Before you read any further, you should judge me, because I am not a topper! My rank(558) and gate score(729), marks (63.67). It is important for you to decide if my experience is worth your time. Also, the usual disclaimer, below is My reasoned routine for GATE 2019.
First things first, there is "NO SHORT CUT TO THE GATE JOURNEY". Quite trivial a line it is and you must indeed learn to value the meaning that it holds. For those preparing for GATE 2020, the biggest challenge you have right now is time. Not that you have less time in hand, but the fact that you have way way more than whats required to kill GATE, calls for immense dedication to keep the regularity of studies going. At times you shall feel that the pace at which your preparation is going is pretty good, and you deserve a break. Trust me, you DO NOT DESERVE A BREAK, SHOULD YOU WISH TO BE AT IISc. At times you shall feel that the pace is below par, and that you are not gonna make it. Everyone feels so. But the secret is to keep pushing. Ask those who go to gym, what matters. Trying to lift the weight, when you thought you could not, gets you the shape!
Secondly, there will be a lot of advises and preparation strategies from your well-wishers. But before resolving to any of them, you should know that "These are tips, that worked for them", might not work for you. So even after following the tips and strategies of your well-wishers, you should have your own ingredient.
If at all you are feeling comfortable in the course of your preparation, trust me, you are not putting in enough. If a comfortable effort could get you an IISc or a good IIT, you would not have bothered reading such a long post, at the first place. You are supposed to feel the sense of loss of social enjoyment.
Thirdly, for freshers, try to get placed into a company in your college interviews. Takes the pressure off for GATE. Makes you write GATE with little expectations.
Final days(last 2 months) of your preparation are the most important. This is where I believe your rank gets improved by around a 1000. Be brutal with yourself. Dont let yourself sit idle. Every second of your last moments count. As far as I am concerned, I used to have one of the four corners of my mosquito net hung, to save time before and after my sleeps.
In this period of your preparation, having friends(normal ones as well as the Shona Janu ones :P) is poisonous to you. However, having a best friend shall be your penicillin. He will push your mind from the outside.
You will also need an internal sense of "I CAN DO IT". You have to find yourself, what it is that you can do, to give you a sense of achievement. I used to walk a distance of 10-11 Km a day, to make me feel mentally and physically enabled.
The tips that I religiously followed are:
1. Write my own notes.
2. Besides writing my notes, I also wrote my reasons to kill GATE. These reasons are personal to me so aint writing here(Whom am I kidding :P I had a breakup). Made sure that when I went through these notes, my reasons were right in front of me. These were like my statement of purpose to my future self.
3. I tried to solve questions mentally. I did not use pen and paper. Once solved in my mind, I wrote the solution along with the question in my notebook.
4. Every time I solved a question in an inappropriate way, wrote my mistakes. However silly a mistake that might be(REVISING YOUR MISTAKES IS ALSO A FORM OF REVISION. THE ONE THAT MAKES YOU REMEMBER WHAT NOT TO DO). Along with the mistake, also wrote the correct solution.
5. Posted my doubts in GO as well as in other groups. Sometimes, the posts were silly enough, to make me laugh at myself. But that’s worth it.
6. I started my test series somewhere around the start of January. Appeared approximately for 35-40 full length tests. TEST SERIES SHOULD BE TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY, AND TAKING THEM AT 9am IN THE MORNING IS OPTIMUM. Even more important than appearing test series is, statistically analyzing them. By that I mean you should know in numbers(by number i mean positive and negative marks) how you perform in every subject. For me, I was specifically weak in discrete and compiler. I had enough time to boost one of them. So I chose to be better at discrete.
7. Except for the last two months, watched one English movie every week without subtitles, to keep my English in shape for college campus interviews.
8.THIS POINT IS MY OWN INGREDIENT IN MY PREPARATION. I used to tell everyone that I am gonna crack GATE with a rank<500 in first attempt. Yes. I ADVERTISED. PEOPLE USED THINK OF ME AS SOMEONE WHO BOASTS(CAUSE INITIALLY MY COLLEGE GRADES WERE HARDLY AROUND 6.5 TO 7, INCREASED LATER THOUGH). THE THING IS, IF YOU ADVERTISE YOUR POTENTIAL SUCCESS, YOU ARE SUB-CONSCIOUSLY FORCING YOURSELF TO DELIVER. Even if you fail, worst case is people remember you as a jerk. But its up to you to decide what you want.
All the best for 2020. Wish you a good health. :) Jai Hind.