IIIT Hyderabad Interview Experience and GATE 2018 journey
PART A: GATE 2018 JOURNEY
Hello everyone, I am Hitesh Kaushik. I appeared for GATE 2018 and it was my first attempt. I ended up with a rank of 1824. I hardly managed to complete my syllabus till 15th january 2018. I was strong in theory but didn't got time to practice much questions due to time constraints. These time constraints were enforced because of various factors, lets not discuss those.
I started following Gateoverflow website and FB group seriously from july-aug 2017. I wish I could have done that when i started my preparation in jan 2017.
I joined a nearby coaching in the month of jan 2017.When i started my preparation, i had no clue about what strategy to follow and what resources to utilize. It is after I discovered GO, I was on the right track.In my coaching, one of the faculty (lets name him A) was a legend of his subjects.His subjects were Algorithms,TOC,OS,C language,Data Structures,General Aptitude.All logical subjects were beautifully covered by him and I got a strong hold on these subjects.Actually for every concept, he had his own way of explaining it. HE HATED THE WORDS FORMULA, CRAM, etc. More than for myself, I wanted a good rank for him.I will not find such person again in my life.
Now coming to preparation again, the above mentioned subjects were my strong subjects.The weaker ones are COA,CN,Compiler(I didnt studied it at all for GATE),Maths. The subjects in which I was moderately comfortable were Databases,Digital Logic.
After joining GO and getting involved in it, I realised that I could have prepared without coaching.Gateoverflow is enough if someone is confused regarding self study. The reason I am saying GO is enough is because, first of all it is a complete collection of almost all previous year questions and their perfect answers(100% correct).The discussion on each question is what i like the most.Secondly, GO includes the references to all the standard resources for all subjects and topics.
I still sometimes wonder about the questions on multilevel paging,heirarchical/parallel cache problems and many more.I dont know how I would have learnt these concepts without GO.These are the topics in which most of the students mug up the formulas and end up doing wrong.
I will not cover study references, test series etc. For them you can refer here:https://gateoverflow.in/blog/3813/my-success-story
Remember , consistency is the key. You have to prepare daily.Either make a time table or be disciplined enough.
PART B: IIITH
By this time , I was undergoing 6 months training in the company I got placed in.
After performing miserably in GATE, it was the time for PGEE exam.I didnt prepare anything specially for PGEE after GATE exam, took PGEE with whatever I retained after GATE preparation.
The exam was easy as compared to GATE. The important points in this exam were : no -ve marking, multiple options correct.
After 10 or 15 days, the results were published and I saw my name in the chosen ones.After the results, i had exactly 1 month to prepare for Interview..Due to ongoing job, I was not able to prepare properly for the interview but then I somehow managed to revise 3 subjects: Algorithms, TOC,databases.While discussing with my friends, many of them suggested me not to choose TOC as it is pure theoretical and research based subject and the interviewers may go to any level.But my love for TOC was at some other level.I didn't listened to their advices and went ahead with these choices.
Date: 13th June 2018
There were 4 panels(numbered 11,12,13,14) for CSE.Mine was with panel no 13. I saw my name in the list and my turn was 4th. My turn came, I went in.There were 4 panelists.The room was not properly lit.There was a blackboard for solving questions.
Me: A very Good morning to all(with a big fake smile on my face).
Panel: They just nodded.Please have a seat.
Me: Thank you sir
Panel: So whats your name?
Me: Myself Hitesh Kaushik.
Panel: Where are you travelling from?
Me: Sir, I am travelling from Chandigarh.I am excited to be here( again a big fake smile).
Panel: From where did you completed your btech from?
Me: Told college name and place.
Panel: One of them immediately googled the college name to check if it is govt or private.
Panel:Whats your GPA?
Me: 8.28 till 7th sem.
Panel: Why mtech from IIITH? Why not a job?
Me: Gave a properly prepared answer.
Let me tell you guys, those people were expression-less all the time.I was like "are they numb?"
Panel: what are the subjects you are comfortable in?
Me: (Now i knew how to turn the table) Sir i like theoretical subjects. So i would prefer TOC,algorithms,DBMS.
One from panel : and maths?
Me: Sir i can try maths.
Panel: No just tell your strong ones.
Me:(thinking, isnt that what i told them earlier).Sir TOC,Algorithms,Databases.
Me: SIr you can ask ANYTHING from TOC.
Panel: 2 of them looked at each other.( I started sweating) .
P4 from Panel: Do you know recurrences?
Me: yes sir
P4: take this chalk and approach the board.Write a recurrence: he dictated T(n)=T(sqrt(n))+1.What will be its answer?
Me: (thinking, are they kidding me?) Wrote O(loglogn).
Panel: How did you arrived at the answer?
Me:(thinking, how the hell can i write a direct answer.I should have solved it step by step) Sir , I will recursively solve this using substitution method and there will be O(loglogn) function calls.
Panel: Do it.
Me: Did it in fraction of seconds.
Panel: They now looked somewhat satisfied for the 1st time.
P2 from panel: can you draw dfa?
Me:(talking to myself in mind, "apna ilaka aa gaya bhidu") yes sir sure.
P2 : draw a dfa for even no.of zeroes with 0,1 as the alphabet.
Me: (now they are seriously making joke of me) drew the transition graph.
P2:OK while nodding in agreement.Draw dfa for even 0 and odd 1.
Me: (By this time I was frustrated by the level of questions) drew it again in moments.
Now P3 interrupts: draw FA for "3rd symbol from right side is 1 on alphabet 0,1".
Me:made NFA for it quickly.
P3: now draw DFA.
Me: I tried with some initial logic.But I knew this question isnt that straight and requires some more thought process.Somehow, made a partially correct DFA(I knew it was 100% wrong).
P3: He looked satisfied bcoz while drawing the dfa, I was moving my hands to show that i am thinking about the transitions and trying to apply some logic.He said it seems correct(I was happy that he didnt noticed that it was not correct).
Meanwhile P4 interrupts: But 101 is getting rejected here.(Now I was caught). I looked at the dfa and said that "yes i think i missed some cases".
P4: ok first draw dfa for "3rd symbol from left is 1".
Me: made it super quickly.
P4: explain its logic.
P4: then why you are facing problem in previous one?
Me: Sir the last 3 places can have 8 possible combinations and because of that the number of states will increase and the logic will change accordingly.I can definitely do it but now I think I am not able to concentrate properly on the board.
Panel: Everyone was nodding in agreement(I felt good).
P1(finally its P1): (he was going through my certificates and marksheets) thank you hitesh, you may leave. He handed my folder and I left.
After coming out, I was not at all happy with the level and number of questions they asked. I thought they will grill me in TOC and Algorithms but nothing like that happened.
I started analyzing my interview. I was sure that as the number of questions were less, hence they are not interested in me.Either they didnt liked my projects(mentioned in resume) or they were not ok with the choice of subjects.
I came home.On 20th june ,results came out. That day I was continously refreshing the portal on my phone.
Suddenly after one refresh, I saw a button named "ACCEPT SEAT".I rubbed my eyes ,again refreshed it, again saw the button.
I WAS SELECTED.
I went to my team director , told him I got selected(I already told him beforehand that if selected, I will leave the company). He said congrats.You can leave the company whenever you want. My bond letter signing was to be done after the completion of my 6 months training which will be completing in july , hence I was free to walk out.
For me , The interview was short and simple.
- Arjun suresh sir - for this wonderful platform and amazing answers on GO.You are a role model.
- Bikram Ballav sir - Sir, we aspirants owe a lot to you.Keep doing this selfless job.
- Habib mohammed khan - epitome of knowledge, thanks for your perfect answers to toughest questions.
- Debashish Deka
- Sachin Mittal
- Hemant parihar
- Praveen saini
- Pooja palod
- My friend Ajinkya Jumbad (congrats again man for IITB)
- and many more
You can always ping me here or on fb. I will be more than happy to help you.
All the best to future GATE and other exam aspirants.