How to Prepare for GATE 2019 Computer Science Engineering (CSE)!
Manashjyoti, 02 Feb 2019, #GATE

How to Prepare for GATE 2019 Computer Science Engineering (CSE): Computer science is one of the most in-demand M.Tech courses at top institutes like NITs and IITs. So to have a good chance of admission at any of these institutes, it is crucial the candidate gets a good score in the paper. The GATE 2019 paper for CS will be held on February 3 in the morning shift. But GATE being a national-level exam that is attempted by around 9 lakh candidates, a simple preparation strategy may not suffice. For example, even a candidate with deep knowledge may falter if he/she lacks speed or panics during the exam. It is precisely why we decided to take a closer look at GATE 2019 - How to Prepare for CSE. IIT Madras has conducted the GATE 2019 in online mode on February 2 & 3 and 9 & 10.

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How to Prepare for GATE 2019 Computer Science Engineering (CSE)

Computer Science Engineering is one of the 24 papers for which GATE 2019 entrance exam will be conducted. While some of the sections are the same for all papers, there are other sections that are subject-specific and require thorough practice. Through this article on how to prepare for GATE computer science engineering (CSE), we help you understand the subject better and also tell you how to improve your scoring. 

Find out what is in the syllabus. Once you do that you will immediately know your standing. If you feel that you have most of the topics covered included in the GATE syllabus, you needn’t be bothered about reading and re-reading the same topics. Instead, you may focus your energy on other stuff like solving sample and previous years’ GATE question papers. However, if you are not so well placed, you have to break the syllabus into smaller parts, prioritize them, for tacking them in the coming days.

Make a schedule and follow it. The schedule will ensure you go about your preparation in an organized way keeping tab of your progress along the way. When making the timetable, make space for revision and for topics that may require a bigger effort.

During your preparation, if any topics are taking a lot of preparation time, but you are unable to make any headway, better leave that topic and focus on other topics. Once you are done with the rest of the topics, you can focus on the difficult ones.

Check out the exam pattern. Most candidates know the finer points of GATE 2019 exam pattern. But still, there is no harm in taking a second look. Also, there is every chance that the exam conducting body may make a few little changes here and there. If the candidates are updated on these changes, there is less chance of being surprised on exam day and losing valuable marks.

Key points of GATE 2019 exam pattern

  • The question paper will be of 3 hours

  • There will be 65 questions of total 100 marks

  • Question types will be Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions.

  • There is negative marking for MCQs, though not for NAT questions

  • The question paper will three parts – General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics, and Subject-specific part

Solve sample and previous years question papers. The reason being, they contain the similar type of questions to the ones that are likely to be asked in GATE. By solving GATE question paper and sample papers candidate can access the type and difficulty level of questions, which will help the candidate stay grounded. Also, if the candidate solves enough of them, it will give the candidate tremendous confidence, teach time management (provided the candidate sets a timer every time he/she solves them).

In many cases, it has also been found that questions asked in subsequent years, though may not be repeated, bear a striking similarity. If that happens the candidate can score some easy marks, and that too without much effort.

Revise extensively. The more you revise, the better you will retention ability will be. So, every time you finish a chapter, make sure that you have made provisions for timely revision. The working principle should be you must have more frequent revisions for difficult topics.

Take notes when studying. The notes should include all the important points, including pain points – so that you remember them and could devise a plan to solve them, and also formulas. Well prepared notes will relieve you of the task of going through entire blocks of lengthy tests unless you need it. So, the revision will become faster and more effective. Additionally, notes are much easier to carry around if you are travelling, meaning you needn’t have to miss out on your preparation.

Take mock tests. As you move into the final stage of your preparation, you need to test your exam readiness. GATE mock tests are tailor-made for the purpose as they are designed as per prescribed exam guidelines. The candidate can take both official and unofficial mock tests. The official mock tests will be made available by IIT Madras, around the 4th week of November. Taking these tests, the candidate can also get familiar with the functionalities of the online exam, whether it is color palette showing the status of questions, or navigating across different sections.

Try to stay calm. The final days leading to the exam are bound to be different from the early preparation stage. But that shouldn’t be a reason for you to skip sleep or meals. If you do that you are only complicating matters. Rather you must cut down your study hours a bit in these last few days and instead focus on your mental side. Wake up in the morning, do some yoga or breathing exercises or some form of exercise, to loosen the muscle and tension building up inside. You will feel a lot better and energized for the day! 

Important Books for GATE Computer Science Engineering (CSE)

In the table below, topic-wise books to prepare for GATE CSE have been given for the benefit of the candidate. Many on the list are used by the toppers themselves and recommended by experts.

GATE Computer Science Engineering (CSE): Important Books

GATE Topic

Books and Author 

Engineering Mathematics

Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications by Kenneth Rosen

Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyszig

Digital Logic

Digital Design by Morris Mano

Digital Electronics by S. Salivahanan & S. Arivazhagan

Computer Organization and Architecture

Computer Architecture – A Quantitative Approach by Hennessy and Patterson

Computer Organization and Embedded systems by Carl Hamacher

Programming and Data Structures

The C Programming language by Dennis Richie

Classic Data Structures by Debasis Samanta


Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen
Data Structures & Algorithms by R.S. Salaria

Theory of Computation

An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata by Peter Linz

NPTEL lectures by Kamala Krithivasan

Compiler Design

Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools by Aho & Ullman

Compiler Design in C by Allen I Holub

Operating System

Operating System Concepts by Galvin

Operating Systems by Stallings


Database System Concepts by Henry. F. Korth

Normalization and indexing by Shamkant B. Navathe

Computer Networks

Data Communications and Networking by Kurose & Ross and Behrouz A. Forouzan

Computer Networks by Peterson & Davie

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