How to Prepare for GATE 2020

Ankan Chattopadhyay Updated On: 29 Aug, 2019 18:20 IST

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How to Prepare for GATE 2020

How to Prepare for GATE 2020? This is probably your current state of mind if you are taking the popular GATE 2020. Every year, lakhs of engineering aspirants go that extra mile to crack the tough Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). It is a popular entrance exam and a great opportunity for students to pursue post-graduate courses in some of the top engineering colleges. It is also a gateway for students to land lucrative PSU jobs. Every year, lakhs of engineering aspirants compete for GATE exam, therefore, it becomes very important for candidates to start their preparation early to stay ahead in the race. 

Since GATE is a highly competitive entrance exam, students need proper guidance for its preparation. We have some of the best GATE 2020 preparation tips that you can use to qualify GATE in your first attempt.

5 Easy Steps to Crack GATE in Your First Attempt

Yes, it is indeed possible to crack GATE 2020 entrance exam in 5 easy steps which have been provided below for the GATE 2020 aspirants in a simplified form:

Step 1: Make a Study Schedule to Track Your GATE Preparation

After going through the GATE syllabus, making a proper study plan is a good idea to begin your GATE preparation. A good study schedule:

  • Enables you to keep a consistent track of daily, weekly and monthly activities.

  • Helps you monitor your progress.

  • Keeps you focused and well organized.

  • Gives you a sense of direction to achieve your set goals and targets.

Step 2: Find Your Strengths and Weakness to Boost GATE Preparation

After making a GATE study plan, the second step is crucial for GATE preparation in order to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Being good in one subject might not necessarily mean that you may be good in other subjects too. In such a scenario, you must focus on how you can maximise the probability of increasing your GATE score. Building on your strengths and sailing through the weaknesses can be the best GATE exam strategy you can follow.

Step 3: Use Top-notch Preparation Books & Study Material for GATE Preparation

It is essential to do extensive research and select the right study material before you even begin your GATE preparation. You can either choose to prepare from the undergraduate course books, online video lectures, course material or coaching notes. GATE preparation books and GATE study material are easily available in the market but you must know what to pick to prepare well for the exam.

Step 4: Clarify Your Doubts and Don't Forget to Revise

While preparing for GATE, it is obvious to have doubts. So, make it a point to get all your doubts cleared well before the exam. Ask experts, teachers and also discuss with your friends so that you don’t have to wait until the day of the exam.

Also, make it a habit to regularly revise whatever you are studying, be it a small topic or an entire chapter. Regular revision:

  • Makes you more confident about your preparation.

  • Ensures that you do not forget anything under exam pressure.

Step 5: Keep Exam Stress At Bay

One thing that can truly make or break your exam performance is the level of your anxiety. Getting nervous in the run-up to the exam may prove to be one of the major obstacles in your GATE preparation. By creating a proper study plan, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, using relevant and standard books, and getting your doubts cleared can surely help you beat exam stress.

Common Doubts Related to GATE

Before starting exam preparation for GATE, the aspirants must clear their doubts pertaining to the exam. Many students think that GATE is tough to crack. However, the success of a student in GATE exam depends upon his/her preparation strategy, and the quality time he/she has spent on the exam preparation. In order to help the GATE aspirants with the exam preparation, we have come up with a flexible, sensible, and planned preparation strategy for GATE 2019.

Let's first discuss the common doubts that GATE aspirants have:

Can We Crack GATE in First Attempt?

Yes. It is easy to crack GATE in the first attempt with the right direction and approach. Over the years, many students have cracked GATE in the first attempt. In fact, many students secured top ranks in the first attempt of GATE exam. On the other hand, many final-year engineering students have also cracked GATE in the first attempt. Therefore, do not panic about the exam, and go ahead with the preparation. Utmost dedication and concentration are significant to achieve success in GATE.

Is it Possible for an Average Student to Crack GATE?

Yes. Every exam is different, and it is not advisable to estimate your capabilities based on previous experiences. Over the years, there have been a number of students who've secured AIR 50 – 100 ranks in GATE, and these students were just average learners at the graduate level. Therefore, do not underestimate your capabilities, and go ahead with the exam preparation. In order to improve your concentration level, practising yoga/meditation is recommended.

Is it Easy for Toppers to Crack GATE?

Every person has his/her own set of abilities and intelligence, and it is not advisable to compare yourself with others. You have your own capabilities depending on your calibre. How much you've learnt or studied does not matter with regard to GATE preparation. It depends on the quality time you've spent on the exam preparation. The success of a person in GATE depends on the quality time he/she has spent on the exam preparation and revision.

Self-Preparation vs Coaching – Which is Better?

You can crack the GATE exam without coaching. There is no compulsion to join a coaching institute. However, there is a lot of difference between self-preparation and preparation though coaching.

If you are relying on self-study, you need to maintain utmost dedication. Time management also plays an important role here. You must refer to the study material, understand the concepts, learn new topics, revise the topics already prepared, and practice mock tests. You need to manage all these tasks through a systematic preparation strategy.

At the coaching institutes, the preparation for GATE is completely different. The subject experts will explain the concepts/topics, they will conduct mock tests, analyse your strong and weak areas, etc. If you feel you need coaching for GATE, in case you're not able to do self-preparation, go for a GATE coaching institute.

How to Prepare for GATE 2020 in 4 Months

Though GATE is considered to be one of the toughest entrances in the country, rigorous practice and hard work can enable the aspirants to prepare for it in 4 months. The candidates wanting to ace GATE 2020 can be classified into three major categories:

  • Candidates who have almost covered half of the GATE syllabus.

  • Candidates who have just started to prepare for the entrance.

  • Candidates who have not started with the preparation at all.

We have provided the tips and tricks which can be adopted by the candidates belonging to different categories in order to effectively prepare for GATE in 4 months.

For Candidates who have almost covered half of the GATE Syllabus

  • Candidates should prepare a time table which will give them a scope to revise the pre learnt topics as well as cover the leftover syllabus.

  • It is advisable for the candidates to cover all the topics present in the syllabus of the entrance.

  • As there is a lot of time left, also solve at least 15 previous years question papers. This will help them to know about the structure of questions asked in the entrance. Experts consider it to be one of the most unique ways to revise.

  • Candidates should try to be aware of the type of questions that can be asked from the various topics in the syllabus of GATE.

  • They can also start to appear for test series. Once the candidates are done with the completion of most of the syllabus, they are advised to appear for mock tests.

For Candidates who have just started to prepare for the GATE Entrance

  • Candidates should gauge the important topics in the syllabus based on the weightage of marks. 

  • They should cover maximum important portions within the less span of time.

  • Candidates should at least aim to cover 60% of the GATE 2020 syllabus.

  • Candidates should appear for at least 5 mock tests before the final examination.

For Candidates who have not started with the preparation at all

  • Candidates should first be aware of the exam pattern and syllabus for GATE.

  • As the time left for preparation is very less, candidates are advised to chalk out a preparation flow and stick by it.

  • It is to be noted that the time table should justify the syllabus of the entrance. Candidates should focus on the important areas of the syllabus on the basis of weightage.

  • They are advised to go through previous year question papers of GATE in order to know about the types of questions asked. 

Monthly Plan for GATE 2020 Preparation

Whether you're relying on self-preparation or a GATE coaching institute, a planned preparation strategy is essential to achieve success in GATE 2020. A systematic preparation strategy for GATE 2020 has been mentioned below in an elaborate format.

Refer to GATE Syllabus & Exam Pattern First: Before starting GATE exam preparation, it is advisable to go through the GATE syllabus and GATE exam pattern. GATE is conducted in 24 engineering disciplines. Refer to the relevant discipline syllabus, i.e., the subject you've opted for in GATE exam. When you refer to the syllabus, you will find topics and sub-topics.

The big problem arises when you start dividing the syllabus into topics and sub-topics. The official GATE syllabus available on the official website of GATE only mentions broad topics that include numerous sub-topics. For example, “Stress and Strain” is one of the topics in Engineering Mechanics subject of GATE. The topic includes many concepts, and the same cannot be found in the official syllabus of GATE. Therefore, you need to refer to all the concepts associated with a particular topic.

First-time aspirants of GATE may find it hard to analyze the syllabus of GATE. Therefore, it advisable to refer to the previous year question papers of GATE so that you get an idea of topics and concepts that should be covered in your exam preparation.

GATE Study Material and Reference Books: Study materials and reference books for GATE exam play a dominant role in your exam preparation. It is advisable to read standard GATE preparation or reference books. It will take almost one or two months to understand one standard book for one subject. In order to master the core subjects, you must read at least two books. In all, covering GATE syllabus for a particular engineering branch takes at least 3 to 4 months. Therefore, it is advisable to start your exam preparation in advance.

Caution: Standard reference books of GATE contain numerous concepts and topics, and some of them are irrelevant as per prescribed GATE syllabus. Therefore, be careful while analysing the syllabus of GATE so that your time is not wasted.

Apart from the above, you can refer to the study materials available on the internet that will help you with GATE exam preparation. You can also download and refer GATE model or previous year papers to have some awareness of GATE syllabus.

Prepare a Timetable for GATE Preparation: In order to achieve a better score in GATE, you need to have a perfect timetable for exam preparation. You can prepare the timetable for GATE exam preparation by considering the following factors:

  • After checking the GATE syllabus, you will get clarity on the subjects or topics you are strong and weak.

  • Secondly, a list of the topics that you need to learn.

  • Thirdly, estimate how much is required to prepare each topic/ subject. It depends on the vastness of the concept or subject.

  • Finally, you need to choose the number of hours you can dedicate for GATE exam preparation/ number of days in a month for GATE exam preparation. Depending on that, you can prepare a monthly plan for GATE preparation.

In order to help the students, we have come up with a monthly plan for GATE exam preparation. For most GATE papers, there will be different topics/ concepts, and the candidates must allocate equal time to each topic.



Preparation Strategy

Day 1 to 5

Subject - 1

Learn all the concepts and solve relevant problems from Chapter 1 to 5

Day 6

Subject - 1

Revise the learnt topics from Chapter – 1 to 5. Practice mock tests and analyse your answers.

Day 7 to 11

Subject - 1

Learn all the concepts and solve relevant problems from Chapter 6 to 10

Day 12 & 13

Subject - 1

Revise all the learnt topics from Chapter 1 to 10. Practice mock tests and analyse your answers.

Day 14

Subject - 1

Solve previous year GATE question papers associated with Subject – 1.

Day 15


Rest Day

Day 16 to 20

Subject - 2

Learn all the concepts and solve relevant problems from Chapter 1 to 5

Day 21

Subject - 2

Revise the learnt topics from Chapter – 1 to 5. Practice mock tests and analyse your answers

Day 22 to 26

Subject - 2

Learn all the concepts and solve relevant problems from Chapter 6 to 10

Day 27 & 28

Subject - 2

Revise all the learnt topics from Chapter 1 to 10. Practice mock tests and analyse your answers.

Day 29

Subject - 2

Solve previous year GATE question papers associated with Subject – 2.

Day 30


Rest Day

You must stick with the timetable to achieve a better score in GATE. Morning hours are always best to learn new concepts. You can allocate time for GATE preparation as per your other commitments. Experts suggest that a student must spend at least six hours per day for GATE preparation. If you are pursuing a final-year B.Tech course, it may not be possible to allocate six hours a day. Therefore, try to allocate at least 3 hours for GATE exam preparation.

The above timetable is just for reference purpose, and it is not mandatory to follow the same timetable for exam preparation. You can frame or tune the timetable as per your feasibility. Make sure that the last month of GATE exam preparation should be completely allocated to the revision of syllabus.

Notes Making: Notes making is one of the important tasks in GATE exam preparation. When you learn a topic, it is advisable to note down the important points for future reference. While noting down important points, make sure that you do not copy the exact sentence from the reference material. Understand the point and note it down in your own words for effective preparation. During the last month of GATE exam preparation, it will help you with revision of syllabus.

Focus on Engineering Mathematics and General Aptitude: Engineering Mathematics and General Aptitude are common across most engineering branches of GATE exam. Apart from the core subject, the students must give importance to Engineering Mathematics and General Aptitude. These two sections constitute 30 marks of the GATE question paper. Covering the syllabus of these two subjects is easy, as these involve only basic concepts. If you are good at basics, you can achieve 25+ marks in these two sections. Some of the best GATE preparation books are available in the market for engineering mathematics and general aptitude.

Consolidate Your Concepts and Calculations: While learning a concept, it is advisable to understand and strengthen your conceptual knowledge. At the same, improve your calculation skills. A virtual calculator is a mandatory feature in GATE examination, and you need to master the usage of this calculator to improve accuracy in solving calculations.

Doubt Clearance: You may get several doubts related to a subject during the GATE exam preparation. You can consult your professors or lectures and clarify the doubts, and it is the best way to clear all your doubts pertaining to a subject. You can also discuss with your friends, search on the internet, refer to books etc. Note down all your doubts related to a subject, and try to clarify one by one.

Self-Evaluation: It is always advisable to evaluate yourself. Practice enough number of mock tests and evaluate your performance. After practising a GATE mock test, you can figure out your strong and weak areas. Focus on weak areas and improve. Take another mock test and analyse your performance. The task must continue until the last month of exam preparation. Self-evaluation is one of the key ways to achieve success.

Do Not Lose Confidence and Hope: Never lose self-confidence and hope if you secure fewer marks in the GATE practice test. Analyse your weak areas, learn the concepts, and try again. Do not give up/ feel that you could not crack GATE. You should always try to motivate yourself. Be positive.

We hope that the above GATE preparation tips were helpful to you. Stay tuned to CollegeDekho for the latest updates on GATE 2019. If you have any doubts regarding GATE, shoot them in the Q&A section of CollegeDekho.

GATE 2020 Exam Guidelines

Along with the test preparation, it is also important for the candidates to be completely aware of all GATE 2020 exam guidelines beforehand. Some of the rules and regulations of GATE 2020 are mentioned below:

  • Candidates who fail to reach the venue as per the schedule, will not be allowed to enter the exam hall after the commencement of the exam. Those who are inside the exam hall will only be allowed to leave once the examination is over.
  • Every candidate is expected to maintain decorum in and outside the examination hall. In case of violation of any of the rules & regulations, the Institute reserves the right to disqualify the candidate without any refund of fee.
  • To avoid any misconduct during GATE 2020 Exam, random checking via Biometric information like photograph and fingerprints may be taken from the candidates.
  • No request for any change in the GATE examination centre shall be entertained by the conducting authority.
  • In the examination hall, invigilators will provide scribble pads to the candidates for the rough work. Before using it, candidates must not forget to mention their names and registration numbers on the pad. And at the end of the examination, candidates are required to return the scribble pad to the invigilator.
  • Any misbehaviour with the invigilator or a staff member of the Institute will not be tolerated and may lead to cancellation of admission.
  • Candidates appearing for GATE 2020 need to download and take a printout of admit card available online from the official website and must carry it to the examination centre. Any candidate who does not possess the valid Admit card along with the original photo-identity proof shall not be allowed to enter the exam hall in any case.
  • Phones, Calculators, IT gadgets and any other communication device such as Bluetooth, etc. are strictly prohibited inside the premises where the examination is being conducted. Candidates, if found in possession of these items in the exam hall (even if not using), will not be allowed to take the exam.
  • During the conduct of the exam, candidates should not fiddle with the computer and other hardware devices provided in the examination hall. The candidate found guilty may lead to the cancellation of his/her candidature.
  • Candidates must not get involved in any kind of malpractice as it could lead to serious action by the test-taking authority. During the conduct of the exam, candidates should not have any notes or other kinds of written/printed matter with them.
  • Using any form of communication inside the examination hall is strictly prohibited for candidates.
  • No responsibility will be accepted by the Institute or GATE officials for any loss or damage to the personal articles of the candidates.
  • Smoking and drinking in the exam hall are strictly prohibited.
  • If a student is found to have lost or misplaced his/her ID card or fee receipt, he/she will not be issued duplicate ID card or fee receipt.
  • Any candidate found violating the code of conduct may have his/her candidature cancelled. Answer scripts for such candidates may not be considered for evaluation, even if he/she is permitted to finish the exam.

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