I am writing this post not to give any tips about the preparation strategy as it has already been given/will be given by many toppers.
This post is just an attempt to motivate whoever is planning to take a drop.
Last year (2017-18) was a nightmare for me and I know there are a lot more to come as this is what life is! I have faced many hurdles in a short period of time and each of them had broken me from inside.
Background: I have done my graduation from a private college in West Bengal. I was not a very average student in my college. My theoretical as well as practical knowledge was not bad I believe and my gate prep had significant contribution in that. Still was not able to crack the initial rounds of many companies and finally got placed at an MNC which offered pretty low lpa (3.36). I am not being over confident at all but I believed I deserved better than this when I saw some particular students getting higher package than me. But I also knew some students who deserved much better, yet stuck in the same kind of package. In short I encountered a series of rejections during that time. Nonetheless, I got that one job and had to stay happy with it.
2nd half of 2017: After getting this average lpa I became sad but had to come out of that zone else I would have also ruined the Gate paper. I really worked hard and was dedicated throughout the entire period. I compromised with all kinds of social gatherings, entertainment just to focus on Gate.
Feb, 2018: But…I still ruined it ( 1000< my rank <2000)
I became clueless as what to do next! The final year project kept me distracted from this thought for quite a while but after the final sem got over I realized I had to face the tough reality now!
After Gate there comes an array of tests like ISRO, PGEE, ISI etc.
I filled up their form but totally lost the motivation to study for them. Naturally couldn’t clear ISRO and PGEE but somehow cracked the ISI written but was not selected after the interview.
April-May, 2018: The good part was that I got calls from IIITD and IIT, Mandi for interview. I could clear only IIT Mandi but didn’t wish to go there.
June, 2018: Now I was getting some lower NITs and state govt colleges. I just didn’t know what to choose.
- Join company and appear for Gate’19
- Join a state govt college and appear for Gate’19
- Totally take a drop and appear for Gate’19
Then one of my seniors suggested me to join the state govt college (JU i.e. Jadavpur University) and prepare for the next year. The curriculum over there was not hectic so I might be able to balance both of them simultaneously.
On the other hand, rejecting a job offer was also frightening me from inside. But then after consulting with many experienced people (seniors, cousins…) I realized that it would be really difficult for me to manage job and gate prep simultaneously.
August, 2018: So finally I decided to join JU. It had some strict rules on attendance which supposedly had started from that year only. I soon realized that if I had to abide by their rules of attendance, I can’t give proper time to my prep. Each day was difficult for me in the beginning. I used to cry from inside thinking about what was happening to me. Why was it happening to me when I genuinely tried a lot for Gate’18!
I literally didn’t know where I was heading to!
After attending JU for 2 months with a lot of gaps in the middle I decided to leave it! Thankfully my family was very supportive about it.
I talked to our coordinator and he advised me to concentrate on Gate prep only else I would lose it again! I didn’t expect such cooperation from a college which I was planning to leave :P
Nov, 2018: I totally left JU. I decided not to appear for the semester exams there.
I fully concentrated on Gate’19 prep, participated in the discussions on Gateoverflow which has immensely helped me in clearing many concepts!
But then everything should be done within limits. I felt that I was spending too much time here and less on my actual prep. I tried to get over the addiction and was able to do it after days of trying .You cannot suddenly stop it. In order to stop, you have to reduce it first.
I have extreme exam fear for which I took CBTs and also took many mocks at home. CBTs helped me realize that I have to practice waking up earlier as I felt sleepy during the CBT :P
Finally the D-day came. The Apti questions were pretty easy. Then the 1 mark questions were also easy. I felt very confident from inside. But when the 2M questions came, I started getting nervous when I had to leave 5-6 questions at a stretch (I marked them for review). Still, the nervousness was not like the one which I felt during Gate’18. I proceeded and did all those questions which I could in the 1st scan. Then I returned to the questions which I had marked for review.
I could solve some of them. I solved a total of only 51 questions in this easy paper as I wasted my time over analysing some easy questions as tension of getting –ve marks engulfed me.
According to me this year’s paper was not really well set as it didn’t really test some core concepts.
Anyway, I secured AIR 308 ( marks: 68, GS:777, cat: Gen) and took admission in IITG Mtech CSE.
Some imp tips:
- Never fully trust someone during preparation. Be self-dependent and don’t rely on others to get information. You might be misled.
- Some will say stuffs like “I have prepared for only a month”, “I am appearing for Gate only because I have filled up the form”. Try to stay away from these Big liars (Some of these people might be genuine but most of them are not).
- Always participate in the discussions on GO but within a limit :P
- Don’t avoid studying from books. I hated reading books but had to do it to enhance my knowledge. It was tough initially but later I started enjoying it when I began to know new things from book. If there is time constraint, then study the imp topics only.
- Test series marks might not be a deciding factor of your actual Gate performance, but to clear your concepts and widen your knowledge, GateBook and Gateoverflow tests should be taken and for increasing speed Made Easy tests are good.
Token of THANKS:
Firstly many many thanks to Arjun Sir. Gateoverflow’s contribution was immense!!!
I enrolled to the GATEBOOK online video lectures during my Gate’19 prep. It has helped me a lot to understand some really important concepts. I would like to thank Kiran Sir and his team for this.
My family, friends have been a constant source of motivation.
I would like to mention some people whose participation in this forum was of great significance.
Prashant Sir, Digvijay Sir, Soumya, Shaik Masthan, srestha, Magma, Mk Utkarsh, Arvin, Somoshree, Headshot, Prince Sindhiya and all the veterans. It’s been a while since I have participated in any discussion here so I might be forgetting names of some important people. Please pardon me for that. Last but not the least thanks to my elder sis Trishna and my parents for supporting me throughout the journey… :)