Hi, I am Vishal Tiku. I secured AIR-9 in GATE 2019 Civil Engineering. I did my B.Tech from NIT Srinagar in 2018. I started my preparation for GATE in 2017. I opted IES Master Online Test Series, and I must say that it was the most important part of my journey towards achieving this feat. The test series put up really typical questions and it helped me to strengthen my concepts, and improve my short notes in a better way.
- What were your marks in GATE 2019?
I scored 82.08 marks. My GATE score is 959.
- How was the paper? How different it was from previous year?
The paper this year was tough. There were many typical questions which were asked this year. Last year’s paper was easy. More number of questions were on the average side, but this year there were some typical hard level questions.
- Can you specify the subjects from which the hard questions were?
The questions from Structure Analysis part were really hard this time.
- Take us through that moment when you shared the result with your family.
When I broke this news to my family, they said Okay… that’s good. Actually they were not able to express their emotions. They were like, Okay… it’s good. But they were not able to express the euphoria.
- Tell us about your native place.
I am from Jammu, which is my home town and native place. Jammu is a part of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a good city with all the hustle and bustle. The pace of life is good. Every facility is available there, and the best thing is that people there are nice.
- Tell us about your schooling.
I have done my schooling from Army Public School, Kaluchak. Being an army school, the discipline, and the education, everything was superb, excellent.
- Tell us about your journey from school to B.Tech college.
My journey started from giving JEE Mains in 2014. I secured AIR 44,000, and I got admitted into NIT Srinagar in Civil Engineering branch. The journey has many ups and downs throughout the college, but ultimately it was a great experience. The college life is worth the experience. It was a great experience.
- Tell us a little about your preparation schedule.
My preparation schedule was like I used to wake up at 8 AM. After my breakfast and all, I started my day at 11 AM, and I used to study till 11 PM or 12 AM. I took 8 to 8 and half hours sleep every day. No compromise with sleep.
- When actually did you start preparing for GATE?
I started my preparation in August 2017.
- It means you were still in college when you started your preparation. What were the difficulties that you faced while preparing for GATE along with your college studies?
What I did was to focus more on GATE. I used to study for semester exams a week before the exam, more focus was on GATE only.
- As you were preparing for GATE along with your college studies, what was the impact on your semester grades?
Of course it works because once you are in GATE, your basic concepts really get strengthened. The basic fundamental formulas and basic concepts, you really get a good command over those concepts, and simply for semester exams, you have to make some twists and turns. It’s more on the theoretical side, but getting concepts right is the key. It was helpful.
- When the news broke in your native place and at your college NIT Srinagar that you have scored AIR-9 in GATE 2019, what was the reaction?
Everyone was really happy. They were wishing me best of luck for the future. The faculty and the director, they were really happy about it. Everyone in the college was happy about it.
- What kept you motivated during your preparation?
The need for job in the public sector was the real aim behind GATE, and that only kept me motivated.
- What is so special about PSUs that you want to get in?
The work-life balance in PSUs, and the salary packages are the two main factors that excited me to join public sector. Also, by doing so you are serving the nation in a good way. That was the real motivation.
- How did you prepare short notes?
I started preparing short notes in January. In short notes, I kept the basic formulas.
- What would be your advice to your juniors from your college?
Just be consistent with your studies. Hard work is the key. But the thing is do opt for test series, and be consistent like revise daily. You have to prepare new concepts daily, and you have to give tests right from the beginning. You can’t wait for completing the syllabus first, and then giving the test. No, that’s not the way. The thing is you have to opt for the test. You have to give the tests right from the beginning, and work on it. Come out of these mistakes. You have to strengthen your concepts by giving the tests. So tests are really the bottom part of it.
- How did IES Master test series help you structure your preparation?
IES Master test series include questions which are a bit on the difficult side, but those questions are really important. The trend has been in the past few years that GATE has been asking really typical questions. Few questions are really typical questions. IES Master test series help you to overcome those difficulties, and get these typical questions right. That way you achieve the top rank.
- Coming to the core subjects i.e. Soil, Structure Analysis, Environment, how did you go about preparing for these subjects?
For these subjects, I read the standard books two times. First time I gave it a thorough study, solve as many questions as I can, and second time I started preparing notes. The thing about these core subjects is that you have to practice a lot. You have to practice more and more questions, as many questions that you can. Moreover, try to revise these subjects daily because they involve lot of formulas. Revision is the key when you are dealing with these core subjects.
- While preparing for GATE, did you ever come across any second thought?
Lows come in every aspirant’s journey. They are a part of your journey, but the thing is that you have to be motivated. Sad moments and depression have come into my journey also, but you have to overcome those moments. Keep focus on your ultimate goal.
- What would be your advice to your juniors regarding the right time to start preparing for GATE?
Preparing from the third year is the ideal time I guess. Start preparing from third year, it would really help you in your semester exams and you would get to know about the concepts at an early stage, and this would help you in GATE exam as well.
- How did you go about revision i.e. cyclic revision, and carrying out the entire syllabus?
Whenever you are preparing for a subject, you would encounter new subject but you have to keep up with the old subjects also that you have prepared. So revision is the key. Keep revising old subjects, and start picking up new subjects as well.
- How many subjects were you reading generally in a day?
I used to study one subject in a day, but I gave one or two hours to revise the previous subjects also.
- It is an absolute honour to have someone like you with us at our institute. We thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is an absolute delight to have you as part of IES Master.
Thank you, sir.