Handling GATE Preparation with College Studies – Raja Majhi (AIR 7 in GATE 2016 ECE)
Hi guys, I know many of you are in the final year of B.Tech./B.E. and are preparing for GATE as well. But you may find it difficult to manage both of these studies simultaneously. Many of you might be wondering whether it is at all possible to prepare for GATE and also to keep track of your semester exams concurrently. Well, I would say “yes! It is very much possible in deed”.
First you need to analyze what you are going to grunge through in this penultimate semester. In most of the colleges, the subjects that are taught in this semester mainly comprises of one or two elective subjects, one management subject and some conventional paper. Now the question is, are these subjects at all important for GATE? The definite answer is “NO!” because all the subjects that are in the syllabus of GATE are mainly covered within the 6th semester in most of the colleges. So, if you are really serious about GATE, I would say you might sacrifice this one semester. Yes, I know there is 65% criteria in all of the PSUs and IITs. But one semester cannot make a revolution in your CGPA. (But obviously you need to pass).
Now, your classes will start by the month of July. And there is 75% attendance criteria in most of the colleges. So you will have to go to college but just to fulfill the attendance criteria. I would ask you to prepare your own notes when you are reading a subject first time for GATE. You should make a separate copy for each subject notes. You may bring that to your college and during recess or any off periods you may revise the key concepts and formula from that copy. Saturday and Sunday are the most vital days in a week for your GATE preparation. Try to devote (effectively) as long as you can in these holidays. Learn new concepts and make subsequent notes of those on the weekends. On the weekdays, after coming back from college, when your tiring body and brain will refuse to learn any new concept, you should practice problems based on the previously learnt concepts. In this way, try to get at least 4 hours a day on week days and 7-8 hours on the holidays for GATE preparation. It is scientifically proven that best time for revise is when the brain is tired (i.e. at night).So, arrange for 1 hour time at night (before you go to bed) for revision every day.
Now coming back to your semester studies, what will happen to that? Well, from my experience, for most of us, the semester preparation starts one week before the actual exam starts. So that’s it!! Devote hardly 15 days for the semester, strictly not more than that. But many have a tendency to forget most of the concepts learnt for GATE in that mean time of semester exam. So, I would recommend to continue the 1hr revision before going to bed. But, even if you forget those concepts, it does not take longer to get all of them back once your semester ends and you start revising again.
Now when the 7th semester is over, you would be left with one and half month before GATE. This is the prime time for Mock Test practice and revision of all key concepts. You may now devote 8 hours a day as there will be semester vacations going on in colleges. There is also no need to go to college before GATE even if it resumes. I managed my time in the above way and I hope you will also have no issue in managing like this. Best wishes to all the aspirants.