GATE YEAR: 2019
GATE RANK: 1309
GATE SCORE: 655
Not so happy with the gate result, with 57 marks I expected a rank below 1000, but as the paper was a bit easy, rank dropped to 1309. My hopes for M.tech in top IIT's are also dropped. I didn't feel that bad because I was interested in MS rather than Mtech, and for MS chances are still there, IITM MS was always my major interest.
April 30 2pm was the reporting time for the written test.
That was a jaw dropping moment when I first saw the campus.
I was there at the Arya Bhatta Seminar Hall, CSE Block. It all started with the address of Head of the Department. He announced that there are 17 HTRA seats this whole year, i.e. for winter and summer admissions. They shortlisted around 380 students for the written test. The written test place was CRC Building.
The written test covered almost all the subjects of GATE and also it has SIGNALS and SYSTEMS, APTITUDE. From every subject there were 2-4 questions, and 5 questions from aptitude i think. The questions were of GATE level. If you have prepared good, written test will not be a problem.
They shortlisted 54 students for the Interview. I was waiting at the CSE Dept notice board for the list, at around 8 pm. The list was displayed, happy to see my name in the list. The reporting time for the interview is 8 30 AM the next day morning, and again we were seated in seminar hall. First the document verification took place, if your documents are verified first, you are the first one for interview.
There are 8-9 professors seated before me. As soon as I entered they asked me to take my seat, there was a list of subjects before me. They asked me to select one, as the interview will be on that subject.
I chose "Computer Organization and Architecture".
Really the professors were very cool. They will talk to you in such a manner that you will not feel tensed.
prof1: Have you done with your project?
me: yes sir.
prof1: How many of you completed it? Alone or two?
me: we are 4 sir.(he was shocked with my answer)
prof1: What is your project?
me: A New Hybrid Data Encryption Technique Sir. It is an algorithm which combines 3 encryption algorithms by dividing the plain text into 3 equal halves.
prof1:Which programming language did you use?
me: C language sir.
prof1: We will ask you questions from C later, shall we start from COA?
me: sure sir!
prof2: Why do you think there is a thing called "CACHE" in between processor and Main memory?
me: It is there to reduce the speed mismatch between processor and MM sir.
prof2: You are right! so do you think cache is faster than MM?
me: yes sir!
prof2: what is the size of the cache in general?
me: It is small sir, it will be in KB's.
prof2:Why do you think it is small?
me: It is made using S-RAM sir, it is costly that is why caches are small.( I wasn't sure)
prof2: Assume I'm a billionaire and money is not an issue!
Now I started to think in another way(Why are they small???)
me: I don't know sir, may be we can increase the size now.
prof2: think! what can be the reason for smaller size?
me: Sir, if the size of the cache increases, may be the search time for a word also increases.Hence we avoid bigger caches.(I wasn't sure about this too!).
prof2: Let us assume you are correct! How do you search for a word in cache, just give me the high level implementation,like what are the gates used?
me: I explained him that the tag part of the address of word is compared with the tags in the cache. I also told him a MUX is used to retrieve a single bit of tag, and the set offset is given as input to the MUX. Likewise we need that many no.of MUX which is equal to no.of tag bits. Input to all MUX will be same, i.e. set offset. Now the tag will be out, now we will compare this tag with CPU issued word tag using a comparator. I also told that this is for direct mapped cache and this changes with the architecture of cache.
After this, he has given the control to prof1.
prof1: do you know about addressing modes?
me: yes sir, they are used to specify the operand's address.
prof1:In what unit of your textbook do you find these?
me:No words here, I forgot in which unit we study these!
prof1:Which textbook do you refer?
me: Zacky and Hamacher.
prof1: can you tell me the basic addressing modes?
me: I explained him about direct , indirect addressing modes.
prof1: can you tell me some addressing modes which use offset?
me: base register AM,PC relative AM.
prof1: How do we measure the performance of a computer?
me: Sir its using FLOPS!
prof1: what is it?
me: FLoating point operations per second.
prof1: I think it is for CPU, what about others, IO devices , memory?How do we measure their performance?
me: I dont know sir.
prof1: Do you know about DMA?
me: I explained him the purpose of it, and modes in which it is operated!
Now I got shifted to C programming.
prof3: Given the base address of a DLL and a number n, write a code to traverse the list n nodes forward and n nodes backward(no words about size of the list)
me: I went upto the board, and wrote a code. he asked me some questions regarding the code.
prof3: Your code is not safe! Ok anyways we are done, you can go now!
me: Thank you!
While studying itself, choose one subject and give it some special interest. I promise you that subject will save you from interviews like these. Your love for that subject should remain same, irrespective of result. In my case it was COA and it got me selected here.
Success or failure, they are common, not giving up is much more important.
Any queries are always welcome!