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GATE 2017 Topper Interview – Naveen Yadav – AIR 16 (ME)

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.

1 marks technical questions were very basic and easy to solve. 2 marks technical question were mix , 5 to 6 questions were tricky rest were based on basic concepts. Aptitude were little hard to solve in one go, they were time consuming but can be solved if sufficient time left for them. Overall paper was balanced.

  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 38 mock tests as practice so it was nothing like nervousness , my technical part was very strong so I started with it, for every student sequence of questions are different, I my paper first 8 to 10 questions were very easy so it made me much comfortable .


  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 followed this sequence to attempt the paper, 1 marks technical > 2 marks technical> 1 marks aptitude> 2 marks aptitude. I planned not to waste time on a question which seems to be time consuming on 1st sight, so I attempted only those questions on which I was 100% confident in my first round of doing paper. In this way I was able to solve 52 questions in about 1 hr and 25 minutes, then in 2nd round I tried to solve rest questions and I was able to make 10 more questions which consumed further 35 minutes. Now I was left with 1 hour and paper was already completed, in 3rd round I rechecked each question for its calculations and I was able to correct 2 NAT questions which comsumed another 40 minutes. Last 20 minutes I was having nothing to do.

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

There is nothing to fear of online calculator, GATE generally test your concepts not your calculations, further if you donot have practice of such calculator you are likely to loose marks. The only suggestion is do practice from the day 1 when you started your preparation, a GATE virtual calculator is also available on PLAY STORE which I used from day 1, you will be pretty comfortable after 2-3 months of usage.

  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?

This is an advantage to have NAT questions if you are good at your concepts, these are the questions which will give you lead over other students because most of student are able to solve MCQ either by solving it or by eliminating options.

All you need to do is , write the steps in which you are going to solve the question (write formulas and values in them, do not calculate anything) once you have done with it, now start calculations and keep on by substituting values , this eliminates error of answering in units other than what asked in question and calculation errors are also eliminated. Do this while practicing at your home and you will see the difference.


Preparation Strategy for GATE Exam


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

I was working in BLUESTAR LIMITED , and it seems that my life will be wasted in working hard for private company and saving a few amount every month to get the basic necessities , so instead of working 10-11 hrs a day for rest of my life I choose to prepare hard for GATE 2017 studying 8-9 hrs a day for only 1 year.


  1. When did you start preparing for GATE exam?

I started my preparation in mid of MAY 2016, I believe 7-8 months is the optimum time for the preparation, lesser time will make pressure on you and more time will make you feel bored of preparation.

  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?

In the November end I was able to complete my syllabus once (revision of already covered subjects was carried side by side. I targeted 100-150 objective questions per day. Number of questions depends on subject importance of the subject, I categorised subjects into 4 main group A, B, C and D. I prepared in sequence A>B>C>D

Group A: Mathematics, Production, TOM, SOM, Thermodynamics, Industrial engineering

Group B: Machine design, RAC, Heat transfer, Fluid mechanics

Group C: Aptitude, IC engines, Material Science

Group D: Power plant, Fluid machines

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

Ans. I referred standard books and previous years question bank for ME (GATE and ESE objective both).

  • FM- RK bansal
  • Thermo- PK Nag
  • ICE- ML Mathur
  • SOM – Timoshenko
  • TOM- SS Rattan
  • HMT- PK Nag
  • Industrial- O.P Khanna
  • MD- VB Bhandari
  • Refrigeration systems- CP Arora
  • Material science- Callister
  • Manufacturing- Kalpak Jain


  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?

In the starting of preparation , 3-4 months you need to focus on completing the syllabus, after that it comes the time to revise each subject timely according to their importance. As already discussed I have categorized subjects, now a sequence is required to revise so that most important subjects are revised maximum times, below attachment shows my revision pattern.

Your mind should be trained in such a manner that each subject appears to you as if it revised yesterday only. Below revision pattern helped me in this strategy.

  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?

Let me explain with an example, Teach a person how to fly an aeroplane and then ask him to fly the plane without any practice in stimulated environment, surely he will not be able to do so or the plane will crash somewhere.

Similarly, In case of GATE exam you need some practice in stimulated environment without which you will not be able to make it out in final exam, these stimulated practices for GATE are MOCK tests.

I practiced in 38 various mock tests

12 basic subject wise tests

12 advance subject wise tests

12 full syllabus tests

2 computer based tests

I started these test in September, all basic subject wise tests soon after I completed that particular subject, advance test after 2nd round of revision, full syllabus test after subsequent revisions.

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

In most of the mock tests, I was under top-100 but in some of them my performance was not that good. The whole point of giving mock tests is that you learn from the mistakes committed and don’t repeat them, Ranks in mock tests will not matter. There is no definite correlation between mock test performance and actual GATE performance. But they will definitely help you to perform better in GATE.

K-Test 2018

Personal Questions


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

There is no role of UG studies at all. Taking my own example, like all engineering students I was also in habit of preparing on last 2-3 days of exam during college days. If we can clear university exams in 2-3 days of studies then we can easily get a good rank when we study for 7-8 months continuously, the whole thing concludes to only one thing “are you ready to sacrifice all your comforts to study hard for 8 months”.

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

Whenever you see the negative sides , what if I fail to make out in this year, you will find yourself demotivated.

Thing of day when you have a good rank on your score card

Think of a day when your will get job in your dream PSU

Think of the day when you will receive a text “your account has been credited with 1,25,000 INR

Think of the day when your parents are introduced like “he is the father/mother of  _________ student

These thoughts will make you strong, stiff and rigid to achieve your aim. If 8 months of investment can buy you quality of life then you must go for it.


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

Yes , once you have gone through such a hard work you definitely have confidence in you. I expected a 2 digit rank.

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

It was definitely a moment of joy for me. That feeling of contentment when your hardwork has really paid off simply can’t be explained. The whole year of preparation and sacrifices just roles down as sweet memories.


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

It would be difficult make it without the support of my family, they believed in me and allowed to resign from the job. My friends were preparing with me so they contributed to keep us alive, cheerful throughout our journey.

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

> use your brain as if you have taken it on rent for 1 year

> life starts at end of your comfort zone

> hardwork never goes in vain

> believe in GOD, give your 100% and leave rest on GOD


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