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GATE Preparation | A step by step guide to success in GATE 

This is a complete step by step guide on how to prepare for GATE. We get a ton of questions on GATE preparation from a lot of students. We have prepared this elaborate guide to help you crack GATE.

How to prepare for GATE ?

When you think of it as a whole, it will look like a very difficult task - and leads to performance pressure. Start small, break down your big plan into smaller achievable goals. Create a do-able one page plan strategy for the day. Achieving these small goals will give you satisfaction and help you stay motivated!

“Small daily improvements lead to stunning results”

Eventually, with the right planning and work you will crack GATE and get a top rank.


Just spend 10 minutes on this article, and all your questions will be answered. Below is a trailer what we will be seeing soon in this step by step guide. 

How to prepare for GATE ?

1. Analyse GATE syllabus and subject-wise weightage
2. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses. 
3. Find the right resources and books 
4. Make a study plan and daily lists 
5. Attack topic by topic 
6. Prepare your own short notes
7. Revision and Practice
8. Improve your accuracy
9. Create a positive environment around you
10. Stay focussed


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Aditya - Founder of APSEd Civil Engineering

APSEd Founders

Hi! I am Aditya, co-founded APSEd with Palaniappan.


Our brain can accumulate and memorize things to a certain extent. Once it is overloaded, some of the facts and formulas you remembered fade away over time.


All this becomes easier once we understand the concept and know how to apply them. This is what we strive to achieve through our courses. 

Our Courses + Your Effort = Success in exams!

1. Analyse GATE syllabus and subject-wise weightage

First and foremost, download the GATE syllabus from official IIT website. The syllabus is given subject-wise and further broken down into topics.


If possible, write down the topics list wise and tick them as and when you finish them. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and you can structure and track your preparation as well. 

Next, download last 3-4 year papers and find out the easy and high scoring subjects. It is advisable to do this exercise yourself as this will help in giving the feel of the exam. Keep in mind, GATE pattern changes over the years. Ten year old question paper analysis are no longer relevant.

If you find it difficult, you can always google it and check the weightage of each subject. You can check our GATE Civil Engineering subject-wise weightage and similarly there will be other places to check out for other engineering streams. This will give you a rough idea which subjects are important.


2. Analyse your strengths and weaknesses

After you analyse GATE syllabus, move on to analysing your strengths and weaknesses.


You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you'll suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses so that they don't matter in the work you do.

3. Find the right resources and books 

Finding the right resource is a MUST. Do not waste your limited time searching for resources. It is not advisable to read the same topic from different materials, stick to one.


There are online classes / offline coaching or you can study on your own. Decide early.


Should I go for self study or GATE coaching?

4. Make a study plan and daily lists

This is the most important aspect of studying - making a study plan based on your analysis from the previous step. Once you make the study plan, create daily lists 

Before making the study plan, estimate the time remaining for exam starting today and how much time you can allocate per day for GATE preparation. Leave about 15% of the time left or a month or two just for revision and practice. Keep the following things ready before planning. 

  • Time left for exam

  • Time you can allocate per day for GATE preparation

  • Weightage of each subject (From last 3-4 year papers)

  • Your existing knowledge on subject, classify them as strong, medium and weak


Never ignore any topic. Instead of skipping topics, if you do not have time, giving a glance to minor topics which haven’t appeared in exams will help, you can answer if you had taken a glance of the topic without going deep.

Manage your time effectively and track your performance by creating daily lists. 

5. Attack topic by topic 

It is important to study topic-wise. Stick to your plan. It is not advisable to jump topics - this will clutter your mind. You can switch between subjects but always finish a topic if you started one. 

6. Prepare your own short notes

Take notes for every subjects on your own even if you are referring to existing notes. The important thing is that when you make your own notes, it enters your subconscious mind and also helps you in revision later.

Revise these notes of one subject every day 30 mins - 1 hour when you are preparing for the next subject. Example : Revise important topics and formulas of a subject when you are studying for another subject.

7. Revision and Practice

Revision and practice/ test-series for GATE should go hand in hand simultaneously in the last few months.

Our mind forgets certain things, unless you repeatedly try to recollect. Sometimes, we find it difficult to remember the birthdays of our friends. But once, you try to keep recollecting every week, you will never forget them for your life. The same strategy works here!

8. Create a positive environment around you

Creating a positive environment around you will help you in staying motivated. Make friends with people who are studying for exams, and keep in touch with them. 

Try to eliminate the things which create negative environment. Talk to people other than from your college, who have been through different experiences. Also, you can give a try of the following books, some ideas will definitely strike you at some point.

1. Mastery by Robert Greene
2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
3. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Avoid distraction - once we ran a poll in Youtube and these are results we got

What is your biggest distraction ?

9. Improve your accuracy

How does it feel when you know how to solve a GATE question but you have made a mistake in calculation. This can cost you 2 marks, and 2 marks can give you a rank difference of more than 100. 

If you never do calculation mistakes, well and good. If not, find out after every test if you have done calculations mistakes and analyse them.

10. Stay focussed

It is quite possible that, even though you want to focus, your mind keeps wandering. Once we took a poll, and found that most of the students are facing the problem of concentrating and feeling distracted.

There are a few small changes you can bring in to your studying, so that you can focus better. You do not have to drastically change your studying techniques. 


  • Find a study spot where you are least distracted. You should get at least 30 minutes without someone calling you or you checking your phone.

  • Study in small chunks of 30–40 minutes. After 30 minutes, reward yourself with a small break. Then another 30 minutes!

Lastly, in spite of doing all this, sometimes mind keeps wandering.

Spice things up a bit. You can start drawing out some mind maps on a topic you are studying. 

Still having some doubts? Send us a mail at and our experts will answer you queries. 

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