GATE 2018 Topper Interview Amit Kumar (AIR 1 - PE) - “Plan your work first then work your plan”
Prabha Dhavala, 14 May 2018, #GATE

Amit Kumar was elated on March 16 when he checked his GATE 2018 result. His All India rank of 1 in Petroleum Engineering was the culmination of hard work encompassing a period of six months while studying for his B.Tech final year. A native of Patna, Bihar, Amit Kumar is currently in his final year of B.Tech in Petroleum Engineering at IIT (ISM) Dhanbad. A strong belief of Amit is that a correct plan is the first step to decide the work to be done and then putting it to implementation. Since PE is a relatively new paper that was introduced three years ago in the GATE scheme, one of the challenges was to find previous year papers in abundance such that weightage of topics and such could be decided. Needless to say, the strategy and planning did pay off and Amit can now move on to fulfilling his dream of working with a leading PSU. Read on to know more about his success mantras and strategies for GATE , topics to cover, tips for the exam and more.

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

Amit Kumar: My name is Amit Kumar  and i belong to Patna ,Bihar . I am currently pursuing B.Tech (Final Year)in Petroleum Engineeringfrom IIT(ISM) Dhanbad. 


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?

Amit Kumar:  I appeared for GATE 2018 Petroleum Engineering Paper. I scored an All India Rank 1. My Gate score is 977 and I secured 76 marks out of 100.


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

Amit Kumar: Well, yes, this was my first attempt.


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

Amit Kumar: My interest has been working for a PSU. Leading PSUs like ONGC, IOCL, OIL, MECL to name a few that fall in my field of expertise have been recruiting mostly through GATE. So it is imperative that I appear for the entrancetest.


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

Amit Kumar: As of now only ONGC has its application portal open for recruitment through GATE 2018, so I have applied to ONGC.


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?

Amit Kumar: On a serious note I started preparing just 5-6 months prior to GATE exam. I could do so as my subject specialization in B.Tech is the same so topics and such are same.  I began preparation with the study material available at the GATEAIOTS site. I went through the reference books and made my short notes for reference.


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

Amit Kumar:  I did not actually join any coaching but I used free study material available at gateaiotspe, gateinpetroleum which are essentially website for GATE coaching in PE . I also followed the questions available at PERTOGATE Academy and GATE AIOTS. Test series helps in time management as well as in assessment of strong and weak topics.


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?

Amit Kumar: When to start depends upon how good you are at your subject. However, I would suggest starting at least from the end of 3rd year (if you are a fresher) and 5-6 months before if you are not in college.

 To start off with, I thoroughly checked the GATE 2018 syllabus .Then, I prepared a check list of subjects / topics based on my conceptual understanding as good and weak  areas . After that, I explored the various study materials. I started strengthening my weak topics first, and then I moved to other topics. I used to make short notes or conclusive notes (from my understanding) at the end of each topic, which is a crucial tool for the last day revision.  Maths and Aptitude are scoring subjects, so one must have a good command in them. 

Study time should be chosen as per the convenience as each person has a different system. Points to keep in mind are – they should try to finish their syllabus 2 weeks before examination date and devote the time in the last days for only revision and test series questions.


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?

Amit Kumar: It is advisable to join test series as it helps in time management and assessment of strong and weak topics. I followed the questions available at the websites I had mentioned earlier.  As said earlier, PE has a dearth of previous year’s questions on account of it being a relatively new GATE paper and in this context, GATE mock tests become more crucial as only practice will make one perfect.


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

Amit Kumar: Following are the essential books for GATE in petroleum

  • Oilwell Drilling Engineering: Principles And Practice by H.Rabia

  • For Reservoir Engineering:  Reservoir Engineering Handbook byTarek Ahmed 

  • Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering by L.P. Dake

  • Petroleum Production Operations :   Production Technology I & II (Heriot Watt Publication)), Production Operations  (vol 1& 2) by Thomas Allen and Alan Robert,   Surface production operation (vol. 1 &2) by Ken Arnold

  • Offshore Drilling and Production Practices  by sukumar laik

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

Amit Kumar: There is scarcity of GATE oriented study material in Petroleum stream. Therefore, it took a lot of time to search for good study material and then the books to prepare for the exam. The short notes were also hard work as it all was self-made. One challenge was to study for my B.Tech and then GATE also.


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

Amit Kumar: Following topics are very important for GATE in PE:

Petroleum Exploration ; Reservoir Engineering ; Principles applications, advantages and disadvantages of SP, resistivity, radioactive, acoustic logs and types of tools used; CBL/VDL ; Horner’s Plot; Drill Stem Testing; Pressure Transient Tests: Drawdown and build up-test analysis ;Oil and Gas Well Drilling Technology ; Petroleum Production Operations; Differential equations;  Probability ;  Numerical Methods ;  Matrix algebra.


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

Amit Kumar: I love playing watching movies, playing badminton and hanging out with friends.


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.

Amit Kumar: I attempted the question in the sequence as given in the question paper. But my plan was to move on if I found a question tough and then come back if I had time. This way I answered about 80 % of the questions in first round in 2 hours. Then revisited the questions I had found tough at first glance and set to answer them.


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

Amit Kumar: To use mouse for every input and all necessary calculations was a painstaking task.


Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Amit Kumar: Hard work is essential but being happy is equally necessary for any successes. My suggestion is to Plan your work first and then work your plan, complete your task in time ,be confident and remain happy.

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