Today we have with us one of the GATE 2016 Toppers, Saptarshi Halder who got AIR-50 in GATE 2016. He graduated from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering with 9.07 CGPA and 85% aggregate. In campus interview he have got an offer for the post of research engineer in CDOT(centre for development of Telematics), an RND under ministry of communication and IT.
It is one of the most intriguing question in the mind of a GATE Aspirant that what is the right time for GATE Preparation and when should one start GATE Preparation. Starting GATE preparation very early and very late can both be harmful so choosing the right time is very essential. So let Saptarshi shed some light on the ideal time to start GATE Preparation.
Most of the undergraduate students get confused about what should be the ideal time for starting the preparation for GATE. The syllabus is usually huge and it takes a long time to bring all the topics into your grip and at the same time improve accuracy and time. I feel the answer to the question should not be generic; rather it should be discussed taking into account different factors that influence the candidate during preparation.
First of all, you should have very clear idea about how much time you can provide for your preparation in your final year. If your college is very strict in attendance in final year and the college course itself is lengthy, your time for GATE preparation will be curtailed. Hence, in such a case, I think one should start from 3rd year. After the completion of 5th semester, you should follow the GATE syllabi for the subjects already taught in the college and go through the previous years’ papers. Accordingly, you may start the primary phase of your preparation; like you may read the additional chapters (apart from your college syllabi) in those subjects, figure out the areas where you may face trouble and critically study the topics where you don’t have good concepts. Then you can make short notes on the subjects containing the basic theories in brief and numerical formulas, if time permits. In this way, you’ll have your primary work done. After the completion of 6th semester, usually people go for internship. You may not provide solid time but try to keep aside 5-10 hours a week. During that time, you can browse through the notes copy and prepare yourself for the subjects taught in 6th semester by the method mentioned earlier. If you start this way, you’ll find yourself in a better position in final year. From now on, start your preparation in full swing as you already have your basics done.
On the contrary, if you are lucky enough that your college doesn’t overburden you with college curriculum and attendance, you can very easily catch up everything if you start in final year. Some students skip the internship in the name of GATE preparation. If you wish to join PSU through GATE, the internship is very much useful. On the other hand if you are planning to do M.Tech, internship may not be essential always, but a good internship obviously adds an extra dimension to your CV. So it is advisable to do internship and start your preparation earlier to make up for the loss. Same rules will apply if one allocates considerable time for campus interviews. In this case also one should start earlier.
So, in a nutshell, if you have enough free time in final year, you can start in June. But if you haven’t, you should start after the completion of 5th semester and need to complete your preliminary tasks. In the end, I can say there is not any optimum time as such. The earlier you start, the more relaxed you’ll be latter but you need to keep the focus throughout.