing the exam does not guarantee a good college. The cut-off varies too. The GATE cut-off for mechanical engineering in 2020 was 34.1 for the unreserved category but to get in a PSU such as BHEL, a score of 79.31 is needed. To get top IITs, one needs a rank in top 400s.

Despite an extensive number of reference books and study material, however, many candidates do find it difficult to strategise their GATE preparation. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of planning, aspirants need to classify their subjects into three categories:

1. Expert- Should cover 90 per cent of the score (should contain at least two heavy subjects)
2. Good- Should cover 50 per cent
3. Average- Bonus marks

Preparation strategy

The strategies for different goals will always be different. To get the most desirable PSU, you need to get under the rank of 300. So, prepare methodically on all topics. On the contrary, if your aim is to just qualify, then you can afford to leave out some topics from your preparation. It is crucial that one should know which subjects are one’s strengths. This will enable one to focus more on the weaker subjects and strategically plan on the amount of time and efforts needed for each topic. Quantitative aptitude and engineering mathematics weighs around 27-30 per cent of the total marks and need more attention.

How to chose forte subjects

Before starting to prepare and making plans, you should take a test to check your level of competence. This will help you identify your strong and weak subjects so that you can focus more on your weaker subjects. Prioritise each subject and topic according to its importance and how much score it contributes to.

Create a study plan; it will ensure that you finish all you target benchmarks well in time. It also helps you allot proportionate time to all the subjects and evade the situation of having finished only a couple of topics just a month before the exam.

Focus on subjects with high ROIs

There are numerous subjects, which are comparatively easier, but their weightage is more. Engineering mathematics and general ability comprise 30 per cent of the total marks and are somewhat easier to score in. If you excel in English, then it is a smoother ride towards your goal.

Practice for time management

Time management is of the utmost importance when it comes to such competitive exams. Try to keep a stopwatch handy and keep a tab on time spent on the entire exam, sections and certain questions. Manage time by keeping aside specific durations for different topics depending on their weightage and grasp over that subject. Solve all types of questions you come across in several books and be prepared on all variations of questions.

Revise every 15 days

You should not only study but also revise the same topics every 15 days. It is practically impossible to remember a topic or a method that you studied four months ago. Hence, revise and keep the topics fresh in your mind.

Although, there are numerous ways to excel at everything, especially GATE, remember, this is not the end of the world. Do your best and do not worry about the results.

— The author is co-founder, ufaber

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