Best GATE Preparation Strategies and Tips followed by Toppers | How to get Rank 1 in GATE

GATE, Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is one of the most prestigious platform and it’s a matter of honor to qualify this national-level exam. This is so because it signifies your knowledge about your subject during graduation. In 21st century, a graduate is no more unique entity in crowd of millions of graduates. Thus, GATE preparation plays pivotal role in defining the quality of graduates in India. The GATE preparation for graduates is the most mysterious fact. Few important points for GATE preparation are

  1. Start studying
  2. Consistency and Sincerely with yourself
  3. Stick to syllabus topics
  4. Previous Year Question CONCEPTS
  5. Take care of Health

Although there are many other factors which influence your GATE preparation but these five are the most dominant aspects which influence 70% -80% of your GATE preparation. I have been through many GATE questions in last 3-4 years. There are many unpredictable questions which I have come across. Although, till 2013, GATE questions used to follow a certain pattern from previous years, but these days, 30% questions are more complicated and identified from new and unique concepts. This percentage has been raised from 5% to 30% and therefore, it is important to focus equally on preparation. Also, it is important to note that if you have no idea of the new concepts then other people who are preparing for GATE, may also skip those questions. So, in order to give great attempt, understand the concepts such that you should not skip questions from those topics which you have already read.

I have read XYZ topic, I should know this question

Again, do not be so rigid with your preparation. Even if you have read the topic and still you are not sure about the answer, you MAY skip this. Remember, this is one of those national-level exams which have highest negative marking. During question paper, every question attempted by you is categorized into following

  1. I know the answer and got the option
  2. I know the answer but confused in some options
  3. I know the answer but didn’t get the option
  4. I guess this could be the answer… vaguely
  5. I guess this could be the answer… intelligently

You are safe in case 1. But rest of the cases, you may remove one by one with lots of preparation and practice. Test series will help you to determine how good your guess is for the question in GATE exam among 4 and 5. If it is intelligent guess, try to guess some questions in exam. Case 3 is when you have completed your graduation but your concepts are not clear upto that mark.

P.S.: Even if you are in following Case 1, you may pick wrong answer. Because there is lot of difference but minor line in identifying that you know the concept and in knowing the answer.

With this, you should plan your preparations accordingly and choose the preparation strategy as per your knowledge level and understanding. Many average candidates tend to follow Long Terms preparation and tend to achieve good marks in GATE. But some intelligent minds follow short term GATE preparation and few needs time to grasp the concepts.

Advanced GATE Preparation

(November 2018 – February ‘2020)

The Advanced level preparations are started in odd semester (Computer GATE Preparation starting from 5th Semester) and drop outs using following steps:

  1. Pick GATE Syllabus
  2. Go through previous years and identify which subjects you are strong with
  3. Pick one subject and start watching NPTEL videos and take print out of NPTEL video lecture pdf
  4. Start listening videos and following lecture pdf. Read pdf

Now you have understood complete topic…

  1. Solve questions of the related topic from previous years
  2. Understand why you are not able to solve 30%-60% of the question (depending upon your seriousness of preparation)
  3. Spend 1 day and try to search other related stuff (Video lectures from institutes which are available free of cost on youtube)

Now you have solved previous years

  1. Pick another topic and Go to first step.

After 1 week

Revise and make notes

Revision should be in the form of: after 7 days, after 15 days, after 30 days and then after 45 days

For each subject follow the strategy above


  1. Begin Test series on 1 June of the previous year of examination
  2. Do not think you will join test series after preparation because GATE preparation never ends
  3. Attempt test series
  4. Understand CONCEPTS of questions from test series
  • Revise Revise Revise
  • Make short notes during after 30 days stack of revision process: [after 7 days, after 15 days, after 30 days and then after 45 days]
  • Learn More till you achieve rank in Top 10.
  • Main consistent rank in tests. Target top 50 in every test

Long Term GATE Preparation

(July 2018 – February 2019)

Final year students follow Long term GATE preparation as follows:

  1. Find potential GATE channels and make GATE preparation strategy using topper’s interviews.
  2. Listen to videos and make your own notes. Understand one topic each day.
  3. Solve previous years and understand previous years concepts

Importance of Test series

It is very important to attempt test series

  1. Join test series in first week of September.
  2. Always give test no matter how your preparation is
  3. Try to score well in tests
  4. Revise questions of test series


  1. Solve previous years minimum 3 times with concepts
  2. Understand the CONCEPTS of questions of test series of MADE EASY
  3. Attempt test only in the session of 9am -12noon or 2pm-5pm
  4. When you study, sit in 3 hours session and then take a break


  1. Waste time in collecting more and more study material

It is more important to retain in brain than collecting and forgetting lot of study material

Follow Super 7 Strategy for GATE preparation

This strategy has been followed by large number of toppers and they think, it works. I have heard this from 18 potential GATE top 100 scorers out of 22 whom I have spoken to, that they followed super 7 strategy for GATE preparation

It says

  1. Choose 7 subjects which you can master such that you do not leave un-attempted question in this
  2. These seven subjects should include Mathematics and not include aptitude or english
  3. Try to figure out important subjects before you go.
  4. Other subjects should not be left out completely. Prepare them as well but 7 subjects should be mastered

Short Term GATE Preparation Tips

(November 2018 – February 2019)

  1. Go through notes which are available in pdf form on internet
  2. Follow a discussion forum to get instant answers and concepts
  3. Solve all previous year questions atleast twice with CONCEPTS
  4. Give full length test series of MADE EASY and evaluate yourself from time to time
  5. This much is enough to secure rank in top 500 if you dedicate 12 quality hours per day.

One Month Before GATE

(January 2019 – February 2019)

  1. Revise short notes
  2. Revise test series questions concepts
  3. Revise previous years
  4. Do not study anything new
  5. Try to retain as you revise.
  6. Focus more and create quick notes to be read two days before exam
  7. Take care of your health
  8. Atleast 15 days before, get regular nap from 10:30 pm to 6:30 am

Do not read anything 15 hours before exam

Good Luck!

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