How to get an AIR 1 in ME without GATE coaching
I secured AIR 1 in GATE 2017 (ME) in my first attempt by studying alongside degree college semesters! Scoring a good rank in GATE without coaching is pretty easy. It’s all about getting your basic concepts right and be guided correctly. This article is for GATE
aspirants who are currently in their 4th
A firm decision and setting an aim is absolutely necessary in the first place to prepare and crack any exam. No aim leads to improper game. I made a firm choice of appearing for GATE 2017 when I was in second year itself.
I started my preparations during my 4th semester vacations. To begin with, I picked up subjects that I liked. There is no point of getting bored before even starting the preparations. In the 4th semester, I took up SoM and Thermo and revised them. I used to make notes where I would write down the concepts related to formula and important theoretical points. My SoM notes went up to around 25–30 odd assignment sheets. But believe me, you will be able to wrap up this entire huge subject in 3–4 hours the next time you pick up your notes. You will regret the time being wasted while making the notes but you will praise yourself when you revise the entire subject in no time later on. Make the notes such that there is no requirement for you to pick up the reference book ever again.
When my 5th semester commenced, GATE faded a bit, but I continued my preparations. Once in 3 to 4 days, I used to study a bit of something or the other. Many of the subjects in my 5th semester were important for GATE. Thus, while preparing for 5th semester, I started making noted for both. This helped me in both – GATE as well as semester exams. Post my the 5th semester vacations, I opted for G.K. publications book for studying material science. But, little did I know that I was wasting my time on the least important subject for GATE and a book that was of no use. I then took a break to collect myself and picked up the mighty Fluid Mechanics. And it took me a month to complete and cover this subject.
In my 6th semester, I applied the same strategy as I did in the 5th semester; prepared simultaneously for semester exams and GATE. Post my 6th semester vacation, I wanted to bag a month long internship which would ultimately help me in the campus placements that were to begin soon. I had always wanted to get a full-time corporate job as I was not confident about my GATE score.
I bagged an internship with AIR India and that too in the month of Ramadan which gave me very less time to prepare for GATE. I cut down my sleep to 5 to 6 hours and managed around 4 hours to prepare for GATE out of in my busy schedule. GATE preparations had to be continuous. Soon, I got placed in my very first company. And now I had all the time in the world to prepare for GATE.
While I was just realizing this fact, my 7th semester commenced. So, the subjects in this semester are not very important for GATE. I was in a state of dilemma. So, I bunked almost all of the lectures of such subjects and devoted as many as 6 to 7 hours every day. This helped me complete the entire GATE portion before the 7th semester ended. I also took around 3 to 4 mock tests to get an idea and secured 50–51 marks in all of them.
No came the most important phase – December and January. In December, I revised all the concept notes and also made short notes only on Formulaes. This encompassed only formulae and nothing else. Together with this, I also took a lot of mock tests. This time, I secured around 60-65. This made me happy.
Soon came January, where I mainly focused on the formula notes and revised all the formulae of all the subjects before appearing for any mock tests. And I started bagging a score of 70+ in mock tests.
The last stage was mini GATE exams to release the built up pressure. The most important part of your preparation are past year papers. I solved it twice and regularly revised important questions.
I took as many as 30+ mock tests which was more than enough. You can also solve some regular test questions as well. Apply for atleast two full test series packages. Solve them completely. There is no need for any practice book.
Here are some important subjects which are important and how should you prepare for them:
- Mathematics: Mathematics for ME is the easiest part of the paper. Out of 15 any average student can score 13-14. I prepared this subject from made easy’s mathematics book which I borrowed from a friend. It is very nicely written and I did only that part from which questions were asked in past ME gate papers. Some of the parts are important for other branches and not for us so don’t pay any heed to those.
- Manufacturing: For this I referred to S.K. mondal ppts which I took from a friend who studied in made easy and had original unaltered ppts. I never went into the depths of the mfg concepts because the questions in GATE from this part are very direct. You just need to keep a lot of things in mind. You need not understand it in depth. Be on surface, as it is vast! Some very important ppts are, Casting, welding, machining, metal forming, non-conventional machining, measurements (not that important) and G and M codes(one question will surely come from this). Solve sums and do not rattofy much as knowledge based questions are asked in IES and not in GATE. you will find a lot of sums from mfg in GATE.
- SOM, Thermal Science, Theory of machines, Fluid: These subjects are very important concept wise as some twisted questions can be asked from them. So take a good reference book ( like cengel for thermal, bansal for SoM, rattan for TOM) and make notes accordingly. Reference books doesn’t play a huge role as ultimately if your concepts get clear then it is not important from where did you get it clear from. But prefer some foreign authors as they write it beautifully and in depth. You will love reading those.
- IE : I referred my friend’s notes who attended certain coaching. This is only important numerically. Not theoretically. So do not get into depth of these topics as well. Solve. There is no particular book for this subject. So better refer to someone’s notes so as to get a compiled material.
- Mechanics: This subject is important and only numericals are asked. So no need to prepare for theory. Solve sums and refer a good book. I referred dayal, but there are better books available.
- Material Science, CAD/CAM, automations: These topics are not at all important. Anyone can leave these topics and can expect to lose 1-2 marks only. So keep it as your last priority.
- Machine design: No need to remember those long design methods and steps. This subject is important but if you are good with SoM then this is a cake walk as there is nothing new in this. Failure theories are very important. I referred my friend’s notes who took coaching. It is a small topic and thus do not waste time in reading entire Bhandari! Only study those parts that are asked in previous year’s GATE.
Hasan Asif Manzoor is the GATE 2017 Topper with an AIR 1 – Mechanical Engineering