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5 tips to prepare for GATE CSE exam

Category: GATE CSE-IT Date: Saturday, August 15, 2015

Computer science, software engineering and IT related skills are in very high demand in the current times. Having specializations in these fields can help you reach up the ladder in these fields. GATE CSE and IT exam is a great opportunity to get into top of the line reputed institutes in India and pursue higher studies in these fields. Therefore it is very important that you prepare well for your GATE CSE and IT exams so that you do not have to settle for less. In this article we have collected 5 important tips to help you prepare for your GATE CSE and IT exams thoroughly

Tip 1: Don’t lie to yourself - Know your weak subjects and start your GATE exam preparation from these subjects

It is very important that you remain truthful with yourself. Nobody in this world knows your strengths and weaknesses better that you yourself. So it is important that you ask yourself which subjects you are weak in or which subjects you feel you will have problems with in the GATE exam. Once you identify these subjects come up with a strategy to prepare for these subjects first. You need to ask yourself the following questions for these subjects

  1. Will it be easy for me to prepare these subjects myself or do I need somebody’s help
  2. How much time should I devote to my weak subjects everyday
  3. Do I have the required books for these subjects? If no then do I know the important books which I should have for these subjects?
  4. What is the reason that these are my weak subjects? Was I not able to understand them or did I not devote enough time to practice them.

If you will ask similar questions to yourself you will surely get many honest answers which will help you a lot in your GATE CSE and IT exam preparation. The worst thing you can do for your GATE exam preparation is to be dishonest to yourself.

Tip 2: Have a long term goal – Plan your overall strategy

Having a long term goal is important to prepare for important exams like the GATE CSE and IT exam. The long term goal will help you plan your strategy for maximum gains. You will know how many months you have before the GATE exam, what all commitments you have during this time and how much overall time you really have in your hand for your preparation. Do your calculations honestly and find out the actual amount of time you have in your hand. If you make a mistake in calculating the actual time in hand then your GATE exam preparation strategy will fail.

After you know the actual time in hand plan it in the following manner

  1. Spend time to collect the exam syllabus and study material (books, notes, previous year question papers etc). With this exercise you will make sure that you have everything ready for the big fight.
  2. Ask yourself about your comfort levels for each subject and rank the subjects in the order of weakest to strongest. This will help you distribute your time sincerely for weak as well as strong subjects.
  3. After you finish each subject make it a point to practice maximum previous year GATE questions for that subject.
  4. It will be a good idea to keep weekends for revision and previous year GATE questions practice.

Tip 3: Have a short term goal - Divide your daily time intelligently

It’s important that you divide your time intelligently. The first thing to do is to ask yourself how much time you can sincerely spend on GATE preparation daily. If you know you are extra hard working and can commit long study hours for GATE preparation then it’s very good for you, but again do not lie to yourself. If you know that you are not a person who can study long hours then do not plan for long hours. Plan for the time you can commit and honestly spend daily. Once you know the daily time you will be studying for your GATE CSE and IT exam you should plan your time in the following manner

  1. Time to revise previous day work
  2. Time for weak subjects
  3. Time for strong subjects
  4. Time for previous year questions

Do not stick to one subject at a time. At least study two subjects at a time so that you prepare well and your brain gets some break and a good change. Also honestly revise what you study on a daily basis. It will be a good practice to spend weekends just to revise what you studied during the full week and practice related questions from previous GATE CSE and IT papers. Not revising and not practicing previous year questions will do a lot of harm to your GATE exam preparation.

Tip 4: Know the pattern of the GATE CSE and IT exam

It is very important to know the pattern for the GATE CSE and IT exam and the type of questions asked in these exams. One thing is for sure that GATE exams are not about cramming theory or previous year repeated questions. GATE exams are about concepts. You will have to learn each subject conceptually, learn how to use different concepts together, learn how to mix different subjects together and then solve the questions. You might find a question with a mixture of pointers, data structures and algorithms. You can only answer such questions if you are clear about these subjects conceptually. So it will be a good idea to first look at the previous year questions before starting with each subject and see what type of questions have been asked in previous year GATE CSE and IT papers. This will help you get in a correct frame of mind when preparing for your GATE exam.

Tip 5: Practice previous year exam questions in a time bound manner

Towards the end of your preparation and a couple of months before the actual exam it will be a good idea to attempt previous year GATE CSE and IT papers or mock test papers in order to get a real feel of how to think in a time bound manner. You should set time to complete the full paper and attempt it just like it’s your real test. This way you will train your brain how to work in the actual exam situation. Also keep in mind that this practice should be done when you are over with more than 80% of your preparation. Otherwise this exercise will not give you good results and you will be simply bluffing yourself. When your preparation is in the initial stages and you have not prepared for major chunk of your subjects you can still practice attempting questions in a time bound manner but for that you will have to focus on only questions from your prepared subjects. In this exercise you might have to take help from your teachers or friends who can prepare a test paper for you with mix of questions from different subjects.

Remember that GATE exam is a very prestigious exam and people who are responsible for preparing the question paper are conceptually very sound. They will want to test your conceptual knowledge and not your cramming power. Try to understand their mind set and prepare for your GATE CSE and IT exam accordingly.
All the best !

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