GATE Topper interview: AIR-8, GATE 2017 (Divyanshu Jha)

1. Was it your first attempt? If no, then share experience of your previous GATE attempts.

Divyanshu says:
GATE 2017 was my second attempt. Earlier I appeared in GATE 2016 and secured AIR 490 with actual marks 76 and normalised marks 75.65. This year in GATE I have secured AIR 8 with actual marks 94 and normalised marks 92.28.

2. What was your strategy for attempting the paper? Which section did you attempt first? How did you distribute time among various sections?

Divyanshu says: Here I must say that this depends upon the student. However my strategy went as follows:

I first attempted the non-technical section as the questions in these are very easy and help to build confidence. Next I attempted the 2 marks technical section as they have the majority weightage and require a calm mind to crack them. The last section I attempted was the 1 marks technical one. These questions are very easy.
3. A lot of questions asked in GATE are numerical answer type questions. According to you, what can help aspirants in improving accuracy in NAT questions?

Divyanshu says: GATE exam requires high level of accuracy. To cope up this, covering the entire syllabus and putting that into practice is required. Not just that, constant practice and analysis of one’s level of studying is also essential so a lot of practice and not taking pressure during exam is exam key to accuracy in NAT questions. Out of 31 NAT questions in my set 30 were correct.
4. What was your motive behind appearing for GATE?

Divyanshu says: GATE provides ample opportunities for engineering graduates to pursue their career in various Public sector undertakings with good perks and a balanced life. It also ensures admission to IISc Bangalore and various reputed courses at IITs. I wanted to keep my options on both fronts and look for the best in terms of my future prospects.
5. Which study material and standard books would you recommend for GATE aspirants in each subject?

Divyanshu says: I avoided reading books as far as possible because it is very challenging to read books and bigger challenge comes when we go to revise them. But for some topics avoiding reading books became unavoidable for clearing my concepts which I was not able to understand from class notes.

Thermodynamics – PK NAG

Previous year questions practice is must. I revised class notes 5 times at least for each subject.
6. How many months did you take to prepare for GATE? When did you start you GATE preparation and in which month were you able to complete the course once?

Divyanshu says: It took me around 8-9 months to complete my syllabus but during this phase I kept revising subjects at regular interval. So in those 9 months i had revised my notes 3 times at least for each subject.
7. Syllabus for GATE is really vast. What was your revision strategy for GATE while preparations?

Divyanshu says:
I kept revising regularly on monthly basis, solved questions for those topics. I feel the best way to revise any subject is to keep solving problems at regular interval because it helps you understand your shortcomings for the topic.

8. What do you think is the role of solving previous year GATE questions in GATE preparations? 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?

Divyanshu says: Yes, solving mock tests, GATE Sample Papers and previous year question papers is essential. I would advise to solve all the previous year papers at least thrice. It helps to predict important topics and areas that need more focus. A Test series that is generally available easily from many of the coaching people is also a must as it helps students analyse their exam temperament and teaches time management.
I gave more than 30 full length tests during my entire preparation.

9. How did you used to score in Mock Tests? According to you, is there any correlation between mock test score and actual GATE score?

Divyanshu says: I used to score 70-85 in mock tests in 2016, for 2017 I didn’t give any mock test for gate because I was more inclined towards ESE and appeared in all ESE offline test. Mock test give just a probability of your rank in GATE and rest depends on your real exam temperament.
10. What was your biggest motivation for GATE? What kept you going?

Divyanshu says: I just wanted to prove myself to some important people in my life and that kept me working hard.
11. Getting a good rank in an exam like GATE is a really emotional moment. How was it like for you? Whom would you link to dedicate this success to?

Divyanshu says:
It was definitely awesome feeling. I would like to say thank you to almighty god, my family, classroom faculties and my friends.

12. Any success mantra in particular for GATE aspirants?

Divyanshu says: Just keep working hard. Success is never denied to those who work hard. Don’t take pressure. Enjoy this phase of life as much as possible in a balanced way.

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