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GATE 2016 Topper Interview – Vaibhav Bhosale AIR 71 (EE)

Hi GATE Aspirants,

After GATE 2016 results, many GATE Aspirants are seeking advice from GATE 2016 toppers, so we would be conducting a series of interview with different toppers in order to reveal their strategies. This way you can choose the road that want to take towards the ultimate aim GATE 2017.
Firstly, we have with us GATE 2016 AIR 71 EE Vaibhav Bhosale from Sardar Patel College of Engineering.
So let us ask him a few questions to know what was his success mantra,

1.    How was GATE paper this year? Give us some insights into GATE-2016 paper and compare it to past year question paper.

The paper this year as everyone knows was easier compared to the last year (2015), maybe because IISC wanted to keep the calculation as simple as possible, as we had the virtual calculator for the first time in gate. All the questions tested basic understanding of a candidates, like there were few questions in which direct formula was not applicable and we had to actually derive the expression (derivation was simple 1 to 2 lines, I had one which was from EMFT), Everyone felt the paper to be simple and thus tried to attempt maximum questions, so GATE-16 was actually a test of Basics and accuracy.
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?
I was lucky because the first few questions I faced were quite easy and it actually boosted my confidence. I really feel that the first few questions actually decide your performance in the entire paper so even if you face some difficult questions at start try not to  stick on to it and always keep a check on your time. You can try solving some questions randomly after facing some difficult ones at start to reduce your stress(question you feel you are good at)but don’t solve entire paper randomly….come back in order once you are set or you will lose your time.
 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?
 I suggest that whatever strategy you find suitable you should use it and try to solve as many mock papers        using the same strategy ,don’t keep changing your strategy.
 As far as my strategy is concerned
I tried to solve at least 20 to 25 1 mark question in first 45 min,if I find that there are few question that are     easy and I can complete them quickly I use to add more 5 min to this session.
So all 1 marks attempted in 45+5=50 min
Then in 2nd session I solved all aptitude question in 20 min and again a margin of 5 min was also kept             aside if find some easy questions are remaining.
So aptitude in 20+5=25 min
Then in 3rd session I tried to solve 20 to 22 questions in 80 min
So I used to attempt entire paper in 50+25+80=155 min
Remaining 25 min I used the check my calculations starting with the 2 marks questions first, this will             actually fetch you the rank enhancing marks.
1 mark questions
20 to 25 out of 30
45+5=50 min
Try All 10
20+5=25 min
2 marks
20 to 22 out of 25
80 min
Start with 2 marks
25 min
4. What was the impact of Online Calculator on GATE Exam? How did you prepare yourself to             tackle the Online Calculator?
As I told earlier due to the online calculator the calculations involved in paper were quite simple I hardly       used the calculator during the exam, but I was prepared for tedious calculations also by giving maximum       mock test using the virtual calculator.
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?
I feel it is a good move from IISC, because it actually test weather candidate actually understood the             concept involved in the question because in MCQ’s we can predict the answer some time even if we don’t     know the concept completely. So here understanding of how we reached a particular result or expression,       what are the underlying assumptions taken while deriving a result should be known, simply knowing the         formula will take you nowhere. So try to solve as many questions and try to understand the process, don’t       just use a formula substitute given data and get the answer.
6. What was the motive behind you appearing for GATE exam?
I prepared for gate so that I could enter a PSU.
7. When did you start preparing for GATE exam?
I started preparing for gate just after my 6thSEM that is in the month of June-2015 onwards. So I tried to       use my vacation to complete maths and networks because they are the most basic subjects which form a         foundation for all other subjects.
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?
I completed Math’s and networks by June end. Then I started taking up two subjects at a time which I liked ,one easy and one difficult and then solved all previous year questions and Kuestions (part of Krash) from that subject. I gave subject wise test of each subject once I completed it. Give as many subject tests as possible. I completed my entire syllabus by November end and then revised the syllabus once again in month of December; during this period I tried completing two subjects in a week and revised through the previous year questions.
From January I started giving full length mock test. I used to attempt 2 to 3 mock test in week alternate days and used to revise in the remaining days of the week, during this period make use of your short notes you must have made during your subjtect-wise preparation don’t try revising from your class notes. In total I attempted 25 to 28 Full length tests by the end of January. So I was quite comfortable with my strategy and time management.
There was not any specific strategy in selecting the order of my subject. I took whichever I liked according to my convenience
Roughly I followed the following sequence
June(vacation so took up vast subjects)
Math’s and Networks
Signals and system and Digital Circuit
Power Electronics and control system
Power system and Measurement
October(End Sem Exam so took up single subject)
Analog Electronics
November(End Sem Exam so took up single subject)
Revision-two subjects a week
Revise all subject short notes one time in a week and give 2 to 3 full length tests in a week.
9. Which subjects according to require more practice and which subjects need to be read from standard textbooks?
I think that Power Electronics is a subject which requires more practice because the variety of questions is very large in power electronics so try to familiarize yourself with all the possible different type of numericals in power electronics which is possible only with practice.
Subjects like power electronics, power system and machines should be most preferably read from a standard textbook.
10. Which study material and standard books would you recommend for GATE Aspirants in each subject?

Power Electronics– Bhimbra and Rashid

Power system-C L Wadhwa and Kothari

Machines-Bhimbra (try to go through the numericals given after each chapter. They are very    interesting many of your doubts will be cleared if you solve those numericals)

 Networks – chakraborty
For rest of the subjects you can refer any book you find covers the entire syllabus, I referred multiple books because the entire syllabus was not covered in any book
Try not to be taken away by a book, stick to gate syllabus only or you will waste a lot of time and remember to make note of important concepts while you read this books.
After this I would suggest going through some classnotes (I referred class notes of my friend) to confirm that you are not skipping and concept or topic.
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?
I started making short notes of each subject when I was going through them for the first time. So generally I used to revise them anytime I felt I am losing grip on them this you can check by giving subject test.just pick up any random subject you have finished and give a 45 min subject test and then revise that subject, just skim through book and your short notes.
In the last month I used only my short notes to revise the entire subject. I used to revise all the subjects every week in month of January, so I actually revised each subject at least 4 times in the last month, this helped me keep the concepts fresh in my mind.
12. How was your score in Mock Tests? Is there any correlation between mock test performance and actual GATE performance?
Let me tell you that your rank in mock test and in GATE has no correlation at all. You can predict your marks based on the marks in this test series but not your rank. So “never” judge your performance based on your rank in this tests just try to score 60+ in almost all the test try to be consistent in your marks ,rank doesn’t matter.
You should use this test series to improve your marks and time management skills not your rank.
13. Did you purchase/use any of the Kreatryx Products? If yes, how was it beneficial to you?
I used Kuestions(part of Krash) and solved all of them for every subject and it helped me cover all the different type of problems that are possible in a topic. I used K-Notes(part of Krash)in my last month revision along with my own short notes to ensure I revise all the concepts that are not covered in my short notes.
Both Kuestions and K-Notes were very helpful in my preparation.
14. What is the success mantra that you would like to give to other GATE aspirants which has been critical for your preparation as well?
I have seen many of my friends losing hope as the D-DAY comes nearby…..So the most important thing is to keep calm and continue with your preparation without thinking about the result.
Take a small step everyday to reach your destination; you cannot reach your destination in single large step.
Eventually Remember ,

“There is no substitute to hardwork.”

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