It was in my final year of engineering when I realised that I wanted to get good job in core field. The best way to do that was by cracking GATE. Many companies visited our campus (mostly IT companies) but I couldn’t clear GD round nor did I have anything worth in my resume. So to stand out among lakhs of engineering students I realised GATE was the only option.
Then I started searching how to crack GATE on internet and found an answer by Chandresh Mahajan sir. I joined his fb group in my last semester. Though I couldn’t prepare for GATE sincerely that year, but I used to read all the success stories and failure stories and suggestions in Exergic facebook group. This gave me an idea of what to do and what not to do while preparing. After engineering, I decided to drop one year for GATE preparation. I enrolled in Exergic by march and also joined Ace at end of may after my final year exams. I was good in mechanics before coaching (thanks to my +2 teachers), except that I had no idea about other subjects.
With intensive preparation and guidance I was able to complete almost whole syllabus in five months i.e. by November. While completing syllabus I focused more on solving numericals rather than theory. I also solved previous year questions and made short notes so that I can revise one subject in 2.5-3 hrs. I started taking test series by October (two chapter test per week) and I used to get only 50% marks in most of the tests then. I made a separate notebook where I wrote down the new concepts I learned whenever I committed mistakes.
In December I started a cycle for revision i.e. in three days I would complete whole syllabus (including maths) by spending 3-4 hrs a day. I increased attempting Exergic test series and focused on covering small topics in the syllabus which I left out. I would recommend aspirants not to leave any portion. It is likely that questions can be asked from unusual areas.
By end of December, I wrote about 50 subject tests and made a small book consisting of all the mistakes I have done. Meanwhile I wrote ISRO but didn’t qualify (maybe because I used to focus more on numericals than theory).
Main mistakes I committed were forgetting to take care of units. I overcame this problem by slowing down and carefully solving those numericals which were not in SI units.
It is always better to understand the problem completely before start the question. Firstly I used to think that we have to solve the problems fast, but later I realised that we have enough time to think and solve. So I started reading questions slowly and would start to do only if I understood the problem completely.
In January, I started to solve previous year questions once again and also started to give full length tests. It took more time to analyse full length test so I stopped giving any more subject tests now. I experimented a few ways to approach Full length test (attempting 1 marks first/2 marks first/non-tech first) and finally developed a comfortable way.
My revision cycle started to show effect as I was able to recollect almost all formulas and concepts while I was solving problems. I revised whole syllabus about 15 times. I started to get good ranks in full length test, my confidence was all time high. I had setbacks, moments where I doubted my decision but I did not allow it affect my schedule and kept going. The result is finally worth all the hardships. :)