How to prepare for GATE while working
Saakshi Lama, 04 Jan 2019, #GATE

How to prepare for GATE while working - The common sentiment that generally comes across candidates with full-time jobs is how they should prepare for GATE while still on the job. Many aspirants have the complaint that the GATE syllabus is too vast and lengthy and going about it along with the job is an exercise in futility. If one checks the regular GATE candidates, many start off 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 attempt GATE while working. The competition really is tilted in favour of fresh candidates. But if you are ready to throw in the towel yet, stop and reconsider! It is because we can help you get battle ready and instill 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.
Latest: GATE 2019 examination is now over

Latest: [Download free Question Papers and Sample Paper of GATE, Click here]

As the GATE 2019 admit has already been released by IIT Madras on January 4, candidates should adhere to ideas discussed here for successfully clearing the exam with high score.  

GATE 2019: Important Facts

Conducting Institute: IIT Madras
Application Dates: August 31 to October 1, 2018
Dates of Exam: February 2, 3, 9 and 10, 2019
Result: The result of GATE 2019 will be declared on March 16, 2019 

GATE Sample Paper

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How to prepare for GATE while working

Conquer GATE – by following the below tips!

If you intend to qualify GATE 2019, 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 2019, 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 2019 – 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 2019 starts with knowing your adversary inside out. Check whether you are eligible for GATE 2019, 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 2019: The exam pattern of GATE 2019 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

  • 1/3 marks will be deducted for questions carrying 1 mark while 1/2 mark will be deducted 

Sections: GATE 2019 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 2019 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 2019. It is also equally important to check out if there is anything new this year.

How to maximize study time: Every year, a 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 the 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 make 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 2019, 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 your 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 it is 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 headaches. 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 2019: 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 textbooks, 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 vigour. 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

Read the below-mentioned articles to know more about GATE preparation tips

Last Minute Preparation Tips for GATE

Smart Tips to Score High in GATE

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what are the other exams other than gate

Aditi Amrendra Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

If you looking for Job then the best alternative for GATE exam is the UPSC IES examination which is conducted for engineering graduates.This is the best way possible you can get a job and that too in government of India and also there is a long list if perks and perquisites you will get once to crack IES examination.

I hope this helps.

Hi, Regarding Gate application correction form, right now there is no option to upload my photo. Now, what to do sir? how should I upload my photo now? Thanks in advance.

Vishwaksen Gouda Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019
Hie manali,
You can upload the photo again even after the closure of the gate application submission.High quality image must be uploaded in the application.Background and sign should be white.Reuploading facility is also will reopen and you can upload

Now Im 3 year of btech Cse. How I can prepare for a gate exam?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

As you are still in your 3rd year, you might not be still aware of the complete GATE syllabus. So analyse the topics and syllabus that you have learnt for the past 3 years and practise as much Mathematics as you can. Try as many mock tests as possible and get a hang of the exam pattern. Please check our page for syllabus, topics and best books for preparation:


Hi, Regarding Gate application correction form, right now there is no option to change my category details. Will it be provided in the future? I had incorrectly selected GEN, but it is OBC/NCL. Thanks in advance.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

Dear Harish, IIT Delhi has scheduled diiferent correction windows for different correction categories. The tentative dates to make corrections to your Category would be from the last week of October to 1st week of November. This is tentative and so please keep an eye on the official website. You can change your Category but you will not be refunded any additional amount that you paid towards your application form. For more information, please visit our page at:


can I apply for the gate exam now?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

Dear Pramod, IIT Delhi has closed registrations for GATE 2020 as on October 5th, 2019 along with late fees. Now the correction window has been opened. At this juncture, registering for GATE 2020 is not a possibility. You may have to wait until the next year if you  plan on appearing for GATE. For GATE 2020, you have been late.

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