GATE for mechanical is conducted in two shifts which shows the competition level. Almost 1.5 lakhs engineers appear for this prestigious exam from mechanical stream. Also, it provides opportunities to take their career to the next level. One can join IITs, NITs etc for more technical knowledge. Management inclined students can join NITIE, Mumbai. Even foreign institutes like the National University of Singapore accepts gate score for their master’s course. GATE from mechanical also opens the path towards PSU like ONGC, IOCL, BARC, etc. Stakes are high and this is what makes this exam difficult. 

As each day is passing by I’m sure anxiousness and intensity amongst aspirants must be growing. Here in this article, I would like to share some preparation strategies which would guide you in your preparation. 

Know the exam

The application process has now started. Syllabus for mechanical has been uploaded. It is important to lay down the groundwork first. Fire the arrows in the right direction. So first thing every aspirant should do is download the syllabus. Get an idea about the topics that are mentioned. Instantaneously it will help you in judging yourself where you are in terms of progress and what needs to be worked upon. 

Prioritize the subjects

Major chunk of questions in mechanical is asked from Production, thermodynamics, the theory of machines, strength of materials and fluid mechanics. The above subjects should be on the top priority list. Foremost target should be to complete these subjects efficiently and at the earliest. The next subjects to be focused are machine design, heat transfer, industrial engineering, engineering mechanics and material science. These subjects are majorly application based. So if one prepares these subjects after completing top priority ones. Though categorizing into groups can also be done depending on one’s capability and ability. 

Mathematics and aptitude 

Apart from core technical subjects, aspirants shouldn’t ignore mathematics and aptitude. These subjects are the ones that improve rank. Stats prove that toppers have maximized the output from these two subjects in particular. 

Time plan 

For every subject time plan should be made. Candidates can use excel or handwritten chart paper to track the progress. Give yourselves targets and do everything possible to achieve it. Remember the competition in GATE is very demanding. So a good plan or good framework will only help to get closer to the goals. 

Tackling questions 

There are various resources available for GATE. After completing one topic or subject aspirants should tackle previous year questions first. This set of questions has already been asked in the exam. This will help to get an idea of questions that are asked in the exam. Also, it will let you know where you are lagging. Every aspirant should solve at least two to threes times as per the availability of time. 

Test series 

For more practice aspirants should positively join test series. At most join any two-test series. The advantage is, test series will give an opportunity to solve new questions. Test series is a time-bound exercise where candidates are under the same atmosphere as in the main exam. It helps to be mentally prepared. The more one practice more will be exam ready. 

Analyze the mistakes

Giving test series and solving previous year question is one part of the game. The output will only improve if one analyses the mistakes that have been  done while attempting the question in the first trial. Candidates can prepare the “Mistake Handbook” where all the wrongly attempted questions are written. Point being, in the end one would not get much time to revise, so at the end instead of studying anything new, it is always better to solve these questions.  Also, make sure you study theory related to it and this will fine-tune your concepts. 

Don’t ignore silly mistakes 

GATE from mechanical is a game of margins. Aspirants that have already attempted often say they didn’t get good ranks due to silly mistakes. So while practicing questions however small or silly mistake you do please take a note of it. With stakes, high one has to keep all grounds covered. 

Virtual calculator 

Exam demands accuracy and speed. Engineers are habituated to the scientific calculators and can perform large calculations is a short span of time. But in the GATE exam virtual calculator is provided which you have to operate using a mouse. It is essential to get the practice of it. Every aspirant should start using the virtual calculator in fairly life whenever they practise questions. The calculator is available on the net and in apps, practise it regularly for improving your calculation speed. 

Short notes 

This is a technic for quick revision. Many toppers use this anecdote to revise formulas and concepts. Make a habit of preparing short notes after reading each subject. Take note of formulas. Here mobile plays a very important role. One can save pictures of short notes and can study while traveling through metros, cars, etc. short notes shouldn’t be too long. It should contain maximum useful information about the subject in 1-2 pages. When time is minimum then this can be used to maximize the output. 

Anything can be achieved with dedication, hard work, and patience. Exam dates are coming near. It right time to join the race. Plan and strategize as per your need and align yourself towards that goal. A small step takes by you today can mold the future bright. GATE is a gateway to numerous opportunities and should be taken seriously. I tried to enlist some techniques for preparation which will surely benefit you to achieve your objective. Whining and excuses only hamper your results. It’s time to buckle up and face the challenges. 

“Greater the difficulty; more the glory in surmounting it.”