Can an average student get under AIR 100 in GATE?
Yes. Any aspirant with the right approach can score AIR under 100 within a year of preparation.
The idea of calling one person brilliant and another person as average or poor at study or scoring comes from the constant comparison done by us, our peers and society.
A lot of times we just assume that the top rankers have some extraordinary mind or were born that way and we should not even try to think of doing that. Some people may have an initial advantage with a better memory or the knowledge of the topic but with time and practice any of you can catch up with that.
Misinformation and Misconceptions
There is a lot of misinformation about how one should prepare. You might have heard that you need to study for 12, 14 or maybe 16 hours a day if you want to score under AIR 100.
Another common misconception is that you need to completely stop social media, gaming or any other side hobby that you may have. As radical as it may sound, these ideas don’t work for a lot of students.
The habit of checking social media, or using your mobile did not develop in one day so it cannot go away in one day either. It is a habit developed over time and only with time, it can be gradually reduced.
In this article, I want to share some tips, if used in the right manner can definitely level you up in your learning and will definitely help you achieve your target.
Start your preparation with a why?
It is essential for you to be clear why do you want to come under AIR 100? What are you going to opt after cracking GATE - Is it for pursuing higher studies in your favourite college and branch? Or is it for securing a job in one of the best PSUs.
The question does not end here. You should know why do you want to have a particular job or institute and what kind of future you will be having.
If you are not clear with these questions then you have a higher chance of losing track of why do you actually want to study and invest immense amount of time. Once you are clear with all these questions and the answer is still yes, only then you can give your 100% in the preparation of the exam.
Make a concrete plan
All of us do planning for our preparation but the difference is how thorough or how concrete your plan is? If you are starting your preparation today then you need to plan the remaining time. A good plan starts with the bigger picture (the D day) and then you narrow it down to each month, each week and each day. Achieving your monthly target should be the first priority. For achieving the monthly target, you will need to have weekly targets and for achieving weekly targets, you need to have daily targets.
It does not mean that if you have a bad day or two, you will start blaming yourself or treat yourself harshly. Failing at something is an integral part of being a human. In such times, take a break, slow down and resume again. This process gets easier with time, though, you need to keep doing it.
Like the rest of the content, this is also something you must be familiar with. The fact that you need to focus. You need to have your full attention while studying. In reality, it is harder than it sounds. If you are trying to have study sessions of 4 hours or 6 hours then more often than not, your focus will take a hit.
If you are planning to study for such long durations then it is more likely that you will keep using your mobile, check all the notifications and may end up wasting the whole time.
The idea of unwavering focus is to have an undistracted attention span for short amounts of time. An ideal session can be between 20-50 minutes followed by a 10-15 minute break. In each of your study sessions, your undivided attention should be present.
This is the core of effective studying.
You can spend 10 hours with 10 percent effort or you can spend 1 hour with 100 percent effort.
Did you ever sit down to study or do important work but end up scrolling Facebook or watching YouTube videos? I bet all of us have been in that place. The gargantuan monster called procrastination has consumed a lot of our productive time in one way or the other.
It is crucial to understand and address procrastination not just for studies but to get any important task done. It is known to us that studying is not the most pleasant activity and that too under the pressure of an exam.
To cope up with the stress, we tend to procrastinate and avoid doing the necessary. Starting an unpleasant subject is hard and stressful. To relieve this stress, we tend to use social media, play games etc.
It is impractical to completely eliminate procrastination but there are ways to reduce and manage it to a level where it does not hamper our growth.
One bite at a time
There is a very famous saying: How do you eat an elephant? The answer is, one bite at a time. Well, we don’t have to eat an elephant but we can use the same principle to reduce the stress of a humongous task.
Any subject can be broken down into smaller and manageable parts. Try to break down the subjects into the smallest parts possible and you can target these parts one by one.
Another thing to remember is that it is always hardest to start. Your preparation will include subjects that you like and subjects that you don’t like at all. It is extremely important to start your preparation with an easy subject or a subject that you enjoy.
Once you reach a comfortable pace, you can level up the game and take up more difficult subjects. The same logic goes in your daily routine also.
Start with revising or reading something you are already familiar with and then you can slowly learn more complicated concepts.
The last aspect goes into developing a reward system. You can reward yourself once you have finished a study session or a few more sessions. In this way, you can play games, or check memes etc without any lingering guilt.
Instead of randomly using it, use it as a reward for your hard work. This way, you can still have a fun life without giving up all your hobbies and activities during GATE preparation.
You are not a robot
Achieving success in life requires constant effort and a lot of personal discipline. You need to develop routines, habits, do the hard work also.
"It doesn’t have to be a life sentence to prepare for an exam or to be the person you want to be in life"
All the processes I have mentioned here are for having a benchmark. If you try to follow any routine, there is a high possibility that initially, you will fail at it but it is essential to look at the benchmark and start again.
Another important information to take is that none of these rules is set in concrete. You need to start working on it and check what works best for you and customise the rules according to your needs.
The most important part is to start and start small. To make sustainable changes in life, you need to start small and be consistent in your efforts.
The success will reach you sooner or later but in the process, if you conquer yourself then no failure will mean failure to you.
Do you agree?