Hello all the future GATE aspirants out there. I will be talking here about some few points regarding GATE and the counseling process post exam.
First of all, lets see how competitive the exam is.
So, here are the marks (out of 100) corresponding to some of the ranks in GATE 2017.
AIR 1 - 86.26
AIR 50 - 73.09
AIR 101 - 69.90
AIR 200 - 65.26
AIR 302 - 62.93
AIR 401 - 61.12
AIR 500 - 59.31
So do you see the competition? All you need is just 4.64 marks to jump from AIR 200 to AIR 100. Or you need just 2.33 marks to jump from AIR 300 to AIR 200. That means you just need to mark one 2 marks question correctly to make a jump of 100 ranks. I think you can feel the competition now. Once you have assured 60 marks in GATE, try to get few more marks, because it is just a matter of 3-4 marks to make a transition from an NIT to an IIT. I am sure you will figure out how to make those jumps of 50-100 ranks, before GATE 2018.
Also, as you see the marks vs rank comparison, you see that there is actually no difference in knowledge between AIR 100 and AIR 200, or between AIR 200 and AIR 400. The difference is made by those 3 hours in the exam hall, where someone does 2 questions correctly more than you, and gets 200 ranks better than you, only because he/she can handle the pressure a little bit better than you.
Next I will talk about the closing rank (not score) in IISc and the top 7 old IITs this year.
- IISc (estd. 1909) - AIR 55.
- IITB (estd. 1958) - AIR 104.
- IITM (estd. 1959) - AIR 167.
- IITKGP (estd. 1951) - AIR 242.
- IITG (estd. 1994) - AIR 321.
- IITR (estd. 2001) - AIR 245 (till 4th round) and 468 (at spot round)
- IITD (estd. 1961) - Based on interview as well as GATE score (70% GATE score and 30% interview). As a result, the closing rank was within AIR 240.
- IITK (estd. 1959) - Totally based on interview. The cutoff to get an interview call this year was GATE score 740 (around AIR 470)
Now, if you look at the closing ranks of IISc and the top 7 IITs for the last few years, you will see the same trend i.e. The seats in IISc and IITB get filled up earlier, followed by IITM, IITKGP and so on. Why is it so? What do students see while choosing a college?
- Academics - This should be the foremost criteria of choosing your college, but actually students see placement records first before choosing the college. Before choosing your college, try to know about the faculties from the institute website and the areas they are working on.
- Placements - Students focus on this point more than the other points to choose their college. When you are studying in one of the best engineering colleges in the country, and that too CS, you shouldn't be worried about placements, should you? Placements in IISc/IITs are more or less similar. Only difference is that some 10 companies visit one institute more than the other. Placements in a particular year also depends on the students, market dynamics and a few other factors.
- Location - Students tend to prefer to choose the college which is near to their home, so that commuting to and fro becomes easier. This factor should be considered only after you have shortlisted your colleges of choice based on academics and research. In my opinion, the worst sufferer due to this factor is IIT Guwahati, due to its location in the north-east, thus being far from most of the other parts of India.
- Herd Following - Though this is not so important compared to the above factors, still it plays an important role in choosing the college. People tend to follow the closing ranks of the previous years and try to select one college over the other. When in dilemma between two or more colleges, they look at the past records and make a decision. One such comparison that I have seen is when people have to choose between IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur. They simply follow the herd and finally choose IIT Madras.
Some people (not all) try to make their decision based on 'location' and 'herd following'. In my opinion, they should make their decision based on 'academics' first and then based on 'location'.
A small note: I have made all the above points based on my observations. My intention is not to demean any of the IITs or IISc (if anyone feels so). I have just explained the ongoing trends regarding the competition in GATE and what happens after GATE.
Also, the statistics shown above are are based on my collections from various sources. If anybody finds any of the figures in the statistics as misleading, please inform me. I will make the required corrections.