GATE 2018 Topper Interview Prateek Gupta AIR 32 (ME) - “Patience, Perseverance & Planning bring success”
Surbhi Mehtani, 17 Mar 2018, #GATE
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The announcement of GATE 2018 result on March 16 had in store a reward for Prateek Gupta for his hard work and dedicated efforts. The boy from Kalpi secured an AIR 32 in ME and made his long awaited dreams come out. Strategic planning and understanding the importance of appearing and securing a rank in GATE motivated Prateek to go on in his struggle. He has done his graduation from GLA University, Mathura and has plans to work in a PSU. Prateek started preparing for GATE in his last year of graduation. His planning coupled with execution in the right direction helped him get his share of success. Read Prateek’s preparation strategy, struggle and success mantra in an exclusive interview with Careers360.

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

Prateek Gupta: I have done my engineering from GLA University, Mathura in Mechanical branch.

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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?

Prateek Gupta: I appeared in GATE 2018 Mechanical Engineering paper. I secured an AIR 32. My GATE 2018 normalised score is 928 and marks are 89.42.


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

Prateek Gupta: No, this is my third attempt. In GATE 2016, I secured 56.53 marks and had 4765 rank. In 2017, I secured 63.22 marks with 4209 as rank.


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

Prateek Gupta: Firstly, I wanted to score better and appearing in GATE 2018 would have provided me with many opportunities like a job with PSUs such as ONGC, IOCL, NTPC, GAIL etc. I can also choose to pursue higher studies in institutes like IISc & IITs. For students like me, who have done their graduation from private colleges, where there are no chances to get placed in good companies, GATE is a must.


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

Prateek Gupta: Yes, I have applied for ISRO, BARC & THDC for PSU recruitment.


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?

Prateek Gupta: I started my preparation in my final year of graduation. Whatever subjects I studied during that time, I figured out the ones important from GATE point of view such as fluid mechanics, strength of material, theory of machine & Maths. This way, I started focusing on those subjects from the very beginning of my preparation. I tried to solve as many numerical questions as possible and kept on revising the subjects multiple times. I would say that practice and revision are the two most important things for scoring good marks in GATE. I think study should not be time oriented, it should be target oriented. Every morning, I used to set a goal such as, “today I will solve all questions of SOM, revise formula of Maths” and I followed this schedule sincerely.


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

Prateek Gupta: Yes, I have taken coaching from Made Easy, Delhi. It helped a lot by providing all the study material needed for GATE preparation.


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?

Prateek Gupta: I will suggest that start your preparation as early as possible as this will benefit you. I know many students who started their preparation from their second year of graduation.


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?

Prateek Gupta: Mock tests are the final step of preparation and the most important one also. Without giving up mock tests, the preparation that you have done is of no use as they help to convert your study into results. Giving mock tests will give you confidence. I would suggest that try to give as many mock tests as possible because these tests will help you find out where you are lacking in your preparation, what mistakes you have made during mocks. It is important to write down all of your mistakes, rectify them and revise them continuously.


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

Prateek Gupta: To be honest, I haven’t followed many books for GATE. I used to refer to Made Easy class notes only. However, I checked some books for some particular topics in which I was not confident. I have listed out some of the important books for GATE.


Important books for GATE





Fluid Mechanics

R.K. Bansal (Numerical point of view), Frank M.White (For understanding)


Heat Transfer

Cengel (For understanding concept)





Production Engineering

Swadesh Singh


Theory of Machine (TOM)

S.S. Ratan

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

Prateek Gupta: According to me, Maths and Aptitude combined together give around 30 marks and this should be focused more on. Other topics are TOM, SOM, FM, TERMO.


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

Prateek Gupta: For me, the toughest aspect was to score good marks in the test series and mock tests as well as rectify mistakes made during mock tests.


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

Prateek Gupta: I am a huge fan of cricket. I used to watch cricket matches. I also used to watch motivational speeches on YouTube.


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. 

Prateek Gupta: I attempted the technical section first and aptitude in the end. But I feel that the section in which you are strong should be attempted first.


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

Prateek Gupta: I think it’s about maintaining accuracy because some of my friends are very intelligent but they couldn’t succeed because of lack of accuracy.


Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Prateek Gupta: I would say that just believe in yourself and remember Patience, Perseverance and Planning are required to succeed in life.

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Ameya Narendra Parkar 10th Dec, 2019
Dear Nirav
I would like to tell you Reference books are really important while preparing for GATE OR UPSC EXAMS
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Reference book will helps you in nourishing your knowledge and concepts and also your understanding of particular subject.
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2 year drop for GATE exam .............????

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Is 70 marks in GATE is sufficient to get any PSU for electrical for general category?

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Hi Syam!

There are no measurements which could enable you to realize what rank/marks will cause you to get set in PSU's. It fluctuates from test to test, relies upon characteristics of the toppers, paper trouble level and selection of hopefuls who scores superior to you and also it will be based on number of vacancies in PSU that particular year you are appearing for GATE exam. In any case, for a definite sure determination in a PSU then you ought to be in TOP 200.

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Hope this helps!

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