Conversation with a Student preparing for GATE

Published: 27 Sep 2019 | Last updated 20 September 2020

GATE 2020 is just a few months away. This seems like a good time to share with all of you the following conversation with a student from last year just a couple of months before the final exam. I had given some intuitive suggestions about preparation in general, learning CS subjects, problem solving skills, how to deal with erroneous information, time management, health, and most importantly taking breaks. So, go ahead and give this a read to find out if it's relatable anyway to your situation or not. Whatever be the answer, team Techtud wishes you all the best for your preparation and welcome you to share your problems, views, and concerns with us. We will try our best to help!


Hi mam, I am XYZ, I have completed my BE in Computer Science this year. I have been preparing for gate from past 5 months and by the end of this month I will be completing my portion for GATE.

So, I will be having 2 Months for revision and test series, but I don't know the right way of doing it. How can I increase my chances to get highest marks?

The topics I know well are Algorithms, Computer Network, TOC, Compiler, DBMS, digital logic, I can solve sums on cache and pipeline in a reasonable amount of time. In mathematics, I can solve linear algebra and calculus in good amount of time, but there is lots of variation in probability so it takes lots of time + sometimes I feel really hard to solve some problems.

I am giving GATE for the first time, and about to complete my portion, this last 2 months are very important and I want to utilize this 2 months time efficiently.

Mam, It will be really helpful if you can provide some helpful tips, and along with the mistakes I should not do in these 2 months. I am studying for full time.

Thank you :)



Thanks for reaching out! It's great to know that you have almost completed the syllabus and have two whole months time for revision and practice tests. Also, you are doing some really good job in terms of problem-solving. Although I am not an expert in the field of GATE preparation, per se, I can share with you my views on the general study of CS subjects and exam preparation. Hope that works!

It's important to understand that each and everything we learn in CS has some logic behind it; so never try to memorize things without the understanding of the underlying concept of why and how things work. The in-depth comprehension of things will help you solve problems even when you have not practiced any problem of a similar pattern before. So, go through the textbooks, solve end of chapter exercises of textbooks, and then practice problems from GATE oriented books/sites.

When you are reading textbooks, any online resource, or validating answers from sites/books, always crosscheck with your own understanding and judgments. Never take any info on its face-value; because it's very likely that there is a typo, calculation mistakes, or an entirely wrong explanation written somewhere. Your knowledge of the subject should be good enough to find out these mistakes and learn over it. It will build your confidence as well, and you will be able to utilize as many resources as you can without the worry of always finding the correct info.

Next point, what I can think of right now, is time management. It's extremely important. Along with practice and revision, allow yourself one time-bound small test (say half an hour or one hour) every day and a full-length test (3 hours) every week and stick to the time limit. After each test, give time to analyze your performance along with your time management skills. Remember that you will very likely be tensed and worked up on the day of the actual exam.

So, your time management skills should be such that those little changes in your character do not affect your overall performance. Also, repeatedly giving the tests will ensure forming habit which in turn will help you to keep your cool during the actual exam.

Lastly, take care of your health. You do not want to get stressed, tired, or ill during these 2 months time. Take proper food, do some light exercises, do not get habituated with afternoon naps. You should be at your pick performence during the 3 hours slot you get for the final exam. So, tune your daily schedule to meet that goal. But, also remember to not introduce any drastic change to your lifestyle, it may cause more harm than good.

And then, it's always easy to advise others to do things and not always easy and usually very challenging to implement that advice in real life. So, cut yourself some slack if you don't tick all the check-boxes someday; do not get overwhelmed. Take deep breaths, allow yourself to take some rest, and start afresh. Every day is a new beginning, and it's always possible to work hard to ensure giving your best and not regret at the end. Stay in touch and let me know whenever I can help you with any academic/non-academic issues. Take care and all the best!



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