5 mistakes to avoid while preparing for GATE

Doing 2 good things and avoiding 2 bad things are two completely different things. No matter what technique or method you use to study, making sure you don’t make any mistakes is essential if you want to ace any exam. Whether you are a current GATE aspirant or planning to prepare for it, you must conquer the obstacles that may prove to be your greatest challenge. So before you get started for your journey, there are a few mistakes you must avoid at all costs:

Distracted Study

When it comes to preparation, an individual can face numerous distractions like social media apps as facebook, instagram or youtube, communicating with your friends over calls or via messaging and many more. So if you think you are studying for 10 hours while simultaneously engaging with all these distractions then this is where you are going wrong. You will be shocked to know that focused and undistracted study hours are way less than the distracted study hours and this is how your first mistake can diminish your dreams.

How to avoid these distractions?

The real big question arises as how to avoid it. Then here’s the solution-

✓ Calculate your focused study hours – Keep a timer or activate a timer in your phone whenever you begin studying, and stop it whenever you become distracted, such as when you are scrolling through social media, talking on the phone, or busy procrastinating, even if it is for 5 minutes or 20 minutes. This experiment will provide you with a reality check at the end of your study hours that how all these small distractions are cumulatively eating up a good portion of your time and then you can plan to efficiently increase your focused study hours in future.

✓ Turn off your notifications –  

 There is a psychologically and biologically proven term called “attention residue” that refers to the amount of attention left in your mind after a distraction, whether good or bad, and it keeps replaying in your mind, preventing you from focusing, which is a major issue in today’s world of online education. 

 So, turn off all the irrelevant notifications using apps or settings available on your mobile/laptop or switch on the DO NOT DISTURB option while studying and block or limit your time on social media.

 If you think it is impossible to avoid such attention leftovers piling up in your head then you are wrong, there are free apps and solutions available that can ensure focused studying while using your mobile or laptop and you will definitely get positive outcomes. 

 While taking breaks in between your study hours, instead of using or engaging yourself on internet, try calming and relaxing your mind. 

 

Irregular Study

✓ The majority of people are not disciplined and are continuously looking for inspiration. However, there are times when they are very motivated and study for a continuous 12-15 hours, after which they take days or even weeks off. This is the most dangerous approach to any form of preparation, whether for GATE or any other exam, as well as in your everyday life. You will never achieve success by slacking off for days and then studying for 12 -15 hours in a single day. 

✓ Therefore, discipline is essential. Rather than studying for 12 hours in one day, it is more effective and fruitful to study for 4-5 hours every day and maintain consistency.

✓  Avoid irregular study and instil the discipline in yourself that you must devote at least four hours every day to GATE preparation, whether you are a college student, employed, or otherwise.

✓ As a result, recognise the value of regular study and the necessity for self-discipline so that you study every day and do not miss any critical days of your preparation.

The majority of people are not disciplined and are continuously looking for inspiration. However, there are times when they are very motivated and study for a continuous 12-15 hours, after which they take days or even weeks off. This is the most dangerous approach to any form of preparation, whether for GATE or any other exam, as well as in your everyday life. You will never achieve success by slacking off for days and then studying for 12 -15 hours in a single day. 

✓ Therefore, discipline is essential. Rather than studying for 12 hours in one day, it is more effective and fruitful to study for 4-5 hours every day and maintain consistency.

✓ Avoid irregular study and instil the discipline in yourself that you must devote at least four hours every day to GATE preparation, whether you are a college student, employed, or otherwise.

✓ As a result, recognise the value of regular study and the necessity for self-discipline so that you study every day and do not miss any critical days of your preparation.

 

Timeline/Plan absent

Exam preparation is a time-based goal that must be accomplished in a specific amount of time, not over a period of 10 or 15 years. An action plan or a schedule is a required technique anytime you have a time-based exam or aim. All of your hard work could be for naught if you don’t have a plan in place.

✓ You don’t need a master plan for your preparation. 

✓ Prepare a rough weekly or monthly plan that will allow you to complete your syllabus in a specific length of time based on your career, and make every effort to stick to that schedule. 

✓ After some time has passed, you can adjust your plan based on what is working best for you.

✓ Things that can be added to your action plan- 

• Covering a topic or subject, or the amount of syllabus in specific months can all be included to your action plan.

• Number of questions to be covered in a given time.

• Structure of notes.

• Revision days, weeks or months.

• Parallel strategy to manage notes making, revision and question solving.

✓ Do not slack off during your most crucial months of preparation, such as April–July, under the impression that you have plenty of time. Instead, make a plan and stick to it for greater results.

✓ Analyze your plan and timeline continuously and believe this, it is a way better approach than not having a timeline.

Lack of practice

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

✓ Practicing makes perfect. The term “lack of practice” relates to not allotting enough time to solve questions. 

✓ If you believe that reading the content, watching videos, and grasping concepts by simply going over the mistakes and not taking up your pen to really solve the subject’s issues would help you do well in the exam, you need to wake up from your deluded state and start practicing.

✓ You must convince yourself that you must solve problems. This will keep you up to date on your silly mistakes, calculation errors, and rounding off errors, all of which are very critical in the GATE exam.

✓ The importance of solving problems is equal to the importance of the content and its quality. 

✓ The importance of question solving, as well as becoming accustomed and comfortable with a virtual calculator, will help you prepare for the exam in a good way while also providing you a realistic feel for the exam.

✓ Regardless of how certain you are about a topic, solve the questions as soon as you finish it because your preparation will be incomplete if you don’t.

✓ Recognise the value of solving problems and make it a habit as soon as possible.

✓ If you’re securing low, don’t be afraid of the results; it’s all part of the process of being better in every manner. 

✓ Solve the test series, question banks and previous year questions (PYQs) also.

Wrong approach for PYQs

While preparing for GATE, students have been observed using an ineffective method of solving PYQs 5-10 times or even more and even memorizing the answers. This is a completely incorrect strategy that will not get the desired results.

Then, what is the right way?

✓ Firstly, understand the importance of solving PYQs. Why are you solving it? The answer to this is –

• PYQs should not be approached just for the purpose of being able to be repeated in GATE. Only a few questions are asked again, and even then, the chances are 1%, so this isn’t your goal.

• When doing PYQs, the goal should be to see how much learning and understanding you can gain out of each question.

• While going through PYQs, your goal should be to grasp the variation of the question and the amount to which a question can be modified.

• PYQs are important for clearing your concepts and enhancing your learning.

✓ Secondly, analyze the kind of mistakes you could have done or the questions that could be framed from a specific PYQ.

✓ Understand the data, the structure, the followed pattern and the situation of the questions through PYQs.

✓ Finally, whether you solve the PYQs once or twice, do so in such a way that you understand the concept and gain the knowledge that can level up your skills in comparison to any other regular GATE aspirant.

In any case, if you want to ace your next GATE attempt, you must avoid these five mistakes regardless of your profile, whether you are in college, working, or studying full-time. Until then, best wishes and keep working hard.
 
HAPPY LEARNING!

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