I am Deepak Poonia, AIR 67, GATE CS 2018. What I want to share today with you guys is not my GATE journey or GATE Strategy etc.. But How poor was my College academic life(B.Tech) before GATE.
Just like many of you, I too was a bright student in my school life...Always topped in the class. Got pretty good marks in my Board exams and Parents were quite happy. Then came JEE and AIEEE exams (At that time, They used to conduct different exams for NITs and IITs..AIEEE was mostly the exam to get you into NITs)..I passed AIEEE exam and was getting some pretty good NIT but I had always dreamt of getting into IITB..So I left NIT and prepared for one more year But as the time passed and Exams came near, I went into extreme depression and left Studying....did not (could not) study for entire 2-3 months and couldn't crack JEE as well as AIEEE that year. So, I got into whatever college I could get (It was a State Govt College) and Started my B.Tech.
Again, Just like many of you, I had thought, in the beginning of the First semester, that I will study my ass off and Top this college..But that all went down into trash when I talked to my seniors and felt the environment of the college....Almost everyone in my college just wanted to pass the semesters somehow (with or without good percentage) and somehow get placed into some Mass recruiter company. And I, being one of them, did the same. Studied for One night before the exam like almost everyone else and Tried to pass through my B.Tech.... But I even couldn't do that. And I passed by Grace in one subject in my Second semester. But it was just the trailer of what was coming next. I mostly spent my time in college Watching TV series, Hanging around with friends and doing stuffs every college student does..But Not Studying. So, In the Third Semester, I got $5$ backlogs (out of 6 subjects)..Which didn't break my heart because I saw it coming.
After this terrible result, My Friends thought that Now I will take College academic life seriously and start studying. But I disappointed them and Got $4$ backlogs in Fourth semester and $5$ backlogs in Fifth semester.
By this time, I had become immune to Backlogs or semester results. So, I even skipped appearing in Exams few times..And couldn't clear my Backlogs on time. And because of this, I couldn't sit in campus placements.... But this could not affect me... until the day came when I got a call from my Mom. She told me that someone in my society got placed in some big company with big package in pocket. I could feel what my Mom wanted to say to me without actually saying it..and for the first time in entire college time, I regretted what I had done and hadn't done. I couldn't sleep for few nights because My college was about to end and I had 14 Backlogs to clear. So, I needed something that could change my life and neglect the effect of backlogs in my B.Tech. And just at that time, My dearest friend told me to prepare for GATE.
So, College time ended. My life was all messed up..Had 14 Backlogs to clear which my Parents did not know about. Didn't have any knowledge, whatsoever, of Computer Science. And with this burden on my head, I started my GATE preparation. And my GATE journey began.
I started learning subjects one by one and make detailed notes of every subject. And Though, I did not know anything of any technical subject, I bought Standard books of almost each subject and Started reading them alongside. In August, I had to go back to College to appear in Backlog exams. So, I missed DS and TOC subjects. In September, I fell severely sick and again missed the DM subject. In the end of October, I again had to go to College to appear in remaining Backlog exams and I missed CO subject. So, In the last two months of GATE 2017 Exam, I just focused on the subjects that I could learn in the last 7-8 months and appeared in GATE 2017 exam..without 4 major subjects in my fold....So, I could only secure AIR 1278 in GATE 2017 scoring 52 Marks. But the good news was that I had cleared all my Backlogs in this Year. But as I could not get good enough rank in GATE, So, I made my mind to prepare for GATE one more time as I wanted IISc for me.
So, I started preparing again and this time I did not want to leave any stone unturned and told myself that I will learn from wherever I can learn..So, I Started solving each problem on GO, Reading Standard books for each subject etc.. And I did whatever I could do in this year of preparation. And Finally, the day came, I secured AIR 67 in GATE CS 2018. Did some silly mistakes which brought me down but I could still get IISc this time and Now I am going to become an IIScian, effectively from 24 July 2018.
So, I would say If you believe in yourself then your past doesn't matter. Just give your best shot and do not give up on your Goals. Even if you had terrible past, you can neglect its effect on your future.
All the very best future aspirants!!
Edit 1: I secured AIR 53 in GATE 2020.
Edit 2: Driven by my passion and interest for teaching and GATE CSE, I started Go Classes for GATE CSE Preparation. Students preparing for GATE CSE, join Goclasses for best learning experience:
Join GATE 2023 Complete Course and learn everything by properly understanding everything. Don't by-heart, don't do Rote-learning of any concept.
"GO" for the best!!