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What is the toughest schedule to follow in preparation for the GATE?
I may not be a genius to have scored an awesome rank in GATE, and after dropping a year I managed only a score of 740 in GATE 2017 EE stream. But I’m writing this answer because I prepared with utmost dedication and concentration. I lost on the final day jitters, but I felt my preparation was hands on and because of this I’ll give u my schedule for the year. I started my preparation in July. I counted all the subjects I have, and I made a schedule such that I’d have TWO months for taking all mock tests and revision. I never took any coaching, but I did go through some video lessons by GATEFORUM to which I had enrolled (The eGATE series). I also used this service for doubt clearance. Reason why I didn’t take coaching? Because taking classes would mean traveling to the centre and spending 5 hrs there, then coming back and getting tired and sleeping… repeat for 7 days a week. I knew it was important to practice questions. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that unless I drop out of the idea of coaching and do self-study instead. For electrical engineering, these are the subjects we have. Electrical Networks, Control Systems, Analog Electronics, Digital Electronics, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Power Electronics, Signals and Systems, Measurement and Instrumentation and Electromagnetic Field Theory The ones that I have highlighted are the subjects you must never skip. Read the concepts thoroughly and spend a lot of time on these. I skipped Electromagnetic Field Theory because hardly any questions come from this. Just 2–3 marks and so much time and effort wasn’t worth for this subject, according to me. Now I had 9 subjects, along with mathematics and 5 months (because Dec and Jan for tests). So this is what I did July- Networks and Control Systems; Any two math topics Now why I chose these subjects first? Obvious- the most needed subjects. You’d need these concepts even in other subjects. So knowing this means that your 1/5th preparation of other subjects is done too. August- Electrical Machines and Analog Electronics; 2 Math topics I picked up two opposite poles because I didn’t want to get bored reading the same monotonous thing again. It took about one and a half week for each of these subjects. The last week I spent time solving maths again. September- Power Systems and Power Electronics; 2 Math topics Again, why I chose these two despite t both being sort of sister subjects? Because I found Power Systems very easy and Power Electronics hard. While it took only about a week and a half to finish power systems, the rest of the month I spent studying power electronics. In fact, so to speak I couldn’t complete all my schedule right through this month and I had some math problems left to solve, which got carry forwarded to October. IF YOU REALISE, By this time I had covered all the highlighted subjects which means I could solve most of the questions asked in GATE. October- Signals and Systems and Mathematics This was a chill month for me. I had a convocation to attend, so lots of time was spent out of the city, with my college friends. So I decided that I would take a bit of frustration out of me and chill. So I kept only one subject for this month, but a tough one that, because we never really did this subject well in college and I had to start from the scratch. GATEFORUM video lectures helped me with this subject. November- Measurements; Digtal Electronics; Left over topics from maths and REVISION Ok, November was easy. Both are easy subjects and I finished it in no time. So after finishing all my portion within the first half, I spent the second half revising all that I studied and potentially could have forgotten. I solved a lot of problems, solved a couple of GATE papers to get an idea and by this time I felt confident of scoring well. July-November (NUMBER OF STUDY HOURS)- Between 6–8 hrs depending upon my mood. December and January- MOCK TESTS Call it stupid but I enrolled for three mock test series, ACE, MADE EASY AND GATEFORUM and I tried to solve as many as I could. I would wake up early in the morning and relax for a bit and then sit for the mock test. Any random mock test depending on my mood. I would try to shuttle between the three and take all three series to equal measure. After the mock test (3 hrs) I would have lunch, sleep for a bit and wake up to solve them again with solutions. I’d maintain a mistake book in which I’d note down all the mistakes so as to avoid it the next time. Another 3 hrs would go in this. So total 6 hrs during the tests. FEBRUARY The time had come. I had eleven days for my exam, and my mock tests helped me a lot and I was kinda confident to score 60+ in my exam. I chilled, revised, watched TV shows and studied concepts over and over again. I tried to keep my stress levels minimal, but some things are totally over your control. I couldn’t sleep the night before the exam, and my mind wend blank quite a lot during the paper, the reason why I screwed up. Somethings depend on your destiny, but I never regret the decision of dropping the year and studying for GATE. It taught me a lot, which I would put on Quora sometime! LASTLY, Good luck with your preparation. No matter how much you are advised, remember you must always work according to your clock, to your comfort UPDATE. I got into IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Delhi (Energy Systems) and IIT Roorkee (Systems and Control). Also got admission in Power Systems in NIT Trichy (1st preference in first round)
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