Hello , my name is Bodhisattwa Dasgupta . This year I got 66.29 Marks and AIR 123 in GATE (CS) – 2021 , and this was my first attempt in GATE. It’s not the best rank , but decent enough to fetch me a good IIT hopefully ( hence the title...)


My Background:

I’m currently a final-year student , pursuing my B.Tech in CS at Future Institute of Technology , Kolkata. It’s a Local Private College here in Kolkata which was established just in 2015. I never was a good student at anything throughout my school days and most of my college life. I remember in 11th  class Mid-Year exam I failed every subject other than English and CS , the amount of judgement I got from my classmates and teachers were tremendous.

For those who are wondering , I attempted JEE Mains 2 Times, 1st time I got ~1 Lac Rank and in my 2nd attempt also I got ~70k Rank. So nothing to write home about. All throughout my academics I absolutely despised subjects like Physics , Chemistry ..etc , the ONLY thing that made sense to me and I enjoyed was CS ( in school-life it was basic coding and DS stuff.. ) and bits and pieces of Maths. 

So naturally I choose CSE over other branches in better colleges and this was the BEST decision of my life.


My GATE Story:

I first heard about GATE from my friends in 2nd Sem and then after a few days of research I decided to prepare seriously for the same. The idea of studying CS from Top IITs intrigued me a lot and not just that , an All-India based exam based fully on CS got me very excited. 

I never had any Coaching till this point in my life , but since I decided to prepare seriously I enrolled @ ACE Coaching back in Jan 2019.

But unfortunately for the entire year ( from 2019 to Dec 2019 ) I only attended the classes and didn’t put much effort myself , as a result in Late Dec 2019 , I found myself at a very bad position , I had all my class-notes but couldn’t recall any concepts. (MISTAKE #1)

So from Jan 2020 , I decided that I’ll put consistent effort from now on , and try to get a sub-500 Rank. I made a time-table and started preparing accordingly. For each subject I used to give ~2 weeks , and in that 2 weeks first I used to learn the concept , then look at examples and then finally solve the PYQs in parallel. Using this approach I more or less got over with my syllabus by July 2020.

In the month of July I wrote my First Full-Length Test and I got ~62 Marks in that. (  The test was an easy one.  ) , But here I noted that I scored very less in aptitude section , but I ignored it. And I continued to ignore Aptitude for the remainder of my preparation ( MISTAKE #2 ) , why this is a mistake you’ll see later on.

From Aug onwards I decided to do revision and I did so by solving all the PYQs again, this time From GO-PDF. ( Previously did from ME Book ) , and this blew my mind. For each and every problem , extremely detailed solutions were available at GO along with necessary references . And this not only helped me to Learn more BUT ALSO helped in developing a habit of reading standard papers/articles/wikis/books. Which I feel is going to be very useful later down the line for M.Tech.

From Sept onwards I started writing tests more often and regularly. After writing the tests I used to rectify my mistakes.

My marks in Test-Series are:( Avg / High /  Low )

  • Made-Easy = (74 / 87 / 47)
  • ACE = (82 / 91 / 68)
  • Applied-GATE = (78 / 89 / 65)

Looking at my performance I assumed that I’d surely get a sub-100 Rank ( MISTAKE #3 ) . This mindset would prove detrimental in my preparation. 

Things were going pretty good until in Mid-Jan we tested +ve for COVID , while it didn’t affect much but after that point there was a noticeable dip in my test performance. Still I was fairly confident with my preparation.


During the GATE Exam:

I got allotted Set-2 which was a bit lengthy and quite different from previous years. First Question was the Little-Endian One , I never solved such questions before but I knew the concept clearly so was able to get it Correct . Same thing happened for the next 5-6 Questions. I was able to solve correctly but took lots of time and my fear-level was increasing as the Question types were pretty uncommon. 

After going through the first 25 Questions , I had only attempted 13 Questions and left 12 totally. Now Panic started and every negative thoughts came to mind .. “Will I even cross the 50 Marks threshold?” , “Only 2hrs left , this year gone to waste….” ...such thoughts. (MISTAKE #4) . Since I already had made some assumptions about my performance earlier (see Mistake-3), this was exponentially more difficult. 

Because of this Panic-mode , I made mistakes which I could’ve easily avoided otherwise.

Lastly , since I didn't do much prep for aptitude , this really showed in my exam. As I only got 9/15 in Aptitude . Even IF I had 13/15 in aptitude , then probably I would’ve been in Top 60. This is my Biggest Regret YET. 

And In retrospect ,It’s quite Ironical that if I didn’t make assumptions about my performance before the exam , then I wouldn’t have panicked as hard and would’ve been able to meet my expectations. 

Conclusion and Advice for future Aspirants:

  • Does Test Series Marks and Actual Marks have any correlation? Yes and No .Don’t make assumptions based on test-series marks . If you are not getting good marks , don’t be under confident , analyze and move on. If you are getting good marks , don’t be overconfident , analyze and move on.  But certainly if you are performing well in Tests , that’s great and indicative of good preparation.
  • Revision should be done consistently , otherwise not possible to retain all the concepts clearly. Even if for 10min , just go through your own notes and that is good enough.
  • NEVER Ignore aptitude , because it can make or break your exam. I ignored and paid the price . So take necessary steps and don’t make the same mistake that I did.
  • How many Hours should I prepare?  Doesn’t matter.  But consistency should be maintained even if its 1hr a day.
  • Learn to manage pressure . I didn’t handle pressure during the exam well and suffered the consequences.

Still at the end of the day , I’m quite satisfied with my rank and planning to join IIT-Madras or IIT-Kharagpur. My learning journey has just started and I still have a long way to go.

GATE taught me that your college / background etc NOTHING MATTERS . The only thing that matters is your own Will to Learn and Self-Belief. If you believe in your own ability and put in the necessary effort , then you can surely get it.

I know I don’t have the best rank , but if you have any questions or doubts regarding preparation , please feel free to ask. I’ll try my best to answer.

Thanks for reading.

posted in Preparation Experience Mar 21, 2021



Still a great achievement. Your hard work has paid off. All the best for your future.
Congrats 🎉.

Hey, tell me how to handle pressure during exam time?

 How do you avoid silly mistakes?

As you see, this yr they asked deeply about the concept. So how should I prepare so that every concept can be cleared?
Thanks for writing blog.. there is too much things to learn for future aspirants and interesting to see that 100+ rank holder have almost same up and downs and even committed the same mistake while their preparation.
I'm still clueless about handling the exam pressure. As I also couldn't handle it myself. But I guess the KEY is to not to worry about the end results and focus on the question only.

For avoiding silly mistakes , I kept my rough work really clean and neat. This way I avoided mistakes , but in actually exam wasn't able to execute this properly.

Doing PYQs are a great way to build concepts. See the solutions given on GO and read the references which are mentioned for a deeper understanding.
Congratulations .. 🎉🎉
Congrats brother for your achievements 👍 and thank you for writing down your mistakes and preparation journey, There's quite a lot to learn from it. 🙂

One question:- Did you refer to standard books in phase-2(After coaching) or only notes?
Congrats on your efforts .

From where you had practice questions other than PYQ.
What to do if your doubt list is long?
Can you make a list from where you had read subjects, books used or not?
How to do revision simultaneously.
Congratulations 🎉

Hard work pays off.

 , I didn't follow much standard books , but I read stuff online , be it articles on Wikipedia or some papers by foreign universities. 

For majority of the topics I stuck to class-notes , for some tricky/conceptual topics I referred articles and papers. Like for example : The Fundamental theorem of finite ablelian groups. Hardly in any class notes you'll find this , But do a quick Google , and you'll find a great papers by foreign Universities. This is just one example , many other such topics are there.


 , Other than PYQ , GO has TIFR/ISI/CMI Questions which are very conceptual , but quite hard at the same time. You can do those also. Other than this practice TestSeries.


Sirf mein hi hoon jiske 31 number aaye hai online deektha hoon toh sabke 60 se uppar hi hai feeling sad :(
edited Mar 21, 2021 by
@Bodhisattwa  about revision and how to solve doubts? I got stuck in many questions.
Really Awesome journey, and thanks to share your thought and learning with us...... it's a pleasure for all of us.. wish u a great and tremendous future ahead.........this year i totally messed up (#mistake 1 in your article), hope next year i got something.... anyway Thanks from my heart _/\_

 , For revision , just keep in touch with the concepts , that's good enough. And For doubts you can ask here at GO or Join a good telegram channel. ( Although be aware , and don't join too many useless groups. )

Congrats !

Lot to learn from you and improve my technique towards GATE 2022. Thank for sharing your experience.