GATE 2017 registrations are scheduled to close on October 6, 2016 and PSU recruitments through GATE 2017 are set to start by December this year. Aspirants applying for the exam are looking at two-fold preparations; to achieve a good GATE score, and to ace PSU interviews. However, the aspirant market is growing at a faster pace each year as compared to the number of PSU vacancies or MTech seats. In this regard, PaGaLGuY spoke to Mr. B. Singh (EX-IES), CMD, Made Easy Group for some industry insights about GATE, its relevance for PSUs and MTech, and some important prep tips to assist GATE aspirants make the right decisions.
Q1. What is the one particular thing that students don’t pay much attention to while preparing for GATE, that you would like to advise them for?
Students should practice the virtual calculator provided by GATE authorities before sitting for the exam. Many students ignore practicing with this calculator and end up spending too much time during the exam getting accustomed to the virtual calculator.
Q2. There are so many online players coming up in the coaching industry. Made Easy Group, too has an online coaching course. Which do you think is a better learning mode for students, online coaching or traditional classroom coaching?
Speaking specifically for GATE preparation, traditional classroom coaching is always better because students can have more interaction with others preparing for the exam and solve and practice questions together. But for many students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, or from smaller cities who may not have access to good coaching institutes in their vicinity, online coaching provides benefits to them. With online coaching, students can study at whatever time they want, no need to adjust to coaching class timings. This is also convenient for those who are preparing for GATE while pursuing a full time job.
Q3. Approximately 9 lakh students had taken the GATE this year. Of these, only 8000 students get IIT seats and about 4000 students get PSU placements. For those students who don’t get allotted in any IIT or PSU, what further career benefit does GATE provide them with?
GATE score has many benefits beyond an IIT or PSU. Students can take admission in NITs and other state institutes for MTech and PhD programmes. They can also apply for R&D posts in BARC and CSIR and can become Junior Research Fellows or Research Assistants. Every year, increasing number of companies are considering GATE scores for recruitment, thus increasing the number of PSU vacancies year on year. This year, the DDA, DRDO, Bihar Electrical Board also allowed job application through GATE scores. The teaching profession is also very welcoming to candidates with a GATE score.
Q4. Do rejected PSU seats get reallocated to other applicants?
It is natural that any candidate would apply to multiple PSUs for a job. If a candidate has been given a job offer from say 3 PSUs, when he forfeits his offer from either of the PSUs, those vacated seats usually do not go waste. PSUs ideally, keep a few candidates on the waiting list, in case any of the job offers sent out are rejected. In rare cases, rejected seats remain vacant until next year.
Q5. What is the Mini GATE?
The Mini GATE is a replica of the actual GATE exam. It is organised by Made Easy Group in more than 91 cities across the country. It is a mock GATE exam conducted at the same exam centres where GATE is conducted at the same time of the day in a similar environment. The purpose of the exam is to give students a feel of the exam before they sit for the actual exam. The Mini GATE is available for students who are a part of Made Easy Group as well as those who aren’t a part of our classes.
Q6. Any flaws that you find in the GATE exam system that you think should be changed?
In the JEE exam, there are multiple sets of question papers, with the same questions asked in all sets in different orders. However, in GATE, the questions asked are different in all sets, which changes the difficulty level for different students, giving some an unfair advantage. In my opinion, there should be a single paper for all students in the same, to better facilitate categorising students based on their merit. Secondly, there should be some kind of guidelines from MHRD to increase GATE scores validity from the current one year, to two years to apply in , so that students who chose to do an MTech, do not have to take another attempt of GATE after their MTech to apply to PSUs.
You can read Part 1 of the Made Easy interview about GATE preparation here.