GATE examination – Details, studying methods and coaching classes

GATE exam is an all India entrance examination conducted by the IITs for admission for masters programs. Engineering colleges all over India use GATE exam scorecard for admission for post graduate programs. Once qualified in GATE exam, a candidate is also eligible for MHRD scholarship. This article gives all the details regarding GATE exam.

I appeared for GATE 2010 and secured 95.1 percentile. I would like to share the details of GATE exam, how to prepare for the exam and coaching classes for GATE exam. This article gives a brief idea about the GATE exam.

What is GATE exam?

GATE is short form of Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. GATE exam is conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology. The organization is done on rotation basis. GATE exam 2009 was conducted by IIT Roorkee. GATE exam 2010 was conducted by IIT Guwahati. GATE exam is conducted on behalf of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India.

Purpose of conducting GATE exam

1. Admission to postgraduate programs in various institutes all over India.
2. Admission to IITs and NITs with MHRD scholarships.
3. Assistance-ship in various institutes for research work.
4. Admission to doctoral programs in carious institutes all over India.
5. Junior research fellowship in CSIR laboratories and CSIR sponsored projects.
6. Top rankers are also eligible to apply for "Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship" awarded by CSIR.
7. Applying for the post of Engineer/Scientist for some government organizations

Eligibility for GATE exam

1. For post graduate program admission – Bachelor's degree holders in Engineering/Technology (4 years after 10+2). Candidates in final year or pre final year can also give GATE exam.
2. For doctoral program admission – Master's degree holders in any branch of Science/Mathematics/Statistics/Computer. The candidates in the final year and pre final year of such programs can also sit for GATE exam
3. Candidates with qualifications obtained through exams conducted by professional societies recognized by UPSC/AICTE as equivalent to BE/B.Tech. For example, AMICE conducted by Institute of Civil Engineers, India is one such examination.

Pattern of GATE exam

GATE exam is a paper of 3 hours duration. It consists of 65 questions carrying a maximum of 100 marks. The question paper consists of multiple choice objective type questions out of which only one answer is correct. There is an ORS sheet containing bubbles corresponding to the 4 options A,B,C and D. Only one answer is supposed to be marked.
Negative Marking: For each 1 mark questions, there is negative marking of 0.33 marks. Thus, if 3 one mark questions are answered incorrectly, 1 mark will be negated. For each 2 mark questions, there is negative marking of 0.66 marks. Thus, if 3 two mark questions are answered incorrectly, 2 marks will be negated.
GATE scorecard is valid for 2 years from the date of declaration of results. No additional GATE scorecards will be provided.

How to study for GATE exam - ECE

I have completed my engineering this year from the ECE(electronics and telecommunication engineering). I started preparing for GATE exam from final year and I prepared very well for the last month. But, I suggest if you start preparing early, you will achieve a much better rank and you are eligible for scholarships and fellowships.

TE – By the beginning of TE, start searching for GATE exam. Get to know the pattern, the syllabus. See your strong points and weak points and start to study your current syllabus from GATE exam point of view. Collect all the information, all the previous year question papers and make your collection huge. In BE, you should not feel I do not have so and so book or I do not have so and so question paper. All the material must be ready in your room. Give the GATE exam in TE second semester. Also, make sure you have done enough research regarding the course you want to pursue further. Your interest in which field and accordingly decide the institution you want to do your further studies.

BE – Once you have given the examination, you have an idea as how to prepare and which subjects are your strong and weak points. Accordingly, start studying 2-3 hours daily. Do not neglect your final year. You have a lot of work regarding project, seminars and your academics. Even a single backlog can make your life in BE miserable. So, do not neglect your BE. By December, cover most of your syllabus. From January till the date of the exam, keep solving previous GATE exam question papers. The last month is very critical. You have to give at least 5 hours a day.

One important suggestion: There are 8 major sections in every branch. For ECE, the various sections are:
1. Communication
2. Electronic Devices
3. Network Theory
4. Digital Systems
5. Signals and Systems
6. Electromagnetics
7. Control Systems
8. Mathematics
Out of the 8 sections, all you have to do is thoroughly prepare 6. And don't even touch the remaining two. But, you can take this risk only if you have immense confidence in the 6 sections. You must be so confident that you can solve the questions even in your dream. If that is the case, there is no need for you to cover the entire syllabus.

Coaching for GATE exam

There are various coaching institutes available for GATE exam. Some of them are:
1. IES made Easy – Bangalore and Delhi
2. Vani Institute – Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
3. ACE Engineering Academy – Hyderabad
4. The Engineering cademy - Bangalore
If you are joining any of the coaching, blindly follow all the instructions given by your coaching institute. Do not listen to your friends in other institutes and adopt different methods. This happens many times. So, the best approach is to follow the instructions from the GATE exam coaching institute. If you give your best efforts, success is waiting for you. All the best!

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