How to Efficiently Prepare for GATE Exam Along with College Studies?

How to Efficiently Prepare for GATE Exam Along with College Studies?

Aligning your college studies with your GATE exam preparation is highly advisable, especially considering the recent modifications in the GATE eligibility criteria, which now allow third-year students to appear for the exam.

While it is beneficial to align your college studies with your GATE exam preparation, it can be a demanding endeavor to juggle both responsibilities. With the latest alterations in the GATE eligibility criteria, enabling third-year students to participate in the exam, it becomes even more crucial to manage your time effectively. College life encompasses various commitments like exams, assignments, projects, as well as co-curricular and extracurricular activities, adding to the challenge.

To ensure efficient preparation for the GATE exam while fulfilling college obligations, effective time management and planning are essential. Developing a well-structured routine to manage daily tasks is crucial. By creating a realistic plan and adhering to it diligently, you increase your chances of success. Here are some valuable tips to optimize your GATE preparation alongside your college studies.

To excel in your upcoming GATE Exam, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern. GATE (Graduate Engineering Aptitude Test) is a highly competitive national-level exam administered annually by IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IISc (Indian Institute of Science), in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

With approximately 8 to 9 lakh students appearing for the exam each year, having a thorough understanding of the exam pattern becomes advantageous in devising an effective preparation strategy. It allows you to anticipate the types of questions that may be asked and formulate appropriate study techniques.

To maximize your preparation efforts, it is essential to grasp the marking scheme, question formats, significant dates, and other pertinent details about the GATE exam. Acquiring this knowledge in advance will aid in planning and executing a well-structured study approach. Here are some fundamental aspects you should be aware of regarding the GATE 2024 exam.

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Understanding the exam pattern gives you an edge in making an efficient preparation strategy. It will also help you understand what type of questions can be expected in the exam. Understand the marking scheme, questions types, important date and other details about the exam beforehand. Here are some basic details about GATE 2022 that you need to know.

Details GATE 2024
Exam Conducting Body IITs, IISc, MHRD together.
Exam Type Computer-Based Test, Objective type
Types of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
Multiple Select Questions (MSQ)
Numerical Answer Type (NAT)
Negative Marking 0.33 for 1 mark MCQs
0.66 for 2 mark MCQs
No. of Subject Papers 27
Levels Single
Exam Date February – 2nd or 3rd week
Exam Duration 3 Hrs
Eligibility Engineering/ Science/ Technical/ Social Science & Humanities graduation
Age Limit Nil
Application Fee 750-1500 INR
Exam Pattern Total 65 Questions
(10 General Aptitude+55 Subject)
Admit Card Availability January
Final Result March – 2nd or 3rd week

Understand the GATE syllabus:

1. Once the GATE conducting institute releases the syllabus, it is crucial to visit their official website and download a copy of the syllabus. A comprehensive understanding of the syllabus serves as a valuable roadmap, enabling you to focus your efforts on the prescribed areas and concepts instead of wasting time on irrelevant topics.

2. By familiarizing yourself with the syllabus, you can effectively plan your study schedule and develop a productive strategy. It is advisable to keep a printed or digital copy of the syllabus readily accessible for future reference.

3. Carefully examine the syllabus and compare it with your semester syllabus to identify areas that require more attention. This comparative analysis aids in prioritizing your study time and resources accordingly.

Create a preparation strategy:

When devising a preparation strategy for the GATE exam, it is important to tailor it to your individual learning preferences, subject knowledge, interests, and study patterns. Here are some steps to create a personalized and effective preparation strategy:

1. Self-assessment: Identify your strong and weak areas by evaluating your subject knowledge. This will help you allocate time and resources accordingly.

2. Balanced approach: Develop a balanced approach to your studies, considering both the GATE exam and your regular course. Divide your time and focus between the two, ensuring that neither is neglected.

3. Time management: Divide your daily study time for each subject. Set learning targets for the day, week, and month to track your progress and stay motivated.

4. Prioritization: Prioritize subjects based on their importance in the GATE exam. Allocate more time to subjects that carry higher weightage.

5. Categorization: Categorize topics within each subject as difficult/easy and most important/less important. This will help you allocate time and effort effectively, focusing on areas that require more attention.

6. Weightage consideration: Allocate more time to subject papers and dedicate reasonable time to General Studies/Current Affairs, aligning with their respective weightage in the exam.

7. Systematic approach: Create a study schedule that aligns with your energy levels and preferences. If you are more productive at night, adjust your study time accordingly.

8. Personalization: Adapt the preparation strategy to suit your sleeping patterns, habits, and preferences. By doing so, you can optimize your productivity and effectiveness.

By following these steps, you can create a personalized and systematic preparation strategy for the GATE exam that maximizes your chances of success.

Create a timetable:

After finalizing your preparation strategy, it’s essential to create a realistic and achievable timetable to structure your study routine. Here’s a suggested timetable that can be adapted based on your specific schedule:

1. Morning Study:

– Wake up early to study before your online classes begin.

– Allocate 1-2 hours for GATE preparation during this time.

– Focus on concept revision and solving sample tests.

2. College Hours:

– Utilize the dedicated 8 hours of your college schedule effectively.

– If you have breaks or free time during this period, use it for online tests or quizzes on simpler topics like General Studies and Engineering Aptitude.

3. Leisure and Self-Care:

– After your college sessions, take some time for leisure activities and self-care.

– Engage in activities that refresh and rejuvenate you, ensuring overall well-being.

4. College Exam and Assignments:

– Allocate 2-3 hours to work on your college exams, projects, assignments, and other academic requirements.

– Prioritize your college commitments while maintaining a balance with your GATE preparation.

5. Evening GATE Preparation:

– Take a short break and then resume your GATE preparation.

– Dedicate a focused block of time for studying concepts and solving sample tests.

– Aim for 2-3 hours of concentrated study during this period.

6. Sleep Routine:

– Ensure you get a sufficient amount of sleep, aiming for 7-8 hours each day.

– Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to support your overall study routine and maintain good health.

Remember to customize this timetable according to your specific needs and preferences. It is crucial to find a balance between your college commitments and GATE preparation while allowing time for rest and rejuvenation.


1. Regular revision is crucial to keep your studies on track.

2. Develop the habit of taking notes during online classes or while reading materials.

3. Include dedicated time slots in your timetable for regular revisions.

4. During revision, focus on noting down core ideas, concepts, terms, and equations using concise words.

5. These notes will serve as a quick reference during your final revision.

Find your study materials:

When it comes to finding study materials for your GATE preparation, consider the following suggestions:

1. Online Coaching: Conduct thorough research to identify reputable institutes that offer online coaching for GATE preparation. Assess the effectiveness and affordability of their courses. Joining an online coaching program can provide a structured and time-bound system for your preparation, with classes, live sessions, and regular tests to keep you focused and systematic.

2. Postal Study Materials: Another option is to opt for postal study materials from well-known coaching institutes. This choice offers flexibility in your study schedule, making it suitable for self-motivated individuals who prefer self-paced learning.

3. Resource Evaluation: Evaluate the quality of study materials available online, such as video lectures, e-books, and practice questions. Look for reliable sources and check for positive reviews and recommendations from trusted individuals or online communities.

4. Study Groups and Forums: Engage with online study groups, forums, or social media communities focused on GATE preparation. These platforms allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, share resources, and discuss relevant topics.

Remember, the choice of study materials may depend on your learning style, preferences, and availability. It’s important to select materials that align with your needs and help you prepare effectively for the GATE exam.

Doing online tests and previous year questions:

Incorporating online tests and solving previous year question papers into your GATE preparation can be highly beneficial. Here are the advantages of including these practices:

1. Performance Assessment: Solving previous year question papers allows you to assess your performance continually. It helps you identify areas where you need improvement, enabling you to adjust your study pattern accordingly.

2. Study Organization: By solving previous year questions, you can better understand the requirements and pattern of the exam. This knowledge helps you structure your study routine to align with the exam’s demands.

3. Time Management: Practicing with previous year papers enhances your time-management skills. It trains you to allocate time effectively to each type of question, ensuring that you utilize the exam hours efficiently.

4. Familiarity with Question Patterns: Solving previous years’ questions enables you to become familiar with the exam’s question patterns. You can identify recurring or frequently asked questions, allowing you to prioritize specific topics during your preparation.

5. Understanding Scoring Methodology: By solving previous year papers, you can gain insights into the scoring methodology used in the exam. This understanding helps you strategize your approach and optimize your score.

Incorporating online tests and solving previous year question papers into your preparation routine contributes to a comprehensive and well-rounded study approach, increasing your chances of success in the GATE exam.

Self-motivation and willpower:

Self-motivation and willpower play a crucial role in preparing for the GATE exam alongside your studies. Here are some tips to stay motivated and determined throughout your preparation:

1. Strong Determination: Develop a strong mindset and make a firm commitment to achieve your goals. Train your mind to believe that you are capable of accomplishing whatever it takes to succeed.

2. Seek Inspiration: Surround yourself with inspiring stories of students, entrepreneurs, and successful individuals who have overcome challenges and achieved their goals. Their experiences can motivate and encourage you during tough times.

3. Focus on the Positive: Maintain a positive outlook and focus on the progress you have made rather than dwelling on setbacks. Learn from your mistakes, adapt your approach, and move forward with enthusiasm.

4. Be Kind to Yourself: Avoid being too hard on yourself if you don’t meet all your learning goals. Recognize that everyone has their own pace of progress. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and appreciate the efforts you put in.

5. Take Breaks: It’s important to listen to your body and mind. If you feel tired or stressed out, take short breaks to recharge. Engage in activities you enjoy or practice self-care techniques to rejuvenate yourself.

6. Believe in Yourself: Have unwavering faith in your abilities and believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Visualize the outcome of your hard work and keep your focus on the rewards and opportunities that await you.

Remember, with determination, planning, and a positive mindset, you can overcome challenges and achieve success in both the GATE exam and your college studies. Stay motivated, stay focused, and believe in your potential. Best of luck on your journey towards your dreams!


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