Akhand Swaroop Pandit is famous as the man who has cleared several government and competitive examinations, which include – UPSC, GATE, and NET among others.
An ex-IES officer, Swaroop is now a motivational speaker who also runs an academy to train students for various competitive examinations.
In this article, Swaroop, who scored an All India Rank of 6 in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) lists downs six points that all GATE candidates must follow.
1. Concentrate On the Syllabus
Swaroop says that one of the most important aspects of preparation lies in studying the syllabus. “In the case of GATE examination, no questions are asked out of syllabus or topic. So it is imperative that candidates go through the syllabus with a fine tooth comb.”
Even within the syllabus there are some sub-topics that are of more importance than the others and to gauge which ones they are, candidates must also go through previous year question papers alongside the syllabus.
2. Pick up the Last Ten Years’ Papers
Yet another important point to remember and follow is to go through the question papers of the previous years. Analysing the last ten years question papers will give the candidate a fair idea about what can be asked and what topics are important.
“In terms of when one should start looking at question papers, I would say that the earlier on in your preparation the better,” informs Swaroop.
He further explains that candidates need a minimum of six months of dedicated study time to be able to clear the GATE examination with a good score.
3. Practise Makes Perfect
While this holds true for all competitive examinations, it is especially true for GATE, says Swaroop. “It is important that you attempt the mock papers in the same manner as you would the actual examination. This will not only help in strengthening your understanding but also help you tackle the paper better.”
Citing an example of how practising helps before the exam, he says, “The scientific calculator provided during the examination is one that candidates must get used to. Not knowing its working often leads to candidates wasting precious time in just trying to figure it out. Therefore, if you have practised before and used the calculator, it will help during the D-day.”
4. Make Sure Your Concepts are Clear
In the three hour examination, candidates will have to attempt 65 questions, so unless the concepts are clear, doing justice to the paper will be very difficult. “All the questions are based on concepts so ensure that your concepts are crystal clear. While solving previous year question papers is essential, it will only help in strengthening the concept and one should not solely rely on that alone,” says Swaroop.
He also mentions that candidates must necessarily brush up on all the formulas and practice atleast 4 to 5 questions with each formula.
Word of advise: “Do not mug up the formula, rather spend time understanding how and why they are used in a particular problem,” says Swaroop.
5. Be Mindful while Attempting the Paper
Swaroop cautions candidates about negative marking, especially in the numerical data type questions.
“In the numerical data type questions the candidates are required to enter the answer which has been calculated. For example, if the answer is 36.273 the same must be entered without taking away any decimal point. These are mostly fill in the blank type questions, so the candidates do not have any answer option to chose from.”
Word of advise: Remember to enter the answer with at least three digits after the decimal point. Refrain from rounding off the number in the numerical data type questions.
6. Five-hours of Dedicated Study Time
While it is the quality of study that matters rather than the quantity, one must try and put in a minimum of five hours a day into preparing for the GATE examination. “Even if a candidate is preparing while working or studying in college, taking out five hours a day is absolutely doable. Split the time between morning and evening and you will find that it becomes easy to study.”
It is also important that students make a schedule that works for them. Revision of all topics is very important and candidates must make dedicated time for the same.
To read more about Swaroop, you can click here.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)