Competitive exams often enhance the ability of students to acquire new skills, add dimensions to their learning curve, and to carve a niche for themselves eventually. It gives them a chance to explore their potential career prospects. Moreover, we know that these examinations act as stepping stones for corresponding fields or admission in universities for postgraduate education. GATE is one such Indian exam that helps aspirants embark on a journey of postgraduate studies and indulge in whichever prospect they are passionate about.
About the GATE exam:-
GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, which is a computer-based standardized test conducted at the national level in India to examine the proficiency of B.Tech or other students in the field of science and engineering. It consists of 65 multiple choice questions, which are to be solved in 3 hours. Unlike many other entrance exams that have a validity of a year or two, the GATE score is valid until three years hence the date of result. IISc Bangalore and IIT Roorkee are the institutions that conduct this competitive examination.
Its syllabus is one of the most intensive and covers a variety of topics. GATE is curated for students from different disciplines. General aptitude questions constitute 15 marks; core questions up to 70-72 marks and engineering mathematics questions constitute 13-15 marks, which forms a total of 100 marks. The cut-off marks depend on the institute where an aspirant applies and are also different for general, SC/ST and OBC categories respectively. It is held every year in February.
Benefits of giving GATE:-
Since the GATE is aimed at testing many things simultaneously, its preparation and results, both open a plethora of opportunities for aspirants and has a fair share of advantages. Here is a list of benefits which a student can avail with the help of GATE:-
- It provides students with M.E, M.tech, and M.Sc opportunities in premier Indian institutes such as IITs, NITs, IISc, and many more, which give massive exposure to students.
- During the course, students are given a stipend of up to 13,000 INR per month for 24 months and 8 hours of work per week. This ensures financial assistance to students while studying.
- With the rapid increase in Research & Development in almost all industries and sectors, there is a growing demand for GATE qualified students. They are hired for fellowships in the most renowned laboratories like the Counsel of Scientific and Industrial Research and many more. This gives them a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the field of research and even pursue a Ph.D. if they desire.
- The GATE score not only opens doors for career prospects in Master’s, but it also paves the way for Public Sector Undertakings like ONGC, NHPC, BPCL, HPCL, Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd., etc.
- Many reputed colleges and universities, even outside of India, consider and applaud good GATE scores.
- An M.tech or M.Sc degree holder, equipped with a set of relevant skills, can teach at prestigious Indian universities such as Indus, Nirma, some IITs, DU, and many more. These universities prefer professors who have a postgraduate degree from a reputed institute like IIT or NIT. This teaching experience can exponentially increase the chances of a student getting respectable jobs in the public and corporate sectors.
How to prepare without coaching:-
Many competitive exams require coaching, which gives an additional perspective and insight to students due to their lack of knowledge about the new concepts and curriculum. GATE, on the other hand, does not necessarily require coaching because the course is the same, which students have studied throughout the 3-4 years of undergraduate studies. Here are some tips which would help an aspirant in preparing for GATE without being dependent on coaching institutes:-
- It is essential to familiarize yourself with the subjects of the GATE, and it is readily available on the official website. If you have decided to give GATE at an early stage of your undergraduate studies, it will help to start focusing more on the subjects taught in college to build a strong foundation of subjects.
- Choose the reference material which is both recommended by past GATE takers and the ones which you find suitable for your style of studying. It is crucial that you trust what works the best for you after experimenting with an array of useful study material.
- Prioritize the subjects according to how much to be given to which based on your proficiency in it. Set a schedule in place which you could follow and manage your time efficiently.
- Create notes and formula sheets while preparing as this would not only save a lot of time compiling things at the end, but it would also help in having material handy for last-minute revision.
- It is of paramount importance to avoid omitting any subjects and consistently revisit old concepts for a better grip on as many subjects as possible.
- Start giving online mock tests regularly a month before the actual examination. This would help in giving you a feel of the test and would prevent any panic or anxiety due to the prolonged experience with the exam pattern and similar questions.
- It is always advisable to try and have a study group which could assist you with your doubts and weak subjects. An exchange of ideas and various perspectives about the same subject strengthens the command on that particular subject. If you are someone who can not function well in a group study, post your queries online and get them solved at the earliest to avoid doubt backlog.
Before deciding whether or not you wish to take GATE, and which medium do you plan to opt for while studying, it is necessary to have enough information about all the nitty-gritty of it. Hence, research about GATE, its pattern, syllabus, read various blogs and articles by IIT professors, alumni, industry experts, and try talking with a friend or colleague who has first-hand experience. This would give more weight to your decision.