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GATE 2017 Topper Interview – Manish Kumar Sharma AIR 50 (EE)


GATE Exam specific questions


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

This was my first attempt in GATE. Exam was extremely lengthy and little tricky. As compared to the last it was tough. Questions could easily trap if not read or solved carefully. 1 mark technical questions and the General Aptitude part was easy. 2 marks questions were lengthy. As the time limit is there, selecting the right questions played a crucial role in deciding rank. (Luckily I did that well) Overall the exam was matching the
standards of IITs.

  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 started with 1 mark technical questions. I found them easy. I was able to solve almost all of them. So I was relaxed and calm while attempting initial questions. It boosted my confidence level. If I find initial questions challenging, I skip that part and start attempting other section. Luckily that didn’t happen.

  1. 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 try to attempt all question that I can solve except a few lengthy and tricky ones in the
first two hours. I don’t specifically allot time to different parts. It usually depends on the
difficulty level of paper. But for the record, the sequence as following:
1 marks technical (25 ques)
General Aptitude (10 ques – 15 marks)
2 marks technical (30 ques)
In the remaining one hour, I solve the laborious questions and recheck the attempted

  1. What was the impact of Online Calculator on GATE Exam? How did you prepare yourself to tackle the Online Calculator?

Skilled use of online calculator can make a huge difference. If you can use online calculator at a good speed then it saves a lot of time. I started solving practice questions using online calculator in November. I took a lot of mock tests and part tests which kept me in good touch with the online calculator.

  1. 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?

There have been a significant increase in the number of NATs. I feel that has changed the whole scenario in the final rank list. If you observe all the NATs are not tough. Most of them are just calculation intensive. So you just have to be careful while solving at each step to score marks. Practicing more and more is the only way to ace NATs. Try solving questions using online calculator.


GATE Preparation strategy


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

Most of my family members work for the Indian Govt and GATE is a gateway to get a lucrative Govt job. That inspired me to write GATE. I didn’t even sit for campus placement of my college (IIT Roorkee).

  1. When did you start preparing for GATE exam?

I started my preparation from the beginning of 7th Semester (July 2016).

  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 completed my course once till the November leaving Analog Electronics. My target was
to solve the previous year GATE questions as many times as possible and gaining the basic
concept of each and every topic. My primary focus was to solve problems efficiently.
(Speed. Accuracy. Rechecking time)
1. Engineering Mathematics (Because I am quite good at Maths)
2. Network Theory(Easy)
3. Control Systems(Easy)
4. Machines (Left in the middle. Couldn’t bear it. Finished the left part in December)
5. Signal and Systems.(Challenging)
6. Power System (Some parts tough. Some easy)
7. Power Electronics (Left in the middle. Couldn’t bear it too. Finished the left part in
December )
8. Digital Electronics(Easy)
9. Instrumentation.(Easy)
10. Electromagnetic Theory (Just formulas. JEE knowledge was enough for it)
I kept revising Engineering Mathematics repeatedly. General Aptitude from test series.


  1. Which subjects according to require more practice and which subjects need to be read from standard textbooks?

Signals and Systems, Power System, Power Electronics and Machines require a lot of practice. Numerical from these are usually harder. Control System and Network also contain lots of numerical questions but easier ones.
Few topics from Machines, Power System, Power Electronics should be read from the standard books.


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

I studied from hand written material available in market. Don’t go for too many books.
Read the tough parts of Power System, Power Electronics, Machines from standard books.
Power System – Nagrath and Kothari
Power Electronics – Bhimbhra
Machines – Nagrath and Kothari
Books not required for other subjects.


  1. 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 did revision after I completed course once. I completed my course once till November so I had enough time to revise. I did make short notes of one or two chapters. I preferred writing extra points and concepts in hand book for GATE Electrical available in market. I kept revising it on daily basis without fail. But I would suggest you to make hand written notes. That can be crucial in the last time. In last few months my strategy was to revise the important points from hand book and solving (reading only) the previous year GATE questions. I had printed copy of GATE
questions paper (all the sets) from 2011-16. I tried solving each one of them in less than 2 hours. (I consider exam of 2 hours only).


  1. 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 Test plays a crucial role in competitive exams. I would recommend to write as many
mocks as possible. I gave a total of 18 full tests and around 50 part tests.
I started writing tests in the month of September. I wrote my first full test in December.
Start writing mock test as soon as possible. It helped me test my skills and analyse
mistakes. Number of silly mistakes significantly reduced as I took more mock tests.


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

I got rank in GATE as expected. Even I got exact same what I was getting here in mock tests. My average was around 68-70. My final score is 68.79.

  1. Did you purchase/use any of the Kreatryx Products? If yes, how was it beneficial to you?

I purchased K-Test from Kreatryx. I have one word for it and that’s AWESOME. Quality of questions matches the level of GATE. Attempting K-test will give you clear insight of where you stand in terms of GATE preparation. I would highly recommend it to any GATE aspirant. (Electrical Branch)


Personal Questions


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

Frankly speaking, I didn’t have good knowledge of engineering before starting for GATE. I
am the kind of guy who takes photocopied notes 3-4 days before the exams to pass a

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

It’s the situation that motivated me. I cut down all the escape way to bring my focus on
one thing and that was GATE. I left campus placements. I still can’t believe I did that. I
used to read Self-help book and biographies Along with that I used to watch motivation
videos on YouTube frequently to keep myself motivated.


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

I expected the same score before exam (approx. 70). I attempted 54 questions only out of
65 in GATE which was way less than I usually attempt. I was little worried that I would
score less in the main exam. Luckily my efficiency was the better that day and I score the
same marks i.e, 68.79.


  1. How did you feel the moment you saw the results?

I was shocked. I just can’t describe that feeling. I have never had this kind of feeling in my
entire life. That was very emotional moment for me and my family. I worked hard and left
many things and finally it was all worth it.


  1. What is the role of family and friends in your success in GATE exam?

Family and friends played a unique role in my preparation. I can’t imagine getting AIR 50
without them. It was like my whole of the family was preparing along with me. They are
the ones who brought me back to the correct path. They are the ones who motivated me
when I didn’t feel like going on. Two of my best friends were with me all the way
throughout the journey. I don’t know how to thank them.


  1. Who would you dedicate this GATE result to?

My Sister. Always!


  1. What is the success mantra that you would like to give to other GATE aspirants which has been critical for your preparation as well?

Keep revising the Previous Year GATE questions by heart repeatedly. (My GATE previous year question book is colourful now because of different pens used 😛 )
Keep revising formulae as that saves a lot of time in the exam.
Remain calm and relaxed no matter how the exam turns out. Sometime confidence lets you win the battle you thought were impossible. Start believing that you can do it no matter what happens. Keep studying with the hope of getting good rank. Aim high. Bigger the aim, bigger the driving force Listen to the best of speeches or songs to get yourself pumped up. If it gets hard then remember “Harder the battle, sweeter the victory”.
Whenever you feel low, think of the reason why you started at first place. Make that reason big enough so that you don’t give up in the middle.

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