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There are many people here preparing to be in Top 100 or even better. Of course if you are preparing for GATE you should not think below that. GATE is not a difficult exam to get to top 100. So, let me tell somethings I have seen over last 2 years.

  1. Most people with good/correct concepts get to Top 100 - like Pragy got 37 rank even by not studying Networks.
  2. Some good people do miss out on Top 100 - 1-2 people even drop to 1000 rank.
  3. Some people even without proper concepts get to Top 100 - its just a matter of 2-3 questions that can take you to Top 100 from 1000.

So, where do you want to go? Knowingly or unknowingly many of you are in part 3. Some good people are in part 2. And every one wants to be in part 1. So, how to get there? Let me list some common points:

  1. Build confidence by solving previous GATE questions. Analyze what they meant by each word of the question. Think what they can modify in it and make a new question.
  2. Step 1 above is not easy - can be done only by one who knows concepts well.
  3. GATE syllabus is stripped down from 2015 and is very small compared to NET. But still, it has a lot of subjects. But only basic questions are asked for at least 80% - but basic does not mean remembering sentences or formula is going to give marks. It requires proper application of concepts and numericals.
  4. For Engineering entrance there is a saying those who can calculate fast is at advantage. This is not true for GATE CSE. Calculcation power is not important. Though virtual there is a calculator and most numericals donot need it also.
  5. Each subject has a set of stock portions from which questions are asked. This covers 60-70% of the questions.
  6. Now, what one needs to do is to analyze oneself and improve. Many people say that they make a lot of mistakes. But this is common. And even AIR 1 would have made mistakes. So, one needs to prepare for this extra 10-20 marks and not say if I hadnot made those mistakes I would have got to top 100.
  7. I do not know why many people avoid aptitude. For first timers I can imagine lack of time. But those preparing again should give more importance to it. 15 marks is quite a lot. I see less than half takers for Aptitude exam compared to anyother in GO tests.
  8. Make concepts more clearer. This also reduces your chance of making mistakes. One knowing the correct concepts can easily avoid many wrong choices by looking only.
  9. Never be happy with other not knowing as much as you. Most people being ignorant does not make you a genius or guarantees a top 100 rank. You are fighting with yourself only- not among others. Because GATE includes many people who are silent here. So, even if no one objects to your answer or even if everyone is wrong, you must continuously evaluate yourself and improve.
  10. TOC, especially decidability- only few people gets it but those who gets it really find it easy. You can see decidability answers in GO and else where and most of them are different. If you believe me I can say GO answers are correct and elsewhere they are wrong. This is because I have spent such a long time answering them and it is after many verifications. Such wrong answers given for this portion elsewhere was one of the major motivation for starting GO.
  11. I have always told not to over do tests. But one must do tests as well. Without doing any test you have no idea where you stand. Also, knowing concept is onething. Applying it in a problem is another thing. So, you must do tests- if not anything else just do previous year papers as test.
  12. Whenevr you find a topic you don't know be happy that you reduced your chance of getting something wrong in GATE. Identifying what you dont know is more important than knowing what you know. One prime example of this is Akash Kanase- he has answered many questions quite nicely here around this time last year. He became monthly topper also. But he was not happy and realized he was weak in Aptitude and then worked on it. Before GATE he was quite confident and was quite certain of scoring 75+. And he did like that even after making some mistakes. I would say that was the most ideal preparation I have seen for GATE.
  13. Anyhow both 1 and 3 types of people are fine, I really do not want to see any one in 2. But if somehow one ends in 2, he/she should not worry too much. Because
    1. If your concepts are good you can easily clear MS interviews in IISc./IITs or even direct Ph.D. And those with good concepts enjoy doing research - whether you like research now is not important because most of you do not know what is research. And good people can finish MS in 1.5-2 years and only average is 2.5 years.
    2. Even upto 1500 rank one can get to IITM MS/Ph.D. But this does not mean one with rank say 400 can get it. Research interviews are different from an objective exam.


posted Nov 6, 2016 in Preparation Advice 10,130 views


Thank you very much sir. I am preparing for GATE 18. But the issue is I didn't have Compiler design as a subject in So need guidance about how to study Compilers in a short period of time. @Arjun sir.
@arjun sir, can you write a post on How you prepared? because when I read your answer on Gateoverflow, they are like the perfect statement/Concepts without any error. Can we know how you prepared and revised in last months?
That is not very useful because this site was started during my Ph.D. which was after 2 years of Masters at IISc.The answers I have given here would have been totally different had I given it during the time I gave GATE. But I'll write a post on how to best utilize the last month for GATE.
Thank You, sir, please write as soon as possible.

I'll write a post on how to best utilize the last month for GATE.

@Arjun sir this will really be useful but rather than last month, please give us advice how to effectively use last 2 months. I think it is like 19th over in T20 which makes the difference rather than last one :).  

I guess you meant while chasing :)

Anyway those who are preparing are expected to cover all topics by this month end. And they should be scoring 60+ in full length mock tests or minimum 50+. But the key is in getting this to improve by another 15-20 marks over the next 2 months. This requires careful analysis of the exam performance - identifying weak topics - and making them strong (Even without any exam, you should be knowing your weak topics), learning how to avoid mistakes, learning how to optimize time better etc.
Sir for final year student who have exam in december month. What strategy should we follow from now