While you prepare for GATE 2018, your mind would be full of if and buts. One of the very strongest ifs/ buts could be what kind of questions will come in the paper? You may also feel the pressure of the difficulty level of the question paper or about the uncertainty of the exam pattern. Marking scheme, time allotted to complete the paper would also add to your confusion. However, there is one solution to all these questions - GATE Sample Papers/ Mock Tests. If you follow the preparation strategy of the GATE toppers of last few years, you would find "previous years question papers" as the most common element of their preparation, a major contributor in their success.
- Identify and improve on your weak areas
- Get a personalized improvement plan & track your progress
- Get a list of probable colleges based on current preparation level
It would be a mistake if you think that the questions will repeat. Though the questions will not repeat, but the basic concepts would remain the same which you get to polish once you increasingly practise more and more sample papers of GATE and take as many as mock tests as possible. By practising previous years question papers of GATE, you come across a wide range of concepts, questions which are not available in textbooks or coaching material. Ultimately, your performance goes to a different level. You can also see a change in your approach, speed and thought-process how they get transformed with the practise of the previous years GATE papers. Careers360 brings to you the merits of practising GATE model papers and previous years question papers and why practice of GATE previous years papers is a must.
Important dates of GATE 2018 have been released. As per the official notification, IIT Guwahati will conduct GATE 2018 on February 3, 4, 10 and 11 in online mode, while the registrations of GATE 2018 began on August 31, 2017. As you have 6 months in hand to prepare for GATE 2018, make practising sample papers and previous years question papers of GATE as an integral part of your preparation. Read below to know why you must practice GATE previous years question papers.
Merit 1: Most Reliable Sources
The first merit of practising GATE sample papers is that they are the most reliable sources for preparation towards the exam. Through the model test papers you get to know the syllabus of GATE from where the question may come in the paper. So you can zero upon the most common topics, concepts which are given more weightage and practise accordingly. Desham Manideep Reddy, AIR 29 in GATE 2016 Aerospace Engineering states, “Mock tests and previous year papers are essential for GATE preparation. The advantages are many- we get an idea of the GATE Exam Pattern, understand the types of questions required, learn time management and can form a methodology to tackle the GATE exam well.”
If you are still looking for clarity on GATE exam pattern, the previous years question papers of GATE are the best sources. They give you the overall idea about the nature of the question, marking scheme, time duration of the test, weightage, etc. Thus, as you keep on practising the previous years papers of GATE, you will get closer to the exam pattern and topics from where the questions will come. However, the sample papers will help only those candidates whose preparation is good.
Advisory: In the beginning, it’s better to practice the sample papers topic-wise. Once you finish a topic, it’s advised to revise the topic and then take questions for practise from the sample papers for that particular topic. Ravi Shankar Mishra, AIR 1, GATE 2015 (Computer Science & Engineering) says, “My study schedule went like – study a particular topic and attempt the past 10 years question papers for that topic only.”
Merit 2: Speed and Accuracy
A candidates having practised a lot of model and sample papers of GATE, would always fare better than those who do not. The reason is simple – speed and accuracy will give an edge to such candidates over the ones who just missed this part of preparation considering it insignificant or not-so-important.
You can solve a question with a much better speed later once you would have practised GATE sample papers repeatedly. In the process, your also move towards solving any question most accurately. While solving the questions from the model papers of GATE, you figure out various different ways to solve a question with your skill of ensuring accuracy getting sharpened every time you practise.
Advisory: “Practising previous years question papers or sample papers of GATE helps improve your problem solving skills and speed. So, one must go through at least previous 5 years papers to avail the benefit of being better prepared for GATE exam,” says Pradeep Seervi, AIR 1 in GATE 2015 Electrical Engineering.
Merit 3: Self-assesment and Time Management
While you take mock tests and practise GATE model papers or sample papers repeatedly, you get in the process of measuring your performance and analyse your weak areas. After the analysis, once you know your weak points, just start work on those before you move to the next topic. With the help of the previous years question papers of GATE, you can measure your preparation level too. Once you work on your weak, you perform better in solving the sample papers which ultimately leads to managing time efficiently. So, time saved is time earned for attempting rest of the questions.
Advisory: “If you solve the question papers of GATE previous years with sincerity, then you will be able to score better marks. However, if you analyse the questions and have good conceptual clarity, then you will definitely crack GATE,” shares Aashish Aggarwal, AlR 16, GATE 2017 (Mechanical Engineering).
Merit 4: You get to know the Trends
Another advantage of practising GATE model papers is that with practise and time, you can analyse which type of questions figure more in the paper or which topics occur more frequently in the exam. Thus, you come across topics which are given more weightage and are questions from these topics are seen more often than others in the sample papers/model papers. This helps you figure out what not to avoid in the preparation. Over the years, if some changes are happening with respect to the exam pattern, that too can be understood through the previous years papers of GATE.
Advisory: Divyanshu Jha, AIR 8 in GATE 2017 Mechanical Engineering comments, “Solving mock tests, GATE Sample papers and previous year question papers is essential. I would advise to solve all the previous year papers at least thrice. It helps to predict important topics and areas that need more focus. A test series easily available from any of the coaching institutes is also a must as it helps students analyse their exam temperament and teaches time management.”
Merit 5: Overcome Exam Fear and Build Confidence
From various experiences of GATE toppers from the past, it is a proven fact that the more you practise sample papers, the better you get with solving the question paper. Eventually with practise, your exam fears vanquish and you emerge as a much confident candidate for GATE exam.
Advisory: “The benefit of practising GATE previous years question papers is that the more you solve the better you get with them, provided your preparation is very good and then your confidence level improves,” says GATE 2016 (EC) AIR 6 Muthuraj Pillai.
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