How to prepare for GATE while working

How to prepare for GATE while workingHow to prepare for GATE while working - Take a straw poll of candidates with full-time jobs on how difficult it is to prepare for GATE, and the common sentiment that generally comes across is that it is even tougher than attempting to bell the cat. Many grudge that the GATE syllabus is too tough and going about surmounting it in an ad-hoc basis is an exercise in futility. If one looks at regular GATE candidates, many start their preparation at least a year in advance, and they also have the luxury of being in regular touch with their GATE syllabus. Contrast this with candidates no longer in touch with GATE subjects, having passed their degrees a year a two earlier, attempting to tame GATE while working. The competition really is tilted in favour of fresh candidates. But if you are ready to throw in the towel yet, please pause! It is because we can help you get battle ready and instil all the confidence you need to crack GATE. Take a look at what the key factors and obstacles are to know how to prepare for GATE while working.


GATE 2018: Important Facts

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Conducting Institute: IIT Guwahati
Application Dates: August 31 to October 9, 2017
Dates of Exam: February 3, 4, 10 and 11, 2018

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Result: The result of GATE 2018 will be declared on March 17, 2018


Conquer GATE – by following the below tips!


If you intend to qualify GATE 2018, the first thing you have to do is forget all ifs and buts and be ready to go the whole hog. Remember, just like there is no prize for coming second, if you fall short no amount of consolation would be enough. Once you have set your target on GATE 2018, it all boils down to maximizing preparation time and making the best use of it. Throw in a few smart strategies here and there, like carrying a printout of important points in hand for revision whenever you get free time, and you have an effective strategy. So, here go some tips to prepare for GATE while working!!


GATE 2018 – First step starts with learning about the exam


Whether you are a fresh graduate or someone who has been working for the last few years, preparation for GATE 2018 starts with knowing your adversary inside out. Check whether you are eligible for GATE 2018, what are the subjects covered, syllabus, and exam pattern. Learning about these elements will give you direction and purpose as well as help you understand the path you need to take. 


Exam Pattern of GATE 2018: The exam pattern of GATE 2018 will give the candidate preparing for GATE while working idea about the type of questions asked, marking scheme, and number of sections included in the question paper.

  • The duration of the test will be three hours

  • A total of 65 questions will be asked for 100 marks

  • Two types of questions will be asked: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Numerical Ability Type (NAT) questions

  • There will be 1-mark and 2-mark questions only

  • There is no negative marking for NAT questions, while for MCQs, there is negative marking.

Sections: GATE 2018 will include the following sections:

  • General Aptitude – It is mandatory for all papers

  • Engineering Mathematics (for XL papers it is Chemistry)

  • Subject-specific section

GATE 2018 Syllabus: Many a time misfortune strikes not because the candidate didn’t have enough time to study, but was following the wrong syllabus. It may sound silly, but don’t vouch against it. And when you have so little time at your disposal, there is no excuse for following the wrong syllabus of GATE 2018. It is also equally important to check out if there is anything new this year.


How to maximize study time: Every year more number of fresh candidates qualify GATE than the other way round. But if you look at it differently, the number of fresh candidates taking the exam is also disproportionately larger. And to make matters interesting, many who top the exam are rarely the types who burn midnight oil. The point is if you are smart with your time great dividends can be reaped. Here is how:

  • If you are not heavily loaded with work at office, see if you can eke out time for study. In some MNCs and other organizations, employees are even put on bench. Use it to your advantage.

  • Make it a habit to carry notes with you, of the important points covered that day. You can also jot down important formulae and equations that you think are important.

  • If you are in a 9-6 job, ensure that you don’t hang around after office hours.

  • Try to study for at least 2-3 hours daily during weekdays, in addition to studying from notes.

  • During weekends, try to study and cover as much as you can. But for that to happen, you have to cut down on distractions – social media, smartphone, etc. 

  • Don’t miss on your regular revision. If you are really pressed for time, at least manage some time to glance through the important points. Here again a note can come handy.

If you needed some inspiration, here is Rohit Sachdeva AIR 93 (CE), who refused to be bogged down by his circumstances and made the most of his spare time to come out trumps.


A point on short notes: When you are reading or solving a problem, note down the important points. Since notes are your own thing, you can even experiment and add figures and illustrations to make learning fun, easy and to aid your memory.


These notes you prepare will help save revision time tremendously. If you are smart with your notes, you can get the entire syllabus covered in them. Yes, every now and then you might have to revisit the text books, but at most other times they will be good enough. In fact, in the last few days and weeks leading to GATE 2017, these notes are likely to be your most reliable partner. So, when you prepare them, put some thought and effort to it.


Weekend coaching – to help you find your feet: If you have lost touch with some of the GATE subjects, you might be a little rusty and would like to join a weekend coaching to wipe off the dust. These days almost all the major cities have them. But before joining, discuss your situation with the coaching institute and check out their teaching manuals. It will help both parties understand their responsibilities and expectations.


Self-preparation: Coaching can be a double-edged sword. For example, coaching is designed for group teaching, so if you go along with the group all is well and good. But if you fall behind, all hell can break loose. So, whether you do coaching or not, the major thrust of your preparation should revolve around self-study. Yes, you can rely on coaching material if you want. But the driving force should be you; yourself. Effective self-study is a composite of many related things:

  • Planning: Planning involves deciding the flow of study: what and when to study, and for how long. Once you identify your strong and weak areas, allocating time becomes easier. If you don’t, you might end up practising things you already know again and again, while ignoring weak areas. It must be noted that planning cannot be static, but has to be adjusted from time to time to fit you progress. For example, if you picking a particular subject fast, you might need to allocate the spare time to some other subject that needs attention.

  • Execution: Planning would mean nothing if not supported by proper execution. So, if you plan to do sample papers of GATE at a specific time, don’t push it back. It may be unavoidable sometimes, but make it a thumb rule to stick to a plan. Also, when studying take notes; they are very handy elements as you can go through important points without having to go through large blocks of text.

  • Revision: Do timely revision. It will save time and a lot of headache. During revision, you must note your progress and determine which areas need less and which areas need more revision. Arranging the topics and problems in the order of difficulty level can achieve that. Also, after sufficient revision if you feel confident about a topic, you can reduce the frequency of revision and move to some other topic.

Sample Papers of GATE 2018: You may know the answers and remember the formulae, but sometimes you might struggle to solve a simple problem. And if that happens, you get tense, eyebrows twitch, and your breathing becomes heavy. You get into a trance, and things look hazy. It is called exam pressure, the pressure of expectations. The best way to avoid this from happening is by getting exam ready by doing sample papers and also previous years question papers. Set the timer on the clock, and start doing sample papers of GATE. Check your reaction when you get stuck at a problem – are you jittery, able to recover quickly enough, and what sort of mistakes you are making in such situations. The more sample papers you do, the more confidence you build. If you are stuck with a problem on the exam day, just close your eyes and recall all the question papers you have solved. Since you already know where you make mistakes in such situations now, you must be able to wriggle through most problems. 


Take mock tests to get into exam mode: Online mock tests are very popular among GATE candidates, as it is an effective way to build accuracy and learn time management. Ravi Shankar Mishra (AIR 3 CS) is a prime example of the efficacy of mock tests, as he claims he devoted only a month of preparation or so to crack GATE. And most of his preparation time went into solving previous years’ question papers and taking online mock tests.


Books that can take you over the finish line: When selecting books to prepare from, you must be choosy, because some books are too comprehensive and can eat into your time. A solution to this problem can be to check out what the toppers have to suggest. If you want some ready-made solutions, we have them too here: best books for GATE preparation.


Fortify your preparation by preparing from other resources:


With the advent of the internet and social media, many outlets have come up that cater to the student community. Some members in these communities run independent blogs and guide students on GATE preparation, and run video tutorials. If candidates feel like they have covered much of what is given in the text books, they can venture out to these outlets. One such place to check is the nptel website.


Take calculated risks, if necessary: If you feel that covering the entire syllabus is beyond you given your circumstances, see if you can leave out a topic or two that are too time consuming but the rewards are minimal. If you drop any topic, just make sure that you have the other topics covered properly.


GATE Topper Interviews


We all need some dose of inspiration every now and then, to pick ourselves up and fight again with renewed vigor. The GATE toppers listed below, apart from being a source of inspiration, also outlines how they prepared for the entrance exam, books they followed, details that could come in very handy.


GATE Topper Interviews


Name of Topper

GATE Paper

Interview Link


Muthuraj Pillai


Click here


Siddhant Khopkar


Click here


Ravi Shankar Mishra


Click here


Arpit Garg


Click here


Ankur Tripathi


Click here


Ameya Dravid


Click here


Suman Kumar Paul


Click here


Anuj Gupta


Click here


Nilesh Agrawal


Click here


Divyanshu Jha


Click here


Revanth Dogre


Click here

If at any time of your GATE preparation you hit a roadblock, you can always write to us at, as we might have the solutions!


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First Published On : 03 Aug 2017 03:18 PM IST

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ANIKET SAMANTA 5 minutes ago

ANIKET SAMANTALast Seen: 6 min 16 sec agoJoined on: 17-Oct-2016Education Interest: M.E /Mtech.Education Level: In Graduation

Is there any WhatsApp group for gate 2019 instrumentation? If possible kindly share the link.

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Harsh Nikalwalas picture
Harsh NikalwalaLast Seen: 2 hours 21 min agoJoined on: 19-Jun-2018Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: In Graduation

If I don't appear for gate and just appear for PGCET?

if I don't appear for GATE and just appear for PGCET than will the criteria still be according to merit of PGCET only or will it include GATE marks also.?
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Rahul 3 hours ago

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RahulLast Seen: 2 hours 54 min agoJoined on: 14-Jan-2014Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: Graduate & Above

Barc through gate 2018 result ?

Sanchari Sarkars picture
Sanchari SarkarLast Seen: 3 hours 6 min agoJoined on: 19-Jun-2018Education Interest: Degree ProgrammesEducation Level: Graduate & Above

I am a post graduate with passing year 2014. am i eligible in giving GATE ?

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Er Bantu Thakurs picture
Er Bantu ThakurLast Seen: 47 min 47 sec agoJoined on: 24-Jun-2013Education Interest: EngineeringEducation Level: Graduate & Above

Yes you are elgible for apearing the GATE

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