GATE Preparation Tips - Are you grappling with some question or topic to understand it or do you seek the best strategy to prepare for GATE? Through this GATE Preparation Series, Careers360 is trying to help aspiring candidates in every possible manner. We bring to you GATE preparation tips from coaching experts and professors (who have been the guiding lights for many aspirants) and students who have managed to secured good ranks for them in GATE. In this article, Prof. Vikas Slariya, Head, Engineer Solutions (a leading coaching institute based in Chandigarh)delves on various aspects related to GATE preparation, ranging frommethodology to time table, from must-haves and must-not-haves, from syllabus to revision and the benefits of coaching. He also shares the tips and tricks for GATE Preparation. However, despite GATE preparation tips from the expert, aspiring candidates must note that it’s their hard work that will pay, merely seeking the guidance will not come to their rescue. Let’s know what tips and tricks for GATE preparation has the expert to share.
Quick Facts about GATE 2018
GATE 2018 will be conducted by IIT Guwahati on February 3, 4, 10 and 11 in mulitple sessions. Candidates can start downloading their admit cards of GATE 2018 from January 5 onwards. The test will be conducted in online mode for PSU recruitment and M.Tech admissions. The result of GATE 2018 will be announced on March 17, 2018.
GATE Preparation Tips from Expert Faculty - Prof. Vikas Slariya
Careers360: You have authored a book on GATE and you also conduct classes for GATE aspirants. Tell us something about yourself.
Prof. Slariya: After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer, I completed my masters from Punjab Engineering College and was a Research Fellow at IIT Delhi. I worked for some time with Larsen & Toubro before giving it up to follow my passion for studies and teaching. I am also member with the Institute of Engineers (India).
The work of wiring a book started from the idea when I saw the dearth of a good book which could explain Mechanical Engineering in a simple and concise way along with examples and ample practice papers. The result was the book “Mechanical Engineering for GATE” published by Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
Careers360:M.Tech or a job? What according to you are the factors that should be considered to decide if a student should opt for M.Tech. or take up a job?
Prof. Slariya: Most of the students in India consider a good job as the end to any qualification and that holds true for at least a majority. Sadly, most of the engineers who do not find placement end up pursuing the PG courses through GATE or any other State exam.
Careers360: Does this mean that if they get jobs, they will not pursue M.Tech?
Prof. Slariya: Yes. The unfortunate part is that if a candidate completes M.Tech, he/she is in line with the B.Tech students for a job. How much more bad can it be for a PG qualified person to fight for a job with a lesser qualified person? Hence most of the students opt for M.Tech simply because they don’t have a job in hand and they consider pursuing M.Tech as a better means for securing a job.
Careers360:What difference does it make whether the exam is online or offline? How does it impact the preparation strategies?
Prof. Slariya: It’s just a matter of mindset. What the students used to do using pen and pencil, they will now do with the mouse and a computer. Actually what one should understand is to have a good understanding of the systems, their careers and other aspects of their lives.
The preparation strategies do not change simply because the GATE exam syllabus is the same, the amount of hard work needed is the same. All that has changed is the exam mode.
Careers360: Is there a different strategy to follow in case of candidates who are interested in careers in leading PSUs?
Prof. Slariya: No. If one prepares for GATE, it is enough for PSU recruitment, as the PSU exams lack detail and depth which candidates find in GATE exam. Speed matters in these exams and not the subject quality. What people should know is that GATE is to test the students whether they are capable of studying further in their chosen fields for which they require in depth knowledge and a thorough grasp of the basics.
The PSU exams on the other hand just test the basics. The PSU exams are conducted to sift through the large number of candidates for a limited number of positions.
Careers360: What are the other exams besides GATE that a student can appear in for PG programmes? How different the preparation should be for other exams in comparison with GATE?
Prof. Slariya: All the state-conducted exams are equally good. They are not in the same league as GATE but at the same time are extremely good. Preparation wise, GATE is tougher than the rest of the exams so it requires extra hard work. The state level examinations are also tough though not as GATE. But I would say that a student must not think that this is a state level exam so it doesn’t require much effort.
The preparation should be equally intense if the aim is to crack the exam - be it state or GATE.
Careers360:What should be the time management strategy for GATE aspirants? How many hours do you think a student should ideally put in everyday for GATE preparation?
Prof. Slariya: Ideally, if a student prepares for a year, the results would be very good provided the preparation is intense. But it is a hypothetical situation as most students start 5 to 6 months prior to the examination. This I feel is adequate if a student is dedicated and studies hard with the aim of reaching the goal. 5 to 6 hours of intense study daily should be sufficient for a good student.
Careers360:Please share strategies that a student should follow for GATE preparation?
Prof. Slariya: I believe that students will do well only if they are clear with their basic concepts. Hence the first three months, we get to clear the concepts of the students in their respective subjects at our coaching institute. It is a sad state of affairs that many colleges have inadequate quality faculty. Many students do not have the basic engineering knowledge. So we try and get students that clarity. Once this is done, we start off with the GATE practice papers. Ideally, the more the number of practice papers a candidate solves, the more are the chances of cracking GATE. I would say if a candidate can solve the past 10 years’ GATE question papers, it would be good.
Careers360: Preparation strategies differ with time. What do you think should be the strategy/priority of a student in the following situations?
Prof. Slariya: When you have time of 6 months prior to the examination, you must check your knowledge of the concepts and be clear. Then practice papers must be worked on to get equipped better. Starting for 1 month prior to the exam, 10 days prior to the exam and a day prior to the exam, emphasis should be on no stress and plenty of practice. Equally important would be to brush up the important and difficult topics to leave no stone unturned.
Careers360:What are the benefits of coaching? When should a student opt for coaching?
Prof. Slariya: I would say good guidance comes from coaching. Many students who come down do not have any idea and they also possess little subject knowledge. It is our prerogative to get them on par. So yes, a good coach definitely matters and that I feel is necessary considering the large number of average engineering colleges that have come up in recent years.
Careers360:Please state the importance of mock tests. What should be the frequency of taking mock tests? How to improvise after each mock test?
Prof. Slariya: GATE Mock Tests play an important role. Mock Tests are necessary to gauge where a candidate stands in terms of subject knowledge. The other reasons are that time management skills of the students are honed, familiarity with the GATE test pattern comes and such.
Careers360: How do students choose the institute to study in?
Prof. Slariya: This is tricky but then even I don’t know how to exactly pinpoint the factors for choosing the institute. It depends upon the rank, the course, the facilities and many other such factors. Candidates must keep in mind that it is better for them to go with the course that is an extension of their discipline in graduation. Other than that, I feel the students appearing for GATE are extremely aware of the choices they need to make. So they do not really need so much of advice about these things.
Careers360: Any message you would like to share with the GATE aspirants?
Prof. Slariya: Get your basics right that’s it. Nothing more. GATE is all about the subject, so get thorough in it.
Stay tuned to engineering.careers360.com for more news and updates on GATE Preparation by Experts.
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