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GATE Preparation Tips | How To Prepare For GATE 2020 – SuperProfs


GATE (General Aptitude Test in Engineering) is one of the toughest exams in India. And being such a populous country with everyone trying to make their mark in the world, a whole lot of people appear for the exam. So on top of being the toughest, it’s also an extremely competitive exam.
|GATE Study Plan|

As such, you really cannot go ahead with studying random subjects, at random times based on your liking. A study plan is a very valuable asset to you at such times. 

Here’s a popular quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin –
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

So let’s go ahead and try to figure out some simple steps to help you plan your studies.

GATE Exam study plan 2020

When And How To Prepare For GATE 2020

If you’re thinking about appearing for the GATE exam, there’s no right time to start. The obvious answer is to start as early as possible for you without disturbing your engineering exam studies. 

Generally, beginning your preparation in your 3rd of the 4th year of engineering is a good idea as the subjects and topics in your college/university, and the ones in the GATE exam become relatable. 

Few facts about GATE

Before we go to the tips for GATE preparation, we need to understand that 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. The GATE score of an applicant reflects the relative execution level of a competitor and is valid for a period of three years only, from the date of announcement of results. The examination is an online computer-based test (CBT), which contains multiple-choice questions (MCQ).

A quick look at the GATE 2020 exam pattern

Mode of Exam: Online Mode

Subjects: 23 different subjects

Type of Questions: MCQ and Numerical type

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Duration: 3 hours.

Number of Questions: 65 Questions

Sections common to All GATE Papers: General Aptitude

Maximum Marks: 100 marks

Negative Marking: 1/3rd marks will be deducted for every incorrect answer. However, 2/3 rd marks will be deducted in case of question carrying 2 Marks.

GATE Preparation Tips for GATE 2020

Now that you have an understanding of what the exam is all about, let’s get right to how you can plan your preparation. The general advice here is to make sure you have the least number of things at a time.

Understand the subject, don’t memorize: GATE is an exam that tests your level of understanding rather than your capability to memorize a subject. Since everyone won’t understand the same subjects with the same ease, it’s better to figure out which subjects are difficult for you, and then plan your time slots according to that. 

Spend time understanding the subject first, then move on to GATE specific preparation. Remember though, if you feel that you will not be able to complete the subject understanding part before the exam, go right into GATE specific preparation.

Maintain a balance: If you’re studying for your college exams and preparing for the GATE, don’t forget to maintain a balance between the two. The GATE exam without a college degree is of no use. Make more time for your college when the exams are closer, then switch to preparing for GATE once you’re done with your college exams.

Few good books are better than a lot of average ones: You will see a lot of your peers roaming around collecting as many books as they can. It doesn’t make any sense to do that. 

The best way to find good books is to first find interviews of candidates who’ve topped the GATE exams in the previous year and collate the list of books that are mentioned by them. And don’t forget your teachers. They can certainly help you narrow down your choices of books making it much less exhausting to study.

Consistency or learning in bursts: We’re all a culprit of such behaviour. One day, we’re too lazy to think of studying or anything for that matter, and a couple days later, it suddenly strikes us that the exams are closer. We get up right away and end up studying for the entire day.

This is what motivation looks like for most people:

This kind of motivation will help no one, and you need to make sure your motivation stays constant from the beginning to the end. 

Remember to have a daily plan, and make sure you begin your day by looking at that plan and starting from what your first task is- until you complete the task list. Take breaks but don’t stop until you finish your list of tasks for the day. 

This will help you get over the motivational barrier of “not wanting” to study.

Basics first approach: When you begin the studies, focus more on the foundations of the subjects that you’re planning to take up. If you begin with the complex topics, it will make you feel incapable, when in fact, all you need is to understand the basics of that topic. 

So allot some time in the beginning phases of your study to fully understand the basics of all the subjects that are in your branch.

To join a coaching institute or not: Make this decision early on. Once you’ve gone over the basics of the subject and you believe you have a good grasp of the subjects, by all means, take up self-studying. Coaching doesn’t usually add much value if you’re able to understand the subjects yourself. And even when you don’t understand certain topics, a coaching institute helps you clear those doubts, after which it’s your duty to go back home and study. 

So all in all, if you seem to have a lot of doubts with no one around to help you with those, go ahead and join coaching. 

If you are clear on your topics, or even maybe have doubts that someone in your house or around you can help you with, there’s really no reason to join a coaching institute. 

Online Coaching for GATE Exam

After the previous point about choosing between coaching or self-study, you may be wondering what the right fit for you is. If you need a solid coach while having the freedom of time, you should look into online coaching. 

We offer comprehensive video lectures delivered by instructors who are experts in their specific subjects. You have 24×7 access to those lectures and can go through them as many times as you want until the end of your subscription period. 

Depending on the branch of your choice, you can click on the link below to view free video lecture samples, the curriculum, and more information about the courseware.


The preparation for your GATE 2020 exam is going to be exhausting but a really worthwhile one. The knowledge and understanding that you will gain here will help you a lot in your future. Make sure you take the time to understand the subjects before and after your exam so when the time comes to execute, you should be able to do so.

You can watch a few demo lectures by SuperProfs for GATE and see if you would want to consider subscribing to our video series for a better shot at clearing the GATE examination.

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