1

Hello everyone, This is Rajnandani Shaw and I have secured AIR 312 with marks 65.3(Gate score 779) in GATE 2020 and also selected as Scientist B in DRDO. I am neither a GATE topper nor from IIT/IIIT/NIT's but just an average student from a very normal engineering college just like many. I am a 2016 batch passout and had prepared for GATE with a full-time job. I am very thankful to Arjun sir and GateOverflow team for such a wonderful platform which had helped a lot during my entire preparation. This is my first post on GateOverflow. GO previous year's questions hard copy and goclassroom are very useful for gate preparation. GateOverflow is a must for all preparing from online sources or doing self-studies. In GO we can ask our doubts, discuss anything, get preparation tips, and resolve our queries. It is a place with the best explanations of GATE PYQ and all standard materials. GateOverflow tests are also very helpful for preparation which have quality questions that check our concepts well. Previous year questions also available as test series which we can use for self-analysis before the actual GATE exam. GATE 2019 was my first attempt after preparation but I was not able to secure a good rank so I tried for GATE 2020. This time I had tried to refer standard materials/questions available in Goclassroom which helped to make my concepts more clear.

Background:

I am the first girl child of my joint family from a small place in Jharkhand. At that time in my locality girls were not allowed to live like boys. In fact, I was the first girl there to go out of the city for studies and my mother always fought for me. We belong to an average earning middle-class family and I have some responsibilities. During school, I was very weak in studies (in every result I got 2 to 3 red marks ) till standard 7th where I failed and got a warning from my school that if I get a single red mark in the Final term result then I won’t be promoted. After that, I started studying rigorously and started getting ranks like 4th, 3rd, and 2nd from class 8th onwards. In this way my 10th completed. Becoming an Engineer was the dream of my class topper. Everyone appreciated him very much and then I thought if he wants to become Engineer then it must be a good profession and I should also try this. At that time I didn’t even know what engineering meant and how to become one. I had to take admission in State Board college for 12th(with Computer Science was one of my subjects where I developed an interest in CS). No JEE level coaching/tuition was available in my area.  I got UCET VBU Hazaribag, Jharkhand with TFW(tuition fees are waived) through the state engineering exam as I can't afford Pvt engineering college. We were our college’s 4th batch and no one from my college was working in even service-based companies or cracked GATE. Not even a single company visited our campus and we had to do strike in order to get AICTE approval. I didn’t even know what is GATE and how to prepare for it before 3rd year. But somehow I managed to qualify for GATE 2016. I was a college topper and completed my B.Tech with 83.2%. After college, I had to struggle a lot for getting a job. I applied for AMCAT and COCUBES and the score was good.  I got a job in a startup named Novatree solutions, Kolkata as Software Developer through COCUBES with a 1.8 LPA package. I worked in Novatree till 16 Nov 2016 and on 17 Nov 2016, I joined my 2nd job offer from Cognizant through AMCAT as an Engineer trainee. I never thought of working in MNC and so I was overwhelmed with joy. I was very happy in the initial months as I thought that after getting this job all problems of my life will be solved. But after a few months, I realized it is not true and I need to work hard with the job(no chance of leaving it) and prepare for the IBPS IT officer job as I didn’t have that confidence that I can crack GATE. I appeared for the IBPS IT Officer exam and missed it by 2 marks. I was so desperate to change my life that I started to appear in every exam that I was eligible for and sacrificed everything for it. I appeared for Damodar Valley Corporation(DVC) Assistant Engineer IT(Group A job with very good salary) post on a contractual basis exam and cleared it. I joined DVC on 24 Nov’2017 after resigning at Cognizant on 23 Nov 2017. I got a posting near my home. Here I worked with people who had cleared GATE which boosted my confidence to clear GATE. In July’18 I decided to prepare and dedicate my everything to it, so I started utilizing every waking moment for GATE. The work environment was not that supportive for preparation and Saturday was also working but I never give up. In Gate’18 I got 15 marks only and couldn't even qualify.

I solved PYQ GO hard book 2 times, followed video lectures, test series, etc, and I started appearing for every exam(AAI/UPPCL etc) for which I was eligible and missed each by few marks. In GATE 2020, I got 65.33 marks with a 779 Gate Score. I got some job offers from OMPL (Subsidiary of ONGC and MRPL) for the Executive (IT) post, Punjab and Sind Bank for the post of Software Developer and CRIS but I didn’t join any. I appeared for these exams because I wanted to have a backup plan. I lost 5.33 marks in GATE 2020 by doing some silly mistakes in basic formulae and division in the aptitude section as I was not able to revise aptitude because I had exams and interviews in the last two months and my DRDO interview was also scheduled in Delhi 2 days prior to the GATE exam which was not in my GATE preparation plan, but I am happy for my DRDO result.

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the long post. All the very best.

2

Hi, I am Suraj Kesharwani, I have scored AIR: 372 in GATE 2020. My Gate-Score is 764. This was my third attempt. I had to leave my job earlier in June 2019 to prepare seriously as I decided this would be my last attempt. My previous ranks are 5793 and 7613 in GATE 2018 and 2019 respectively.

I want to thank my family, GO Community, and my friend/ Mentor Abhishek Shaw. He has cracked GATE in 2019 with AIR: 175 and has also inspired me to leave my job and prepare full time. This blog is in continuation of his preparation strategy as I have also followed it with some improvements. You can find his blogs here (Blog 1) (Blog 2) (Blog 3)(Blog 4)(Blog 5)(Blog 6)

Some Personal Background:

• I never thought about taking GATE in my whole UG. Neither did I planned for a PG.

• I did my UG from private tier-3 college in West Bengal where people are trained to fetch marks just by mugging things up.

• I was not good at math. (I only think I am decent now)

Knowing What’s Wrong

After getting such low marks your confidence gets collapsed That is why I started my preparation to get around 70-75 marks which can land me the rank of below 200. So, I took a mock of 2019 itself, in my home after 2 weeks of actual exam. Even at home, I was only able to score just 42 marks. I realized that the problem was with my concept. I made a chart similar to the GO stats. So that I could know which all subjects ware my weak spots and needed extra attention.

Also, wrote down those topics which I found hard to understand. I planned to work on these first and then moved onto the other subjects.

I started a reverse plan and started to mark the dates as much I could for the next attempt with a week division like

and also made a sheet for each book of GO PDF. The sheets contained details of the topic of a particular subject sorted by weight.

​

You can copy the sheet if you want. Book 1 Book 2 Book 3

I did add columns for the question numbers as It is hard to find the questions when using GO lists and favorites questions.

Improving

When someone has to prepare on their own, they have to have a monitoring factor to check their improvement on a daily basis. So I opted for a Test series just to make sure that I am completing the subjects with some timeline. I enrolled myself in GATEBOOK. (Because they were offering a 500rs prize money. So I motivated myself that I should top in some of the tests and could get my payment fees refunded in a way.)

After I collected this data, I started preparing the topics having more weightage. I took two subjects in parallel. One in which was I was weak and other, a lighter one. I would use to read them first from standard books and then tried to solve the PYQ of those topics from PDF. I would set a threshold of around  70-75%. I would revisit the standard books and standard resources until I was able to solve the questions with 70-75% accuracy.

You can make your study plan as per your wish but don’t make it for more than two weeks. I prepared a sheet for myself like the one attached below where I used to make a to-do list with a color-coding. The most important thing about it which I personally feel is when some days in preparation when you are feeling down, you just have to complete your task and not do anything else since consistency is the key.

I also used to mark such topics just to get an aggregated view of subjects like

Once I have covered the 60-65% topics of each subject. I started with a full-length test of previous years. It was around September end. I used to take paper for the previous year on a weekend. and in other days kept completing the subjects and topics. By this time I was scoring 55-60 marks in them. (Remember to leave the test from 2017 to 2020 for future use and do not see their questions while solving pyq.)

I made a separate copy of my mistakes where I used to write down my conceptual mistakes in these tests. (It was a great help while revising). And when I felt nervous with the very thought that I might have forgotten an already covered topic, I would randomly generate question number in the topic question range and solve them just to make sure that I was fine. (I had written a simple program for it.).

Some of the topics are hard to understand in one go. Like for me, it was Turing Machine and Reducibility, Pipelining, Congestion control, etc. You can visit those again just to be sure. These things were continued till November end and by this time I was scoring around 70-73 marks in previous year tests. All these while I was revising the completed topics from my notes from time to time.

Test Series

In December, I took TIFR as it has new questions, and that too standard one. It helped me to judge my ability to solve and understand new questions.  Also, I started to solve aptitude daily for 20 mins. I used to solve only GATE aptitude with all the branches of previous years. You can download it if you want from All Apti Sets. You can download a gate calculator just to get the right environment and monitor your time with a stopwatch. You can also get the result data saved and try to see how you are performing and the area where you need to work on. My average was 10.33 total and I also scored about 13 in the actual exam.

This time is very crucial you have to finish the small topics as well since you cannot be sure as to where the questions will come from. At least you should cover the topics from which questions are asked in GATE since 2014. and cover them since they are very small and can be done in a very few days. Try not to learn anything new in Jan and wrap all your new learnings in December. You can now make use of the GATE papers from 2017 to the current year. Solve one in each week at exactly on your actual test slot. and can change your plan accordingly. I had saved 2018 and 2019 papers only and when I took them, I scored around 65 and 67 marks. If you aren’t scoring 70+ in these tests, try to read and get some ideas about the questions, and its solutions which you are not able to solve as some questions are there just to scare you but are actually based on simple logic, for example:

So I completed these types of questions. and taught me not to get scared after seeing these types of questions in the actual exam.

CBT and All India Test

In January the CBT and the All India Level Test of various Institutes had started and I was just regularly revising my subject notes and my Mistake Copy notes. (Apart from subject notes you must have even shorter notes which you can use in the last week to revise).

I took two CBT tests, one from made easy and one from ACE. and scored AIR: 346 (38.33 marks), and AIR: 189 (54.66 marks). You can just judge yourself and practise the environment of the exam. Even if you get some fewer marks don’t be disappointed, as real battle is still there. I was not concerned with marks but knew my attempt strategy was okay and I was scoring well in the previous year papers not because I am memorised but I am solving. I also took one test by Applied Gate. I scored only 15 marks and then I realised that they are not framing the questions well enough like standards of GATE and are giving some questions way above the GATE level so I did not attempt any more of their tests.

Speed GATE

In the last week, I was tensed as I had a slow speed in the calculation and I used to get stuck in some questions which generally takes more time than a normal question. So to teach myself the art of leaving those questions and try to fetch marks from other relatively easier questions, I and Abhishek came up with a plan of something we call it speed-GATE. I used to solve the same previous year papers but in just 2 hours time so that I could get familiar with leaving questions and judging quickly as to how much time will it would take to solve it and then solve it accordingly. (Ideally, I should have got 80+ marks after seeing those so many times. But I was making sure that I solve them each time and do not mark those solved questions just by memorizing.) My stats of those as follows:

Just two days before the exam, I was just revising the shorter notes and my mistake copy notes. The last day I just tested the Interface by taking the mock in the actual GATE site. I did not take the whole test as I was just making sure whether I know all the functionalities of this year's interface. The last day I just relaxed.

After the result came out this year, many of the students were much tensed as some of the GO answers were multiple. And I finally ended up securing 64 marks. At last, I would only like to say If you are preparing alone, be true to yourself while solving the questions. If you are taking a shortcut for even for a single question, you are just cheating yourself and if it will be continued you are the only one going to suffer. I have seen in GO Fb page posts of people in Jan that they still are getting some 60 marks. But instead of re-reading the weak topics, they just kept taking more tests.

Refrain yourself from watching a web series as you can not control the urge and it will end up taking your time.

Create a playlist where you can add songs which inspire you to achieve your goal. You can listen to them often to get motivated or when feeling low.

Take proper sleep of 8hour. You are going to use your mind heavily so let it have proper rest

Never compromise on your health as a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.

Do not have a conversation with your friend who is not so important as much of your energy and mental peace would be used explaining to them what you are doing and why are you doing so.

Once in a week take a break for 3-4 hours as it’s a long journey and we need some relaxing time as well

Have the logo of your dream college printed in your study area so that every time you see it, you can remind yourself Your Ultimate Goal.

If you are comfortable with PDF then you can download almost all the standard books pdf from Books

I personally liked the earlier version of GO-PDF so if you want to download it, you can find it GO-PDF.

If you are watching any video lecture please be very sure that you are using standard content, as most of the (around 80%) of the content on the internet for GATE will make you dumber. I know two such Youtubers/ Teachers who have massive students following them but they themselves have not cleared GATE with a good rank and are teaching subjects for GATE (at least I did not find that about their rank).

A unique channel which I discovered was Shrenik Jain on youtube. For those who are searching materials for Engineering math of other branches, You can pause his video and solve and also see some short tricks shared by him using Just the properties.

3

Hi Everyone,

I am Prashant Ravi and I got AIR 283 this year and my GATE score is 787. This year I prepared with a job. This rank is an improvement over my previous year rank which was 2050. I have already covered my preparation experience in a separate article here. So, I will try to keep this post short and cover main pointers for working professionals and also about how I used GO.

Main pointers for working professionals:

• Make a realistic schedule. Keep buffer time in your schedule for unprecedented activities. Slowly try to get used to that schedule and then stick to it. Occasional faulting is fine because everyone needs a break.
• Time is a luxury so utilize it properly. During weekends, if you can’t study 7-8 hours per day then don’t but don’t waste weekends completely. In best case try to study more on weekends than weekdays and in worst case, try to study as much as weekdays. I used to go out on alternate Saturdays or Sundays.
• Start as early as possible. Have a high-level plan beforehand only that by what time you should have finished what. And try to achieve those goals.
• Arrange some quality, concise and to the point content to refer to while preparing. Try to avoid going out of syllabus from preparation perspective.
• Studying in office is a personal decision to take. Except for 2-3 instances, I never used to study in office because the free time I had used to be my break time and I couldn’t study or work whole day. This worked out for me but may not work for you. So, you want to study in office or not is totally your personal choice.
• Try to live as near as possible to office. If nearby area is expensive, then try to get a residence in such vicinity that per day you don’t take more than 30-40 minutes in travelling.
• You must lose something to gain something. It’s perfectly fine missing some parties, movies, lunch and dinners. You will have ample time to enjoy all this but once this time is gone, it’s gone.

How I used GO:

• FB group of GO is very responsive and provide you with solutions of your doubts really quick. Apart from that, whenever I want, I could have a healthy discussion about why my approach to a question is right or wrong.
• Being a community driven platform, the quality of answers on GO is very high. By quality I mean correctness, explanation and also in some answers, if there is a new concept or an uncommon concept used to solve problem, then mostly you can find links to read about that concept within that answer only.
• GO pdfs were bible for me while preparing. All 3 GO pdfs combined have almost 3k questions covering almost every previous year question of GATE as well as ISRO, CMI, ISI and TIFR. I had 2018 version so there can be more additions to recent editions.
• I started preparing towards the end of July, so I didn’t have much time to read standard books. There also GO pdfs helped me a lot. After finishing theory of a subject, I used to attempt that subject’s questions from GO pdf and while attempting questions, I used to learn so many new concepts. Then I used to read that concept in depth, and I used to write that concept down subject wise and topic wise in a notebook. This way I could read so many new concepts which I was otherwise missing by not reading standard books.
• While solving questions from GO pdf, I used to learn so many one-two line concepts which I used to write down subject wise and topic wise.
• If I wanted more insight at some question, then I used to visit that question on GO platform and read the discussion around that question which proved really helpful for me.

There are other facilities also which GO platform provide which I couldn’t use but are really helpful. For example, GO Classroom and Assignments.

• Maintain a separate notebook to note down whatever new you learn throughout your preparation and write that down subject wise and topic wise.
• If you don’t have enough time to make short notes, then once you know all the theory, start marking main main points in your actual notes. Mark in such a way that during final revision, subject like Computer Networks also don’t take more than 2 hours.
• Appear for as many tests as possible. If possible, try to take previous year papers on GO platform and try to score 75+. By the time you are appearing for these tests, you must have completed previous year questions twice and if still you are not able to solve already solved questions, then you may need to re-assess your preparation strategy and make necessary changes.

Mistakes I did:

• Did not go through standard books. Since I was short on time, I had to prioritize the material I want to study, and I chose not to read standard books. However, it is highly recommended to read standard books. One thing that is common across double digit rankers is that they read standard books.
• Time management. I wasted a lot of time in unnecessary things, which made me rush my preparation at later stages. I had to compromise on quality of preparation on some aspects.
• By the virtue of 2nd point, I was not able to appear for sufficient number of tests. My strategy for appearing for exam went for a toss while writing GATE. Just because I didn’t practice much in exam conditions trying different different strategies and working out the best one for me. Ideally, I should’ve been writing tests all of January but that couldn’t happen for me and I wrote really less number of tests. I missed all CBTs also for which you must go to a center to give test. Giving sufficient number of tests is really important.

In the end, again I will highlight that Gate Overflow was a very crucial factor in my success. Thanks a lot Gate Overflow!

4

I have secured AIR-(202) out of 97481 students( 99.79 percentile) in GATE CS-2020 with marks 68/100 and my gate score is 811/1000. Currently , I am in my final year and  pursuing my B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering from  Feroze Gandhi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Raebareli (U.P.).  I always had a dream of getting into IIT and with that dream after my 10+2, I went to KOTA FACTORY but was unable to crack it but the most important part was what I have learned from the failure and throughout the journey. After that anyhow I took admission in a state University Tier – 3 college.

Now I will describe shortly the each year of my B.Tech :
FIRST YEAR – ended up in knowing the status of my college weather it is private or semi-govt. (Till now it’s a mystery).

SECOND YEAR – Did some Competitive Programming and done some Training and projects in Android.

THIRD YEAR – Now , my gate journey starts from here. Remember Life always gives you a second chance . Keeps your eyes open and seize the very next opportunities. So,  I left doing any other things  and get myself  completely focused on gate.

Fifth Sem: Subjects Covered : Algorithms , DS , DBMS.

There are certain steps that I used to follow in completing each of my subjects :

1. Watch video Lectures .
2. Make Notes.
3. Revise them and Solve Previous Year Questions ( GO helped me a lot to clear all of my doubts regarding PYQs).
4. Write some Good PYQs and their concepts in a separate copy using the discussion and explanations on GO.
5. Make my own short Notes .

Sixth Sem : Subjects covered -  CN, COA, TOC, CD, OS ,DLD (as many of the subjects I have already read for my second year semester paper exams  so I completed them very fast ).

Now , till July , I completed all of my remaining subjects ( COA, DM, EM, Aptitude ) .

For aptitude and EM, I just read the basics and solved all of the PYQs from each branch which are more than sufficient.

Seventh Sem: Now, comes the most important part which are test series . Since I have completed all those subjects along with their PYQs and also had written all tough and imp PYQs once so only thing that I have to do was revision . So I scheduled and make planned for each of the subject revision and used the test series’s topic test and subject test for my revision purpose in a Round Robin manner .

I purchased  only Made Easy Test Series( of 2 yrs)   so I was having around 4-5 topic test and 2-3 single and multi-subjects test . So I give them all in a round robin manner taking all subjects so that all of my subjects are in continuous revision with me . I completed them all from August to November.

The steps that followed in solving test series are :

1. Revise the each subject and their PYQs once .
2. Give their topic test on weekly basis .
3. Give their single subject, multi subject test  after revising the short notes and mistakes of last given tests at an interval of 15 days .
4. Wrote and Bookmark all the important and new concepts from the test series . Many of those test series doubts are cleared from GateOverflow , a huge thanks to GO again.

In December ,my semester exam starts so I was not able to do much for gate so only thing that I done through out the 15 days of semester is given  many previous year gate paper as a mock which are available on gateoverflow .

Now , after the semester ends , It was around 45 days left . I gave around 30 Full length tests of Made Easy , Gateoverflow and some free All india mock tests of Applied Gate  and 3 Centre based tests in that period  and revised as much as possible . Before 12-15 days of exam I stop giving any test and just focused on PYQs once again and revised all those short notes and mistakes that I done in my tests.

I would like to thank the whole GO team specially @Arjun Sir for creating such a great community for the cse gate aspirants.

Also, I would personally like to thank @vermaAshish, @Satbir for helping me endlessly to clarify my doubts.

Thanks to my family and some of my close friends for always supporting and inspiring me.

Thank you so much!

My advice to all the future aspirants :

1. Instead of covering everything in something , first cover something in everything .
2. Have a good command over the PYQs . Try to solve them at least 3-4 times.
3. Purchase any test series but complete all of  its test.
4. Never loose hope , Follow and enjoy the process rather than worrying about the results.
5. Don’t took the test series marks and rank seriously. Its good that you got to know your mistakes before the main exam ,so you won’t repeat it there.
6. Surround yourselves with positive people .
7. Follow some motivational speakers, read some self help books and most important watch and read the testimonials of toppers when you feel low .

Best wishes to all of you , DM me for any query and once again thanks to the whole GO team .

You can go through my answer on quora on Strategy of 3 hrs Gate paper – https://www.quora.com/What-was-your-3-hour-strategy-for-the-GATE-CSE-2020-exam/answer/Sandeep-Verma-525

P.S. : GOT AIR -262 IN GATE CS-2021 ALSO.

5

Hi, This is Vishal Gourav, I work at TCS,Noida presently and prepared for GATE 2020 while having a full time(9-6) job.

Short Back Story: I was never great in studies not because I couldn’t understand the concepts but because I lacked the hard work and discipline. While I was pursuing B.Tech from JSSATE,Noida I was content with just finishing up with my studies finally and getting into a job,start earning money and spending it.

In 2019, I had given GATE with 1 month preparation and got 38.33/100(AIR:7045, Score:448). Though the score was not much to be proud off but for the first time in my life I had enjoyed studying so much. I had only prepared TOC,EM,DS for GATE 2019.

It was the 30th of July when I received my first salary, I felt that I was not satisfied with what I had achieved till now in life.I always wanted to do something that brings about a change but never had a goal in life.  While I was awake thinking all this the whole night, I realized that after the GATE 2019 result was the only time in the past that I had felt content and satisfaction. I decided to give GATE another go.

Study Hard: I never was a coaching enthusiast(as I feel coaching centres make mug-up machines except for a few students who really like to understand the concepts instead of mugging up the formulas) so decided to go with self study. Next was getting hold of study material. I thought who can teach me B.Tech subjects better then IIT professors. So NPTEL lectures it was.

Started to study on 3rd Aug at normal video playback speed, soon incremented to 2X.After that I had to download the lectures(as youtube has max 2X) to increase speed further to (2.75-3)X. Used to study in office with lectures on my phone whenever I got time. Finished syllabus by november mid.

Practice: Started with previous year question papers(1991 onwards). This was the first phase when i realized the importance of GO. As, there were many questions which had a answer different in the question book then what my solution would be. I googled a question and the first link that would pop up every time would be GO. The solutions and discussions on the question gave so much insight to the question concept wise. Soon I found out that GO had all the questions in CBT format so started giving the tests on GO.

Got a test series from a reputed coaching site(if you are from around Delhi, you would know which one). It had a lot of mistakes and again I used to google and found the right answer on GO. The test series only taught me how to manage time.

GO toh hai hin: By end of December I totally shifted to just revising my notes and doing questions from GO. Did the previous year papers for the 2nd time.

08/02/2020: After paper I was not fully satisfied(because of after exam discussions, thinking some of my answers were wrong) as the paper was a bit tricky.I had done 51 questions out of 65. But I always aimed for accuracy over quantity even when doing papers on GO.

12/02/2020: Response sheet was released. Checked using predictors at 2 sites. One as GO and the other was the reputed coaching institute previously mentioned. And I have to say that GO predictor was bang on in predicting marks out of 100, rank to +-5 range and specially the score(it was accurate with 0% error) i.e. I got that exact score in the final result.

Now I know what I want to do in life. I have an aim. I have a goal and GO has a huge contribution in it. Would like to thank all users especially Arjun(for every question I useed to just scroll though the answers to find his solution).

Finally, I guess I should end with the result I got which is very important but not as important as finally finding a goal in life(which I won’t discuss).

So, once you decide you want to do something and have the discipline to do it, no one can stop you. My father always says, “Tumhari Naseeb naa koi bana sakta hai aur naa hi koi chheen sakta hai”.

Toh padhai karo,mehnat karo aur GO toh hai hi.

Marks: 70/100    AIR:129     Score:834

6

Hello Everyone,

I’m Aditya Pradhan, a final year student of Information Technology at a state government college in Udaipur. I have secured $AIR\ 312$ in $GATE\ 2020$. I expected much better rank before the exam, but was not able to attempt more questions (attempted only $52$) and was depressed because of this. But hopefully I got only $4$ or $5$ of them wrong and landed at this rank. Now, I am preparing for IIT Kanpur M.S., IIT-B M.Tech. RA and IISc CDS Coursework and CSA Research interviews and hoping that my semester exam dates don’t clash with any of them.

Regarding my preparation journey, I used to study my semester subjects through standard books and resources given on $gatecse.in$ and started proper GATE preparation from the month of July after I got placed on-campus. I had gone through all the standard books once again and used to solve GO PDF after completion of a subject. In the month of January, I revised all the subjects once again and gave 7-8 full length mock tests.

I want to thank Arjun Sir for creating this platform and now people can crack GATE CS purely by self-studying and not relying on any coaching institute. Government of India should be grateful to GateOverflow for increasing the quality of students going for masters at IITs and IISc.

For future aspirants, my message is that utilize your $4$ years of engineering well. Even if your classmates have ‘copy-paste’ attitude, you should always try to learn using standard resources and do lab assignments on your own, trust me, this will build your base in Computer Science and will help you in the long run.

Thank you :)
------------------------------
Edit : I’m selected in IIT Bombay M.Tech. (RA) and will be joining it, for interview experience please visit: https://gateoverflow.in/blog/10586/iit-bombay-m-tech-ra-interview-experience

7

Quick Read : Follow the resources given in gatecse.in. Those are the best that you can find online. Solve GO pdf thoroughly unless you've mastered the concepts involved in the PYQs. Read comments and different approaches for answers. Take test series if you've time but don't take the marks seriously :P

A big thanks to GO community. Here you will find everything you need to strengthen your concepts. Best thing about GO is that you can argue about answers, have healthy discussions and get to the root of why the solution is the way it is. Aspirants of GATE CS are fortunate to have this platform.

I fell sick in last week leading to the exam. All my confidence was lost and was unable to perform that well in test series. So I decided to once again go through the GO pdf and discussions and not give any tests. In this period I did all 3 books and complete revision of my notes. Even on the day of exam, I was not feeling well. A bigger achievement for me was begin able to conquer the fear of failing. I never felt nervous before or during exam. I was calm and high on confidence. Most of my friends who prepared well for the exam lost the battle to panic and anxiety. One more thing you need to care about is silly mistakes. Everybody makes silly mistakes but it’s about who makes less of them.

There is no such thing as born-genius. Just work hard. You can’t control the luck factor so focus on things you can control. You don't learn anything from exams. You learn while preparing for them. Don't forget to live a life.

GATE is an easy exam and not as competitive as JEE. So if you have failed at JEE, don't think you won't make it in GATE. Life never stops throwing opportunities at you, it's upto you to make the most of them.

Rituraj Joshi
AIR 29

8

My Background

During my 11th-12th I studied in a school where there were no one preparing for JEE. Everyone just wanted to get into some local engineering college. Best scenario possible was getting into some private college with tuition-fee-waiver. If one cannot make it into some engineering college then he/she would join BSc or something. That’s what our teachers told us. I didn’t know what’s the difference between IITs and local colleges is. Actually, at the time of solving MCQs from books we skipped the question if it had been asked in previous JEE papers :). That was the scenario. I really find it very frustrating sometime that I didn’t even recognized difference between premier institution and some very creep institutions. Every one of us just believed that JEE is not for us. We didn’t even think of it at first place.

Now, I got into some local private college based on my performance in state board exam. That’s what I could best dream of during those days. At that time, I was actually very happy that I was able to get into an engineering college on full tuition fee waiver.  I thought that there would not be any problem if faculties would not be good, I would work very hard and would get into wherever I want to. Btw best job I could think of after college at that time was engineer in some local company providing 27k Rs/month. Nothing more than that.

But after entering college, scenario was very different. I started using Quora, started surfing internet to learn things in CSE and then I got to know that what my faculties used to teach me during classes was very poor education if not wrong. I came to realize that it really matters in which college you are. I started hating my college ******* hardly. I didn’t like anything about it. They were focusing mostly on discipline rather than engineering (Because most people didn’t know engineering I think). Focus was not on deep understanding of concept but rather on discipline. You would feel outlier if you are discussing some programming problem in class room. That was the situation. Faculty would take interest in gossips with students and another faculty member. If you would ask some technical question then there would be very little chance that faculty would be able to answer it. (Here I must mention that there were some very good faculties too. But those were very rare.)

Now, as 2nd year of college ended, I started to think about what next. I had option to go for TCS (Companies like this one is a best case for a student in our college. But I would be able to get into that though CodeVita competition. Which I think is not up to the mark of course, but It can get you hired easily in TCS). But I did not want to get into such a service company. I wanted to do some really interesting work. So here comes GATE into my mind. I searched strategies to prepare for GATE. I used to read blogs by toppers a lot. And I came across Gate Overflow.  I downloaded the GO pdf 2016. I used to read some questions on algorithms, programming, DS while I was free to figure out what type of questions get asked in GATE. And to my surprise I was able to answer algorithm and DS-programming related question quite accurately. So, that was my starter block. In start I didn’t thought about other subjects much. I thought I would be able to manage them if I give them a try. Actually, being good (at least that’s what I used to think during those days) in competitive coding gave me confidence that I can perform well in GATE.

Now, here comes a break. During beginning of 6th semester, I started my GATE preparation on full swing just to realize that I can’t just do it with full pressure of college which requires virtually 100% attendance. Yes, you read it right 😊. The rules at my college was such a ******* strict that they required around 2 breaks of time just to complete the formalities of getting leave application signed. If you are not having leave acknowledgement slip you would have to stand 2hrs in lab and zero marks in experiment and after all this nonsense you are still left with pending task of getting same ******* leave application.  --- I also could not study after college because I felt exhausted after returning from college. In short, I could not continue my preparation in such a college. So, I decided to quit (probably delayed) my preparation.

Then during 7th semester, I got offer from TCS through CodeVita. But after discussing with my father I decided to not joining it and give GATE one another try as fulltime aspirant. I used to do programming whole day at my house during my early years in college. So, habit developed for concentrating for longer period of time helped me a lot in preparation. This preparation started around December-2018. I started with Discrete-Math. Here some blogs by arjun sir has literally made me obsessed with standard books and resources. So mostly I used standard books during my preparation. I gave GATE-2019 CSE with little expectation of just qualifying. And to my surprise I got 42.33 marks with rank about 5050.

My Strategy

Before starting preparation for 2020 I already was quite familiar with what to study and what works and what not as I have given GATE-2019(However I didn’t prepare well for that). Now there were some subject completely new to me as I was from IT branch which does not have TOC and Compilers in syllabus (at least not in my college).

I started with Discrete math. For This I used book by Kenneth Rosen. I used to solve most exercise problems as I focused on improving my problem-solving ability rather than just mugging up formulas and concepts. I believe that exercises are really an important part in learning most things. Now here some exercise in standard books are outside of scope of gate syllabus. But at starting phase of my preparation I had time to do that. So, during my early preparation I tend to solve most exercise problems.

Then I picked up TOC.  I used book by Peter Linz for this along with video lectures by Sai Simonson (He made most concepts really obvious. He is such a great professor). This subject was complete alien to me before I started. (I also read starting few pages of book during my previous preparation to find out that I just could not cope up with material in that book) I kept my pace slow. I used to read a concept and imagine it visually as much as possible. I tend to explore various possible corner cases. I just fixed that I will give this subject 30 days (which is relatively longer) if I have to but I will excel in this. I used to watch video lectures by Sai Simonson then read a concept and then solve corresponding exercises in book. And to my surprise the subject which I thought I would not like became one of my favorite subjects.

Then came compilers. I thought I would try to implement compiler in this subject as I had time. But It turned out lot of work😊. I find Ullman book quite hard to follow. But it is better than other resources.  For compiler questions related to parsers I used to read answers on Stack Exchange for hours. This subject raised some really interesting questions. I particularly enjoyed those questions.

Then came digital logic and COA. I used Morris Mono and Carl Hemacher respectively.

Now at this stage I was solving some of the exercises only. Not all. I felt my interest in solving exercises has decreased. But I think most aspirants would find decreased interest in midway and where they would probably quit. But remember that finishing a race is prerequisite for winning it. To be a topper you at least have to finish your preparation😊.  So, I used to continue with my study even if I find decreased interest in some of the subjects. Things would be well with time (If you lack command in some subject it is not a good idea to quit preparation overthinking about it. Do your best possible at the moment. Then come back to that subject after few days.)

Now mostly following this strategy I finished all the subjects from standard resources. I also made my notes which I used hell lot of time to revise from. I used to revise subject on weekends in round-robin fashion (suggested by Shaik Masthan).  I also solved subject wise question from GO pdf once a subject got finished.

Then once syllabus got completed, I started attending mocks. I was getting marks in range of 65 to 70 in first stage. Then during second stage my marks increased to 65 to 75. Then in third stage I got 80+ in some tests and 73+ in most tests. (These all marks are corrected marks means if some question was incorrect then I find out whose mistake it actually was - Mine or test-series mistake - and I would update my marks accordingly.)  Here I joined test series from various institutions and also found tests by mentors on GO quite well as they didn’t have much mistakes in question.

Now for test series part I would suggest that don’t get bothered much by lower test scores. Just do the best that’s possible at the moment and continue with your preparation.

Now, for those who are afraid of competition remember that your competition is not with fellow aspirants. You just have to do better than some extent and chances for you getting a good rank is much better. Because fellow aspirants are also a human. They are not some super-human kind (Maybe there might be one or two but it does not really matter 😊). You just have to train yourself such that you can get 70+ in average GATE paper. (Again, I said average GATE paper. By this I want to say that you should be having such a level of understanding that you can get 70+ in average GATE paper.)  If you can do that than chances are pretty good that you would get a good rank. So, just target to become damn good at subjects instead of targeting to get under 100 rank out of 100000 students.

My result

I got AIR 12 in GATE CSE -2020.

I heartily thanks to Arjun Suresh sir. If he has not created this platform I would probably never had prepared for GATE and had joined TCS instead😊. His blogs made me such a student which mostly looks for in-depth understanding.

I thank to Shaik Masthan for being active participant at csedoubts.gateoverflow.com.

Then I thanks to those volunteers at GO who freely gives their mostly scarce time for GATE aspirants.

There are also many fellow aspirants whose questions on csedoubts.gateoverflow.com taught me a lot. So, I’m really thankful to them😊.

9
I am a final year student at IIIT Bhubaneswar of CSE branch. I secured rank 178 this year with 68.67 marks and 818 score. This is my first post on gate for all future gate aspirants.This was my first attempt of gate and I studied with the help of video lectures and then self study.GO helped a lot during my preparation.Whenever I faced any doubt on any topic or faced trouble solving any question I would search it on Gateoverflow, and everytime my doubts were resolved.Students who prepare by online courses or do self study,GO is life saviour for them.Because eventually you will have trouble solving questions and you would not have anyone to resolve your doubts, that time you can search on GO your question or ask on it.Thank you to all GO team members who helped me to achieve this rank in gate.
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