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GATE 2017 Topper Interview – Anushree Pendharkar AIR 36 (ECE)

GATE Exam specific questions


  1. How was the GATE paper this year? Give us some insights into GATE 2017 paper and compare it to past year question paper.

I gave GATE (EC) examination this year. This year’s paper was comparatively easier to previous year’s. 1 mark questions were simple and some of them were quite straight forward. So overall it/was less time consuming. Some numerical type questions involved quite a lot of calculations, therefore good hands-on experience of online calculator comes into play. Overall all topics of ECE syllabus were covered.


  1. 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 attempted aptitude section first and finished it off within 7-8 min. I found it very easy. Then I switched to 2-marks question. I was unable to solve the first 2 questions and wasted atleast 10 min there only which made me anxious. I paused for a while, took a deep breath, closed my eyes for 1 min to calm down and then I continued attempting exam. Fortunately I managed to solve upcoming questions which boosted my morale.


  1. How did you go about attempting the paper? How did you distribute time among various sections?

I developed my time management strategy during mock tests itself. I tried different strategies and then chose the one which fetched me the most optimum performance. For me:- attempting aptitude section first followed by 2 marks questions section then 1 marks qn worked the best. So I adopted the same method in GATE exam and I managed to finish my exam 20 min before scheduled time. I was able to revisit “Marked for Review” questions hence forth.


  1. What was the impact of online calculator on GATE exam? How did you prepare yourself to tackle the online calculator?

I practiced a lot of mock tests online to get myself acquainted to it. Its necessary to always use online calculator and keep the regular calculators aside while giving online tests as experience of using it saves a lot of time during GATE exam.


  1. What do you feel about the increasing weightage of numerical answer type questions? How to improve accuracy to score will in NAT questions?

I don’t feel it makes much difference because if you have got the concept right you will get the right answer. Its first that you have to type the answer instead of ticking correct option. So I feel its better to treat them as regular questions instead of considering them as some really tough questions. Most of them involves rigorous calculations so hands on experience of using online calculator multiplies your chances to obtain accurate answer.


GATE Preparation strategy


6. What was the motive behind you appearing for GATE exam?

I had been inclined to core electronics since my 3rd yr and wanted to learn and explore more about this field. My motive is to pursue MTech in Microelectronics and VLSI and this paved my way to preparation for GATE.


7. Which study material and standard books would you recommend for GATE aspirants in each subject?

  1. Digital electronics:- Coaching notes and booklet were sufficient.

Books:- Morris Mano (Digital logic and computer Design)

  1. N.A.A.S.:- Coaching notes and booklet

Books:- Network analysis and synthesis by van valkenburg.

  1. Signals & systems:- Coaching notes & booklet.

Book:- Schaum series for more practice of questions.

  1. Communication Engg.

Books:- Theory = Proakis & Salihi, communication systems by simon haykin

Practice = Schaum series (analog & digital)

  1. EMT:-

Book:- Sadiku (elements of electromagnetics).

“Theory & practice”

  1. Analog elcronics

Book:- Microelectronics circuits by sedra & smith

  1. EDC

Book theory:- Solid state electronic devices by BenG Strectran

  1. Control systems

Just coaching notes and booklet.

  1. Mathematics

Coaching notes + Booklet

Books:- Engg. Maths by B.V. Ramanna.

  1. 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 started preparing short notes after computation of one subject. I also made separate notebook which included all doubts and their solutions. I used to revise them every weekend and increased my frequency of revision from December. Since I completed my course in Nov, So I used to revise short notes daily from Dec.

9. 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?

I began giving mock tests form December itself and made sure to check incorrect as well as unattempted questions. I used to take a note of them and revise concepts whose questions I frequently used to leave. I developed my one schedule of mock tests and followed it thoroughly. They helped me a lot in improving speed, accuracy, time management, revision of concepts and using online calculator. In a nutshell it boosts confidence and aids you in excelling main exam.

10. How was your score in Mock Tests? Is there any correlation between mock test performance and actual GATE performance?

My initial scores were in 55-64 range. But gradually with practice my scores improved. Mock tests do help you in realizing where you stand among your peers. But it doesn’t mean that a 80+ score in mock list means the same score in GATE 100. So its better to focus on mistakes and unattempted questions. Don’t get disheartened by less marks and focus on learning at the same time don’t feel overconfident after scoring 85+. After all, its all about those crucial & hours in exam hall.

However I took a center based online test of Made Easy and my AIR was 28 and my actual GATE rank is quite close to it.


Personal questions


11. What is the role of undergraduate studies or college studies in your GATE prep?

It helped in theory and understanding basic concepts.

12. How did you motivate yourself for such a long journey towards GATE?

My passion towards core electrical always acted as driving force.

13. Did you expect such a result after giving the GATE exam?

I did a lot of hard work and my paper went well too. I was expecting under 100 rank. Seeing 36 digit on my computer screen was a pleasant surprise. I am happy that my hard work paid off.



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