GATE Exam Preparation – What is the Best Time to Start Preparing for GATE Exam?

21 January, 2024
parthiva mewawala
gate exam preparation

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a challenging examination that opens doors to numerous opportunities in the world of engineering and technology. Whether you’re aiming for a master’s degree, seeking a research career, or aspiring to work with top-notch companies, a good GATE score is your ticket to success. However, the question that often plagues aspirants is, “When is the best time to start GATE exam preparation?” This blog post will help you decide the ideal timing to kick-start your GATE journey.

Here is how you can start your GATE exam preparation at the right time


Early Bird Gets the Worm: Start in Your Pre-Final Year

Starting your GATE preparation during your pre-final year of undergraduate studies is often considered the most advantageous approach. Here’s why:

  1. Ample time: If you are aiming for a Rank below 100 in GATE along with your B.Tech., you need to allocate around 700 hours for complete syllabus preparation and approximately 500 hours for practice, revision and test series. So if you start in your pre-final year, around 1.5 to 2 years are available until the exam. If you read for an average of 3 hours every day for two years, around 2000 hours are available to comprehensively cover all the topics, practice all the previous year’s questions and revise the syllabus multiple times before the GATE exam.
  2. Conceptual Clarity: Your concepts are fresh and clear since you’re still in academic mode. Building on this foundation can be more effective than trying to relearn later.
  3. Test Run: As of now, all engineering graduates are eligible to write the GATE exam from 3rd year onwards. So, if a student starts preparing after the 4th semester, clearly, they have the upper hand in this highly competitive exam. GATE preparation after the 4th semester also helps the aspirant secure well in the semester exams, directly increasing the CGPA. So if an aspirant prepares at least 4-5 subjects and appears in GATE in the 3rd year, it gives the proper idea to the aspirant about the difficulty level of questions and the depth of the concepts which an aspirant should prepare for the GATE exam.
  4. Reduced Pressure: You can distribute your study hours more evenly and avoid last-minute cramming, reducing stress significantly.


Final Year Focus: An Alternative Approach

If you’re already in your final year of undergraduate studies, don’t despair. Many successful GATE toppers began their preparation during this phase. Here’s how you can make it work:

  1. Intensive Study: Allocate more time to your GATE preparation in your final year, ensuring rigorous study and practice.
  2. Strategic Approach: Concentrate on your core subjects and prioritise topics with higher weightage in the GATE exam.
  3. Previous Year Papers: Solve previous year question papers to understand the exam pattern and difficulty level.


Working Professionals: Balancing Act

Finding the right time to start can be tricky if you’re a working professional contemplating your GATE exam preparation. However, it’s not impossible. Consider these factors:

  1. Work-Life Balance: Assess your work commitments and the time you can realistically devote to GATE preparation. Consider part-time courses or evening classes if necessary.
  2. Weekend Warrior: Utilize weekends and evenings efficiently. Dedicate focused study sessions to maximise your learning.
  3. Longer Timeline: You might need a longer preparation duration than full-time students, but persistence and consistency can lead to success.


Gap Year Strategy: A Break from Academics

Some individuals choose to take a gap year specifically for GATE preparation. Here’s how to make it work:

  1. Dedicated Year: Treat your GATE preparation as a full-time job during your gap year. Create a study schedule and stick to it religiously.
  2. Coaching Institutes: Consider enrolling in a coaching institute for structured guidance and a competitive environment.
  3. Mock Tests: Take regular mock tests to gauge your progress and identify areas of improvement.

In conclusion, there is no universal “best” time to start GATE exam preparation. It largely depends on your individual circumstances and goals. Whether you’re a student in your pre-final year, a final year undergraduate, a working professional, or taking a gap year, the key is to plan strategically, stay disciplined, and work consistently toward your goal. Remember that GATE preparation is a journey, and the most crucial aspect is your effort, regardless of when you begin. So, start your journey when it makes the most sense for you, and give it your all! And if you have any questions and are looking for guidance, just fill out the form by clicking the link below and our mentors will get on a call with youGATE online coaching