DTU Times interviewed Priyanshu Sharma, Class of 2018, Electronics and Communication who achieved an All India Rank of 6 in the Electronics and Communication paper of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2019.
What has been your inspiration behind choosing GATE specifically, amongst the other options? Did passion for your field play a role?
A good job in a top PSU has always been my dream, given that it provides job security accompanied by an attractive package. Even though it wasn't my passion but as I wanted to stay in touch with my field as well, I would choose PSUs.
What is the ideal preparation strategy for GATE? Is classroom knowledge enough? How would you compare self-study to coaching?
Even though there is no ideal strategy, it is all about staying focussed, analysing your strengths and weaknesses and being loyal to the preparation. Even though a good rank isn't in our hands, the preparation for it is, and it is onto us to our best shot.
Classroom coaching is theoretical, while the GATE tests a person's problem solving skills within limited time and under pressure.
Self-study is good for those who have a decent grasp over the concepts since the beginning and it requires one to be disciplined and dedicated as well. I was an average student during my college days and almost started from ground zero when I started preparing. I decided to join a coaching because I started preparing from the ground zero and I felt it keeps you motivated towards your goal while providing a competitive environment for timely evaluation of you.
How did you balance between preparing for semester exams and preparing for GATE?
Since my main aim was GATE and I had a decent percentage (70+), I invested my time mainly in preparing for the GATE.
Since you are a top scorer, many options would be open for you. Which one would you choose, Masters or PSU?
As mentioned earlier, I am aiming for a good PSU and hence haven't applied for M.tech this time because I don't want to hog any IIT seat.
Was GATE your only plan? Did you have backup plans as well?
Yes, it was mainly GATE 2019 while I also prepared for DMRC and ISRO. In the beginning, I had started preparing for GATE+ESE, but with time I realised that I had to focus on one thing at a time. Hence, I prepared for GATE 2019 with utmost dedication and planned to prepare for ESE 2020 later.
What difference do you feel exists between JEE and GATE, in terms of both, preparation and competition?
During JEE, our brains are still in the developing phase and the aspirants are mainly the students of Class 12th.
But in the GATE, we have a wide range of people appearing, varying from ages 22 to 30 (or even more), or students finishing B.Tech. Moreover, it is difficult to manage a bunch of subjects at once.
Both of these exams are incomaprable and have their own pros and cons.
My only advice to the aspirants is that they should stay focussed and never give up after getting bad results in the tests and keep oneself unaffected from distractions.