Hi, Guys! This is the interview and experience shared by the Sushant Gokhale. He has secured GATE AIR 179. Many more congratulations Sushant. You have achieved something that many dreams of. Please read his full interview. He has shared exclusively with us- How to Prepare for GATE.
I did my BTech from VIT, Pune in 2013. In the last year, I had decided to attempt GATE but somehow, my family brainwashed me to attempt GRE which I did in 2014 or 2015(I don’t remember). I was getting the pretty decent university in the US but my main motive was learning and not going there for fun (as many of them do). So, I decided to turn back to GATE.
Another reason to turn to GATE was I was so frustrated with the type of my project work that I used to complain to my parents daily. It was damn monotonous and there was nothing new in it. No innovativeness. So, the simple thing is if you don’t like what you are doing, you end up frustrated.
So, finally, I decided to attempt GATE 2016. Took eight months of sabbatical leave from my organization and attempted GATE. But unfortunately, I scored very less rank of 1137. I attributed this failure to myself and this was sole because I didn’t practice concepts and associated problems well.
Now, I was in a dilemma as to whether to re-attempt or continue with the job. Continuing with a job is continuing with the same frustration. Not possible for me!!! But, I was in tension because thoughts like “what if I didn’t succeed and what if I don’t get a job again (because this time I needed to resign from a job)” troubled me.
But I decided to reattempt and told myself “do or die. You have no option”. I resigned a job in Dec 2016 and started preparing.
Finally, with serious efforts, secured a rank of 179 in GATE 2017. I attribute all this success to parents and all the mentors and other aspirants on GATEOVERFLOW (GO).
You won’t believe but my father still says “If you want to attempt once more in 2018, you can go for it” knowing that GATE is extremely competitive and achieving rank under 100 is little difficult with 2 months of preparation.
What I think is when you are confident about yourself and convince yourself that “You have to do it” rather than “you can do it” and strive in the right direction, you will definitely get all the much-needed support from your parents. You will definitely come out with good rank.
I started preparing seriously for GATE 2017. Now, I had to contemplate what went wrong in GATE 2016. I again started studying the syllabus along with my job from the reference books and selected articles from the internet. I completed all the topics in 3-4 months. By the end of Aug or mid-Sep, I was theoretically sound.
Then I decided to solve all the previous year’s question papers. While doing this, I was solving problems on GO as well, but I could feel that I wasn’t up to the desired speed.
Finally, I resigned on Dec 16.
Then I decided to make my concepts perfect by practicing the problems associated with the concepts. I had contemplated that this is an area where I fell short. Even if you know concepts, you should be able to apply it which I couldn’t in GATE 16. So, practiced thousands of problems on GO and believe me, other fellow aspirants and I debated a lot on every question. It was a peer-peer process. They helped me improve and I helped them improve. Give and take strategy.
Pro Tips: Join GATE community and discuss your every doubt with other GATE aspirants. It helps a lot.
While solving and practicing any GATE problems, you need to think on following points.
How much time is sufficient to study to get good GATE rank?
In Dec, I was practicing for 5-6 hrs but from January 17, starting doing for 8-10 hrs daily because of this time, I had to crack it anyway.
I attempted GATE 17 with pretty ease and secured good rank 🙂 .
I would like to note that don’t skip any topic. This is not your engineering exam :). There isn’t shortcut to success.
And remember all topics are important if you want to be in top 100-200. You need to be 100% perfect.
Remember, you need to tell all the time to yourself “You have to do it”. These are important years of life.
Better to die by working hard than to regret afterward.
Related Read: C Coding questions for Practice
Apart from how to prepare for GATE, something very important part of preparation strategy is trying to maintain mental stability. Practice meditation. Learn it and do it daily. That will help a lot in exams. ( I have seen extremely talented people who use to secure single digit rank in every and any type of test series e.g GO, Gatebook etc. got fewer ranks and those who I didn’t expect to be securing good ranks secured very good ranks. This is because they got nervous in the exam due to the level of questions or any other reason. Even I got nervous else I was pretty sure of getting in top 100 had I practiced meditation.)
Before attempting GATE 16, I had joined ‘GATEFORUM’. I had all the notes with me. But I didn’t join in after that. Of course, notes helped me.
But what really helped me was self-study. Coaching can only act as supplementary to self-study. You can never succeed by relying only on coaching notes.
And remember, spoon feeding is no more going to help you. You need to be self-driven.
How should one be mentally prepared for GATE exam day?
It was the second session for me. On the way to exam center, I got a call from a friend who had been to the first session that exam was pretty good. That relieved me a lot!!
After reaching and before the exam started, I told myself…
“You are going to succeed. Just be calm.”
All really went well. Some questions were pretty lengthy like probability etc. but I somehow managed them.
My efforts bore the fruit.
Considering last year admits, hope I get into some good old IIT (hopefully IIT KGP). Also, I hope will get interview call from IITD and IITK.
Last but not the least.
Dream is not the thing you see in sleep but is that thing that doesn’t let you sleep.
― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Just believe in yourself and strive towards it. Best wishes to all the future aspirants 🙂
Sushant, I am really impressed the way you pitched for keeping mental stability. And many students lag for it. Practice Meditation.
Thanks for sharing your experience and guiding how to prepare for GATE and to give best of us. I am glad as it is going to help many future GATE aspirants.
All the very best for your future!