All said and done, it’s time to perform! So, gear up for the last month of your preparation and give it your best shot. With the GATE just around the corner, it’s important to assess and plan your month based on your current level of preparation and target score. Doing so will make it easy for you to gradually increase your performance till you hit your target score. In this article, we highlight the most important things that you need to do to ensure optimal performance on D-day.
Make a schedule:
Identify topics in which you perform well and easier topics. Finish with these first. Revise these topics and solve maximum questions from these. This will boost your confidence and help you make a strategy to get maximum marks based on your strengths. Allot at least 7-8 hours of study and practice daily. The three rules of making a schedule are:
Solve maximum question papers:
Get a hang of the question paper and pattern. Give at least 10 mock tests. Ideally, you should take these tests in the same time slot as the GATE exam to condition your brain for maximum performance when it really matters. Solving several question papers will expose you to a variety of questions, and will also help you identify weak areas. But merely solving more papers is not enough. You need to diligently work towards understanding solutions to the un-attempted / wrong questions. Remember that this is a competitive exam, so your rank improves with each additional question that you are able to solve. In fact, on average, with each additional mark that you score, your rank could improve by 150 places. Thus the aim should be to solve the maximum number of questions correctly.
Concentrate on General Aptitude (GA) and Engineering Mathematics:
Approximately 30% of the GATE paper comprises of this section is based GA and Engineering Mathematics. Theoretically, if you were to prepare only these two sections well, you could qualify the GATE exam. Usually, engineering students find these sections easy and thus neglect. Our advice would be not to do this. In fact, students need to view this as an opportunity and accommodate at least 2 hours from their daily schedule to work on these topics. Two books that are good to refer to for these sections are:
Customize your prep strategy for yourself:
Typically, each student is different and will have unique areas of improvement. Students need to identify the areas in which they lack and prepare accordingly. For example, if you think speed is an issue, you could set up speed benchmarks and then consciously, gradually reduce the time per question taken in each successive practice test. One potential time waster is the numerical question type. While these have no negative marking, spending too much time on these may curb the amount of time you have for multiple choice questions.
One last piece of advice:
Keep self-made short notes handy for last minute revisions. Do not start a completely new concept if you are not too sure to finish it. Further, check the weightage for each topic and dedicate time accordingly. While planning and practicing forms the very basis of your schedule this month, you need to ensure that you do not stress yourself. Sleep well, eat healthy food, take short breaks, listen to light music and occasionally play a sport to rejuvenate yourself and breaking the monotony.
Remember that cracking the GATE is a game of consistent practice and strategy. Team Vidyalankar wishes all the very best to all aspirants for GATE 2018!