My GATE CSE 2020 Preparation Strategy

A 9 months preparation plan

I secured All India Rank 62 in GATE 2020 CSE. I started my preparation from April 26 , 2019. I joined ACE Engineering Academy’s first Regular Batch (Also called as PM 1). The classes last till end of september and after that I continued my self preparation.

I made a rough plan for whole year in the beginning. I made a weightage analysis and found out important concepts accordingly from the previous year papers.

GATE Syllabus Overview

Lets group some subjects from the GATE CS Syllabus :

From which subjects to start ?

It is always good to start with easy subjects and then move towards difficult ones. I followed the above sequence as per the coaching and I think its good to go with it. For Eg Digital Logic is the easy subject and very practical based, you can alter the sequence as per your interest as many may find Programming and Data Structure easy so you can also start with them.

You can alter the sequence as per your convenience and interest but try not to skip any subject. As in GATE there might be an easy question asked from a difficult topic you skipped.

What resources to use ?

When to start attempting Test Series ? How to use them effectively in preparation?

Generally test series consists of following type of tests

Its good to start attempting test series from the beginning of the preparation. Once you are done with particular topics of the subject, attempt the Topic wise tests, after the completion of subject attempt the Subject wise tests and similarly after the completion of multiple subjects attempt the Multi subject tests.

You should plan the Full Length tests in the last two months before the exam. Its good practice to attempt the test at the same time as per the GATE schedule. This will set your biological clock and will make your brain habitual about the time. Trust me it worked for me, in the last 2 Months I have attempted around 80 Full length mock tests and that to at the same time at which the GATE was scheduled.

ACE Engineering Academy conducts Pre GATE and Made Easy conducts CBT (Computer Based Test) in which you have to go to the centre and attempt the test. You can attempt that as it gives the actual GATE like feel.

How to analyse the Test Series ?

Analysis is as important as attempting the tests. Test series is a part of preparation, it is not the final exam that you have attempted and whatever marks you scored are final and its done; its not at all like that.

You should give sufficient time to analyse the test series, learn from your mistakes and assure yourself that it will not happen again. In the start a lot of silly mistakes will happen, you have to reduce them gradually by rectifying them. You should make a note of your mistakes. Almost all test have the option of bookmark, you can use them. Try to find and solve the similar type of questions in which you made a mistake. Even after doing that there will be some kind of mistakes which you will repeat, keep on noting them and rectifying them. It will take time and you will improve gradually. Competitive exams are not only about being correct but also about how you minimise your mistakes, as no one is fully prepared, so reducing mistakes helps a lot.

What other exams to target that are similar to GATE ?

You can target TIFR, ISRO, BARC, CIL, IIIT Hyderabad, BITS and there would be many more. Join the above mentioned communities to get the notifications about all exams.

Suggestion for College going students

If you are college going students, GATE preparation will help you in your academics and placement interviews also. You can plan it well along with your college curriculum.

Suggestion for Working professionals

You have limited time for preparation, it depends on your office workload, but if you are able to manage time then I think you can join some online course and start your preparation. Utilise your weekends and holidays to the fullest. Remember one year of hard work can change your entire life, you will have a lot of time to enjoy later.

Suggestion for students taking a drop

You have plenty of time for GATE preparation, plan and utilise your time well. You have time to practice more and solve more number of questions.

Success is possible for all types of candidates. People belonging to all the above categories have cracked GATE. Accept in whichever situation you are, keep yourself motivated, be positive and start the preparation.

I wish you all the very best for your preparation. If you have any queries you can ask me on Quora, or connect with me on my LinkedIn

Please do share your thoughts !



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Ashish Kankal

Pursuing M. Tech in Computer Science at IISc, Bangalore | Machine Learning Enthusiast