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Hello everyone, This is Rajnandani Shaw and I have secured AIR 312 with marks 65.3(Gate score 779) in GATE 2020 and also selected as Scientist B in DRDO. I am neither a GATE topper nor from IIT/IIIT/NIT's but just an average student from a very normal engineering college just like many. I am a 2016 batch passout and had prepared for GATE with a full-time job. I am very thankful to Arjun sir and GateOverflow team for such a wonderful platform which had helped a lot during my entire preparation. This is my first post on GateOverflow. GO previous year's questions hard copy and goclassroom are very useful for gate preparation. GateOverflow is a must for all preparing from online sources or doing self-studies. In GO we can ask our doubts, discuss anything, get preparation tips, and resolve our queries. It is a place with the best explanations of GATE PYQ and all standard materials. GateOverflow tests are also very helpful for preparation which have quality questions that check our concepts well. Previous year questions also available as test series which we can use for self-analysis before the actual GATE exam. GATE 2019 was my first attempt after preparation but I was not able to secure a good rank so I tried for GATE 2020. This time I had tried to refer standard materials/questions available in Goclassroom which helped to make my concepts more clear.


I am the first girl child of my joint family from a small place in Jharkhand. At that time in my locality girls were not allowed to live like boys. In fact, I was the first girl there to go out of the city for studies and my mother always fought for me. We belong to an average earning middle-class family and I have some responsibilities. During school, I was very weak in studies (in every result I got 2 to 3 red marks ) till standard 7th where I failed and got a warning from my school that if I get a single red mark in the Final term result then I won’t be promoted. After that, I started studying rigorously and started getting ranks like 4th, 3rd, and 2nd from class 8th onwards. In this way my 10th completed. Becoming an Engineer was the dream of my class topper. Everyone appreciated him very much and then I thought if he wants to become Engineer then it must be a good profession and I should also try this. At that time I didn’t even know what engineering meant and how to become one. I had to take admission in State Board college for 12th(with Computer Science was one of my subjects where I developed an interest in CS). No JEE level coaching/tuition was available in my area.  I got UCET VBU Hazaribag, Jharkhand with TFW(tuition fees are waived) through the state engineering exam as I can't afford Pvt engineering college. We were our college’s 4th batch and no one from my college was working in even service-based companies or cracked GATE. Not even a single company visited our campus and we had to do strike in order to get AICTE approval. I didn’t even know what is GATE and how to prepare for it before 3rd year. But somehow I managed to qualify for GATE 2016. I was a college topper and completed my B.Tech with 83.2%. After college, I had to struggle a lot for getting a job. I applied for AMCAT and COCUBES and the score was good.  I got a job in a startup named Novatree solutions, Kolkata as Software Developer through COCUBES with a 1.8 LPA package. I worked in Novatree till 16 Nov 2016 and on 17 Nov 2016, I joined my 2nd job offer from Cognizant through AMCAT as an Engineer trainee. I never thought of working in MNC and so I was overwhelmed with joy. I was very happy in the initial months as I thought that after getting this job all problems of my life will be solved. But after a few months, I realized it is not true and I need to work hard with the job(no chance of leaving it) and prepare for the IBPS IT officer job as I didn’t have that confidence that I can crack GATE. I appeared for the IBPS IT Officer exam and missed it by 2 marks. I was so desperate to change my life that I started to appear in every exam that I was eligible for and sacrificed everything for it. I appeared for Damodar Valley Corporation(DVC) Assistant Engineer IT(Group A job with very good salary) post on a contractual basis exam and cleared it. I joined DVC on 24 Nov’2017 after resigning at Cognizant on 23 Nov 2017. I got a posting near my home. Here I worked with people who had cleared GATE which boosted my confidence to clear GATE. In July’18 I decided to prepare and dedicate my everything to it, so I started utilizing every waking moment for GATE. The work environment was not that supportive for preparation and Saturday was also working but I never give up. In Gate’18 I got 15 marks only and couldn't even qualify.

I solved PYQ GO hard book 2 times, followed video lectures, test series, etc, and I started appearing for every exam(AAI/UPPCL etc) for which I was eligible and missed each by few marks. In GATE 2020, I got 65.33 marks with a 779 Gate Score. I got some job offers from OMPL (Subsidiary of ONGC and MRPL) for the Executive (IT) post, Punjab and Sind Bank for the post of Software Developer and CRIS but I didn’t join any. I appeared for these exams because I wanted to have a backup plan. I lost 5.33 marks in GATE 2020 by doing some silly mistakes in basic formulae and division in the aptitude section as I was not able to revise aptitude because I had exams and interviews in the last two months and my DRDO interview was also scheduled in Delhi 2 days prior to the GATE exam which was not in my GATE preparation plan, but I am happy for my DRDO result.

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the long post. All the very best.


posted Dec 13, 2020 in 2020 2,237 views


Thank you ma'am for sharing this and congratulations. All the best for your future endeavors.
All the best for your future.
congratulations and all the best for future endeavours.
Congratulations 👍 India being such a vast country with all kinds of people, blogs like this should definitely inspire many others. More than "money" it is the lack of "proper information" that is hurting the majority of Indian students.
Congratulations and all the very best!
Your story is very inspiring! :)
Hi Rajnandani! Congratulations on your achievement. It is a massive feat indeed! :)
Can I please ask you to kindly provide the details of DRDO recruitment process.
As far as I know, the recruitment process for the year 2020 is still in the initial stages. Given that your interview was before GATE, this is perhaps the 2019 recruitment process that you got selected in. But you also mention that your GATE 2019 didn't go well, so were you still able to meet the high shortlisting GATE cutoff? Or is there some other pathway than GATE that I am particularly not aware of.
It'll provide a greater clarity if you could describe the procedure in detail.
Thank you in advance. And congratulations once again!!
Congrats Mam. can you please share your scorecard of drdo results? and some resources to study extra subjects like cyber security and AI.
Hey Rajanandini,

  If it was anyone else he would've given up by now. But your perseverance and courage is the true mark of your potential. Your story is inspiring.


I wish you the best of luck for your future.

You've inspired us all with your dedication.
Thank you so much. I got through my gate 2019 score and the process was same as gate 2020 ie shortlisting by gate , descriptive and then interview. Descriptive exam started from 2019 only and they shortlisted 1:25 candidates of the seats(refer advt 136). My score was not that good but still enough to get call. Now drdo is recruiting through the advertisement on rac portal only. This year gate cuttoff may be higher than last year because last year many were not aware of drdo recruitment advertisement and its process. All the best.