"I worked hard but I missed, make sure you don't."

Published: 19 Jun 2018 | Last updated 7 May 2021

It’s not a story of triumph and success, rather a FAIL attempt to GATE 16’. I am sharing my bitter sweet moments which I wouldn't trade for anything in the entire world.

This is going to be a long one, but I believe it will be worth reading. It all started on February 6th, 2016 when I decided to start preparing for GATE 16’. I started off enthusiastically with the desire of CRACKING it and NAILING it. Making several timetables, highlights, notes and pasting them on wall beside my study table used to provide me with a sense of responsibility & achievement and it also encouraged me in mugging up several formulae of CO, Maths, DLD. I had even put up inspirational posters of great personalities like Dr. Abdul Kalam and it used to drive me all day with the only intention of achieving something productive and leaving "Footprints on the sands of time", as recited In the poem, "Psalm of Life" by H.W.Longfellow. In most of my past time I used to be surrounded by motivational songs, seminars, movies, quotes and thoughts.

To get an insight of my preparation, I joined several Facebook groups like - GATE Computer Science Careers and Virtual Gate. These groups provided me a platform for discussion and helped me in gauging my progress. So to effectively use it, and at the same time stay away from social media distractions (other side of Facebook), I made a pseudo profile learn and nothing else. Participating in online mock tests of Virtual Gate, GeeksForGeeks and Made Easy was a plus. I didn't score well initially, but gradually I got a hold of it. I used to work upon my mistakes after taking those tests. The last online mock test which I appeared for, was 4 days before the commencement of GATE 16’. I scored pretty well and I was in top 5 achievers of GeeksforGeeks mock test-II. I was now confident about GATE-16.

But, things went off-piste on the actual day, I was in set-1. Although set-1 had atleast 7 questions which were out of syllabus but I could have performed well in the rest. It would be unfair to say that Set-1 ruined it, but rather I myself made it a tough nut to crack. I lost 20 marks because of my mistakes. Summing them up, my advice would be;

  1. Practice GATE papers atleast once as given on official GATE website - The interface of GATE is a little different from those online Mock Tests. I realised this on D-Day when I was desperately searching for Scientific Calculator, then after 45 seconds I asked invigilator to help me out. Instead of A4 pages that I used while giving my mocks, aspirants were given ‘scribble pads’ which were small in size. Students who have got habit of writing in large size should take this into account as this can make a huge difference on your time. When asked for supplementary pads, I was insisted to use the same scribble pad. This resulted in making mistakes in recursion questions as I cluttered my rough work and miswrote final answers.
  2. Use mouse to fill answers rather than keyboard - During exams we are given mouse to work with and no keyboard (another mistake). During mocks, I used to fill NAT answers with keypad so it was in my habit. During exam, it took me a lot of time filling those NAT answers with mouse. My advice to future aspirants is to get accustomed to mouse use as primary input. I used to have a laptop, so handling mouse was hindering with my efficiency and consumed a considerable amount of time.
  3. Stay calm, do not make stray assumptions on choices, go through each one – All options seems alike, I made mistake in answering choices. I used to tick the first option matching to my answer, without looking to other choices and even because of nervousness. I was forgetting my answers which I solved on scribbles. Still remember, I ticked maximum of x and y, instead of minimum- in apti.

    Note: I would suggest don't try mock in absolute silent environment, try at those places where some mild disturbances are present so that you can overcome irritations which you experience during GATE as there is no absolute silence in hall, there is always some instructions which irritates during exam and makes you lose your concentration. You can try a little Yoga, if that helps.
  4. Go for easy ones first - It is a tendency to get harder things done first, don’t do it here. I used to pay more time and attention on tough questions and didn't put so much time on easy ones. I started off with 2 marks questions in the last hour of exam and to my surprise, most of them were easy but required us to apply brute force method and check values from choices. I already wasted so much time in tougher questions, that I had no choice but skip easier ones.
  5. Avoid too many mock papers - Try to focus on a few of the mock tests. ‘VirtualGate’ would be sufficient in itself. Give specific time to FB Groups, as at the end of the day you have to study yourself, they are guiding you. Don't get prompted on every notification as many people just put comment on post without relevancy.

    Note: Avoid FB notifications just after taking GATE, I kept my mobile data on and within 30 - 40 minutes there were posts for Q/A which got me involved. Relax yourself, as you can't do anything with your answers after GATE is over, it will only depress you, so look forward and prepare well for other exams like (ISRO, BARC, CIL) and check for responses only when official keys are released (generally after 15 - 20 days). I wasted my full 1.5 months in depression over answers, instead I could have prepared for further exams, looking for alternatives like jobs, etc.
  6. For Final Year - Avoid full time preparation at home after being pass-out, try for some job where you get busy and optimally use your time for GATE preparation. Earning gives you a sense of achievement and you can use your "earning for learning and learning for earning". While at home especially those who get dissuaded by others, you will all have feeling of joblessness over time.

Finally, I’d like to wrap up with a few pointers that I feel, you can adapt generally:

  • You can achieve high tomorrow, don't compensate with anything less than your aim, realise your mistakes and work upon them.
  • Always learn from others’ mistakes, although nobody is perfect but try to avoid silly mistakes.
  • Always make crisp and short notes by yourself in your handwriting as these are more persistent than those ‘perfect’ notes of toppers. Remember, these toppers are among us.
  • Try to solve questions and discuss doubts rather than looking at good answers which are most agreeable to everyone, as at the end of the day, you have to solve questions by yourself.

So, this was my FAIL (First Attempt in Learning) attempt towards GATE. Let’s learn together and achieve a better tomorrow.




Do it for that FEEL

Published: 22 May 2017 | Last updated 7 May 2021

Can you imagine the feelings of a Mountaineer when he reaches to the top? Probably, you can't.
When someone asked George Mallory, Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest? "Because it is there" was his reply.
It's all about "that feel", nothing else. You have to climb the mountain by yourself to get "that feel".
GATE preparation is not as tough as climbing a mountain but it is also not a lead-pipe cinch. It will be very easy if you are determined to experience 'that feel'. 
Most of you have prepared hard for IITJEE after your Intermediate, but unfortunately, you didn't get admission in any IIT. You would have convinced the rest of the world with many reasons but are you convinced?  
Let's go a few years back when you were preparing for IITJEE and you wanted to tell the world that you did not belong to a 'mass' rather you are among the Best minds in the country. Remember? how hard that time was! You wanted to get into any IIT at any cost. But you missed the golden opportunity. You compromised with your dream by joining some regional college and started telling people that "IIT is not everything". 
Yes, you are right. IIT is really not everything but it is not a waste as well. There are many people who are more successful than an IIT'an, without joining any IIT. You will become successful too without getting into an IIT but if IIT was your biggest dream after your school, I must say, give at least one chance after your B.Tech. to get "that feel".
GATE only requires an understanding of your basic concepts in computer science and ability to use those concepts in solving real world problems.
So, start your preparation now. Remember always, " If you can dream it, You can achieve it" .

  • Sumit Verma
  • @sumitverma
  • Senior editor at techtud

Last 90 days for GATE

Published: 24 Oct 2015 | Last updated 7 May 2021

GATE-2016 has around 90 days and this can be considered most crucial time for any serious aspirant. In this 10 minutes video I am going to talk about my GATE preparation journey. I hope it will help you to review your preparation strategy.  

  • Pritam Prasun
  • @pritam
  • Senior editor at techtud

Message to Indian Students

Published: 24 Aug 2015 | Last updated 7 May 2021

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the Missile Man and the 11th  President of India, authored a book titled India 2020. Unfortunately, his dream of making India a developed nation by 2020 may remain a dream, but is it something unachievable? Maybe not 2020, but what about 2025 or 2030, if we start from now?

Logically, with a population of 1.267 billion, our government alone is incapable of materializing such grand visions. However, small Collaborated Consistent Contributions from this 1.267 billion strong youthful population can amaze the world, like we did with ‘Mangalyaan’. We don’t need to step out of our comfort zone, we just need to include some visionary constructive activities in our respective domains.

There is a mountain of mountainous challenges, e.g. India currently has the largest illiterate population. Even if we consider only engineering, here are some facts and figures:

India My Nation… OUR Nation

  • 3,384 AICTE approved Engineering Colleges with intake capacity of 1,634,596
  • The figure 1,634,596 looks like too much, but statistically India needs even more
  • Unreliable quality of teaching faculty and infrastructure
  • Inefficient utilization of the benefits of digital/online resources
  • Lack of basic concepts and skills leading to low employability
  • Low average salary and mismatch between job profile and degree in hand
  • Shortage of 150,000 faculty but still teaching is not a career preference

So, members of Techtud, who are a bunch of IIT and IISc graduates, students from other premier Institutions, and skilled professionals, are set to implement a visionary educational platform while staying in their 'comfort zone' or domain i.e. Engineering. The idea is to utilize the boons of digital era to promote interactive contribution-centric online education i.e. it is for Teachers and Students both. One more important thing, it's completely free and open to all without any room for favoritism of any kind. To feel the real weight of above words kindly visit

If you still feel that this is unrealistic or only about fashionably 'talking big', then it is the right moment to remind you that: Great Visions are Impossible Dreams, encouraged by Big Words, supported by Small but Consistent Efforts, gradually leading to Revolutionary Results.

  • techtud official
  • @techtud
  • Senior editor at techtud

Amazing things happen when you don't give up

Published: 15 Mar 2015 | Last updated 7 May 2021

On one hand, we know that everything happens for a reason, and there is no mistake or coincidence. On the other hand, we learn that we can never give up, knowing that with the right tools and energy, we can reverse any decree or karma. So, which is it? Let the Light decide, or never give up? The answer is: both.

This video will tell you how...

  • techtud official
  • @techtud
  • Senior editor at techtud

Small can be Great

Published: 1 Dec 2014 | Last updated 7 May 2021

At times life can be very demanding and ruthless. It will push you down in a dark deep well, breaking your spine, and will ask you to come out or rot there! This is the moment when you need a helping hand, like oxygen to breathe. Every human know that this unpredictable life can betray them at any moment. This is the basic reason behind existence of words like care, help, contribution, sharing etc. in the dictionary of we humans.

A help or contribution required by someone needy can be massive in size. Everyone can not be as capable or generous as the great ‘Danvaeer Karna’ in ‘Mahabharata’. However, a group of people can come together and share the responsibility by distributing it among themselve, depending on their individual potentials.

small contribution techtud

Small contribution create Great results. The strength and courage of each soldier(1,129,900 active and 960,000 reserve) is the real reason behind the majestic Indian Army. Similar principles apply to the field of education too. A single doubt, example, resource,illustration, short notes or video contributed on some topic of individual interest by millions on a single interactive, neutral, non-profit and contribution centric platform like Techtud can create something amazing.

So, think and decide when you are going to contribute(in any field) for a better future because life is demanding,ruthless and  unpredictable...

  • techtud official
  • @techtud
  • Senior editor at techtud

Just one word for GATE Preparation

Published: 26 Oct 2014 | Last updated 7 May 2021

Can you define GATE preparation in just a single word ? This was a rapid fire question asked to me on facebook. I deeply thought before answering. I thought about my preparation strategy and the things which were most important and helped me to crack GATE.

  • Pritam Prasun
  • @pritam
  • Senior editor at techtud

Countdown for the last push: GATE 2018

Published: 23 Feb 2014 | Last updated 7 May 2021
GATEians, finally it’s the countdown time for GATE 2018, I know real aspirants must be feeling their heartbeats even in their dreams. Of course GATE needs vast amount of early preparations, but there is something called the final touch or the last push, this post is all about that. So, your countdown for the last push goes like this:
9. Health is Wealth:
Eat healthy and follow the highest level of health precautions as GATE will return only after one year but a mosquito or roadside food can ruin your efforts in less than a day. You can make excuses but however valid, excuses never pay. So, respect this olden yet golden rule.
8. Be happy with what you have, don’t dare to be greedy:
Revise the portions you have covered and polish the topics under your command instead of fighting the uncovered and tricky demons (syllabus).
7. Expect the unexpected:
Prepare with previous year papers and fresh test series, they will help but be ready for the bouncers (questions belonging to unexpected patterns) every fresh GATE paper carries with it. Polish your basic concepts as tricks will not be that effective for bouncers.
6. In the last 24 hours chew a ‘CHILLPILL’:
Believe me staying awake for the whole night, last moment studies, last moment discussions, last moment rush etc. are the sweet poisons which kill the bright prospects of many eligible GATE aspirants. It’s not your university exam where last moment attitude is popular, so simply follow the bullets below:
  • Be sure about things like venue, day, date and time in advance.
  • Take a sound sleep, tomorrow will be a tedious day for your brain.
  • Get up early to save time for regular stuffs and avoid any rush.
  • Have a light healthy and risk free breakfast (light lunch, if it’s the afternoon session), happy tummy will lead to peaceful mind.
  • Begging is a bad habit so check you stationery, don’t forget your calculator.
  • It’s ‘GATE day’ not ‘DHOOM day’ so save time for traveling with safety and comfort.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep your brain hydrated but use washroom before exam to save the precious exam time.
5. Trust yourself, stay away from trumpets:
Lots of ‘timepass GATEcrashers’ keep discussing last moment stuffs. Stay away as such discussions may panic you by making you feel that others are more prepared than you are. Remember ‘trumpets are hollow inside, shining and loud outside’.
4. Precision matters:
Be careful while filling in the personal details and also while marking your answers. A slight mistake may give you negative marks or rejection even after knowing the right thing.
3. You are not alone and benchmarks are suicidal:
If the question is tough, it’s tough for every GATE aspirant. So, curb the greed and just play your natural game without pushing for that extra risky question to push up your scores. Remember such heroic efforts may become your biggest foolishness earning you loads of negative marks and wasted efforts. Never set a benchmark in terms of the number of questions you solve.
2. Never fall in love with a question:
Never waste your time on a question which is doubtful or too demanding in terms of time. First bag the precious marks offered by questions in which you feel confident as there is no sectional cut-off. You are free to skip and re-attempt any question without bothering about it. Marks are important, not the questions.
1. Aaaall is well:
Doubting the correctness of a question is pointless as even if it is wrong you will be awarded marks for attempting it. So, while attempting any question assume that it’s correct without wasting time in questioning its validity.
0. Drop your armour, party hard:
Complete your paper and stop bothering about anything in this world. The war is over and you deserve to enjoy your life with Honey Singh’s rap or Jagjit Singh’s gazals or anything in your style. If you are still cannot get out of the GATE mode, just tell yourself the cruel fact that you cannot change your answers now. 
With all the above DOs and DON'Ts in your mind hit the GATE 2018 in the hardest possible way, no need to unlock it... JUST BREAK OPEN.
Image credit:
  • techtud official
  • @techtud
  • Senior editor at techtud

When you don't give up, YOU CAN NOT FAIL!

Published: 17 Dec 2013 | Last updated 7 May 2021

A small video clip for those who has started loosing hope and think it's now out of their reach. Life has a strange way of holding us up in our time of need. When you don't give up..You cannot fail!!. This video may change your entire way of looking the things.

  • techtud official
  • @techtud
  • Senior editor at techtud