GATE 2019 Topper Interview - Gaurav Srivastava has emerged as one of the GATE toppers in the Electrical Engineering paper, securing AIR 27, the result of which was released by IIT Madras on March 15. He secured 92.67 out of 100. A combination of strong determination, undivided focus and hours of self-study, helped Gaurav Srivastava, one of the toppers of GATE 2019 exam. He appeared in GATE 2018 but not got enough score for getting into the PSU’s. “It feels really good and I want to thank my parents; they have always helped me to achieve this mark”, Gaurav Srivastava said. Speaking about his preparation strategy, Gaurav Srivastava didn’t take any coaching and he believes self-study is the best method of preparation. In an exclusive interview with Careers360, Gaurav Srivastava, GATE 2019 Topper talked about GATE examination, his preparation strategy, challenges, and also gave some tips for aspirants.
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Careers360: Tell us something about yourself; Where have you done your engineering from and in which branch?
Gaurav Srivastava: My name is Gaurav Srivastava. I’m from a small town Ballia in UP currently residing in Lucknow. I had completed my B Tech in Electrical Engineering in 2018 from Shri Ramswaroop Memorial College of Engg and Mgmt affiliated to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow.
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Careers360: What was the GATE Paper you appeared in? What rank did you get in GATE 2019? What is your GATE
Gaurav Srivastava: I appeared in paper EE in GATE 2019 and secured AIR 27 with 92.67 marks.
Careers360: Is this your first attempt or did you attempt GATE earlier?
Gaurav Srivastava: No, it was my second attempt. In 2018, I appeared for Gate for the first time and couldn’t get a good rank (my rank was 479) due to college works and lack of proper guidance and study materials.
Careers360: What was the reason you appeared for GATE 2019? Please elaborate.
Gaurav Srivastava: I am from a private college so there is only one way i.e., to appear in the GATE to get into good core sector jobs or IITs for better higher studies.
Careers360: Have you applied to any PSUs recruiting through GATE? Which ones?
Gaurav Srivastava: I have applied to all the PSUs recruiting through GATE like NTPC, PGCIL, IOCL, POSOCO, BARC etc.
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?
Gaurav Srivastava: I started my preparation from mid of 4th year of my B Tech. I read all the standard textbooks thoroughly and prepared self-notes. I used to devote 3-4 hours in college working days and about 10 hours a day on weekends.
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?
Gaurav Srivastava: Yes sure. I built my concepts while preparing for GATE 2018 but can’t practice many questions due to time constraints. I started for GATE 2019 in the month of July-August and this time my sole aim was to practice a lot of questions so I joined test series of two institutes i.e., Kreatryx and ace academy and also solved question banks like RK Kanodia.
The time table is required but there is no hard and fast rule. One must be clear that how much time is required for particular a subject. Then instead of making a time table for 6 months, try to set your daily or short term goals.
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?
Gaurav Srivastava: Mock tests are very much important for a gate aspirants. At this point, I would like to clear that tests should be an integral part of one’s preparation i.e., one shouldn’t think that I will cover the entire subject then give a test.
Previous year question papers are important and must be solved as a whole in a span of 3 hours, not by subject wise as it gives a clear idea of the level of preparation. Only previous year question papers can’t guarantee success.
Careers360: Which books did you follow for GATE preparation? Please name some very important must-read books for GATE
Gaurav Srivastava: I followed standard books and NPTEL lectures along with some free online resources. Following are the sources which I have followed apart from previous year gate questions:
Power Electronics: video lecture by BG Fernandes, IIT Bombay, PS Bimbhra, Ned Mohan, Question Bank by BNSS Shankar (Available online).
Electrical machines: PS Bimbhra, NPTEL lectures by Prof. D. Kastha
Power systems: CL Wadhwa, Stevesons and QB by BNSS Shankar
Network: Alexander Sadiku, Schaum’s series
Control system: M Gopal, Norman Nise
Digital: Moris Mano
Signal and systems: Oppenheim and NPTEL lectures by S.C. Dutta Roy
Measurement: AK Shawney
Maths: BS Grewal
Careers360: Which are the topics one should focus more on? Kindly give us some details
Gaurav Srivastava: One should focus more on semiconductor devices, choppers, inverters, dc machines, transformers, op-amps etc but one must cover each and every topic given in gate syllabus.
Careers360: what was the toughest aspect of your GATE preparation?
Gaurav Srivastava: The toughest part is to retain the concepts for which continuous revision of short notes is required.
Careers360: What did you do for leisure? Any specific activities that helped you unwind?
Gaurav Srivastava: I used to listen to music to relieve the pressure. One must take care of health also (I suffered a lot as I ignored this.)
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.
Gaurav Srivastava: Yes, I have made a strategy for how to attempt gate exam and followed the same for giving the mock tests also. I used to attempt in sequence i.e., first aptitude section then 1 marks technical and after that 2 marks questions. I allocated more time for 2 marks questions (approx. 90 mins) and keep some time reserved for last moment revision. One must skip a question if it seems tough and attempt those at a later stage.
Careers360: What did you feel was a tough thing for you in the GATE exam?
Gaurav Srivastava: This year exam is very easy for electrical engineering so there is no such difficulty in the execution of strategy.
Careers360: Any advice for the future aspirants?
Gaurav Srivastava: I prepared from the self-study that too from a private college (not reputed like IITs, NITs) and I strongly believe one can do better with a proper strategy, hard work and above all family support.
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It is directly or indirectly related with ME. So
If you like thermal, apply for ME, If you don't like thermal apply for PI.
In other terms, if you like manufacturing and management - apply for PI.
You must know that seats for ME in IIT's are 900+ whereas for Manufacturing and production it is around 150+ only.
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