GATE 2018 result announced by IIT Guwahati on March 16 brought closure to the hard work put in by Prince Dhanda who secured an AIR 46 in Mechanical Engineering. A worthy rank in a GATE paper that sees applicants in lakhs, this achievement of Prince is the culmination of a yearlong effort with serious dedication and determination. An alumnus of YMCA University, Faridabad, Prince shares with Careers360 his dreams, reasons for reappearing in GATE, the difference in his approach to preparation this time and more. Read on to know more.

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

Prince Dhanda: I completed my graduation from YMCA University, Faridabad in Mechanical Engineering with 78% marks. My father is a farmer and my mother is a homemaker.

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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?

Prince Dhanda: I appeared in GATE Mechanical Engineering paper. I secured  an AIR 46. My GATE score is 917/1000 and marks are 88.4 out of 100.

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

Prince Dhanda: This is my 2nd attempt. I appeared last year while I was in my final year of college. I had secured an AIR of 1900 rank with 70 marks in GATE 2017. I wasn’t happy with the rank or my performance so I wrote it again but with better preparation


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

Prince Dhanda: I want to work for PSUs. They offer a very good package and I believe that I can build a good career there. PSU Recruitment through GATE is one strong reason for me.


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

Prince Dhanda: Yes, I have applied for NTPCIOCL, HPCL, BPCL, BARC etc. I will apply for the others as soon as they announce the application dates.


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?

Prince Dhanda: My GATE journey actually started in July 2016. I was still in college then. In2017 when I first appeared for GATE, I wasn’t prepared in terms of time management. I couldn’t complete my paper then. That set me back and hence the rank of 1900. I decided to improve myself and give another go to the exam.


I personally believe that the number of hours don’t matter as long as you cover the syllabus and are good with the concepts. However, to answer your question, I did study for 5 to 8 hours when I had classes. When I got free, I increased that to 12 to 15 hours.


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

Prince Dhanda: Yes. I took the Made Easy Classroom Course in 2017. I also took up the test series of ACE Academy. Like I mentioned earlier, speed was the concern for me. If you know the basics, the test series will be of tremendous help. Coaching means having all tests, topics segregated topic wise. This helps in making the preparation efforts precise. I only took up the full length tests thereafter. One thing I would like to suggest is that the PreGATE test series by ACE Academy are good. They simulate the real exam environment and that is really helpful in tackling the actual exam.


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?

Prince Dhanda: Preparation strategy is very simple. Initially, know the basics thoroughly. This you can do using notes by any coaching centre. Don’t get into advanced stuff etc. While learning, remember to make short notes as they can be used for revision. Next step would be practice and more practice. When you don’t know something, learn it and add to your short notes. Do this till you are capable of writing the entire exam. Now revise it again and again till you gain confidence in tackling the GATE paper without making silly mistakes.


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?

Prince Dhanda: Previous year papers and test series play very important roles. For someone who has less time for practice, using the previous year papers will be pretty helpful. However, revision of the syllabus at least 2-3 times is necessary to score good rank. If you check the previous year papers, you can easily tackle about 60-65% of the paper. The thing is that solving the papers will force you to study the concepts and clear them. So either way it is the same thing.


Careers360: Which books did you follow for GATE preparation?

Prince Dhanda: I didn’t actually give time to many books. I just followed Made Easy notes that came with the course I had enrolled with them.


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

Prince Dhanda: Check the past 5 year’s papers. You can narrow down some of the concepts that occur frequently. Those are the heavy weightage ones. So put more focus on them.

Topics like critical radius of heat transfer, exponential smoothing method, economic order quantity, first law of thermodynamics, clapeyron equation, rank of matrix, effectiveness of heat exchanger, newton’s law of viscosity, laminar flow through pipe, non conv maching etc. are some topics that are important to focus on.


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

Prince Dhanda: Keeping my confidence in the face of adversity was tough. Sometimes, I was not able to score well in the mock test even after working hard. I would feel a bit low then. So it is important to keep calm and confident throughout. This I feel was the toughest aspect of my GATE preparation.


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.

Prince Dhanda: I stated off with the 1 mark technical questions followed by questions from the GA section. Finally I tackled the 2 mark technical questions. I could then devote enough time to the 2 mark questions. They are time consuming and form the core of the paper. So my strategy was to complete the easy part first and then devote the rest of the time to the core section. I did lose 5-6 marks on account of silly mistakes. I would also advise the same to other aspirants.


Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Prince Dhanda: Always believe in yourself, put in hard work, practice as much as you can and leave the rest on destiny.

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Questions related to GATE

Showing 14416 out of 14416 Questions

gate qualified students ko upsee k lie registration krna hai ya nhi?

anantikakushwaha 27th May, 2020
Hello Aspirant,

GATE and UPSEE are both entrance examinations. GATE is a national level exam conducted for admission in various Institutes for MTech/ME courses. And also for getting jobs in various PSUs.

While UPSEE is a state level examination conducted for admission in BTech courses for the state of Uttar Pradesh.

when its happening gate exam in every year

Sharon K Rose Student Expert 26th May, 2020


GATE is usually conducted in the month of February once in a year.The official notification will be released in the month of July/August and registrations will begin in the month of September first week tentatively.And results will be announced in the third week of March tentatively.


My Gate score is 558 Electrical Engineering Where can I get a chance

NILUTPOL Student Expert 26th May, 2020
With this GATE score, you have decent chances of getting a seat in NITs and other government engineering colleges for M.Tech. so I would suggest you to use the Careers360 GATE college predictor.

Hope it helps

full details about JRF through GATE 2021exam ?what are the qualifications needed?what is the salary package?how the work is to be?what rank should I get in gate 2021?

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 26th May, 2020


mainly jrf recruitment is done by ugc net score, however institute like iit kharagpur, iit kanpur has lots of research fellow recruitment comes for students who are recently pass course , have interest for research in new technologies, interested to do phd in future ,should apply for jrf positions. however there is no specific number of recruitment do not comes every year, it depends on the projects and funding for hiring of jrf, however by getting good score in gate you may go for course and may apply for psus job.


gate score cut off of BITS hydrabad last year ? and tell me more about BITs hydrabad MTech cs placement and which college is better than bits Hyderabad

Shivang Dubey 26th May, 2020

Hey Anant

BITS gives admission to it's M.E. program through 2 process:

  • BITS HD online test
  • GATE/GPAT score

50% seats for BITS HD test students and 50% seats for students through GATE/GPAT.

According to past year records, one needs to score at least ~650 marks in GATE CS for admission.

Note: Application for BITS HD 2020 is still open, follow to know more; BITS HD 2020

BITS Hyderbad has a good placement record, where in previous years the highest package was 14 lakhs per annum and average salary 6 lakhs per annum. Microsoft, Infosys, Wipro, Samsung were also part of the recruitment drive.

If you get BITS Pilani campus, then it would be better and obviously Indian Institute of Technology and IISc are much preferred for M.Techs.

All the best

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