In the current competitive scenario where there is an expansion of the universities and engineering colleges, the only process to measure and test the stature of engineering students is GATE. It is one of the toughest examinations in India where the competition level is sky high and therefore, requires focused study in a planned manner.
The exam aims at rigorous testing of the aspirant’s capability in the engineering concepts along with the managerial skills. Engineering subjects cover 70% weightage while General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics cover 15% respectively.
GATE comprises 65 questions, out of which 30 questions are of 1 mark each and 35 are of two marks each. To secure a good percentile, one must remember that an examinee is judged relatively and not absolutely as the overall rank depends upon the preparation level of your competitors.
Most of the undergraduates get confused about the ideal time to start preparing for GATE because the syllabus is vast and it takes time and efforts to get a grip on all the topics whilekeeping in mind the accuracy and time.
Here in this article, we will discuss the merits of clearing GATE and the ideal time to start with GATE preparation.
Why is clearing GATE a must for Engineers?
GATE is the most prominent exam for those who want to add some value to their Engineering degree. It’s not like if you don’t clear GATE then it’s the end of the world, but qualifying it will open up a pathway to success. GATE not only helps secure admission in MTech program but it provides other opportunities too. We’ve mentioned a few highlights that mark the importance of clearing GATE:
1. Admission to PG Programs:
Cracking GATE with good score opens the path to pursue PG Programs at various institutions which include top IIT’s and IISc’s. Some management institutes like NITIE, Mumbai, offer admission to PGD in Industrial Engineering on the basis of GATE score. With a good score in GATE, you can get admission in colleges like:
2. IIM’s (their fellow program)
2. PSU Jobs through GATE
PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings) in India faced a lot of problems in conducting their recruitment processes before the year 2012 because more than 1,00,000 candidates were taking the exams for less than 1000 jobs, which means a selection rate of less than 1%.
After sensing the exponential rise in the number of engineering graduates in India who wish to get a PSU job, the PSUs decided that a GATE score shall be the primary criteria for shortlisting the aspirants. This modification was the primary cause for the rapid increase in applicants for GATE 2012.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was the first PSU which successfully tested out this system. Later, National Thermal Power Corporation, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat Electronics and Power Grid Corporation of India implemented this procedure.
Usually, these companies release their recruitment notifications right after GATE notification, indicating that the candidates have to take GATE to apply for a job in these organizations.
3. Fellowship Programs
Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) was introduced by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the year 2002 to allow GATE-qualified Engineering graduates and GPAT-qualified Pharmaceutical graduates to pursue research through suitable PhD programs at CSIR laboratories.
Stipend and Tenure:
The fellowship amount of INR 25,000 per month plus HRA (House Rent Allowance) is provided to every candidate. In addition, a contingency grant of INR 20,000 per annum is also provided. On completion of 2 years as JRF, GATE is upgraded to SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) which increases the stipend to INR 28,000/month in the later years, on the basis of assessment of CSIR JRF-NET guidelines.
4. Scholarships in ME/M. Tech
To enhance/promote the master education in India, the Scholarship of INR 12,400 per month is paid to GATE qualified students from MHRD. It is to financially support the students so that they can afford the basic needs during their course and thesis work.
5. Integrated Ph.D.
Some colleges allow you to do an integrated Masters + Doctoral program directly after the graduation and you also get a stipend of INR 28,000.
6. Foreign Study
Some non-Indian universities like National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and some technical universities in Germany also measure GATE score as a criterion for judging the candidates for admission into their Masters and Ph.D. programs.
7. DRDO Research:
From this year onwards, DRDO is also considering GATE score to provide jobs.
What is the ideal time to begin with GATE preparation?
GATE aspirants follow different strategies for success, but there is no formula guaranteeing success in GATE exam. Experts agree that only hard work, planning and starting at the right time will maximize the chances of triumph.
The most frequently asked question by a GATE aspirant is what is the right time for GATE preparation and when should one begin with it.
Starting with GATE preparation very early and very late can both be wrong, so choosing the right time is very essential. Beginning too early might lead to forgetting the basics, while starting late will not allow you to complete the syllabus in a proper way and will also leave little or no time for revision. So, the question arises that what’s the ideal time for GATE preparation?
A recognizable score in GATE offers a kick start to the career of the student. GATE exam takes place in the month of February, i.e. during the last semester of Engineering. Hence, a student will have only six months if he starts with the preparation in the 4th year. Most students are baffled as to when they should start preparing for GATE exam.
According to the Experts “3rd year is the best time to start GATE preparation because then, it is neither too early nor too late.”
Here are some reasons why you should start your GATE preparation in your 3rd year of Engineering-
- Focus on the Basic Concepts– In first two years of engineering, you are new to the subjects and require time to cope with the new concepts. In third year, you become familiar with the concepts and it becomes easy for you to understand and grasp new concepts.
- Most of the Questions are asked from the 3rd and 4th year– Most of the high scoring subjects in GATE are from 3rd and 4th year of Engineering. So, if you start preparing from the 3rd year, it serves as a cherry on the cake.
- Cope up easily with the concepts– Preparing in advance will help you cope with the concepts you will be studying in your final year easily. The advanced preparation will prevent you from entering a phase of struggle. You will be confident enough to solve problems related to the new subjects while other students will be grappling to learn those concepts.
- Enough time to gather the best resources/ Institutes– If you start preparing from the 3rd year you will get enough time to gather the best resources to study. You will be able to search for the best institute, best books and will help you to make the proper notes. You will not have to take any decision in a rush.
- Abundant time for revision– Most importantly, starting early will give you enough time for revision. In your final year where you also have other important things going on in your head, you will not have to spend your entire time on GATE preparation. You can spare out time from your time table for revision. All concepts & tricks will be at your fingertips.
So, in a nutshell, it can be said that the third year is the ideal time to start with GATE preparation because if you initiate this way, you’ll find yourself in a better position in the final year. But if you have enough free time in the final year, you can start in June also. While preparing for the exam, the students must stay calm, focused and must not worry about the outcome, but just try to perform their best.