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I got 53 marks and AIR 477 in GATE CS 2022. I decided to write about my journey because posts from other students on GO were a constant source of motivation for me when I was preparing. I hope this post acts as a motivation for someone like me.

Why GATE?

i. To be good at CS concepts - Halfway through my B.Tech, I realized that I don’t have proper knowledge about my field. I was simply passing (and failing) my subjects. I didn’t want to graduate like this. I wanted to have an expertise in all aspects of CS. Preparing for GATE seemed to me the best way to do that.

ii. Studying at an IIT - Environment and peer group matter a lot. I studied at a below average school till class 10th. When I joined DPS Bokaro in 11th, everything was new and challenging. The exams were tough to score in, my classmates were all smart (some were child prodigies) and from much better backgrounds than me. Also there were more things to manage other than academics. It was difficult but those 2 years evolved me as a person. I expected something similar to happen if I went to an IIT. GATE was a chance to do that.

Strategy and preparation

I didn’t have a strategy, actually. I started my preparation from 27 April 2021 with a few simple goals in mind - I’ll study everyday, I’ll do everything to properly understand a concept and I won’t overdo things. Last part was important for me because I tend to get obsessed with things and burn out.

I studied C first. After finishing the book I solved PYQs from GO hardcopy. PYQs are compulsory because these are the questions that we have to answer in the exam. Solving them helps to get an idea of difficulty level. It also helps in identifying and practicing concepts that were asked multiple times.

For the rest of the subjects, I didn’t have a standard book. Reading PDFs doesn’t work for me because I can’t retain stuff that well. I bought postal study material from ACE and collected NPTEL playlists for each subject. Everyday I used only these two resources to study. I learnt a topic, made notes and did the questions at the back. By the time I was finished with all the playlists and postal books, I had a good understanding of almost every topic. It was finished by around 15 September.

I didn’t start the test series (I had 2) at that time because I felt like it’s too early and if I started giving tests then I'd be really bored of giving exams by the time of actual GATE. I decided to use this time to buy and study standard books. Because I had already completed the syllabus once, going through a book didn’t take a lot of time. This phase also served as my revision. I did the exercises at the back if they were similar to GATE questions.

I started my test series in November. I solved topic tests first, then subject tests, then full tests. I gave at least 1 test everyday and sometimes more depending on the duration of the test. Solving tests is compulsory. It teaches time management and improves speed and accuracy. For me, solving topic and subject tests served as my second revision. After each full test, I took a break and tried to solve the wrong questions again. I used GO to ask if I thought my solution was correct instead of the provided solution. For the questions I couldn’t solve, I thought about it for a few minutes and reviewed the topic. If I still couldn’t solve it, I looked at the solution. I used to write down any mistakes that I made again and again.

Till 15-20 January, I was bored of tests. I stopped giving them about 5 days before the GATE exam. During that time, I reviewed my notes and formula copy. I also looked at the mistakes I had made in tests.

Conclusion

I ended up with a rank that I’m satisfied with. But I’m more happy with the fact that I gave my best effort. I managed to do what I had planned - I studied everyday, I didn’t leave any concept without understanding and I didn’t overdo things.

To future aspirants, my advice is to simply try your best and be honest with yourself. Believe that it can be done. Also, it’s fun to study computer science!

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So i graduated from a decent government engineering college in electrical engineering. I always had an inclination towards computer science, and during my bachelors days, used to create websites for fun. I wanted to do m tech in computer science related field, and when i checked the subjects and their syllabus for GATE CSE, i was initially thrilled to be learning such interesting topics, but realized how tough it is going to be for me, someone with basically 0 knowledge about any subject except Data structures and Algorithms.

This is where Gate Overflow came to my rescue. Whenever i couldn’t understand the logic behind any Gate problem, i checked the multiple answers provided by various people, which really helped me develop a general thought process as to how a computer science graduate would tackle this particular problem. By january, i started getting good ranks in online tests, so my confidence grew a lot.

However, on the day of exam, i was in set 2, and i had never seen such a long paper in any of the online tests. I was stunned, and apart from aptitude section, i never really got going. Got 1089 rank in the final results( predictor of gate overflow was really accurate), so wont be getting any of the big IITs and the top 3 NITs most probably. Also, being from Electrical, i dont have much choices in CCMT either. But when i look back at the last year, i learnt more than i did during the entire 4 years of my graduation. Thank you Gate Overflow for teaching me how to tackle logical questions.
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Without this platform and the people behind it working tirelessly to maintain its quality (including all the good people in the FB group), I would not have been able to succeed. I’m not the typical applicant – I graduated in 2014 and have 5+ years of product startup experience. I had to start preparation from scratch in 2019, and by scratch, I really mean from zero – I graduated with CS BTech from tier 3 and my CS background was nowhere close to the level needed by IITs. Thanks to Bikram Ballav’s “what to read” series, I could even begin to build the necessary background for GATE. I really enjoyed studying computer science and it gave me an enlightened perspective on my past work experience as well (a lot of things clicked!).

I took GATE the second time this year, managed to scrape by with a rank of 658 and gave the MS interviews at Bombay and Madras, and cracked Bombay (Madras results pending as of now). Getting Bombay was especially sweet after I thought I had bombed the interview. My initial goal was IISc CSA research and I did not clear its cutoff, but I don’t feel so bad about it right now.

I will probably add much more detail to my journey in a different post. All I know is that I will cherish this journey for a lifetime.

Thank you, GO.

PS: The resources I used are listed here.

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My name is Himanshu Kumar, I got AIR 38 (899 score) in GATE CS 2021, This was my second attempt with full-time preparation. In GATE CS 2020 my rank was 1491.

First of all, I would like to thank my parents for giving me the freedom to do anything, especially to bear me and support me. Our parents work extremely hard to give us a better life. And also, thank all my friends, teachers, Special thank to Arjun Sir for this awesome platform, and all other seniors and aspirants on GO.

## A little bit of my background ( 10+3+3)

I graduated in 2020 from ITM Aligarh which comes under AKTU U.P. It was Tier - 4 college, I got admission there without any entrance exam in the 2nd year. In those 6 years (3 years of polytechnic & 3 years of B.Tech) I always tend to study one night before the exam. Though I was getting decent CPI (thanks to YouTube).

After my 10th, I took admission in 3 yrs. Polytechnic course, and then the lateral entry in B.Tech. That's why my basics of Maths are too weak, I did not know anything about probability and linear algebra till I encountered them in a test series (Yes, it is looking funny, But it's reality).

I was never great in the study not because I couldn’t understand the concepts but because I lacked hard work and discipline.

I guess this is enough introduction for me, I’ll get to the point now…

"DREAM big. START small. START now."

## GATE 2020

I decided to appear for GATE somewhere around September 2018 but didn't actually start preparing for it until June 2019. In 8 months, I was able to complete 2 subjects one was Algorithms by reading CLRS and another one was Compiler Design (as this was in my 6th sem).

After my 2 months of the summer internship, I started my Gate preparation. I read different blogs on the internet and watched some interviews of toppers, then I planned to appear for GATE 2020 without any coaching.

I followed the free lectures of some coaching institutes and neither did any revision nor solved PYQ at least once. As I was in the 7th sem, so my 1 month got wasted due to exams and college work. I only gave 5-6 full mock tests before the exam and I had no strategy to attempt the GATE 2020 paper. As a result, I was not able to complete 2nd pass in those 3 hours.

I got 52.33 marks, Rank - 1491.

"Everything you need will come at the Perefct time."

## JEST 2020

This is another way to pursue MTech(Research) from IISc. Even though I had no idea about the research, I filled the form and also attempted the exam. The JEST exam was on next Sunday after GATE 2020, and in 7 days I didn't open my notes or any book. Without any preparation, I went to attempt the paper and as a result, I was not able to solve any Part B (subjective) question with confidence.

According to the result of Part A, my rank was AIR 35 and my marks were 44/75. After analyzing the previous year's cut-off, I was sure (the optimistic level at peak :p) I will get a call from IISc for an Interview. I planned to prepare for the interview but wasn't able to study/concentrate. At last, interviews were scheduled in online mode. I did not get an interview call from IISc.

FAILED!!!

## BARC 2020

The BARC's exam was scheduled for 14-18 march 20 (before lockdown). I was prepared a little bit for this. After the exam, I was very confident about it, But the Failure was not easily escaping me. My normalized marks were - 174.40, Actual marks were - 181.00, Cut-off was- 183.00.

Again FAILED (Yes, by a small margin, but at the end, Pass/Fail matters)

## PGEE 2020

After failing in GATE 2020, I also filled the PGEE. My last hope was PGEE, Due to covid and lockdown, I was not sure whether the exam will be scheduled or not. I was not able to concentrate on my study. But at last, the exam was scheduled for 24th June and I was not able to clear it.

ANOTHER FAILURE for me.

"Don't rush anything. When the time is right it'll happen."

## What made me drop and prepare again?

I knew that I had the capability to do well in GATE and my marks weren’t an accurate reflection of my preparation level. So I decided to take a drop. For this reason, I did not sit for campus placements, because I did not want to have a second thought if I had a placement in my hand. I left no choice for myself other than a drop or taking some college with this rank only. That's why I didn't register myself in CCMT. But inside, I was also afraid of FAILING again.

"Some times you don't get what you want, Because you deserve better."

## GATE 2021

Finally, In May I decided to take a drop and prepare for GATE 2021 by only studying from standard books and without any coaching (Yes, after failing too many times, I decided to not enroll in any coaching again). So, firstly I analyzed my mistakes.

## My mistakes in GATE 2020...

The first mistake I made was not solving PYQs.

I had no strategy to attempt the GATE exam.

I skipped Maths, aptitude, and COA completely.

I didn't analyze my tests. My goal was to give more and more tests only.

## Steps to sort out my mistakes...

I researched for 10-15 days and gathered all my study material for the preparation. For this, I referred to GO, found almost everything I needed. Read blogs of toppers and filtered out books and video lectures.

## My schedule for preparation for GATE 2021?

I started slowly around 5 to 6 hours a day, enjoyed the rest of the time, used to watch some movie or spend time with family, then boosted up my preparation in August to approx. 10-11 hrs. per day. Now, given that I was taking a drop, I had the entire day to give to my study. However, I never tried to study more than 10-11 hours a day, because I knew that it wasn’t feasible over a 6 months period for me.

### So as a result of that, my routine used to be something like this-

Wake up at 6 am by my Mother, and then my day used to start after her tea.

07 am to 10 am - Learn New concepts.

11 am to 01 pm - Clear the Concepts

01 pm to 03 pm - Lunch + power nap(I never compromised with my sleep)

03 pm to 05 pm - PYQs + Practice

07 pm to 09 pm - Aptitude + Maths

10 pm to 12 am - Revision.

This schedule was continued till November and completed all syllabus.

I took a break of 5-10 mins after 45 to 50 minutes. and a long break after 3 hours. I never study continues till 3 hours except giving mock.

## Resources that I followed

You can find them here.

## Revision strategy

### I used 2 strategies for revision -

1) Read my full notes (As I was a noob in taking notes, so whatever I feel was important, I wrote down on my notes, so my notes were very lengthy). Reading full notes is very boring for me, as you know the concept and you have to read that thing repeatedly.

2) Solve PYQs and If I was stuck then Go to my notes and read it, and then solve all questions from PYQs, book's exercise, assignments of top universities. If I found any difficulties in solving those questions then I read the books or googled those topics, read the complete discussion on GO(worked in 90% cases, thanks to all seniors).

2nd approach is better, it helps us to find our weak areas. But after some time we should read our full notes to brush up on all the concepts.

## Last 2 months

It was a very crucial time for me as I was a dropper without any alternative. I was neither an expert in CP nor had any Good project. But thanks to my family and friends for supporting me in a tough time and motivating me. I always enjoy learning new concepts and solving questions. Even though my schedule was a little bit hectic but I enjoyed it.

I changed my schedule and increased my study time (12-13 hrs.), by compromising on other activities (not sleep time). As my syllabus was complete, my main focus was on practice, revision, analyzing my weak areas, improve my speed and accuracy, solve all "*" marked questions, and give tests on alternative days.

This was the time when I felt too down and my stress level was at a peak and at that time, I wished that I hadn’t prepared for GATE at all and just taken up a random shitty job in campus placement.

## Approach to attempt mock

After doing experiments, I came up with a final strategy.

Solve exam in 3 passes. Start from the Technical section, read questions, if I can solve it, within 1 minute then I will try it, otherwise mark it for review according to the difficulty level. So that after 30 minutes, I have a complete idea about the exam, whether it is hard or easy.

Then I will Solve all "mark for review" questions and then in the last pass when I am left with around 1 hour I will solve the aptitude section and revisit the answered questions to verify and increase my accuracy and then will give a try to lengthy questions.

"Consistency is harder when no one is clapping for you. You must clap for yourself during those times, you should always be your biggest fan."

## JAN 2021

As admit card was released and I got the morning slot (Thanks to IIT B).

I used to give a full mock test in the morning slot and used to analyze my mistakes in the other half of the day. I used to make a lot of silly mistakes, some of those were typing mistakes (even after lots of practice I also did a mistake in GATE 21, lost my crucial 2 marks as no one can be so perfect), ignoring "NOT" and calculation mistakes.

After 15th Jan, I experimented on my exam solving strategy, I used to give full mock or PYQ (as mock) in 2-2.4 hrs., which resulted in increasing my speed and also improved my accuracy. But the score went down as a result I slipped back to 50+ Rank from a single-digit Rank.

The number of incorrect questions was around 12-18 (half of them were silly mistakes). It was frustrating for me. I was a dropper and I didn't want to repeat the same mistake again in Gate 2021. I also prepared a notebook of my mistakes and you will surprise I filled a whole register with my mistakes, I used to revise my mistakes in the morning and used to promise myself that I will not do those mistakes again, It helped me a lot.

"Before something great happens everything falls apart."

## FEB 2021

As other streams paper were scheduled in the first week of Feb. IIT B surprised us by shuffling the questions, even though it was mentioned on IIT B's official website but we didn't read those instructions (I also saw those instructions after seeing the review of other streams). Those reviews increased my stress a lot. Even though, I had solved questions as they appear and skip accordingly. But the thing which relaxed me was the number of MSQ in their exam. But I had a strong feeling that the number of MSQ will be more for us.

## 4 days before exams

I revisited all "*" marked questions/blogs on GO and also the "incorrect attempt" section. I gave mock-5 (GO) on 9th Feb and got around 70 marks, which increased my confidence as the question was shuffled in this mock test( You will not find me in the toppers list as the answer was also shuffled after I refreshed the exam page).

At that time, I decided I will not give any mock tests. After revising my mistakes I realized I should go for one more test to improve my speed and accuracy.

And on 11th Feb I chose a mock, test by Ruturaj, one of the toughest tests on GO. Before the test, I decided I will attempt this exam in 2.5 hrs and If I would be able to get 50+ marks then I m ready for any level of the Exam. I got around 60 marks.

## The D-Day

I sat on my system at 8:50 am and then my stress level started increasing with time. This time I had a proper approach to attempt the exam. I started with the Technical part and started reading the question and skipped accordingly In the starting I encountered 3-4 questions from the Maths section, that probability question (parameter of distribution) hit me hard, the situation got a little bit tensed now, there was only darkness in front of my eyes. I took a sip of water and then started reading questions again and thankfully I solved the next 2-3 questions in the chosen time, and the things started going in my favor.

In 30 mins, I got an idea about the exam that the paper was not too hard but it was lengthy as the number of MSQ is too much. So, I must take care of both my speed and accuracy. In those 30 mins, I solved 4-5 questions only.

I started my 2nd pass and it continued for 1.5 hours then went to the aptitude section and gave 15 minutes. Again, went to the technical section and solved 5-6 questions most of them were lengthy or MSQ. Then revisited the answered questions and checked the solution. Fortunately, I found 2-3 silly mistakes.

So finally, I attempted 60 questions. 49 were correct, in those 11 incorrect questions, 10 were MSQ or NAT. Got only 0.66 -ve mark due to the aptitude section, ticked the wrong option in hurry :(

## Final result

The first official answer key released, and I lost my 2.66 marks in that debatable question. My stress level got increased, I didn't want to lose a single mark on that question, after debating and challenging, finally, we won.

## Some tips for future GATE aspirants:

• Finish your syllabus thoroughly as soon as possible. (lays the foundation).
• Make sure you are strong in basics, no need to waste time on advanced topics, just adhere to the syllabus (most important).
• Never compare Test Series marks with Actual Exam.
• Do not ignore aptitude and Maths if possible do it as early as possible.
• Do not leave any subject. Don’t go into too much depth of any subject.
• Be regular in your studies. Study for neither 15 hrs nor 0 hrs in a day.
• Revise as much as you can – first revision after 7 days, second after 14-15 days of the first revision, then after a month, and then monthly.
• Learn, Test, Analyze & Improve.
• Sleep for 8hrs/day.
• Be prepare for everything. What I mean is don't assume that your paper will be easy or tough.
• Give lots of mock tests and analyze them properly.
• Analyze each test properly by checking all mistakes and unsolved questions.
• Make a notebook of your all mistakes and categorized mistakes as Silly, Conceptual, or typing mistakes.
• Leave substitution, elimination, etc. methods for the Final exam. Do not practice them in mock tests.
• Remember “All late nights and early mornings will pay off”.
To all GATE aspirants, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE your ability to succeed. Remember to LEARN, TEST, ANALYZE & IMPROVE. All the very best!!

If anyone has any queries, feel free to ask.

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## [Index]

1. Resources: I used for GATE
2. Study tips
3. Test Series
4. Recommended preparation blogs/ videos
5. FAQs

# 1. Resources

### Digital Logic

Book: Digital Design by Morris Mano [5th ed] Chapter 1 to 6 along with some questions from exercises

PAL and PLA : Neso Academy

Floating point representation: Article by Steve Hollasch

### Computer Organization and Architecture

Book 1: Computer Organization and Embedded Systems by Carl Hamacher [6th ed] Chapter 1 to 3, 5, 6

Input Output: IIT Madras lectures by Prof S. Raman

Cache Miss: Article by Arjun sir

Cache Miss Questions: Gateoverflow classroom assignment 1

More on Cache: CSE378 by Prof Larry Snyder

Data Dependencies in Pipelining: Lecture by Arjun sir

Book #2: Check the “Computer Architecture Formulas” on 2nd page of Computer Architecture: A quantitative approach by David Patterson [6th ed]

Check examples and formulas used for Memory Hierarchy and Pipelining: Appendix B and C from Computer Architecture: A quantitative approach by David Patterson [6th ed]

### Programming

Book: The C Programming Language [2nd edition:ANSI C] Chapter 1-6

Important Questions about C Language: C Programming FAQs by Steve Summit

Must read articles on C programming by Arjun Sir:     1) C Program- A system view

3) Pointers

Articles and MCQs by GeeksforGeeks (very few questions and articles may contain errors)

Sequence Points: Article by GeeksforGeeks

### Data Structures

Book: Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy: Data Structures and Algorithmic Puzzles by Narsimha Karumanchi [5th ed] Chapter 3 to 7

Programming Assignments: Gateoverflow classroom

### Algorithms

Book #1: Introduction to Algorithms 3rd Edition by C.L.R.S. [3rd ed] Chapter 1 to 4, 6 to 9, 10 to 12, 15 to 17, 21 to 23

Book #2: Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy: Data Structures and Algorithmic Puzzles by Narsimha Karumanchi [5th ed] Relevant Chapters are 8 to 12, 14, 17 to 19 (Studied very selectively)

Video Lecture #2: Lecture on Median by Prof. Shai Simonson

Akra Bazzi method for calculating Asymptotic Analysis: Wikipedia Article

### Theory of Computation

Book #1: An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata by Peter Linz [6th ed] Chapter 1 to 12 (Also do the exercises)

Video Lecture: Theory of Computation by Prof. Shai Simonson

Book #2: Introduction to the Theory of Computation by Michael Sipser [3rd ed] Topic 5.3 Mapping Reducibility (Also checkout the exercises from other chapters)

Article on RICE Theorem by Arjun Sir

### Compiler Design

Video Lectures #1: Compilers by Prof. Alex Aiken (Lecture list relevant to GATE + Week 8 and Week 9 until lecture 16-04)

Articles by Arjun Sir:    1) Viable Prefixes and Handle in LR Parsing

Video Lectures #2: Lectures by Uncode Lecture 1 to 19

Book: Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools by Ullman [2nd ed] Chapter 1 to 9

Lex specification and Yacc grammar of ANSI C

### Operating System

Book #1: Operating System Concepts by Galvin [10th ed] Chapter 1 to 15

Book #2: Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces by Remzi and Andrea (Most of your queries will be solved after reading the book)

Multi Level Paging: Lecture by Arjun Sir

HPCA lectures by Georgia Tech:     1) Virtual Memory + Paging + VIPT Cache + DRAM

2) RAID

### Databases

Video Lectures #1: Lectures by Kiran Sir Lecture 1 to 26, 29

Book #1: Database System Concepts by Korth [8th ed] Chapter 1 to 4, 6 to 8, 10, 11, 14 15

Book #2: Fundamentals of Database Systems by Navathe[7th ed] Chapter 17

Normalization article by Arjun sir

### Computer Networks

Book #1: Data Communication and Networking by Forouzan [5th ed] Chapter 4, 7, 10 to 13, 19.1 ,20, 21, 23

Book #2 : Computer Networks by Tanenbaum [4th ed] Chapter 4 to 6

IITB Notes

Some Articles from GeeksforGeeks

Book #3: Internet Core Protocols by Erik Hall (Read Selectively)

Uncode Lectures 1 to 20 and Problem Solving 1 to 76

### Linear Algebra

Video Lectures: Linear Algebra by Prof. Gilbert Strang  Unit I and Unit II along with recitation and practice problems

### Calculus

Video Lectures: Single Variable Calculus by Prof. David Jerison

Practice Problems from Cole's World of Mathematics

### Probability

Book: A first Course in Probability by Sheldon Ross [9th ed]  Solved exercises of Chapter 1,2

More distributions and statistics from Made Easy Engineering Maths book

### Discrete Mathematics

Video Lectures #1: Lectures by Kiran sir

Video Lectures #2: Discrete Mathematics IIT Ropar (Did not watch these lectures,found these after GATE)

Book #1: Discrete Mathematics and its applications by Kenneth Rosen Chapter 1,2, 6 to 9

Book #2: Graph Theory with Applications to Engineering and Computer Science by Narsingh Deo Chapter 1 to 5, 8

Combinatorics and groups: Slide 1 and 2 from Gateoverflow classroom

Abstract Algebra: Discrete Mathematical Structures by Prof Kamala Krithivasan Lecture 35,36,37

### General Aptitude

Verbal, Quantitative and Logical Aptitude: Solved PYQs , Notes, Number Theory, Modular Arithmetic

Spacial Aptitude: Spacial Aptitude by NLN Sharma Sir

### Notes

Discussion on GATECSE website under every subject is helpful

Book to Improve preparation : A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley

# 2. Study Tips

Revision : Using Spaced Repetition

Anki: Create Q&A format Anki flashcards for topics difficult to remember or topics rarely asked in GATE

Test Series Timetable: Used retrospective timetable using Google Sheets

Here’s a sample: Color indicates how I felt about my performance and date indicates when I attempted them. Using both these metrics I chose which tests to prioritize during the last 2 months.

Solving questions: I divided my notebook into 3 equal parts so that I get used to taking less and narrow space. During your initial period before you start test series you can use cstimer to put yourself under timer pressure and improve your speed(but not at the cost of accuracy). I also used the same pen throughout GATE preparation(Technotip).

Summarized study tips by Barbara Oakley

# 3. Test Series

Ankita Jain AIR 1 GATE CSE 2016 in her wordpress blog recommends using more than one test series.

I enrolled for Ace, Made Easy and GO test series.

Topic Wise: Ace, Made Easy and GO

Subject Wise: Made Easy and GO

Full Length: Made Easy(Basic Tests only) and GO

My review of these test series:

• Ace: Easy questions, focus on concepts
• Made Easy: Moderate questions, focus on numericals
• GO: Moderate questions, focus on subject coverage and a balance of concepts and numericals

# 5. FAQs

1. Which PYQ book should I go with? GO Book
2. How many times should I solve PYQs? Maybe twice, once from GO book and second time through the exams section of gateoverflow.
3. How to deal with MSQs? Focus on building concepts
4. How many hours should I study? Study whenever you can, keep a balance between study, rest and exercise
5. How much should I sleep? Get a good sleep, varies from person to person
6. I can’t study for longer hours, what should I do? Check out “Study with me” live streams, join the ones that have timers(pomodoro timers)
7. We all have some days when we feel down or demotivated, what did you do during those times? I solved tests, for some reason it brought me back into study mindset. Since I revised everyday using Anki I could attempt perviously studied topic/subject tests any time.
8. I can’t afford coaching and I don’t have enough time for standard books, what should I do? Check out Parnika Tutorials, Gatebook, Neso Academy (please validate whatever you learn)
9. Were you studying in your last year? No, I started preparing for GATE after I graduated and took several attempts
10. What were the mistakes you made in your previous attempts that I should avoid? Delaying revision and not enrolling for test series
11. How should you stay calm during the day of your exam? Some blogs said its best to meditate after sitting at allotted place, I tried it out and it worked
12. What is your rank? AIR 29

Thanks to authors of the books, professors who have contributed to open learning, Arjun sir, Bikram sir, Shaik Masthan sir, Srestha mam, Sounjaya mam and everyone who has directly or indirectly helped me reach my goal.

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I kept using gate overflow for solutions which I didn’t understand when I was solving PYQs from my classes book. In November I came across GO PDFs. I solved all the questions again during December – January and checked many solutions and comments. Many solutions completely changed my understanding to topics. The community is the best with so many knowledgeable people and aspirants. We also get multiple approaches to same problem as many users have uploaded their own solution. Gatecse website also has amazing resources like video links, question papers, etc. I did not use it much but it was also very helpful. Also, the rank predictor was so perfect that it was unbelievable.

Predicted Rank: 26 – 31, Actual Rank: 26

And now it also has subject wise marks.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to Arjun Sir and GO community for helping GATE CSE aspirants throughout our gate journey. Without this portal, atleast my journey would have been a bumpy one.

Thank you. :)
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Huge thanks to GO and the community for making a dream come true!

My GATE 2020 marks were 42 and my preparation was also not up to the mark. So I decided to drop out and give my best for Gate 2021 and in the process decided not to take any online Coaching. I Completed GO PDF 3 to 4 times during my preparation which helped in boosting my confidence. Also, a huge thanks to the GO Test Series community. The level of the questions was just perfect to push myself just a little more to get more marks. Slowly but eventually, I saw myself grow from 30 to 75-80% marks. I was hoping to get the same result in the main exam and thankfully i got 71.67 marks(after normalization). Thank you GateOverflow!

-Mayank Sati, AIR 34
8

Hey,

My name is Shaswat and i have completed my Bachelors in Electrical engineering in 2018 from NIT Jamshedpur and was working in a Steel Industry till April last year. After that i decided to quit my job and started my preparation for Gate in Computer Science and secured an All India Rank of 13.

After my 10 month long preparation I genuinely believe that Gate-CS can be cracked by anyone irrespective of their stream. If you have a tendency to think in a logical way then cracking Gate will be a piece of cake for you.

Although there are a lot of preparation strategies online but still i would like to briefly share my methodology that i used during my preparation (But i still think it would be better if you developed your own strategy).

•  In the first phase of preparation just focus on completing all the lectures/chapters and prepare a detailed notes for them.
• Also try to allocate some time to revise old chapters so that you donot forget them completely.
• In the next phase of preparation your focus should be to revise a chapter and solve questions of that chapter. It will be better if you solved questions from some well known Test series because the questions there will be more relevant from Gate point of View. (DONOT FORGET TO BOOKMARK QUESTIONS THAT YOU FEEL ARE IMPORTANT FOR EXAM BUT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO SOLVE)
•  After maybe 1 round of complete revision of all chapters you should solve previous year questions. GATEOVERFLOW is the perfect place to do this (HERE ALSO DONOT FORGET TO BOOKMARK QUESTIONS).
• 2 months before exam, start giving mocks. Donot stress too much on how many mocks you should give. I personally give only 3 of them but i analysed them properly. During this time just revise your notes, highlight important points so that you can do revision later on in a short period of time. (I found highting notes more effective than make short notes seperately). And also re-solve the questions you have bookmarked from test series, mocks and previous year questions.

If you want to connect with me, you can do that via. fb/instagram. My userid is 28shaswat.

9

Hello everyone . My name is Ayush Tripathi . I have secured AIR 56 in GATE 2021 . In begining of year 2020 I found Gateoverflow . It is a place where i am sure all the top rankers were in months of their preparation . I want to thank Arjun Sir for creating this great platform . Sir you have blessing of all those who wanted to explore GATE CS .

From starting of my preparation for every previous year questions and other TIFR , ISRO problems only place I find perfect was GO . People here are so great and awesome . every comment , every answer just create a new perspective towards the problem . I never answered any question on GO till now . But I am very grateful to this community and I will be continuing to help students . Because you should pass what you learn thats how knowledge sail through generations .

To all students who are going to prepare I am suggesting few points which one should consider ---

(1) See if you get very low marks in test series . Please don’t stop giving tests . You should continue giving tests . You should revise questions which you did wrong .  And never get disappointed by test series results . Try to buy a test series which contains tough questions . Because I have seen some test series which were having very easy questions and students solve them only which was not sufficient for tough paper like this year .

(2) Try to solve previous year at least two times .

(3) Take mathematics seriously . While preparing for maths you will automatically be ready for aptitude section .

(4) Try to give full length tests to learn how to manage pressure and time . This year managing pressure became hardest thing because of toughness of paper . So I would suggest you to give as many as full length tests as you want .

(5) Try to prepare notes in such a way that during last days of your preparation you can easily revise things . Don’t try to make bulky notes (if you are not in offline coaching) . Because that will make your revision tough .

(6) There will be times when you have self doubts . Try not to think that much . If you prepare well you will definately end up good .

Lastly I am thankful to Arjun Sir and all those who answered so well .

Praggy app was also very accurate in predicting rank and score . GO answer key was accurate and whatever assumption made about challenging questions was also very accurate .

On whole internet you can’t find something as perfect as gateoverflow .

Thank you !

10
Thank You GATEOVERFLOW!!!. Finally after an year of hardwork, I got AIR-152 in gate CSE-2021. All the questions and doubts I had were cleared in Gateoverflow site , leaving no doubts .

And , Your RANK-PREDCITOR is next level .

GO-Predictor Showed :   Rank – 130-160  , and Score = 820.6

Actual Result  :                Rank – 152           and Score = 820

One can totally rely on Gateoverflow.

They have got some free stuff that You cannot get anywhere else, Eg:- All previous years paper questions and solutions, TOP-level Practise Tests , etc.

Once Again Thank You all @arjun sir @GATEOVERFLOW_TEAM.
11

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.

12

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.

13

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!

14

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.

15

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

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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 :)
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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

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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

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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😊.

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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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How is it?