This is actually a dilemma for every candidate who is working but aspires to clear GATE exam – how to prepare and score well in GATE. It is difficult for candidates with full-time jobs to prepare for one of the toughest exams – GATE. It is not as tough as it seems to be, just calm down and find out ways to manage the limited time and resource that you get after your working hours.
Regular GATE candidates start their preparation at least a year in advance, and they also have the luxury of being in regular touch with their GATE subject syllabus. While working candidates have passed their degrees earlier, attempt to tame GATE while working, no longer in touch with GATE subjects.
The competition really is tilted in favor of fresh candidates. If you intend to qualify GATE 2018, the first thing you have to do is forget all ifs and buts and be ready to go the whole hog. If you are ready for the battle with all the confidence, take a look at what the key factors and obstacles are to know, how to prepare for GATE while working, you can crack GATE. So, here you just need a plan and a smart way of studying to prepare for GATE while working!!
First step to Understand GATE Exam Pattern
The exam pattern of GATE 2018 will give the candidate preparing for GATE while working idea about the type of questions asked, marking scheme, and the number of sections included in the question paper.
- The duration of the test will be three hours
- A total of 65 questions will be asked for 100 marks
- Two types of questions will be asked: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Numerical Ability Type (NAT) questions
- There will be 1-mark and 2-mark questions only
- There is no negative marking for NAT questions, while for MCQs, there is negative marking.
- Sections: GATE 2018 will include the following sections:
- General Aptitude – It is mandatory for all papers
- Engineering Mathematics (for XL papers it is Chemistry)
- Subject-specific section
READ Too: PSU Recruitment Through GATE 2018 Score
Maximize Your Study Time
If you are loaded with work at the office, then it’s difficult to manage proper studies while working. And to make matters interesting, many who top the exam are rarely the types who burn the midnight oil. The point is if you are smart with your time management great dividends can be reaped. Here is how:
- If you are not heavily loaded with work at the office, see if you can take out time for study. In some MNCs and other organizations, employees are even put on the bench. Use it to your advantage.
- Make it a habit to carry notes along with you, of the important points covered that day. You can also note down important formulae and equations that you think are important.
- If you are in a 9-6 job, ensure that you don’t hang around after office hours.
- Try to study for at least 2-3 hours daily during weekdays, in addition to studying from notes.
- During weekends, try to study and cover as much as you can. But for that to happen, you have to cut down on distractions – Parties, Social Media, smartphone, etc.
- Don’t miss on your regular revision. If you are really pressed for time, at least manage some time to glance through the important points. Here again, a note can come handy.
- Always remember AfterGraduation’s Guru Mantra for Success –
Determination + Hard work + Confidence + Luck = Success
Prepare Short Notes while Studying
When you are reading or solving a problem, note down the important points. Since notes are your own thing, you can even experiment and add figures and illustrations to make learning fun, easy and to aid your memory.
These notes will help in saving revision time tremendously. If you are smart with your notes, you can get the entire syllabus covered in them. Yes, every now and then you might have to revisit the textbooks, but at most other times they will be good enough.
Weekend Coaching and Self-Preparation
If you have lost touch with some of the GATE subjects, you might be a little rusty and would like to join a weekend coaching to wipe off the dust. These days almost all the major cities have them. But before joining, discuss your situation with the coaching institute and check out their teaching manuals. It will help both parties understand their responsibilities and expectations.
Coaching can be a double-edged sword which is designed for group teaching, so if you go along with the group all is well and good. But if you fall behind, all hell can break loose. So, whether you do coaching or not, the major thrust of your preparation should revolve around self-study. Yes, you can rely on coaching material if you want. But the driving force should be you; yourself. Effective self-study is a composite of many related things. Try to build a Study Circle which will help and motivates you to study even more and works harder for cracking GATE exam.
Planning and Execution
Planning involves deciding the flow of study: what and when to study, and for how long. Once you identify your strong and weak areas, allocating time becomes easier. If you don’t, you might end up practicing things you already know again and again, while ignoring weak areas. It must be noted that planning cannot be static, but has to be adjusted from time to time to fit your progress. For example, if you picking a particular subject fast, you might need to allocate the spare time to some other subject that needs attention.
Do timely revision. It will save time and a lot of headaches. During revision, you must note your progress and determine which areas need less and which areas need more revision. Arranging the topics and problems in the order of difficulty level can achieve that. Also, after sufficient revision, if you feel confident about a topic, you can reduce the frequency of revision and move to some other topic.
Practice GATE Exam Sample Papers and Mock Tests
You may know the answers and remember the formulae, but sometimes you might struggle to solve a simple problem due to exam pressure, the pressure of expectations. The best way to avoid this from happening is by getting exam ready by doing sample papers and also previous years question papers. Set the timer on the clock, and start doing sample papers of GATE. The more sample papers you do, the more confidence you build.
Online mock tests are very popular among GATE candidates, as it is an effective way to build accuracy and learn time management.
Proper Books and other Study Material
When selecting books and study material to prepare from, you must be choosy, because some books are too comprehensive and can take much time to understand the concept.
With the advent of the internet and social media, many outlets have come up that cater to the student community. Some members of these communities run independent blogs and guide students on GATE exam preparation, and run video tutorials. If candidates feel like they have covered much of what is given in the textbooks, they can venture out to these outlets.
If you feel that covering the entire syllabus is beyond you given your circumstances, see if you can leave out a topic or two that are too time-consuming but the rewards are minimal. If you drop any topic, just make sure that you have the other topics covered properly.
Quitting anything is never a good idea until and unless it gets difficult to live with it. So, quitting a job for the entrance exam is not something we should do. If your only dream is to study M.Tech from some good Institute or working for a PSU job only, then quit the job that you hate.
But if GATE exam is just like another option in your life if nothing else works out, quitting the job will lead you nowhere. Instead, utilize the experience that you get and make the most of it by thinking more practically and precisely. You just need a plan and a smart way of studying.
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