GATE 2018 Topper Interview Divyanshu Jha (AIR 3, PI) - “Don't take pressure, enjoy this phase of life”
Samiksha Jain, 25 Apr 2018, #GATE
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As soon as IIT Guwahati announced the GATE 2018 result on March 16, a day early than scheduled, some aspirants had smiles on their faces on account of their performance. Divyanshu Jha who is not new to GATE had scored an AIR of 8 last year in ME paper. This year he appeared for Production & Industrial Engineering and ended up with an all India rank of 3. Careers360 caught up with Divyanshu to know about his preparation strategies considering that he has been a consistent top ranker for two years that too for two different GATE papers. During his interaction, Jha shared his GATE 2018 journey, experience on attempting another GATE paper and how he managed to bag AIR 3 inspite of preparing for the exam just a month before the exam.

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Here are the excerpts:


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

Divyanshu Jha: I have done my B.Tech from Delhi Technological University (DTU) in Mechanical & Automotive engineering in 2016. I later took up a job but left it in October to concentrate on my GATE efforts so that I can do well. This my second attempt. Earlier in 2017, I secured an AIR 8 in GATE Mechanical Engineering. However, I was not satisfied with my rank and therefore I decided to appear for the exam again. And this time cracked it.

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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?

Divyanshu Jha: I appeared for GATE 2018 Production and Industrial paper. My All India GATE 2018 rank is AIR 3. I obtained 79.33 marks out of 100, while my GATE score is 924.


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

Divyanshu Jha: GATE is one exam thatopensa lot of opportunities including a career in PSUs. In GATE 2017, I secured an AIR of 8 in Mechanical Engineering. I was unhappy with my rank so I appeared again in 2018. This time I chose to appear for Production & Industrial Engineering and I am satisfied with my rank. I think I made the right choice to reappear for the exam again.


Careers360. Have you applied to an PSUs recruiting through GATE?

Divyanshu Jha: I am currently working with GAIL India.So my aim was to improve my rank in GATE 2018. That’s all.


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?

Divyanshu Jha: I started my preparation one month before the examination. I used to study for 5 to 6 hours daily religiously. My short notes from GATE 2017 preparation were pretty useful. I just used them and this helped me in cracking GATE 2018 to my satisfaction.


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

Divyanshu Jha: I had enrolled in the weekend classroom programs of MadeEasy in 2017. That was enough and this time I didn’t need to take it again.


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?

Divyanshu Jha: For a fresher, the ideal time to start GATE preparation would be the 6th semester. Start with a thorough analysis of the syllabus & topics to be studied. Then keep a track of topics covered and yet to be covered. Generally, it is a tough time for students with a heavy college load and therefore it is advisable to study as per a weekly goal to ensure proper coverage and equal attention to college and GATE preparation.

This will differ if you are a graduate. In that case, then it is best to study as per daily goals set up when you embark on GATE preparation. I feel that about 30 to 40 hours of effective self-study is required to crack the exam and taste success.


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

Divyanshu Jha: This is student dependent. What works for one may not work for the other. I can just elaborate on my exam strategy. I started with the non-technical section as the questions in these are very easy. They also build your confidence. Then I went on to the 2 marks technical section as they carry the majority weightage. You need a calm confident bent of mind to tackle these. Lastly I attempted the 1 marks technical ones which I felt were easy.


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

Divyanshu Jha: Juggling between my job and preparing for the entrance exam was the toughest thing. I lacked consistency and continuity in my GATE preparation due to my job. To cope up and prepare well, I stuck diligently to the weekly goals I has set up. I also adhered to them strictly.


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

Divyanshu Jha: I thinkGATE difficulty levels are seeing a drop each year. So we have relatively easy papers leading to high GATE cutoffs. But an easy paper doesn’t mean you take it easy. You will have to cover the entire GATE syllabus and leave no stone unturned to be successful.


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

Divyanshu Jha: A high level of accuracy is important to crak GATE. To be there, you need to have covered the entire syllabus well and practice the same. A constant revision, analysis is mandatory to perform well. Achieving this is one tough thing.


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?

Divyanshu Jha: Well you need to put theory to practice. You also need to know how well you can perform after studying the GATE 2018 syllabus. Mock tests are the tools to do that. I think if you solve the question papers from past years at least thrice, you can be confident enough. You can know the topics that carry more weightage and need better focus. A test series from any good coaching centre will help hone the preparation. The other advantage is you learn time management.


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

Divyanshu Jha: Most of my books for ME were enough to prepare for GATE PI. The list is given below:


Reference Books for GATE






P.K Nag


Heat Transfer

Made Easy Class Notes



S K Mondal Notes

Swadesh Sing


Material Science

Made Easy Class Notes & Swadesh Singh


Fluid Mechanics and Machinery

Modi & Seth


Machine Design

VB Bhandari


Strength of Material

Sadhu Singh



Made Easy Class Notes


IC engine

Mathur Sharma


Theory of Machine

SS Ratan

Most Important Tip: Practice with previous year GATE Sample Papers is a must.


Careers360: What did you do for leisure during this intense preparation for GATE? Any specific activities that helped you unwind?

Divyanshu Jha: My interests are shayaris – I love to read them and table tennis which I play in my free time. When I need to unwind or take a break, I read the shayaris or play tennis.


Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Divyanshu Jha: Studying is more pleasurable if you enjoy it and have a purpose.This is one phase of life that will not come back so enjoy it inspite of the busy schedule. Also keep working hard because success is never denied to those who work hard.

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hello careers360 . Im btech 3rd year IT student. my 3-1 has almost completed. And 3-2 is about to start . I want to write GATE-2021 exam .Im an average student with CGPA 6.8. Is there any least possibility that I can crack gate exam. If so could you please suggest me good coaching centre ,strategy

Aditi Amrendra Student Expert 15th Dec, 2019

Nothing is impossible in this world if you will have dedications and discipline towards your goal.
No one is an average student or brilliant students, the only difference between an average students and a brilliant students is the mindset.So, if you will have better mindset then this exam will also be easy for you.Clearing any exam requires hardwork,dedication and discipline.

First of all make a study plan and set targets for daily, weekly and monthly.
Give more importance to those topics which have more chances of having high weightage in the examination and work on your weak areas.

Having right books an sources are must for the preparation so you must have best books.You can find books for preparing from the link below

Focus on Engineering Mathematics and Aptitude Test
The following books can be referred to for Engineering Mathematics:

Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyszig
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A good conceptual understanding will be able to help you during the examination as it will make the questions explanatory which may eventually lead to a correct answer. By having a clear understanding of the concepts, you will be able to apply the concepts accordingly to the questions and solve it instead of relying on rote memory.

Time management is the key.You have college also and you will have to take care of your health so take care of everything accordingly.

You must do revision multiple times.Analyze your preparation. After completing every mock test or solving sample papers, it is important to check and try to correct all of the wrong answers marked by you. This will ensure that you will not wrongly answer the same question next time.

For more advise and interview of GATE toppers, you can click on the link below :

I hope this helps.

can I qualify gate biotechnology with having 70 days in hand? if yes , then please explain the plan of action..

Pankhuri Kumari 14th Dec, 2019

Hii Suraj!

There nothing you can't do. Nothing is impossible. With 70 days in your hand, you can definitely qualify GATE Biotechnology if you are really dedicated. Let me tell you some tips.

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* Solve as many questions and previous year question banks as you can.

* Do smartwork besides hardwork.

* Clear your doubts on the spot and do not gather them for later.

This will help you to succeed. Hope this helps.

Good luck!


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Arin Mishra 14th Dec, 2019


You can get the final result of GATE 2020 on 16th of March 2020 and the score card will be made available from  20th to 30th of March 2020. For more information regarding GATE 2020 You can refer to this link. You can find examination dates, Important dates and admit card information and many other things too.

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Aditi Amrendra Student Expert 14th Dec, 2019

I am.providing you a link below from where you can download samples with answer keys too.

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NTA has released the official syllabus for JEE Mains on September 2. Paper 1 will consist of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Paper 2 for B.Arch. will consist of Mathematics, General aptitude and Drawing section whereas B.Plan. will have Mathematics, General aptitude and Planning.

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