I also gave GATE in 2021 in my final year of B.Sc. but didn’t qualify and ended up with 23 marks. It was expected because I didn’t prepare and just went to give the exam to taste it. Later after giving the exam, I came to know about the opportunities of the exam and really got mesmerized as this single exam can give me so much opportunities in the field of Computer Science and can make me an IITian. In my school days I didn’t even know about IITs much because at that time neither I have a smartphone nor I have access to internet. So, I went to do B.Sc. which generally most of the students took in my school. Later I knew much more about the IITs and the opportunities it provides but being a B.Sc. student there is only one path to enter in an IIT is to give GATE exam after M.Sc. because there is no JAM exam for CS people.
I decided to appear for GATE seriously with proper preparation somewhere around December 2021 after passing out B.Sc., and started doing self-study but didn't actually start preparing rigorously until March 2022. I exactly remember that I had started my gate preparation exactly on 1st March 2022 as I enrolled in an online coaching to prepare seriously for it. And completed my whole syllabus in November end. This takes so much time because I was involved in college curriculum also to secure good marks there. In my gate journey there was a lot of ups and downs and sometimes I also thought to give up in October-November because of the pressure but thank God that I didn’t and continue the preparation till the last day.
The one thing I have learned that solving various types of questions are equally important to understanding the core concepts. I only solved 20 years previous year questions and coaching workbook but didn’t solve the workbook completely as my main focus is on PYQs. And I can ensure that you will learn more while solving the questions rather than learning the concepts. And i call tell you the Gateoverflow answers are the best and so many coaching materials also taken the answers form GO. I personally liked @Sachin Mittals sir’s answers they clears lots of ambiguity and clear the concepts.
My preparation journey is like a roller coaster really. When I decided to enroll in coaching, I also decided to give tuition to local students in my village so that I can bear my own coaching expenses. From March to September, I continued with my tuition and form September, I left them completely as it was becoming impossible for me to manage college, gate preparation and tuition altogether. I used to give tuition to local kids in the early morning then go to college and after returning back from college I used to prepare for gate throughout evening and night.
From 20th September after my 2nd semester exam had ended, I took my preparation to the highest priority. Till now I finished all the topics with PYQs except DM, DLD and EM. I decided to finish them asap and also solved the PYQs again of the completed subjects parallelly. I think that was the best decision I took in my preparation because revision is the most important thing in any preparation. From 20th September to November End, I completed the whole syllabus and solved the PYQs 2 times and also gave topic wise and subject wise tests of the subjects that I was revising in parallel. And the most surprisingly I didn’t sit for the campus placements at that time as my main target throughout the year was to cracking gate.
Now at the time of October I sat for UGC NET exam and also cracked it with Junior Research Fellow which give me also some boost and confidence.
Now the month of December came and the pressure was above the neck as only 2 months are remaining. I started giving full length tests and in my first full length test I scored 47.66 marks and after rectifying and revision it went in the range of 55-60 and sometimes above 60 but I was not able to score more than 60 continuously. At that time, I also remember that I used to go to college which is 2.30 hours of distance from my home and while going and returning I used to revise my short notes in the bus and train. It was a little uncomfortable but I was no option because I had to crack the exam by hook or cook. But I managed to minimize the silly mistakes over the time but didn’t able to completely remove it. And it the final GATE Exam I also have -1.67 negative marks which costs me a lot also did only one bad silly mistake in the DLD question the answer came 001 and I tick the answer 100 which is really a blunder and cost me 2.66 marks. But I would say “Jo mila bohot acchahi mila hai.”
I solved all PYQs and attempted many tests but still I was not getting very good marks in Full syllabus tests of Made Easy (50-60 marks). And the problem was I didn’t know the reason behind those less marks, due to which I was unable to improve my marks further. Now the month of January came the last and the final month and my test scores were in that range only. Then I again solve all the star mark PYQs of all the subjects and continue it till the last week. I solved the PYQs of each subject at least 3 times and for COA it was more than 4 times as there were some concepts which were asked many times as it was in the PYQs. Which improved the marks and i stick to the cycle of Revesion-Practice-Analyse. And my range of marks increases gradually in 65-70 region and in the last mock test which i take 6 days before the exam i got 69.I take two test series but i only focus on ME test series for FMTs.
On the last day I went to sleep at about 10 PM and wake up at 4.30 AM to get ready because my exam centre was 2 hours of distance and I had to go using the public transport. I was feeling like the next day was my semester exam and not the GATE exam. I was relaxed and had no fear of the GATE exam. Really this is what happens with me don’t know how I kept my mind so cool at that day. But it was a blessing in disguise really for me.
Now the D-Day comes on 4th February the GATE exam day. On the GATE exam day, I went to the centre with in time of reporting and if I felt some anxiety, I used to say“avoid avoid” in my mind and it made me feel relaxed. At about 8.45AM, I sat Infront of my allotted computer and the just keep saying one thing in my mind repeatedly that “I can do it, I will do it.” This helps me a lot to remove distractions and other thoughts in my mind.
Then exactly at 9.30 AM the exam started and the 3 hour exam feel like 3 minutes to me really. And thank God that my computer works well during the exam and there was no problem at all.
After the GATE exam was over, I called my friends after returning to home and we have a conversation about the type of questions asked all that and said to my parents that I did my best “Ab jo hoga dekha jayega”. And finally, the result is out and my rank is 239 with marks 68.33.
I know this is not a very good rank. But it is a pretty decent rank to get into the top 7 IITs. And behind this rank there was a great contribution of my Teachers and mentor @Vishal Burnwal and the GO community. So now I can say one thing that having a good mentor besides your preparation is necessary to prepare at whoever he/she might be, so that you can identify and correct the mistakes during the preparation.
The only thing I can say to future aspirants that whatever might be the situation do not give up and fight till the end if you can handle the pressure and the preparation you can do many wonders in the upcoming days. Really keep in mind that Gate is a life changing exam so do your best no matter what but also keep in mind that this is not the only exam to change your life. I also want to say you to keep the following points to increase your chances to crack the exam,
1. Learn the Basic concepts clearly and take time if you don’t understand some topics in the first go.
2. Don’t take aptitude lightly i scored only 11.67 in aptitude section of GATE :(
2. Solve the PYQs after completing each topic. They are the real questions that were set by the IIT professors. If you stuck at some question, simply check the solutions from GateOverflow. Use them for revise your concepts and understanding in the last 2-3 months.
3. Make short notes of each subject literally that will help you a lot in the last 2 months.
4. Attempt the topic wise and subject wise tests as early as possible in parallel and then focus on the Full length tests. Give at least 20 FMTs if possible.
5. In the last 3-4 months leave every thing behind and give the preparation the highest priority. This time will be the rank changer time for you. I had never attended any family functions, festivals and not even watched a single movie in the last 6 months of preparation except the day before the exam.
6. And finally on the D-Day keep yourself as calm as you can because whatsoever is your preparation in the whole year if you mess up this single day your hard work of 365 days will be gone in vain.
This is my first Blog actually don’t know how i write it but my main motive behind this Blog is to express my gratitude to GO and to document my journey.