Often, a lot of engineering students have a question in mind i.e., “What should be the correct time to start preparing for GATE?”, and the answer to this question is “as early as possible”.  GATE is a gateway of opportunities for the budding engineers irrespective of the fact that whether they are from IITs, NITs or maybe any other tier 3 college. Once you clear GATE, you can always fulfill your dream to be an IITian, if in case you missed it after 12th.On the other hand, GATE can help you secure a permanent job in some of the Navaratna PSUs in the country. The benefits of having a good score in GATE are innumerable but to reach that point one needs to have a very clear idea about what the exam is all about and how one can prepare for it during your college days itself without waiting till graduation. 

The Ideal Time 

Ideally speaking, for a technical exam like GATE, it is advisable to start preparing at the end of the 2nd year of college. It is not advised to start preparing for it as soon as you get into the college, because in the first year there are no branch-specific subjects and this is the period where you actually decide your goal in life and what should be your approach towards it. Once you are sure and determined about your aims and goal, you can start preparing for GATE. 

How to Start?

At the end of 2nd year when you know what you have studied till now and what you will be studying in the next 2 years, download the GATE syllabus and analyze. You will see that most of the subjects are already over and some subjects are lined up for the upcoming semesters.

The syllabus of GATE is closely related to the university exams, so one can take the help of reference books for GATE preparation. Starting early, there will be ample scope for the strengthening concepts, coverage of complete syllabus and doubt clearance of each subject. Engineering Mathematics and English also have a major part in the Exam and by now it’s already completed in previous semesters, so practice questions on it along with technical preparation.

A Proper Time Table

As you are starting early, and have two years for preparation, it is very important to have a proper time table; both at the macro level as well as micro-level. Calculate the number of subjects you have and how much time is required for each subject. Ideally, technical subjects will take a maximum of one month for preparation, so you can complete all the subjects in depth with 18-20 months. In this era of online education, you can definitely rely on self-study, prepare notes on your own and practice a maximum number of questions after subject completion. 

Divide years into months, months into weeks, weeks into days and days into hours and allocate different months to different subjects and different days to different topics. Set some long term and short term goals and work towards it. If you disciplined enough and maintain the time table for two years, GATE will be a cakewalk for you.

The Final Shot

It is important to note that, test series plays a major role in rank improvement; hence it should not be neglected. It can make or break your rank. So, during the fourth year in college, it is advisable to give the maximum number of mock tests to analyze your level and scope of improvement. Enroll in any test series available in the market and give some Center Based Tests. Mock Tests are like icing on the Cake and without it, your preparation is not complete.

Keep your Spirit High!

It is obvious that during your preparation, you may feel low sometimes, but don’t forget to keep yourself motivated and keep your spirit high always. Live the college life to the fullest but remain strict when it comes to your study hours. Apart from college hours, dedicate at least 3-4 hours daily and this can drastically change your future.

As it is said, “if you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail”, so, plan well, know your strengths and weakness and start as early as possible.