I am Suraj Kesharwani, I have secured AIR: 372 and GS 764 in GATE 2020. My previous Ranks are 5793 and 7613 in GATE 2018 and 2019 respectively. Here I will be telling you my personal experience how and what I did to ensure max benefits to me and If you like to read about my preparation strategy of 2020, you can read it from here
I am very slow at mathematical calculations.
I sometimes get intimidated by seeing the length of questions.
For the hard question, I have to read it twice or thrice to understand it completely in and out. I only planned to get 75+. The way I planned to get these marks was 12 marks from Aptitude, 15 marks (15 questions out of 25) 1 marks, 48 marks (24 questions out of 30) from 2 marks. PS: I got 64 marks in GATE 2020. So you can aim higher.
You can also list your weakness and try to overcome them one at a time. My strategy to attempt the actual paper has been developed and thoroughly tested by me in the Previous Year Question paper and the Mock Exams as well. You are free to choose any style. It entirely depends on person to person. You should also choose whatever style you are comfortable in and do not try to imitate any previous year GATE rankers.
As I require more than one reading to solve the hard questions, So I divided my time so that I can read the questions in certain passes. Pass 1, 2 & 3.
180 - 150 min:-
So as you know the examination is of 180 min. My first part was consisting of doing the 1 marks questions in around 30 min. There are 25 such questions in CS branch section. So my target was to do around 10 or so questions with reading all the questions and marking the ones for review which I can solve later if time permits. In this section, I was only targeting such question which can be solved by memory-based formulae or very easy ones which do not take more than 1 min to solve. So you will get some 10 marks from here.
150 - 110 min:-
In this time I was targeting the 2 marks section of CS branch paper. There are 30 questions in this area. So, I allocated 40 min around to go through the whole 30 questions reading and solving the easy ones which are around 10 in every paper. I read all the questions meanwhile and marked the ones which I could solve later. So choose only those 10 questions which can be solved within 2 min or so time. This would have fetched around 20 marks.
110 - 90 min:-
My English is not so strong so I was targeting some 12 - 13 marks from a total of 15 marks in the aptitude section. In this 20 min I solved all the aptitude I could and with sure accuracy and no blind guessing so that I can be sure of my marks.
90 - 50 min:-
This 40 min I fully dedicated to the 2 marks questions. As I have marked them earlier in the first pass it was very easy to locate them. One should be very careful while solving this as this has the largest effect on total marks. Also, this area contains a question that can trap you and you can end up wasting all your time here. So be smart to know when to leave the questions. You just need to solve 14 questions in 40 min i.e roughly 3 min (2.85 to be exact) for each question. Of course, the count varies from paper difficulty but generally, this should be a minimum number of questions one should do. I also tried to solve as many questions as possible as some can be -ve also but I have to get some 48 marks from this section.
50 - 30 min:-
This 20 min I dedicated to 1 marks section as there are min 5 to be solved there you can utilize the rest of the time by giving it to more questions in 2 marks. But this only should happen once you finish the 1 marks section.
One should also be smart enough to judge which question to choose in 1 marks sections. As some of the 1 marks sections are quite time-consuming and seriously deserve 2 marks so leave those questions initially till this pass as they don’t deserve your valuable time now.
Pass 3 :
30 - 00 min:-
This time is very crucial. As many try to skip revision and try to solve as many questions as can. But please refrain from it and revise first to find your mistake. To reduce mistake and maximize marks read this Blog
When you are satisfied that you have seriously done the revision if time is still left then you can go for any marks question but surely choose NAT type this time...so that even if anything goes wrong in solving it fast due to time constraint then you won’t get negative for this. And If you are sure you can make solve MCQ then go for it it is your attempt.