GATE 2019 Topper Interview Uditya Raj (AIR 19 -CE) - “The exam is about accuracy, remaining calm”
Richa Kapoor, 16 Mar 2019, #GATE
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All the hard work done by the Uditya Raj has finally paid off as he is among the GATE 2019 toppers and has secured 19 rank in civil engineering. The young lad who pursued his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Roorkee) was elated as strives to make his way to the public sector units which admit candidates on the basis of GATE 2019 score. GATE topper 2019 Uditya Raj was never very eager to work in non-core areas and wanted a job where he could work on civil engineering projects. Talking about his preparation strategy, GATE topper Uditya Raj stressed on maintaining accuracy in the GATE exam and added that one should remain cheerful and productive. During his leisure , Uditya Raj used to play volley ball as it used to help him destress.In an exclusive interview with Careers360, Uditya Raj, GATE topper 2019 provides valuable tips to the future aspirants which also include the books that they should consult as well as the mistakes that they should avoid. 
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Careers360: Tell us something about yourself; where have you done your engineering from and in which branch?
Uditya Raj: My name is Uditya Raj. My hobbies include playing different sports and physical training. I completed B.Tech in Civil engineering from IIT Roorkee in the year 2018.
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?
Uditya Raj:  I had appeared in the civil engineering paper. I got 19 rank. My  marks out of 100 are 80.51  and GATE score is 941.  
Careers360: What was the reason you appeared for GATE 2019? Please elaborate your reasons.
Uditya Raj: In college when most of the people in different branches were busy getting jobs in non-core i.e. Business development, Coding etc. I didn't feel good about it. I wanted to work in civil engineering projects. Although, there were limited placements for those profiles and I didn't get one. I felt as if my degree and studies in the core civil engineering were unworthy until I get to know about GATE. So, for me it's an opportunity to work in the core area as many PSUs recruitment are based on it.
Careers360: Have applied to any PSUs recruiting through GATE 2018?you 
Uditya Raj: Yes, I have applied for PGCIL, BARC, 
IOCL. I am also planning to apply for ONGC, RITES when they are open for application.
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?
Uditya Raj: I started my preparation in May 2018 for 
GATE 2019. During college I had studied 50% of the syllabus of GATE, which included just the basic concepts. So, I had to study many things and practice. In the stage of preparation I usually gave online test series. I had two online test series so that I revised by making mistakes in the tests only. It felt boring when I just turned the pages to revise, it felt like 'I know that'. Test series pointed out the areas of my negligence.
Approximately 10 hrs a day.
Careers360: Have you taken any coaching? If yes- From where? How did it help?

Uditya Raj: Yes, I joined IES Master in Regular Classroom Program for GATE and ESE which started from 28 May 2018 in Katwaria Sarai. Apart from classroom studies it helped in many aspects like concise and sufficient study material, regular offline tests and online test series. But I will say, at the end it is available to all so how one uses them is what matters.
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?

Uditya Raj: Although I would suggest to study the GATE 2019 syllabus first hand in the college itself as there is ample time, giving 2 hours daily would be sufficient for 3rd and 4th year but yes many didn't get the proper support. Once a person has completely studied the topics he/she should give 3-4 effective months with an online test series to practice questions and get accustomed to giving online tests.

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I changed my timetable many times. I used to atke break of 30 minutes after every three hours of studying continuously.  I had always had the daily schedule with 7 hrs sleep and 45minitues of physical training and I must say that this has helped me keep my calm and remain productive throughout the day.
Careers360: How should one schedule answering the GATE exam – which section to attempt first and which next?

Uditya Raj: I can share my approach plan. I gave ~2hrs of time to questions for the first go in which I didn't give more than 3 mins to any question and marked the questions which involved much calculations. In the second go I gave time to lengthy questions which demands more time. In the third go I attempted the marked questions again to reduce the errors in calculations.
I always attempted aptitude part first, then 2 marks questions and then 1 mark questions. It was because 2 marks questions are difficult and doing it in the end would create many errors.

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Careers360: What was the toughest aspect in your GATE preparation?
Uditya Raj:  One of the thing which I found most difficult during the GATE exam was the silly mistakes that I made. 
Careers360: Name some important Topics that you feel are a must read for any student attempting GATE exam?

Uditya Raj: It's a big syllabus and many topics are important, although, going through previous year questions one can get the feel of the mostly touched areas of every subject/topic.
Careers360: What did you feel was a tough thing in the GATE exam?

Uditya Raj: This year's paper was tough. Tough in a way that it needed some analytical thinking and not just regular formulae. I liked that thing because I had hard time remembering formulae. Generally I remember only limited regular formulae and try to derive the others and that helped.
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?

Uditya Raj: Mock tests are the best preparation if you take them seriously. By mock tests one get to know about there areas of improvement. Previous years questions give a sense of the type of questions asked in the exam, but only when you attempt questions in limited time frame is when you get to know your thought process during an exam. And looking at the trend it's not as old times when few questions used to be repeated. So, GATE mock test is essential and previous year questions are optional in my perspective.
Careers360: Which books did you follow for GATE preparation?Pls name some very important must read books for GATE

Uditya Raj: After coming to Delhi, I followed IES Master study materials. Previously when I studied in college I used different books as suggested by professors.

Topic 

Name of the book and author 

Highway engineering

Khanna and Justo

Soil mechanics and foundation engineering.

Gopal and Ranjan 

Environment 1 and 2 

SK Garg 

Open channel flow and engineering hydrology

K Subramanya

Steel

Bhavikati

RCC

Pillai and Menon


One might refer to these to understand particular concepts or their weak concepts.
Careers360: What did you do for leisure? Any specific activities that helped you unwind?

Uditya Raj:  I have been a volleyball player at my college. I felt a level of fitness which I didn't want to lose. For that I give 45 mins daily on physical training. It made me more productive and cheerful during the preparations. When I skip them for 4-5 days, I used to feel dull. 
Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?

Uditya Raj:  GATE exam is about accuracy so be careful when you feel that question is easy. Because when it's easy you can't afford a mistake. Work on your thought process. Be cheerful. Preparations doesn't mean always be stressful, but it definitely mean doing the needful. Work on your daily plan and do the needful. I have always tried to be cheerful and productive at the same time. And I think that is all one needs from inside. On the planning side, one must understand everyone is different and there can be different daily plans accordingly. And when your plan leads to results it's joyful. At last it's your journey and destination, have fun.

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