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GATE 2016 Topper Interview – Prakhar Bapat AIR 43 (ECE)

Exam specific questions      
1.       How was GATE paper this year? Give us some insights into GATE-2016 paper and compare it to past year question paper.
For EC branch GATE paper this year was mixed. Session-2 was tough, though 1&3 were easy. Numerical questions required application of formulas only while objective questions were conceptual mostly this year. Paper was comparable to GATE 2014 in which session 4 was quite tough & all others were easy.
2.       How did you feel after seeing first few questions? Did you feel relaxed and calm or you were anxious during first few questions? If you felt anxious then how did you calm yourself?
First few questions I solved were from aptitude & were easy. So I was calm & relaxed while solving the first few questions.
3.        How did you go about attempting the paper? How did you distribute time among various sections like did you attempt 1 mark questions or 2 marks questions first? Please give a detailed description of time management strategy you followed?
      As I have practiced a lot for gate exam through online test series, so I had a clear strategy because of  which I solved the Aptitude part first, which is mostly easy & help you build confidence. So I had saved time while attempting aptitude section & one mark question section. I have attempted them in nearly 1 hour 15 min.
The pressure started building up while attempting some 2 marks questions which were taking time & I was not able to solve them. So instead of spending much time on them, I quickly switched to other 2 mark questions which were easy for me & then approached for the tricky ones in the last.
4.       What was the impact of Online Calculator on GATE Exam? How did you prepare yourself to tackle the Online Calculator?
Online Calculator’s drawback were
1. While minimizing the calculator previous data was not retained.
2. It was opening on the questions only. So it was bit uncomfortable to use it on such a small user screen.
I cope up with these drawbacks by writing essential data on scribble pad so that I didn’t have to move calculator here & there.
5.       What do you feel about the increasing weightage of Numerical Answer Type Questions? How to improve accuracy in order to score well in Numerical Answer Type Questions?
Numerical questions are mostly formulae based. They are actually simple. Only more & more practice & finding the value correct till 3 decimal places i.e. (no approximations in between)
can improve accuracy in Numerical Answer Type Questions.
Preparation Strategy
6.       What was the motive behind you appearing for GATE exam?
I want to go in research field in electronics. Gate being the most lucrative exam for going in organizations related to research work or pursuing Mtech(research) in IISC/ top IITs, I decided appearing for it.
7.       When did you start preparing for GATE exam?
I had some basic concepts clear since engineering.
As far as gate is considered application of these basic concepts is required so I started my prep for gate 2016 since July 2015, practicing problems from one subject at a time.
8.       Up to what date were you able to complete the course once? What was your target as to how many questions to practice in each subject? What was the sequence in which you prepared the subjects?
Till December first week I had completed course once. I had basically focused on the quality of questions i.e. questions that were conceptual & requiring mathematical approach which enhanced my thinking skills. I prepared subjects in this sequence signals, Network, Digital, EDC, analog electronics, control systems, Analog & digital Communication, EMFT, mathematics .
9.       Which subjects according to require more practice and which subjects need to be read from standard textbooks?
Signals, networks & analog electronics require a great deal of practice and also need to be prepared from standard text books, like Oppenheim & van walkenburg ,sedra smith.EDC needs to be prepared from Donald & neaman solving various exercise problems. EMFT  & analog & digital Communication requires effective teaching.
10.   Which study material and standard books would you recommend for GATE Aspirants in each subject?
Books for practice: Kishore kashyap, McGraw Hill Education
Signals      : Oppenheim & Willisky
Networks:  Van Walkenburg/Hayt & kimmerly
Analog Electronics: sedra smith
EDC:  Donald Neamen
Analog & Digital Communications: Simon Haykin/BP lathi
Control Systems    : K Ogata
Digital Electronics :Morris manu
Electromagnetcs   :Sadiku
11.   How did you keep the subjects fresh in your memory the entire time? Did you revise the subjects regularly or you left the revision for last few months? What was your strategy for revision in the last few months?
Revision is the key to my success, I have revised subjects till last date. Revision makes concepts in our mind crystal clear which in a way eliminates doubts while solving questions. Strategy for  revision was – Cover theory part quickly & see the concepts used in questions practiced earlier.
12.   What is the role of mock tests in your success in GATE exam? How many mock tests did you attempt? When did you start attempting mock tests?
Mock tests have played a huge role in my success in gate exam. I have attempted 30 full length mock tests. I also used to attempt subject wise tests after completion of my each subject & evaluate my performance & tried to do better in next one. I started attempting full length mock tests while ding my first revision i.e. mid December.
13.   How was your score in Mock Tests? Is there any correlation between mock test performance and actual GATE performance?
    In Mock Tests also score was good. Yes there is a relation between mock test performance and     actual GATE performance. From mock tests you mind is used to give 3 hour tests with high efficiency.
14.   Did you purchase/use any of the Kreatryx Products? If yes, how was it beneficial to you?
No. I joined a local coaching in Gwalior & referred standard books.
Personal Questions
15.   What is the role of undergraduate studies or college studies in your GATE prep?
Undergraduate studies play a huge role in gate prep. If you are already sound with the basics you just need to apply them on more & more questions
16.   How did you motivate yourself for such a long journey towards GATE?
My motivation for gate was the sea of opportunities that getting a good rank in gate will provide.
So I devoted myself to fulfill this purpose from July to January & when you associate yourself to a great purpose you overcome your own limitations J
17.   Did you expect such a result after giving the GATE exam?
I was expecting normalization & rank somewhere around 250-300. But got 43 luckily.
18.   How did you feel the moment you saw the results?
I felt great, It was a dream which had come true.
19.   What is the role of family and friends in your success in GATE exam?
Family & friends ‘ support played a crucial role in my gate success.
Whenever I felt low I talked to my family & friends. Family & friends are the people which are always with you in success as well as in failure, but if they are not there for you in your failure then perhaps it’s time to find new friends J.
20. Who would you dedicate this GATE result to?
I would dedicate this GATE result to my parents for all the sacrifice they do to make my life better.
21. What is the success mantra that you would like to give to other GATE aspirants which has been critical for your preparation as well?
If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath, then surely you will get what you are striving for.

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