When i decided to take Gate, i started looking for the information from friends, teachers and internet. information i got from various sources was in bits and pieces, here i have tried to put it all in one place.
'Planning for this quarter was done two years ago' - Jeff Bezos
After recommendation from couple of friends, I joined coaching in January 2014 that’s when i started my preparation. i followed two step approach, understanding the concepts and practicing problems. in first step i would go through the class notes, study material and reference books(as per need) and try to clear the concepts.(i also referred class notes from one other coaching institute which my friend had shared with me). in second step i solved the practice problems from study material provided by classes and previous year gate questions, as much as i could of the corresponding subject.
'Fear of failure is worse than the failure itself.'
Since I was working, I attended classes on weekend and did what little study I could during weekdays. on an average i used to study one hour everyday. initially i was lagging behind but later on i was able to cope up with the help of my class friends and i am very thankful to them. they were also helpful when i was not able to make a schedule or had issues with preparation. for me they acted as a source of guidance and motivation in the state when i was not able to take a decision.
'When you got nothing. You got nothing to lose.'
though it is advisable that you finish studying syllabus whatever you have planned to cover by December so that you have enough time for revision, I could not make it till second week of January, because i was struggling with some topics but finally when i was done it was a big relief. you don’t need to rush behind covering entire syllabus. you can drop topics which you find off putting. I had left Compiler Design for the same reason.
'Now If you know what you are worth , then go out and get what you are worth' - Rocky Balboa
joining a test series is very essential. Every test exposed me some part of the syllabus that i was not proficient with, or had missed to cover. then i would go back to books, clear that topic and again come back to problems. at the start of the test series i got very low scores, as i had not revised entire syllabus yet, didn't worry much about it. in following chart you can see how my scores improved as i progressed with preparation and revision.
'Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success' - Swami Vivekananda
The second half of February i used for revision alone. tried to revise the entire syllabus i studied, The notebooks i made and short notes i prepared. I also maintained small booklet throughout, in which i noted down important points, formulas and things which i found hard to remember. And this booklet was the only thing which i revised before going to exam.
Note please.. Drink lots of water, Have fruits and healthy meal and have enough sleep, especially during last 3-4 months.
'If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will.'
Last but not the least. Quality and competency of the education that you get in the IIT's is undoubtedly the top notch. But for some reasons if you could not make it do not consider this as the end. There are a number of finest institutions that are equally good and offer quality education. Because what truly matters is your dream to pursue quality higher education and as long as you are able to achieve it, you are undefeated.
Your comments and suggestions are most welcome :)