GATE 2017 Topper Interview Shubham Kumar (AIR 21 TF) - There is no substitute for hard work
Richa Kapoor, 31 Mar 2017, #GATE
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With the GATE 2017 Results announced on March 26, Shubham Kumar was a happy candidate. The result for GATE 2017 showed that he has secured an All India Rank of 21 in Textile and Fibre Engineering paper. A graduate of Indian Institute of Carpet Technology, Bhadohi in Textile Technology, Shubham attributes his persistent attitude and sheer hard work to his success. Speaking to Careers360, he elaborates on the need for hard work and smart strategy to taste success in GATE. Check the books he has read during his preparation, topics he feels are important, exam day tips and overall preparation tips for GATE 2017.

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Careers360: Tell us something about yourself; Where have you done your engineering from and in which branch?

Shubham Kumar: I have done my B.Tech from Indian Institute of Carpet Technology, Bhadohi in Textile Technology.

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Careers360: What was the GATE Paper you appeared in? What rank did you get in GATE 2017? What is your GATE score and how many marks did you secure out of 100 in GATE paper?

Shubham Kumar: I appeared in GATE 2017 TF paper & secured an All India rank of 21. My Gate Score 751 and I obtained 52.05 marks out of 100.

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Careers360: What was the reason you appeared for GATE 2017? Please elaborate your reasons

Shubham Kumar: I wanted to pursue my higher studies from the IITs as it has always been my dream to become an IITian. This was one of the main reasons why I appeared for GATE 2017.


Careers360: Have you applied to any PSUs recruiting through GATE?

Shubham Kumar: No , I have not applied to any of the PSUs as I want to pursue higher studies.


Careers360: When did you start your preparation? How did you prepare for the GATE exam? How many hours did you put in per day for your preparation?

Shubham Kumar: I decided to appear for the GATE exam when I was in my second year. I seriously started studying for GATE 2017 when I was in my third year. During the first three months of the preparation, I used to study nine hours per day on an average. I was completely dedicated & sincere throughout my GATE preparation.


Careers360: Have you taken any coaching? If yes- From where? How did it help?

Shubham Kumar: I did not attend any coaching. The reason is that the guidance provided by the teachers of my college was more than sufficient.


Careers360: Can you share any preparation strategies with our readers? When should one start their preparation for GATE? How to schedule study time and make timetables?

Shubham Kumar: It is important to set goals for yourself and accordingly devise a strategy. I believe that there is no substitute for hard work. Your strategies and level of dedication will make you different from others. Start studying seriously from third year. Be sincere in your preparation especially in the last four months will help you a lot. The other tips that one needs to follow are given below:

  • Make a schedule by first going through the GATE 2017 syllabus

  • Allot one week or at least ten days for each topic and make short notes.

  • At a later stage, you must schedule your time in such a way that you are able to solve 10 years of GATE papers. This will help you to identify the weak areas

  • After identifying your weak areas, you must allot three to five days to strengthen your weak areas in each subject.

  • Towards the end, revise the whole syllabus, formulae & solve the GATE papers and the GATE sample papers.

Careers360: How should one schedule answering the GATE exam – which section to attempt first and which next?

Shubham Kumar: My suggestion is to attempt the one mark questions first, followed by theory based questions, aptitude questions. Towards the end, one must attempt numerical questions.


Careers360: Name some important Topics that you feel are a must read for any student attempting GATE exam?

Shubham Kumar: Focus on numerical questions of spinning, weaving and mathematics. One must be thorough with fibre science and testing for theory. NPTEL will help you a lot for this.


Careers360: What did you feel was a tough thing in the GATE exam?

Shubham Kumar: It was not very toughbut was a bit unusual and slightly different from the past years. The standard of questions were slightly high.


Careers360: How important do you feel mock tests are and why? Is it true that if one solves the previous year question papers, there is a good chance of cracking the exam successfully?

Shubham Kumar: Mock tests are of great importance as they help you to prepare well for the actual exam. GATE question papers of previous years give you a broad idea of the topics from where the questions will be asked. One should remember that it is not correct to believe that one will be able to crack the GATE exam by merely solving the previous years question papers. However, there might be a change in the pattern in the exam and the difficulty level of the questions that are asked. So, it is pertinent that one should prepare the complete syllabus and be clear with the basic concepts.


Careers360: Which books did you follow for GATE preparation? Please name some very important must read books for GATE.

Shubham Kumar: Aspiring candidates can study from the list of books that are mentioned below in the table.


List of books





Fibre Science

S P Mishra



H K Das



Made Easy

Books by BK Behera & R Chattopadhyay are very good to study from. For the remaining topics one can refer to NPTEL.


Careers360: What did you do for leisure? Any specific activities that helped you unwind?

Shubham Kumar: Our college campus is lush green. I used to walk and speak to my friends. I love music and I used to often listen to songs. This rejuvenated me.


Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Shubham Kumar: Aspiring GATE candidates are advised to have their basics clear and they should give their best in the last stages of the preparation of the exam. Strategic preparation will assure your success. Continuity & self-commitment is the key.


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