With GATE examination coming right around the corner, the candidates across the nation are certainly feeling the pressure. GATE, which is a national level examination for M.Tech admission and PSU recruitments is attempted each year by thousands of applicants. As the exam draws nearer, the tips and preparation strategies are perhaps what is searched and required the most by the candidates. Careers360 speaks with Prof. Kishore Kashyap, Director of Logic Gate Studies, Raipur. He has also authored ‘ECE for GATE’ by Mc Graw Hill Publication. Prof. Kashyap did his M.Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2005.
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GATE 2018 examination will be held on February 3, 4, 10 and 11, 2018. The candidates can fill the application form of GATE 2018 till October 5, 2017. GATE 2018 Result will be announced on March 17, 2018.
GATE Expert Talk - Prof. Kashyap shares GATE Preparation Strategy
Careers360: What factors should students consider while taking decision if he should take up a job, prepare for GATE or take some new stream e.g., MBA?
Prof. Kashyap: While taking any decision about the career student should focus on following factors
Self-knowledge: Student must have knowledge or understanding of one's own capabilities, character, feelings, or motivations. The decision of going for job or prepare for GATE or any other competitive exam should be taken on the basis of own capabilities, it should not be influenced by friend’s decision.
Knowledge of career options: If someone is opting for job then he/she must have the knowledge about work culture, job profile, salary growth plan, income and benefits, location of job, work environment, prospects and advancement etc. If someone is opting for higher studies then he/she must have the knowledge about study culture of M.Tech or MBA, pedagogy, colleges, fee structure, stipends and other benefits, campus placement, etc.
Careers360: What is ideal time one should start preparation for GATE? How difficult is GATE for students coming from average rated and state level colleges?
Prof. Kashyap: No wrong time to start the right thing. In most of the universities across India GATE syllabus of ECE is covered in 3rd to 6th semester, so it is good to start preparing for GATE from 3rd semester. Qualified faculty crisis is a major problem in average rated and state level colleges, and most of the students in these colleges struggle to pass the semester exams, GATE is a far cry for them. Students have to rely on coaching classes and questions banks to fight the semester exams after all these if patience permits then they can think about cracking GATE. If I tell you frankly, there are colleges that are below average. And I am rating them not on the basis of rank of students who got admissions only but quality of faculties that teach them for 4 years. Poor quality of faculty doesn’t give them opportunity to prepare for national exams like GATE. Most of the students in such colleges don’t really think at all to prepare for GATE. Also, focus of major section remains in campus placement rather than higher education.
Careers360: There are approximately 5 months left for GATE. What should be the strategy and focus area for the aspirants at this point?
Prof. Kashyap: Ideally, students must try to complete the syllabus of GATE by the end of November and they should keep December reserved for revision. In January and February students should solve previous year questions papers, exercise problems and Mock tests and work on the weak points only.
If a student has not started the preparation yet, I assure you, GATE is an achievable target. I have come across students who started preparation in September-October and score very well and meet the GATE cutoff.
You have around 4 months in hand if you start your preparation now, if you devote 5-6 hours daily the goal is in reach.
Ensure you make your study plan according to the syllabus. The syllabus precisely mentions the topics and you should make your plan accordingly.
Do solve all the questions from GATE’s last 10 year Papers. This will give you clarity on the exam pattern and type of questions that may be asked this year.
Important Topics for GATE ECE Branch Candidates:
Digital Circuits etc.
These topics are given comparatively higher weightage so you must give more time and efforts on them. Topics like Digital Communication and Antenna are comparatively tough and needs more time to study. If you have not yet started preparation, you can skip the topics like these and can focus on other important topics as time is very limited.
Careers360: A big percentage of GATE Aspirants are also aiming at lucrative PSU Jobs. Also do students opt for research as career after M.Tech?
Prof. Kashyap: If you are appearing in GATE for PSU recruitment then competition is very tough because you have to be in top 300 students to get a interview call from PSUs. For admission in M.Tech course in IITs you can get call for 1000 rank also.
In PSUs, majority of seats are for Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering candidates. The numbers of seats for Electronics and Communication Engineering candidates are very limited. A rank below 500 can get you into PSU. Based on salary offered, NTPC, ONGC, IOCL can be considered as best PSUs for ECE candidates.
One can get admission into old IITs at rank upto 1500 for MS courses or in the interdisciplinary courses. MS is a 3 year course whereas M.Tech is 2 year course.
IITs like IIT Hyderabad are also offering integrated courses of M.Tech+PhD which can also be considered.
Also, IITs are good and comparable on International platform. The faculties are world class which gives opportunity to learn from best faculties globally.
Not many students opt for research as career majorly because of family pressure and peer pressure. In India we are judged on what we earn but not on what we learn. If I talk about IIT Delhi from where I studied, not many students opted for career in research (Only students with 9+ CGPA opted for PhD majorly).
You should go into research only and only if that’s what your passion is. After investing 4 years of graduation, 2/3 years in masters and 2-4 years in PhD if you find out that’s not you wanted to do, that cannot be a good state to be in.
Careers360: A lot of GATE aspirants also prepare for IES or vice versa. How should one balance the preparation of IES and GATE?
Prof. Kashyap: In GATE exam all the questions are numerical based, you won’t find questions based on theory. In IES technical part objective questions are based on theory and numerical questions are very straight forward. Hence for GATE preparations one has to be good in solving numerical questions, whereas for IES theoretical part should also be strong. For subjective paper in IES, student must know the basic theory, derivation and related numerical for almost all the topics.
There are about 50-60 seats for ECE candidates in IES (Approx). IES is like elite club of students who studied very well with full dedication. It can be compared to Civil Services (IAS). Now here it’s not just theory that takes you there, its overall personality and how practical you are about implementing what you have studied.
Careers360: What exams other than GATE student can appear in? How different is preparing for other exams when compared with GATE?
Prof. Kashyap: While preparing for GATE students can appear in PSU exams like, SAIL, DRDO, ISRO, HAL , State electricity board etc. State conduct examinations for recruiting for its departments like PWD, State Electricity Board, Prasar Bharti etc that can also be good option for the candidates. There are state level PG exams as well the students can opt but GATE is biggest examination in India and score is accepted nationally. Also MHRD provides stipend to candidates who have GATE scores in IITs/NITs/State Level Govt. colleges as well which is roughly around 8,000 INR.
Careers360: Electronics and Communication Engineering attracts highest number of GATE registrations. Does it make the competition even difficult?
Prof. Kashyap: Nowadays, companies are hiring lesser number of Electronics and Communication Engineers, you find more number of jobless Electronics and Communication Engineers as compared to Engineers of other branches. If engineers don’t have any option then they go for GATE exams.
Since PSU option is limited M.Tech is major option. To get into IIT, a candidate might be facing interview too.
The interview at IIT would not be as like of PSUs. PSU interview will be intense and they would be looking for your practical and analytical skills along with theoretical knowledge. Only a good GATE score cannot get you PSU job.
Generally 4:1 ratio is followed in PSUs so one must ensure he/she is clear about his subject, skills, projects/internships done in graduation and basic interview questions.
Careers360: What should be the time management strategy of a GATE Aspirant? Is it possible for a working professional prepare and crack GATE?
Prof. Kashyap: Student should study in sessions of 3 or 4 hours. One session in morning and another session in night are sufficient. One should try to make a group of 3 to 4 GATE aspirants of same stream because group study is very helpful.
Careers360: How would you rate the importance of Mock Tests? How should a student plan to check his status using mock examinations?
Prof. Kashyap: Mock tests are self assessment tests, these tests will help the students to identify the weak areas, and student can improve their performance by rectifying weak points. Also GATE \candidates must ensure they practice few online mock papers to get habitual to the pattern.
Careers360: Please suggest books for Electronics and Communication Engineering aspirants of GATE.
Prof. Kashyap: Other than the book I have authored ‘ECE for GATE’ (Mc Graw Hill Publication), students should follow:
Network – Schaum’s Series for Electric Circuit
Signals and Systems – Schaum’s Series for Signals and Systems
Control Systems - Linear Control System by B.S. Manke
Electronic Devices – Semiconductor physics and Devices by Donald Neamen
Analog Circuits – Electronic Circuits by Donald Neamen
Digital Circuits – Digital Fundamentals by Thomas L. Floyd
Electromagnetics – Elements of Electromagnetics by M.E. Sadiku
Engineering Maths – B.S. Grewal
Communication System – Schaum’s Series for Analog and Digital Communication
Careers360: Any other message you would like to share with the GATE aspirants?
Prof. Kashyap: Solve more and more number of numerical questions and solve previous 10 to 15 years GATE questions.
Student this it’s all technical and keeps on working on books and questions. GATE has specified syllabus clearly and planning should be done accordingly. Previous year question is a must. There is section of aptitude of 15 marks and it’s not tough at all. So English part should be worked a bit to score well. I am sure if students give regular effort from now on itself they can do well in this year’s GATE. I wish good luck to all the GATE aspirants.
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