How to Prepare for GATE Exams

How to Prepare for GATE Exams


Name: Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

Meant for: Engineering students

Conducted by: Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institutes of Technology

Exam months: Usually in the months of February and March

Mode of examination: Online (From GATE 2014 onwards, the examination mode will be solely online)

Preparation tiem: Recommended a dedicated preparation time of minimum five to six months

Calculation of GATE score: Based on percentile method, GATE score is always calculated on the basis of a formula

Qualifying score: The GATE committee conducting the exam reserves the right to decide the qualifying mark for that year

Validity of GATE score: Two years from the date the results have been announced

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

If you are a GATE aspirant, then this quote by Benjamin Franklin is for you. GATE calls for religious and rigorous preparation, without which it will be impossible to crack the exam. Preparation is, in fact, one of the most important criteria to clear the exam.


An all-India examination, GATE tests candidates for their complete understanding of various subjects in Engineering and Technology. It is held on behalf of the National Coordination Board GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore, and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). These eight institutes have the sole authority to conduct the GATE exam.

The main motive of GATE is to test the quality of students and to evaluate if they are eligible for higher studies in premium institutes of India. Successful candidates can use the GATE score to get jobs in public sector units and also to apply for government-aided fellowship programmes.

All those engineering students who are aspiring to pursue a Masters degree in institutes like IIT, NIT IISC, or those opting to apply for a PhD in
India or abroad.
All those with a science and technology background aspiring for a career in government undertakings.

GATE is a great leveler. It comes with no baggage – meaning, to take GATE, it does not matter what your previous academic performance or your previous institute was. You can take this exam and if your score is brilliant, you can fulfill your dream of studying in IIT, IISC or doing PhD in India or abroad or for that matter landing up with a brilliant career.


GATE is a prestigious exam and clearing it opens the doors to many academic benefits. Naturally, many students aspire to clear the exam every year. If we look at the numbers:

Year: 2013

Number of students who took the exam: About 9.85 lakhs Number of students who cleared the exam: About 1.36 lakhs (roughly about 14%). Also note that as seats are limited, to get admission in premium institutes, your GATE score will have to be really high.

Year: 2014

Number of students expected to take the exam: About 15 lakhs Now, isn’t this a good enough reason to get you started on the preparation. The competition is tough but with a clear-cut preparation strategy, you will definitely be able to succeed.

Exam Preparation Tips for GATE

Apart from a clear direction and hard work, preparation for GATE also calls for a lot of grit and determination in a person.

Here are few tips that will enable you to prepare for GATE.

Mentally see yourself succeed

First and foremost, see yourself succeed. You have this seed of a dream to clear the GATE exam, water the seed. Believe that you have the ability to clear the exam and that you have cleared the exam. Mentally, if you can visualize yourself clearing the exam, you will physically execute it too. After all, belief can move mountains.

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