This post is only for those giving GATE 2018 and for those who are willing to give it their all. This is a general preparation plan. More detailed plan I'll give later. I'm giving this mainly because I feel many aspirants are not preparing in the right way. So, I'll give some general directions here regarding Do's and Dont's. As always every advice must have a reason and only if you are convinced about the reason you should follow it.
AIM: To score 90+ in GATE 2018
Why 90+? Hardly anyone so far in GATE CSE has achieved this while this is common among other branches. But the main reason for this is that some areas in CSE are not well known to many aspirants. And this is not due to any issue of ambiguity in questions as was evident in the GO keys for last 2 years which were 99-100% accurate. So, why not aspirants start aiming for 90+? Even aim 100. Any topic you are not getting quality material, we shall provide. Also realize that even AIR 1 makes silly mistakes and you have to account about 10 marks for this. i.e., if you know for 90, you get 80 in actual GATE. So, I do not want anyone to leave stuffs to luck in the end. Below 70 you are almost doomed unless you have reservation.
How to start preparing?
This depends on where you stand. Suppose you have given GATE 2017, I would suggest to first analyze what all happened in the exam - which all areas you confidently answered, which all areas you made mistakes, which all areas you could not answer etc. This should tell which all areas you should focus more.
Now in general, you need to know all GATE topics and should have the numerical skills to apply them in a problem. So, aptitude is required in addition to it being asked for 15% marks. What I meant is learning aptitude must not be just practicing some speed/distance questions from some book, but also about learning to solve problems on own. Some people have this inherent skill and they have a big advantage in GATE. Others need to build it first by thinking a lot while solving such questions.
Coming to other subjects Mathematics come first. And subjects like Mathematical Logic, Set Theory, Probability, and Graph Theory you MUST do at first. Because these are used in other subjects and hence ensures your strong base. These are also the subjects why other branch students easily beat CSE students as quite often CSE students ignore them. Other mathematics portions like Linear Algebra and Calculus do not have any dependence in GATE syllabus and these you can cover anytime. (Of course you may bring in a system subject here like OS if you feel bored with Mathematics)
Then do the CSE subjects. Anyone would say Algorithms, DS and Programming cover a lot of GATE marks. This is true. But there is no use in concentrating on these subjects alone. Those who are good in programming C code usually do well in these areas. And those who studies just theory usually get less in these areas. So, my suggestion is to implement most of the algorithms you learn here especially if you have not done so in your B.tech.
Then comes two subjects DBMS and Computer Networks. For DBMS text book (of course only standard one like Korth/Navathe) knowledge and practice is enough if you know and have practiced SQL queries. Otherwise just start writing SQL queries. For Computer Networks a good text book and previous year GATE questions can guide one well. Usually these two subjects are done well by most toppers.
Now come 2 subjects which most toppers loose marks on. TOC and CO. Actually these two subjects are the reason why GO was mainly started because most answers given on these else where were wrong. For these two subjects, the knowledge required by IITs are just basic only as other subjects -- but even this basic knowledge is taught wrong at other places including Universities. So, you must be really careful in seeing any material on these subjects outside standard resources. You can also refer the GO solutions here because as told earlier these 2 subjects are the main reason GO was started.
Now, there are OS, Digital Logic and Compilers. For Digital Logic I'm not saying anything as everything I wanted to say are covered in this PDF. OS is usually a high scoring subject where toppers can score 100%. But sometimes questions can be tricky like CO. But if you solve -- not learn the given solution -- all the previous GATE questions you can score good. Compilers is usually not well covered even by toppers. This is also one subject where the standard book -- Dragon book - is not easy to follow for beginners. This book has a guide though and you can find the relevant links for Compilers here.
Okay, so this is the brief coverage of all the subjects. For any subject resource you can see http://syllabus.gatecse.in. Only for Digital Logic we have a PDF book now but my highest priority is to do the books for other subjects which should be made in coming months. These will be made in a way to help you follow the standard books -- and not as a note book. Those who find trouble reading standard books can also see the best CSE GATE videos collected here.
All the suggestions I gave are tough. And yes only YOU must work hard for it -- and not me or any one else. The result will be your GATE result. And this is the reason why GO is free -- so that no one comes here and expects others to work for them in return for money they pay. What we believe in and what the results show is that whoever works hard -- and of course works smart -- tops GATE. At first solving problems on own takes time -- even after completing my Masters some GATE problem used to take me even days to solve. But that is the effort you should give. Always remember the 30% rule of GO book - never see more than 30% of the given solutions. Else you are preparing wrong for GATE -- might work for ISRO or other exams where questions are repeated.
So, are you ready to give it ALL?