The GATE 2017 exam was successfully concluded on February 4, 5, 11 and 12, 2017. The GATE 2017 result was announced a day early, i.e. on March 26, 2017. Over 9 Lac students appeared for the exam across 23 papers. Among these 9 Lac students, we have Divyanshu Jha, who secured an All India Rank of 8 in GATE 2017 (Mechanical). He is a Mechanical and Automotive Engineer from Delhi Technological University (DTU). HTCampus got in touch with Divyanshu and here is what he had to say about the why and how of GATE 2017 exam.
What was your first reaction when you realised that you’re among this year’s GATE toppers?
I was expecting myself among the Top 10 as I had calculated my marks as per the official keys. Still, I was ecstatic after knowing my result.
What was your objective to appear for GATE 2017? Please elaborate.
GATE provides ample opportunities for engineering graduates to pursue their career in various Public sector undertakings having good perks and a balanced life. It also ensures admission to IISc, Bangalore, and various reputed courses at IITs. By giving GATE, I wanted to keep my options open for my future aspects.
What was your preparation strategy for GATE 2017 and what was you strategy on exam day?
I started my preparation during my final year at college. Due to college workload, I tried to study 30 hours on weekly basis. After graduating, I joined a company and worked until October 2016. I Resigned in October and studied 60 hours weekly for the next 3 months. I made short notes along with my regular studies and kept revising them on a weekly basis.
I was very relaxed on the exam day as I knew my preparation was good. I attempted non-technical section first as these are very easy and helps you build confidence. Then I attempted 2 markers in the technical section as they have majority of the weightage and it requires a calm mind to crack these. In the last section, I attempted 1 mark technical questions. These questions are very easy.
While preparing for GATE 2017, what was the most challenging phase?
Most challenging aspect in my GATE preparation was a lack of continuity in studies. I had joined a job and was not able to devote much time to my studies. To cope up with this, I used to make weekly goals. I finally resigned in October 2016, to prepare exclusively for ESE and GATE.
What is the ideal time one should devote to GATE preparation?
I think it varies from person to person. But in general, a 5-hour regular, effective self-study for 6 months is must to score good marks in the exam.
What are the mistakes students usually make while preparing for GATE? How can they be avoided?
I have seen students relying on too many sources of information & at the end messing up their preparation. Stick to limited sources but revise the same as many times as possible.
Can you list down the skills that are essential to crack an exam like GATE?
GATE is a very versatile exam which tests the candidate’s aptitude, numerical solving ability and the theoretical concepts of the subject. So it is very necessary for a candidate to have a thorough coverage of the syllabus. GATE also requires a high level of accuracy. Since only knowledge is not a skill. Knowledge, plus thousand times practice is a skill. So a high level of practice is also required.
Did you take any coaching classes? If yes, how did it help you?
Yes, I was enrolled in weekend classroom program at ‘Made Easy’. I think with the present scenario where cut-offs are rising, it is essential for a student to look for a source that can provide subject matter in a concise manner and the time thereby saved can be devoted to problem-solving. ‘Made Easy’ presented subject matter in a concise manner and helped to focus on areas actually being asked in the exam.
What’s your take on mock tests for GATE preparation? Please elaborate your answer.
Test series is a must, as it helps students analyse their exam temperament and teaches time management. I gave more than 50 mock tests during my preparation.
What books did you refer to, while preparing for GATE 2017?
- Thermodynamics - Pk Nag
- Heat Transfer - 'Made Easy' Class Notes
- Production - S K Mondal Notes
- Material Science - 'Made Easy' Class Notes
- Fluid Mechanics and Machinery - Modi & Seth
- Machine Design - VB Bhandari
- Strength of Material - Sadhu Singh
- Refrigeration - 'Made Easy' Class Notes
- IC Engine - Mathur Sharma
- Theory of Machine - SS Ratan
Previous year questions practice is a must.
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
At present, I’m targeting the prestigious UPSC exams. 5 years down the line, I definitely would want to work for a government organisation in a technical field.
What would be your advice to those who didn't perform well this year and those who will try next year?
Just keep working hard. Success is never denied to those who work hard. Don't take the pressure.Enjoy this phase of life as much as possible in a balanced way.
What are your areas of interest other than academics?
I love to read Shayaris, play cricket & table tennis. I also like watching science fiction movies.