In the second part of our series of ‘Prep Strategy’ articles, PaGaLGuY chats with the GATE faculty of Vidyalankar Institute, Mumbai about tips and strategies to crack the Computer Science Engineering paper of GATE 2017. Excerpts:
What is the best strategy to tackle difficult topics? For example, how much time should one take to finish them?
- The first step in the groundwork is to focus on easy and important subjects rather than difficult subjects. In the initial stage of preparation, focus on mathematics, aptitude and technical subjects which can fetch more marks in less time.
- Learn topic by topic reference book to complete the entire syllabus. Prepare revision notes for each topic which will cover all important definitions, formulas, differences, etc.
- Your first level of preparation should fetch 40-50 percent marks in each subject. Do not read the subject that you like over and over again.
- Practice previous GATE questions topic-wise.
- Attempt quizzes or tests for each topic and subject to know your performance.
- Clear all doubts while in the preparation phase.
- Discuss your doubts with teacher and classmates, and compare your performance with others.
Outline a 12-week study plan in terms of weekly targets, checklists, etc.
- Study the revision notes on a regular basis to remember the concepts of prepared subjects.
- Whenever you go through the same topic, over the days your revision time will decrease.
- Take online tests to gauge the improvement in your performance. Identify how much time you take to answer each question and how many questions were answered properly.
- Finally, you should spend time for both revision and practising. Practise more tests, identify the weaker topics in each test and revise them.
- You can practice three full length and five topic-wise tests every week and recall all concepts while taking those tests.
- Your confidence will increase day-by-day with this schedule.
Some tips, which will help students with their basics.
Do regular study, so that the moment you read a question, you know whether you can solve it. Read multiple books on the same subjects, especially those of your interest. Also, support your study with some self-made notes. This helps in final revisions.
Can you recommend some good books or study material?
Programming – Book Name: The C Programming language, Author’s Name: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M.
Data Structure – Book Name Classic Data Structures, Author’s Name: Debasis Samanta.
Algorithms – Book Name: Introduction to Algorithms, Author’s Name: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein.
Computer Networks – Book Name: Tanenbaum & Wetherall, Computer Networks, 5th Edition – Pearson.
Operating Systems – Book Name: Operating System Concepts, Author’s Name: Silberschatz, Galvin, Gagne.
Databases – Book Name: Database System Concepts, Author’s Name: Silberschatz, Sudarshan, Korth.
Theory of computation – Book Name: Hopcroft, John E.; Motwani, Rajeev; Ullman, Jeffrey D.
Computer Organization & Architecture – Book Name: Computer Organization and Architecture, Author’s Name: Hamacher, Vranesic, Zaky.
Digital Logic – Book Name: Digital Logic & Computer Design, Author’s Name: M. Morris Mano.
Compiler Design – Book Name: Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools, Author’s Name: Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, D. Jeffrey Ulman.
Engineering Mathematics – Book Name: Higher Engineering Mathematics, Author’s Name: B. S. Grewal.
Aptitude – Book Name: A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning, Author’s Name: R.S. Aggarwal.
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations – Book Name: Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations, Author’s Name: R.S. Aggarwal, Edition: 7
If a student had to skip a topic or two, which would you recommend?
Absolutely no. You may get easy questions in examination from the same topic.
Which topics should a student focus on?
Data Structure, Discrete Maths, DBMS, Network, and Operating Systems.
What is an ideal revision plan and ‘last minute strategy’ for GATE 2017?
Ideal revision plan is to do enough practice, that you can recall concepts while reading a question. No need to study any new topics in the final weeks rather focus on revising the concepts. Be ready with your examination admit card and know your centre before the exam day.
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