GATE Preparation Guide – Easy Tips and Tricks

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Everything you should know about GATE

GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. As we all know, it is the dream examination of every engineering student during their graduation courses or after their graduation. Cracking GATE and pursuing Masters in one of the top institutes such as IIT is a constant dream which every engineering student follows. It is often said that dreaming is easy because it does not require glasses to dream but converting that blueprint into an actual model is not everyone’s cup of tea.

This is the reason why n number of candidates appear for GATE every year but only a handful of them are able to crack it in order to pursue their dream. It is not unknown that the difficulty level of GATE is extremely high and it is advancing each and every year, in order to keep up with this pace, one needs to prepare equally hard so that he or she can be able to compete with thousands of other candidates to make his or her way through the crowd. There are tips and tricks which can help a candidate to make his or her dream come true in every aspect.

One maybe really curious to know, How GATE is like?

GATE is an extremely difficult examination which is conducted for almost three hours. The best feature of this examination is the presence of Multiple Choice Questions(MCQ) as well as Numerical Answer Type Questions(NAT) which can turn out to be a nightmare for the people who do not have the proper intent and dedication for practicing the questions and appearing for it.

     GATE is divided into the following sections which test the skills and perfection of the candidates appearing for it. One can enhance their GATE Preparation if they approach the examination by focusing on the different sections.

  • General Aptitude

This section along with the Mathematics section is comparatively easier and one has the scope to secure good marks because the combined section holds almost 30% weightage of the total marks. Practicing this section will not consume much time and it is recommended that one should go in a strategical way to gain more marks. Books such as ‘A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning’ as well as ‘Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations’ by R.S Aggarwal can help the candidates to grab perfection in the section.

     This section can provide 15 marks to a candidate and everyone is aware of the fact that this section is interesting to practice. There are video tutorials available on YouTube which can also prove to be an aid.


  • Engineering Mathematics

This section contains 15 marks and most of the answers depend upon how the candidates can recall their previous studies. For linear algebra and other sections, it is better to watch video tutorials of Professor Gilbert Strang and to read the standard textbooks. Apart from that, one should be well acquainted with the fact that cracking mathematics is all about knowing the hacks and shortcuts. The calculator is the best resource which reduces a lot of manual effort and toppers have revealed that many problems in the examination can be solved in seconds with the help of calculators only. Apart from this, books like ‘Higher Engineering Mathematics’ as well as online tutorials can be helpful in this case.

  • Subject-specific questions

This section entirely depends upon the fundamental knowledge of a particular subject. The technical section consists of the maximum marks and indirectly it decides the fate of the candidates. Whether the section is based upon mechanical, electrical, computer science, electronics and others, toppers have revealed that the study materials of coaching centers and mainly class notes are essential in this case. The main reason behind this conclusion is that the questions in this section are technical as well as conceptual.

      It is better to gather study materials from reputed institutes such as gate forum and many others. In cases of difficulty, video tutorials are always effective in clearing out the basic concepts of any particular subjects.

The Secret of Toppers

It is an illusion that toppers study more than normal, average students. The fact is toppers get along with smarter ways to crack the examinations. According to resources, the cut-off marks are different every year depending on the number of seats, difficulty level, number of candidates appearing for the examination and much more. In 2016, when the maximum cut-off marks were 29.6 for Mechanical, it was raised to 32.87 for the same. It is difficult to prepare according to the cut-off marks but according to toppers, one should first realize the pattern of questions and the need of the questions from the candidates.

     We never emphasize on the needs of the questions from the students. In GATE, questions are specifically designed keeping a few vital things in mind. How the candidate is recalling the basic formulas, his or her approach towards extracting the fundamental concepts to answer the question, how he or she can apply such concepts into application-based questions and how he or she can respond to infographics to realize the actual need of the question in order to answer it correctly.

     It is always better to learn from the best individual in the domain which is why people prefer to listen to previous years’ toppers and their tips and tricks in order to succeed in GATE.

  • Know the Syllabus

      Before beginning with the preparation, the candidates should be acquainted with the syllabus and question pattern otherwise it will be an effort in vain. The toppers have revealed that allocation of time and resources to the particular sections is important which is why before the preparation starts, one should do a proper market research about the best books for GATE, which notes to study and which online site is favorable for providing useful knowledge.

Allocating time and making a routine can be helpful as this will also decide the time which is required for revision of each section in detail.

  • Guessing does not work

    According to resources, a topper has revealed that everyone knows that GATE is a tough examination but only a few people practice according to the difficulty level. Some people think that it is easy to make guesses in the MCQ type of questions but in GATE, the blind guesses will result in losing marks rather than acquiring them.

       This is because a maximum of the sections has the provision of negative marking, so it is better to avoid unknown questions than sacrificing valuable marks for them.

  • Mock examinations

Solving previous years’ questions and sitting for mock tests is something which is included in every topper’s bucket list. When a candidate sits for a mock examination, he or she gets acquainted with the examination environment and gains more expertise in solving the questions. These tests can be conducted online as well as offline, one just needs to have information about the possible scopes around him or her.

Pursuing a dream can be difficult but one should have the pure intent to work towards it. Cracking GATE is not tough if one finds the proper way to go through the maze. Thousands of people are running in the same maze but only a few people are able to find the way out and this is because they have worked towards it. Although toppers have found out hacks to reduce the extra stress, they have also revealed that there is no substitute for hardworking. One should keep that in mind and gear up his or her studies to reach the destination.