GATE 2018 Topper Interview Aabhas Upadhyaya (AIR 14 - MT) - “Success will come with a strong strategy and good preparation”
Prabha Dhavala, 19 Apr 2018, #GATE
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An alumnus of MNIT Jaipur in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Aabhas Upadhyaya who is currently pursuing his M.Tech at IIT BHU believes that a strong strategy and good preparation is the key to success. This has been his mantra for GATE 2018 which paid off in the form of an all India rank of 14 in Metallurgical Engineering which is the paper he has appeared in. This being his second attempt, Aabhas has built on the learning from his earlier attempt in 2016 to come out successful this time. He is aiming for a good career in a leading PSU on the basis of his GATE performance. Here, he talks to Careers360 about his success mantras, preparation strategy and resources that he used during his preparation. Read on…

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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: My name is Aabhas Upadhyaya. I am from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh .I have done my B.Tech from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. I am currently doing M.Tech. in Materials Science and Technology from School of Materials Science and Technology, IIT BHU.

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Careers360: What was the GATE Paper you appeared in? What rank did you get in GATE 2018? What is your GATE score and how many marks did you secure out of 100 in GATE paper?

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I appeared in Metallurgical Engineering, Course code: MT.

My GATE 2018 Rank is 14 with GATE score of 826 . My marks was 74.33 out of 100 in this paper.

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Careers360: Is this your first attempt or did you attempt GATE earlier?

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I have taken GATE Examination in 2016 in the same paper code MT. I score 61.66 marks out of 100 in 2016 and my gate rank at that time was 45.


Careers360: What was the reason you appeared for GATE 2018? Pls elaborate.

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I am interested in joining the top PSUs and therefore I have to secure good marks in GATE as most of the PSUs shortlist candidates on the basis of GATE score.


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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Yes, I have applied for IOCL, SAIL, RINL and BARC.


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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I have prepared well in 2016 so my basics were clear. I have to just revise the entire syllabus according to GATE 2018 pattern.

Therefore I started my preparation in December 2017. I was preparing simultaneously with my M.Tech project. Initially I started with theoretical portions like Extractive Metallurgy and Physical metallurgy. After completing major theoretical portions I started practicing numerical questions on various topics such as Mechanical Metallurgy, Thermodynamics, Physical Metallurgy, Metal forming, Welding, Casting etc. from standard books. In last 15 days I had solved all the previous GATE papers and mock tests from various sources. I tried to solve at least solve 50 questions on daily basis in last 15 days.


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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I had joined a Test series from Test Yourself. It helps me in boosting my confidence as I got to practice a variety of quality questions and also this test series helped me to better my time management in GATE 2018.


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?

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Yes, of course.

Students who are preparing for the first time and want to secure GATE rank under 50 must start their preparation as early as possible. One should have a good understanding of subject. The questions asked in GATE looks simple in the first look but you won’t be able to answer many of it and that makes the difference.

I can give a stepwise preparation strategy for the first timers. This can be easily followed if they have 6-7 months’ time. If you have started preparing late, just go through previous year papers by SAMARJEET SINGH and solve as many questions you can. Other suggestions are

  1. Go through V. Raghavan Physical Metallurgy thoroughly. Try to solve subjective questions at the end of each chapters. It is a simple book written in student friendly language and one will feel confident after reading it.

  2. Go through lectures provided on NPTEL:


    (b) B.S. Murthy lectures on Advanced Thermodynamics (just initial 8 lectures)

  3. Now study Mechanical Behaviour and Testing of Materials by A.K.BHARGAVA and C.P.SHARMA. Again this is a user friendly book for GATE aspirants and contains a question bank too.

  4. Now go through V.Raghavan first course in Material Science. Now this is very crucial. This book is well equipped with theory, objective questions and subjective questions. If you are able to solve most of them your chances for a single digit GATE rank will be high. Read this book throughly and solve all the objectives and most of the subjective questions.

  5. You can either study H.S.RAY Extractive Metallurgy or you can go through NPTEL lectures by HS RAY on same topics. Just try to follow GATE syllabus here. Do not read extra topics.

  6. For Thermo two books are enough. For theory part: DAVID GASKELL and for numericals DUBEY AND UPADHYAYA. If you want to do things fast just go through previous year questions on this topic or study Numericals in PROCESS METALLURGY. Follow any book for topics like Mass Transfer, Heat Transfer and Fluid mechanics as these topics are not covered in these books mentioned above.

  7. For Iron Making: follow the link :

  8. For Steel making:

  9. For Metal Casting refer to Foundry Technology by O.P. Khanna or just any class notes.

  10. For Corrosion you can visit NPTEL lectures on corrosion by C. MONDAL.

  11. For Weldingy you can follow

  12. For Powder Metallurgy follow:

  13. For Mathematics part go through Made easy Mathematics for GATE. It will be enough.

Try to solve as much as possible in time bound schedules. Try to improve your efficiency by making short notes for each topic as per the lectures you are learning from. It is very necessary for quick revision.     


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?

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Mock Tests are the best tools to prepare for GATE examination. Join a good mock Test series and even when you are not fully prepared just take the test. Try to judge your preparation on a regular basis.

Yes it is true that solving previous year papers will boost your rank. Never forget to solve previous year questions from GATE.


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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Some most important books are as follow:




  4. H.S. RAY books





Careers360: Which are the topics one should focus more on? Kindly give us some details

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Some topics which should be studied in details are:

  • Thermodynamics and Rate Process

  • Mechanical Behaviour of Materials

  • Physical Metallurgy

  • Metal Casting

  • Corrosion and Electrometallurgy

  • Metal Joining

In addition to these topics, I would advise all students to try and score full marks in GA and Engineering Mathematics


Careers360: What was the toughest aspect in your GATE preparation?

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I thought the toughest part is to drum up the drive and motivation to start the preparation. The number of PSUs asking for metallurgical engineers is less and coaching institutes offering coaching in the discipline are also very few. So students prepare for other examinations instead of GATE.


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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: I like to play football and badminton with my friends, so I did that at times to take the stress off. I also like to watch thriller movies and select T.V. Series. These activities helped me release the pressure especially after taking a mock test.  I think one should play at least one game with full interest. Just choose your game and enjoy it to the fullest.


Careers360: How should you schedule answering the GATE exam – which section to attempt first and which next? Did you have any strategy? Kindly share your exam experience with us.

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Everyone needs to have their own strategy. Mine was to answer Section 1 Aptitude questions first. I tried to solve all of them as fast as I could. Then I solved Metallurgical part in approximately 2 hours 40 minutes.


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

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Numericals problem i.e. NAT questions are the toughest. Even a slight error causes a loss in marks.


Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Aabhas Upadhyaya: Solve as many as numerical questions as you can and try to enhance your ability to solve them. One must solve previous year GATE papers using the GATE virtual calculator only. Try to be calm and try to enjoy your preparation. Try to frame questions from what you read and the most important thing is to, “Be confident”.

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