Hi, I am Ankita Dey. I did BTech in ECE from a Tier 3 college and prepared with a full-time job. I secured a rank of 312 in 2020 CS GATE. I am currently pursuing MTech in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur.
NOTE: Since it is pretty detailed, you can skip to any area without reading the others.
I had no plans of doing MTech while in BTech. After getting placed in a Service based company, I thought I would improve my coding skills, learn new technologies, and switch to a Product based company. Within a few months, I realised it is much more difficult than it sounds. Not only was I absolutely terrible in Competitive Programming (though I loved to code), but also the lack of knowledge in CS core subjects was hampering my chances. So I decided to study CS core subjects to get to the same level as my CS grad colleagues. I really enjoyed studying CS subjects (to be honest, much more than ECE subjects). So I thought of preparing for CS GATE.
Time Management: Prepared sincerely on Weekends (I studied every weekend as much as I did during Btech semester exams. But, I could never complete the target. So I studied on Weekdays while commuting to office and sometimes after coming back home.
Note-taking: I watched a video as many times as required to understand it at first. Then again watched it to take detailed notes (I took notes in a way such that I would never have to watch the video again). Writing notes really helped strengthen the concept I just learned.
Previous Year Questions: After completing a subject, I tried to solve its previous year's questions. Struggled a lot initially. October onwards, I sincerely started solving them for all subjects numerous times. Gradually, I got used to GATE pattern. Gate Overflow and Geeks for Geeks contribution in this area was immense.
Revision: I revised a subject after completing it. Checked previous day's notes the next day. That's it. I didn't revise as much as I should have as I was rushing to complete the syllabus. This is the biggest mistake I made.
Mocks: Mocks tremendously improved my marks as well as my confidence. I gave sectional mocks of the institute I took coaching from and gave full length mocks of other institutes. It's always better to give mocks of more than one institute so that one doesn't get too used to a specific pattern. Apart from getting my concepts strong, a thorough mock analysis was pretty much the key to improving my score.
Nov 2018 – Jan 2019: Watched YouTube videos to know as much as I could about CS subjects. Stressed on Programming in C, DS, Algo, and Maths.
Feb 2019: Gave 2019 GATE. Got 6855 rank. To be honest, I was pretty happy just to qualify CS GATE!
Mar 2019: By the end of March, exhausted most of the YouTube videos I could find (and liked) on CS subjects.
Apr 2019: Bought online coaching. Stated with DS and C programming. Couldn't qualify PGEE.
May 2019: Prepared Toc and Discrete Maths.
Jun 2019: Prepared leftover part of DS, Algo, and TOC. Started DBMS.
July 2019: Completed DBMS. Started with OS.
Aug 2019: Completed OS. Prepared leftover parts of already prepared subjects.
Sep 2019: Started Digital Electronics (it was my strongest ECE subject) and Compiler Design (less syllabus, so took less time).
Oct 2019: Completed Compiler Design and Digital Electronics both. Started Computer Networks.
Nov 2019: Completed Computer Networks. Started Computer Organisation. Also started giving sectional and subject wise mocks at this time. Did thorough mock analysis.
Dec 2019: Continued giving sectional and subject wise mocks. Stressed on improving weaker areas. Couldn't complete Computer Organisation. So left out a huge part of it (don't recommend it if you have time).
Jan 2020: Didn't study anything new. Gave a mock of Made Easy and Ace every alternate day throughout Jan, except last week when I gave one mock every alternate day because I needed more time for revision.
Feb 2020: Gave GATE 2020. I wasn't feeling stressed at all after giving so many mocks. In spite of that, I had to rush a bit towards the end due to lack of time, which led to silly mistakes. But I am happy where I am now. So no regrets!
June 2020: Gave PGEE without much revision. Got selected in the first round, thanks to GATE preparation.
If you have any queries feel free to send me a message on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dey-ankita/