GATE Exam Tips – How to prepare for GATE? Tips and Tricks to Crack GATE Exam from a GATE Ranker

GATE Exam Tips | How to prepare for GATE?

This is a freshly edited article on the Tips and Tricks to Crack GATE Exam from a GATE Ranker with All India Rank of 374, her percentile was around 98.8. This is an article worth sharing to all GATE aspirants.

Enjoy reading!

About GATE:

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an all India examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of the candidate in various undergraduate subjects in Engineering/Technology/Architecture and post-graduate level subjects in Science.


GATE score is used for admissions to post-graduate programs (e.g., M.E., M.Tech, direct Ph.D.) in Indian institutes of higher education with financial assistance provided by MHRD and other Government agencies.

The scorecard is valid for 3 years. The score is used by Public, Private Sector Undertakings, Navaratna companies, and other major enterprises for employment screening purposes. GATE has become mandatory to qualify for working in some organizations now.

Tips to Crack GATE Exam from a GATE ranker:

One of our editors at AIJ secured an All India Rank of 374 in GATE. Students from their second year of Bachelor’s can benefit by reading this post. So, if you have anyone in mind let them read this.

“My approach to prepare for GATE is self study based. The exam tests a person’s aptitude and expertise in their Bachelor’s stream, not their memory. And most students don’t understand this difference.

Less study time over a long time period:

Self study with guidance will help you better than coaching classes. But this requires military discipline, right? Wrong. Don’t study for more than 50 concentrated minutes in a single sitting.

Have atleast one such concentrated study session every day if you have an year to prepare. I never believed in coaching and training programs. Such programs where they consolidate 4 years of subject into 2 or 12 months of non stop classroom spoon feeding and regular testing actually backfires.

Those classes will only help you refresh and remember the concepts. But GATE is not a memory test.  It tests your ability to apply and understand the basic concepts.

Understand a little bit about every topic from GATE syllabus:

Having a good grip of all subjects, especially those with good weightage will help for sure. Take a preparation material where you can find all topics that you need to prepare for. Just remember, mastering a few chapters and leaving out some parts completely is not advisable.

The wisest way is to pay attention to all subjects while you are preparing for your semester exams itself. This way, you only have to revise for GATE instead of learning from basics.

At all times, you must atleast have a basic understanding of every topic in the syllabus. If you can’t cover everything, atleast cover those topics with maximum weightage first.

Brush up topics one by one. It is better to do this slowly, one chapter after another as this will give you enough time to think about it unconsciously through out the day, until you move onto the next topic.

Prefer Recall over Revisions

I did not read the content of each topic. I found recalling the content of the topic to test my understanding of it more effective than revising and reading for hours on end. The recal helped as an assessment tool and made my understanding of the subject more concrete.

I later took an online course called: “Learning how to learn”, where they confirmed that recal and assessments are better to solidify your knowledge rather than revising and studying over and over.

After going through the theory, which I think is very important; one must definitely try praticing multiple choice questions in that topic. If you want to improve your efficiency, try answering sample questions after every topic as quickly as you can. This will help you pick up speed effortlessly.

Take free mock tests available online. These mock tests must be timed and finished exactly like the original exam. This will help you strategize how to write the actual test, while managing time efficiently.

I followed a few strategies to ensure the score I get will be my personal best. These tricks are not even related to the preparation. These are purely based on vertain brain hacks for MCQs.

Our brain works best when we don’t have any disturbances. Eating lite food and taking glucose will ensure your stomach and brain in fit condition. Don’t drink too much water before the exam. Be free of any physical discomforts. So dress accordingly.

Parallel mind space trick: making your sub- conscious work

In every exam, there will be questions in the paper which are easy to score. These questions are scattered through out the paper. Most students miss these and don’t even get to attempt these.

Skimming- Conscious brain activity enhancement:

I manage to answer all these easy questions, in every exam. I do this in the first round of going through the question paper. I call this skimming. Skimming is quick reading.

I look at all the questions in a section and answer all answers that I can answer immediately with 100% certainty. Easy points will be in my pocket.

I limit my time to skim and answer a question from 5 to 30 seconds. I leave out any other question that needs more time. This includes the answers I’m not quite sure of and the difficult to solve types.

Here is where all that practicing helps. If you practice answering known questions and easy questions within 2 to 20 seconds, that is the best thing that can happen to you.

This will take a good amount of your time. And once you have finished answering the questions you know for sure, don’t revisit them again. You are done.  Now, go on for a second round of answering.

Second round- Subconscious activity’s results:

You will find that your sub conscious brain have found answers to questions you had trouble with the first time. This is called the parallel mind space trick.

When you look at questions but don’t find an answer, move on and answer those you can. By the time you come back, you will be surprised to see that your brain has found relevant information already.

At any point of time, 2 parts of your mind are active: conscious and sub- conscious. While conscious brain is series processing and fast, sub conscious brain is parallel processing, slow and works in the background. This is where your memory and preparation helps.

In the first round, only your conscious brain is put to work. To completely extract most from your memory, you need to let the sub- conscious work slowly in the back ground as you work on other questions you can readily answer.

Continue answering all questions in the second round of answering, this should take 40 seconds to 80 seconds. Make sure you don’t waste time by revisiting questions answered in the first round.

After this, you will be left out with questions which are beyond your preparation and ease level. Neither your conscious brain, nor your memory has ready answers for these. But you need to practice this method enough times in mock tests and timed practice sessions to perfect this.

If you learn to apply this, rest assured that you performed your personal best and what you do next will only be a cherry on top.

Hold focus till the last second:

These are beast questions you need to work hard to get answers for. Do your best and don’t waste a second of your time. Stay focused and revisit only the questions which you haven’t answered. Steadily work on answering them.

As you will be thinking about this for the third time or fourth, your subconscious may come up with a clue from your memory in the meantime. This will improve your chances of getting a score that is inline with your preparation.

Your memory and quick thinking will work at their optimal best by following these. These are my tips to put both my conscious and sub- conscious brain activity to good use for an exam. Follow this during mock tests and see the difference for yourself.

All the best!”

General Tips to ACE GATE Exam:

I don’t like to say: prepare well as a tip. Because that is a prerequisite. That is the basic thing you


  1. Right mind-body balance: Be relaxed a day before the GATE Exam and prepare all the necessary things you need to carry to the exam hall. Get restful sleep. Only eat food that suits your system.
  2. Be on time: Reach the exam venue way before time. It will help you to be in a proactive state of mind. If possible, check your exam venue a day before the exam.
  3. State of peace: Be ready to turn into a focused monk while taking the exam. Don’t panic at the time of the exam or before it. Don’t fight or have unpleasant encounters. This will drain your energy and keep you distracted during the examination.
  4. Negative answers strategy: Answer the questions carefully and try to avoid answering unknown questions. Always keep in mind that there is 33% negative marking in GATE exam.
  5. Practice, practice, practice: Before the GATE exam, try to practice as many mock tests as possible. There are many sites to practice mock tests. Test your speed and plan a strategy to manage your time.
  6. Weightage-wise preparation: Identify the topics with more marks weightage and thoroughly prepare these topics first. But don’t neglect any topic- have a minimum idea on every topic in the syllabus.
  7. Cheat Sheet: Note down all formulae in a paper and memorize daily. Since engineering subjects have a lot of formulae, it is better to memorize them daily. These brief materials will be of more use to revise before the exam, as it will be hard to go through everything. Remember that the syllabus is vast.
  8. Aptitude & Reasoning: General ability carries 15% of total marks. So don’t ignore this section. Aptitude and reasoning can be a game-changer and a score enhancer if you work well. You can use this preparation for multiple exams. So, investing time to prepare these topics is what wise students do.

Preparation is always key, remember that. All India Jobs wishes you all the best!

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