GATE Preparation: Tips, Strategy & Recommended Books

GATE (General Aptitude Test in Engineering) is a competitive entrance test for candidates who want to pursue a master's or post-graduate degree in engineering. The GATE exam is mandatory to secure admissions into IITs, IISc, and NITs. This entrance exam is not solely for admission to the PG engineering courses, but it also helps you get public sector undertaking (PSU) jobs.

Who should appear for the GATE exam?

Any individual who wants to pursue post-graduation courses or any specialization in the engineering or science fields has to appear for the GATE exam. It is perfect for individuals who want to get admissions into top engineering colleges and land entry-level jobs with reputed companies in their preferred sector.

If you fail to clear the GATE exam on your first attempt, you can appear for it again as there are no limits for attempts. However, you can still get admission to top engineering colleges for courses that do not require a GATE score.

Who is eligible to appear for GATE?

  • Candidates of any age can apply for the GATE exam.
  • Candidates from India as well as other countries can also apply.
  • Any candidates who have passed or are appearing for a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering/Technology (B.E./B.Tech) or Postgraduate (M.Sc) degree in any relevant science subject are eligible to apply.
  • Candidates from countries other than India should be in the 3rd year of their course or have completed their Bachelor’s degree of at least 3 years in Engineering / Technology / Science / Arts / Commerce.
  • There is no requirement for a minimum percentage in any of your degrees.

It is ideal to check for eligibility criteria on GATE’s website as they also accept candidates with some other specific qualifications and degrees like B.Arch, B. Pharm, M.B.B.S, etc.

How to prepare for the GATE examination?

Gate preparation can take up to 8 months. However, it can be more or less for some candidates. Either way, if you want to make the most of your time, then here are some GATE preparation tips that will come in handy for you throughout your journey.

1. Get to know the GATE syllabus

Knowing the exam pattern and syllabus will help you form your perfect GATE preparation strategy. You can organize your schedule and strategically allot time to subjects that need more preparation. You should focus more on certain subjects because they hold more marks or because they are hard to cope with.

  • The GATE examination is an online, computer-based test that is 3 hours long and has a total of 29 subjects.
  • The paper is divided into two sections: general aptitude (10 questions) and the subjects you selected (55 questions).
  • You have MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions), MSQs (Multiple Select Questions), and, numerical answer type questions.
  • The questions are for either 1 mark or 2 marks. There is a negative marking in GATE. For each incorrect 1-mark answer, 1/3 mark will be deducted and for 2 marks question, 2/3 marks will be deducted.

2. Select right GATE preparation books

The right course material is what gives shape to your GATE preparation. The right study materials are important for each subject and for every stage of preparation. Pearson’s GATE preparation books have all the study materials that you will need throughout your preparation. They also have subject-wise solved question papers of previous years’. With Pearson’s books, you can learn and also practice using the solved papers.

3. Appear for mock tests

Once you have finished learning all the subjects, the best way to test your knowledge is to appear for mock tests. If you get your answers right, it will help boost your confidence, and if you don’t get them right, you can analyze your weaknesses and invest more time in learning those subjects or topics. As you get closer to your GATE exam, you can solve more and more mock tests each day. It helps you solve unique questions and revise everything that you have learned so far.

It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to prepare for competitive exams like GATE. While you are learning and studying enthusiastically, it is also important to stay focused, organized, and have a plan for your future. Since you can pursue your post-graduation in engineering from reputed colleges even without a GATE score, you should keep your options open. But do not let that steer you away from clearing your GATE exam if that’s the goal for you. Self-assessment and awareness are as crucial as learning to appear for this examination.