Hello everyone, I am Mahesh Singh Yadav. I secured All India Rank 10 in GATE 2019. I did my B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from YMCA University Faridabad in 2018. I was part of IES Master Test Series program. Test series are always helpful, and the test series of IES Master is up to the level of GATE.
- What were your marks in GATE 2019?
My marks were 89.31.
- Tell us about GATE 2019 paper?
The GATE 2019 paper was not so difficult. If anyone has prepared all the subjects well, and has not left any doubt untouched that he came across while giving the test series then there would not be any single question that he would not have solved. Committing mistakes in the Grammar part of English subject is unavoidable as while doing engineering, English is not given much importance.
- How was the technical part of GATE 2019? How much weightage was given to various subjects?
Weightage of questions was same as it generally is. Difficult questions from the chapter Velocity and Acceleration were asked as always. This time difficult questions from Vibration were also asked in Theory of Machines. A few students were saying that one question from Thick Cylinder was there that was out of syllabus, but I did not feel like that. In that aptitude application was required, and one could have easily solved it.
- How did IES Master Test Series help you?
Self study and going to libraries for reference is not enough. To know where you stand, it is very important to take test series. Even if you are taking coaching from anywhere else, test series is helpful as it helps you determine your weaknesses and strengths. Knowing your weakness will help you to improve, and knowing strengths will develop confidence in you.
While taking test series, I used to begin from the last by attempting 2-marks questions first. But in GATE, I don’t know why I felt that I should first attempt 1-mark questions first, and then move to 2-marks questions.
- What worked for you in GATE 2019?
The main thing that works in GATE is accuracy. Other than this, as the word ‘Aptitude’ is there in GATE, the other two things important to crack GATE are ‘Aptitude’ and ‘Concepts’. Concepts are very important. The difference between ESE and GATE is that in ESE the syllabus is vast, whereas GATE is completely conceptual based.
- What is the right time to start preparing for GATE?
There is no harm in starting early as you would be able to practice more and understand concepts in depth. You would be able to study standard books for which you get very less time. If you start your GATE preparation in the second or third year, you would be able to grasp the concepts easily. If you come across any doubt then you have enough time to watch IIT lectures on NPTEL. In the final year or last semester of your college, you would not have enough time to refer standard books. In that case, you can refer the classroom notes of any coaching institute. If you have enough time in your hands, you can study any subject in depth, and this in-depth study will help you in the final exam.
- When did you start preparing for GATE?
I wrote GATE in 2018 also, but at that time my main preference was Engineering Services. But I could not make up to the list of ESE Mains qualified students. Then I decided to prepare for GATE and ESE simultaneously, and did the same in the year 2019.
- You started preparing for GATE while studying in college only. How did you manage your study schedule?
In the first two years of college, as it happens with most of the students, I studied only during the time of exam with an intention of scoring average grades. But once you are in the third year, you feel like getting serious about studies as you start thinking about your future after passing out of college. You start thinking about various options after graduating like CAT, ESE, GATE, or Civil Services. After analysing myself, I thought of continuing my future in technical field only after graduation. As I come from a rural background, CAT was not an easy task for me. As far as Civil Services is concerned, I was not confident about going after it at an early stage.
- What was your daily study schedule?
There were no such definite hours for study, whenever I got time I had only two things to do – to study and to eat and sleep. For a student preparing for competition, this only should be the daily routine. If you are doing something else apart from study then you are deceiving yourself only.
- Which core subjects you focused while preparing for GATE?
If you want to see yourself among the top-100 then you have to prepare the entire syllabus of GATE because a simple question can come from any part. If you have not prepared that subject from which an easy question has come in the exam then you will lose marks. In such a competitive scenario, you cannot take the risk of leaving any subject. So you have to prepare all the subjects.
- Which are the two toughest subjects in your opinion?
I would not say that any particular subject is tough, but I can point out the tough topics from subjects. For instance, velocity and acceleration topic from Theory of Machines subject and Deflection topic from Strength of Material are the topics that I found on the tougher side.
- What about Robotics?
Robotics is not so tough in GATE, but in ESE it is tough. In GATE, a particular pattern is followed while including questions from Robotics, and the same pattern is followed in GATE always. Questions will be asked related to programming, G-force, or questions from BLU (Basic Length Unit) will be asked from Robotics topic in GATE.
- How did you prepare Thermodynamics?
In Thermodynamics, if you practice questions from the first law of thermodynamics then you would be able to solve them easily. If you study it normally then also, you would be able to solve questions from First Law of Thermodynamics. The only question that differentiates a student of 70-marks capacity from 80-marks capacity comes from Availability chapter. Tough questions from this chapter have been always coming, and keep on coming. If you are aware of this fact, and still play ignorant then it means that you are not serious about your GATE preparation.
- How were questions from Thermodynamics, Power Plant, Machines, etc.?
GATE syllabus from Power Plant is very short. It includes only Rankine cycle and Gas Turbine cycle. If you have studied Thermodynamics or Ice Engine thoroughly then there is no need of studying Power Plant. Just keep on writing test series, and you would be able to solve questions.
- How did you go about comprehending Theory of Machines?
Theory of Machines is a tough subject, and always tough questions are asked from it. So, one has to prepare first only those subjects that one finds tough because whatever you find tough, questions from them are going to come in the exam. Also, these subjects such as Velocity and Acceleration, Vibration, Gears and Gear Train, etc. have more weightage in the GATE.
- What about Production?
There are no concepts related to Production. In it, one has to remember the formulas only by not just writing on a piece of paper. Practice questions related to them, and you will memorise the formula automatically. Questions generally come from basic formulas, which are used much, but they are asked in an indirect manner. To answer such questions, your concepts should be clear in all the subjects.
- Any subject that I forgot to mention but it was important from preparation point of view?
All subjects were equally important. I guess, you forgot to mention Refrigeration and Air conditioning. From this subject, there is a probability of questions from Reverse Brayton Cycle, and from VCRS (Vapour Compression Refrigeration System). Very few theoretical questions are asked in GATE. Most of the questions are from concepts. For instance, practical questions like conventional questions come from Psychometry.
- Tell us about your family.
My father is an ex-serviceman from Indian Army. He is retired Honorary Captain, and my mother is a home maker. I have two elder sisters, who are both post graduate in Science.
- Take us through those very special moments when you shared your result with your parents and other family members.
When I shared the result with my family members they were not expecting that I would be securing AIR-10. But they were confident about one thing that I had prepared well and written the exam well without committing any silly mistakes. They were expecting my rank somewhere among the top 200 students, not among the top 10. In fact, I was also not expecting the same. They all congratulated me.
- Who is your role model, if any?
My role models are my parents, and in celebrities my role model is Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.
- Tell us about your schooling and your journey from there to college.
I have done my complete schooling from Yaduvanshi Shiksha Niketan in Mahendragarh district. Then after 12th standard, I got AIR 46,000 rank in JEE Mains without any coaching. Then I felt that I should take coaching, but due to some circumstances after that also I got the same ranking. Then I took admission in YMCA Faridabad, and made up my mind to face the competition again after completing my B.Tech. This college was near to Delhi, and if you want to take any test series, no matter if it is online or offline, you can do it from here. Also, the environment in the college was competitive. I found the college good, and took admission in it.
YMCA was earlier known as an engineering college only, but in 2009 it was made given the status of an university. Now many courses like M.Tech, M.Sc., MCA, are being conducted at YMCA Faridabad, and from year 2019 Civil Engineering and B.Sc. too have been included.
- How was the atmosphere in your college, give us a little feel of life in your college.
The students of YMCA are always in a chill mood. In the first two years of college, study part was like negligible. Students just target 7.5 or 8 grade, nothing more than that. But once you are in third year, you have to study as your family has expectations from you, and your future career is also there. You have to think about all this.
- After securing such a good GATE rank, what you intend to do – ESE, higher studies or PSUs?
As I said that I was out of the interview stage last year in ESE so this time I would first join any PSU, and then if I clear ESE this year then I would first see which department I am getting. If I am assigned Railways or Water Commission then I would leave PSU and go for Engineering Services.
- What would be your choice of PSU?
In PSU my first choice would be the Production department of ONGC, then IOCL, and then NTPC.
- What kept you motivated during your GATE preparation, given the fact that there are lows and highs? How did you manage yourself?
When ESE 2018 result was announced on 9th November, I had only one and half month in my hand for ESE 2019, and two and half months for GATE 2019. At that time I had to see which would be better for me. What I would be able to achieve. It required a very wise decision. If you are getting low ranks in test series, it does not matter. What matters is your ranking in the final exam, and till the final exam if you are able to improve your ranking then definitely it would reflect in the final exam.
- Tell us about your strategy in preparing short notes.
I used to prepare short notes of each and every subject that I studied, because as the ESE or GATE exams are near, you cannot study the entire syllabus. At that time, only short notes come handy, and I used to refer them only. In GATE, concepts rather than syllabus play an important role. For ESE, I studied short notes for the last 5 days, and for GATE, I referred the short notes only for the last three days.
- How did you manage your revision, given the fact that it’s quite a huge syllabus, what was your pattern to ensure that no subject was left out?
Many students don’t write the test series as they fear that they don’t remember the formulas. Till date no such formula has been asked in GATE that is hard or difficult to remember. If there is any hard formula asked, it is mentioned. Formula doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are writing the exam. While writing the test, if you come across any question that you think should not come in the real GATE then it means that you need to study that topic. May be any question from that topic comes in the actual GATE. Never leave any such topics. This will also help you in determining which topics are your weakness, and what are your strengths.
- What are the biggest mistakes that aspirants commit during GATE preparation?
The biggest mistake is that they do not write tests. If they fear of scoring less marks in tests and getting de-motivated then I think it is the biggest mistake. In my opinion, scoring low in tests can motivates you also to perform good by overcoming your mistakes. If you would not write tests then I guess that hardly one out of thousand students would come into the list of top-100 students. If someone has prepared for GATE on its own, then also he writes tests. Tests are very important, one should not skip them.
Second important thing is to be careful about units. While solving a question from beginning to end, one should keep in mind the unit on which the solution is proceeding. The most important thing is that one should take the entire GATE syllabus in SI units.
- What would be your message to your juniors at YMCA Faridabad?
There is an environment and trend of competition already there in the college as every year GATE and ESE rankers are coming. When my juniors meet me, they are already more passionate about competition. I would like to say to all of them that do not tell a lie to your own. You can speak lie in front of your family, teachers, but somewhere you would feel that you are doing wrong with yourself. You started preparation but you are not able to prove yourself. So do not tell lie to yourself, you will definitely achieve success everywhere.
- It is such a pleasure talking to you. You have been an excellent student here at IES Master. It’s been an honour for us to see you here. Thank you for giving us time.
Thank you, sir.