The country has observed a trend amongst the engineering students where they start working after their graduation to get a better understanding of life at work and the fundamentals to excel in their careers. The budding engineers very soon realize the importance of higher studies bearing in mind the competition in the market and mostly decide to further their qualification in their field. Many students start preparing for GATE during their college as well.
GATE is one of the most promising All India Tests, as a good GATE rank assures a good job with a salary package ranging from Rs. 7 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh per annum, depending upon the specialization and performance. Many public sector enterprises such as BHEL, Indian Oil Corporation, HPCL, GAIL, NALCO, NTPC and Bhabha Atomic Research Center make their selections based on GATE scores for their organization. Apart from this, students who pass GATE are entitled to a stipend of Rs 8,000 per month during their M.Tech course. The M.Tech and M.E students are offered better remuneration as compared to those pursuing B.Tech and B.E.
IISc, IITs, NITs, Central University, Govt. Colleges, private colleges accept GATE score for their ME, M.Tech, M.S. and PhD programs. A student with a valid GATE score also becomes eligible for Project Assistanceship at IITs / IISc and NITs. GATE paves the way to lucrative careers through MBA with salaries upto Rs.23 lakhs. It also gives an advantage to those aspiring for an IIM Fellowship, which is equal to a PhD degree. If students are keen on studying abroad, universities like NUS, NTU Singapore, Aachen University Germany and Technical University of Munich accept GATE Score (with stipend). GATE qualified students are also entitles to a handsome Scholarship Abroad as well as private sector jobs. GATE Scores are preferred at Technical Interviews for FMCG, Finance, Consulting, IT, Analytics, Oil & Energy as well as Core companies all over India. These include reputed firms like ITC, Trident, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Deloitte, KPMG, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Google, Yahoo, Nielsen, Reliance, GE, Daimler among others.
As one of the most competitive exams in India, a GATE score is now valid for three years and indicates the normalized performance of the student in the exam. It helps in comparing students among multiple streams and those in previous years as well. The books from the engineering days are bibles for the students preparing for GATE. Apart from this, the standard books available in the market for GATE preparation by foreign authors are also good material for reference.
However, the preparation and time management for the engineering students differ from that of a working professional. For students, it is a good idea to start early and the ideal time for them to start is the 3rd year of engineering where candidates should focus more on Mathematics and Basic Engineering Subjects like Networks (Electronic/ Electricals/ Instrumentation) or Engineering Mechanics. These students should spend around 4-5 hours per week in the beginning and slowly increase the study hours by 20-25 hours per week during the last 6 months. Many engineering students start their preparation in their final year. This means the students of the third year have to put in a lot of hard work and their mind and heart into engineering. The final year\'s engineering is quite hectic with several projects to complete. They might not find enough time for either of the two. Nevertheless, they can be successful if they have invested time on subjects from their 1st year of Engineering. Students whose fundamentals are good can qualify in GATE with even 6 months of Preparation. Those in their final year should focus more on solving the previous 10 years of Questions and do selective study.
The ideal time for hardcore preparation should start nine months before the exam. During the first three months, the students should work towards clearing their basics. Clearing the basic concepts of engineering is of utmost importance for every student as the GATE questions are not direct questions, but they tend to check the basic knowledge of the students. The later six months should be utilized to solve problems and getting into the depth of the topic. Trying to finish the syllabus could be a futile attempt. Instead, they are advised to select 4-5 subjects in which they are strong. Solving the last ten years\' GATE question papers in those subjects could do wonders for them to assess their abilities. Another important thing is to ensure that they focus on mathematics. A student can easily get 60 marks out of 100, which would easily get them a chance at the IITs or a PSU as per their preference. A top score of 500 is a good rank to qualify for most PSUs and PG while ranks till 3000 can attempt to crack IIT for PG.
Like they say, GATE is a devil but a known devil. Proper study and being thorough with the concepts will get the aspiring students through this. Always remember, there are no short cuts to success and hard work combined with serious study is pivotal in order to achieve it.
Nitin Rakesh Prasad
Nitin Rakesh Prasad has been associated with the field of education and engineering right from the inception of his career. As Co-Founder of THE GATE ACADEMY, Nitin is responsible for Retail Sales & Marketing - Own & Franchise centers, Faculty Management and Content & Academic development. Under his supervision, the student enrollment increased from 96 to 20000+ within a span of 5 years.