What should be the last month strategy for GATE?



Continuing the discussion from How to prepare for GATE 2018 exam?:

With GATE approaching close, I’m getting scared day by day. I recently resigned from Infosys as it wasn’t, firstly, my field of interest and, secondly, I wasn’t getting much time to study for GATE.

I’ve done electrical engineering and my syllabus for this particular exam is quite huge! As we all know that the exam is in early February, so it’s proving a little troublesome to read each and every page of all of my books which I’m having with me.

Also, I have too many numerical pending to solve and only 52 days are left for the exam from today.

My question now is, what should I utilize my time on?

  1. Book reading
  2. Practice problems
  3. Both

Till now I chose to move with option 3 and I know most people will recommend that one only but it’s consuming a hell lot of time and the progress is not seeming like something to be proud of.

Actually book reading is good but to crack this particular examination problem/numerical solving is required most (As what toppers say). But the problem is that without reading books and understanding the concepts one cannot just solve any problem!

Also like I said that I was working in an IT company till now, I am now finding myself to be completely fresh in the field of electrical. In other words, as I’ve been out of touch for so long with what I learned in my college times, I now need to go through the entire course!

So please suggest me how should I make strategy to CRACK this exam? And I seriously want an honest answer to one more question of mine here:


PS: I cannot join any coaching/institute now as I’m already pretty late for that.

Note: Please don’t just say “solve previous 10 years question papers” as I’m already doing that. Please feel what I’m asking here. Thanks.


Last month strategy for GATE Preparation

Topics you must focus on at the moment: You need to study theory (book reading) + extensive problem solving of these topics for GATE EE preparation.

  • Signals and Systems
  • Power Systems
  • Electrical Machines
  • Control Systems

When you are done with these four topics, move on to only problem solving of the following. Don’t waste too much time on theory for these, focus on only solving questions.

  • Networks,
  • Amplifiers and Oscillator (Analog Circuits),
  • Choppers & Rectifiers (Power Electronics),
  • Measurements,
  • Field Theory

At this moment, if you can be 100% confident that you can score in questions asked on the first four topics, then you have won half the battle. A lot will then depend on your present ability to solve questions in GA. For engineering mathematics, you need to be quick at solving questions based on Algebra, Vector Calculus, Differential Equations, Probability. After solving past year papers, do you feel you are confident in these areas? If yes, don’t allot too many hours on preparing for them (EM section).

How to divide time?

As you have already left your job, you can devote 24 hours in preparation. Let’s find a feasible time management for your studies.

Wake up early, say at 5 AM and start studying by 6 AM.

  • 6 AM to 8 AM: Study one important topic from the four topics given above.
  • 8 AM to 10 AM: Solve questions and analyze approach. Remember, that just solving a question is not important, you must try to find ways to solve it quickly. You save time in a question, you raise your chances of scoring higher!
  • Take a break!
  • 11 AM to 12 Noon: Study another topic (could be less important than the one you studied in morning)
  • 12 Noon to 2 PM: Solve questions and again analyze.
  • Take a break!
  • 3 PM to 5 PM: Study an important topic
  • 5 PM to 7 PM: Solve questions.
  • 7 PM to 8 PM: Solve some questions of the topic you studied in morning again.
  • Take a break!
  • 9 PM to 10 PM: Did you find any topic un-approachable? Check out guidance for that topic online. There are some amazing videos at NPTEL (http://nptel.ac.in/) provided by IITs and IISc.
  • 10 PM: Sleep time!

If you are not an early riser, shift the time table to whatever time you are waking up and sleeping accordingly. For example if you wake at 10 AM, you will be sleeping at 3 AM.

See, it is not impossible to crack GATE in 52 days. You can follow this time table for 30 days and see a huge improvement in yourself. After 30 days, you should focus completely on problem solving only. Whatever theory reading has to be done, should be preferably completed by then.

Important GATE EE Preparation Books

You can refer to these books.

  • Mathematics: Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyszig or Advanced engineering mathematics by R. K. Jain, S. R. K. Iyengar.
  • Electromagnetic: Engineering Electromagnetic by J A Buck, W H Hayt or Principles Of Electromagnetics by Mathew N O Sadiku
  • Power system: Power Systems Analysis by Stevenson or Power System Engineering by Nagrath and Kothari.
  • Power electronics: Power Electronics by P. S. Bimbhra or Power Electronics: Essentials and Application by L Umanand
  • Electronic device and circuits: Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory by Boylestad is a good one to follow, lots of questions and easy to follow.
  • Circuit analysis: Engineering Circuit Analysis 8 Edition by W. H. Hayt, S. M. Durbin, J. E. Kemmerly; Network Analysis by M. E. Van Valkenburg
  • Digital design: Digital Design by Mano, get the Indian edition, along with GATE MCQs book
  • Electrical measurement: A Course In Electrical And Electronic Measurements And Instrumentation by A.K. Sawhney, Puneet Sawhney or Electrical Measurements and Measuring Instruments (Paperback) by E.W. Golding, F.C. Widdis
  • Control system: Automatic Control Systems by Benjamin C. Kuo, Farid Golnaraghi
  • Signals and systems: Signals and Systems by Alan V. Oppenheim, Alan S. Willsky
  • Electrical machines: Electric Machinery by Stephen D. Umans, Charles Kingsley, A. E. Fitzgerald or Electrical machinery by P. S. Bimbhra


Thank you so much, ma’am! I am feeling a bit relaxed now. And at the same time a little tensed too after seeing that you mentioned the name of Electrical Machines up there. :sweat_smile:

Nevertheless, I’m gonna make up one similar time table right away! Thank you again, ma’am. Your reply indeed seems beneficial! :relaxed:

Anyways, ma’am, I now have a doubt about that Engineering Mathematics part. You said if I was able to solve the past year’s papers then I wasn’t required to spend more time on EM! Does that mean I should not solve any other practice problems of that subject? Say, I have books on EM like BS Grewal and RK Kanodia (please don’t mind, ma’am, they are missed out up there in the reference books part :stuck_out_tongue: ) These books have a lot of varieties of problems. Even though I love solving them but, needless to say, they eat some time of the day too! Can I just leave them all with a confidence that no matter which problem would come in the exam (from EM) I’d be able to solve it?

And one more thing, speaking of RK Kanodia (the practice book) since I have this book on every subject, in addition to reference books, if I prefer numerical solving from ONLY Kanodia, would that be enough? I am asking this question due to this reason that in GATE they focus mainly on conceptual questions(as we know) but in reference/text books there’s a majority of lengthy and burdensome numericals (well, in some topics if not all)


From your response it seems like you enjoy solving EM questions and that indirectly indicates you are pretty confident and can score well there. My suggestion would always be to work on your strengths too! So, I would suggest that the one hour in your day when you are most tired, you can solve problems of Engineering Mathematics.

See, what happens is that even if you are 100% confident in a subject, and you absolutely neglect it for 50 days, you may loose out on the confidence + forget problem solving approach. But because you are already good at it, you do not need to devote your alert hours of the day to this.

Say, before going to sleep, the last one hour you can give to EM.

Kanodia is a good enough book. And frankly GATE papers are sometimes quite unexpected. What matters is how well you know to approach the problem. So solve Kanodia and just be 100% sure you are good enough in it! :smile:

Another point I forgot to mention above

At this point, don’t compare yourself with others. If your friend / friends are also preparing for GATE don’t discuss with them how much syllabus have you covered today? and things like that. They only pull you back. Just a wise tip :wink:


Bingo! That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about the EM part lately. :smiley: :thumbsup:
Oh! Thanks for that smart tip ma’am! Yes, some people are actually doing that with their dull statement that-
“GATE is tough, it requires 5-6 months of preparation and that too with the help of coaching centers”.
Although I’ve been ignoring their words, I didn’t know they were just playing all the way long! Thank you, ma’am, I’ll be more cautious from now on wards. Have an awesome day ahead.(I mean evening :smile:) Cheers to life. :v::relaxed:


:smile: Study smart + hard and I am sure you will do well. Best of luck!


Thank you very much ma’am! Yes definitely, I won’t let you down. :thumbsup:


I just decided to focus on GATE Exam . And just few days left. So how to prepare, I don’t know. Feeling panic. Please suggest some tips to and topics I can focus now.


Please refer to the response given above by anwesha ( What should be the last month strategy for GATE? ). It may help you.


Please suggest important topics. My branch is ECE. I am thinking of covering only those subjects at which I am good .

I have decided to to cover aptitude, maths, communication and digital and cs. But I am quite nervous and I am not sure that I can cover these subjects in 1 month only. And I was not in touch with these topics. But still I can do these subjects. Not sure that I can finish these topics in 1 month.

Please suggest some tips.


In the last few weeks, you must focus on speed and accuracy building. Whatever theory you have studied needs to be utilized and converted to marks. So go through formulae and notes you have made during your prep.

In the final two weeks you must have revised all the topics without solving too many problems and revision of all the topics is very essential to score high in competitive exams. It will help build up your confidence levels.

You can also attempt mock tests at your coaching institute (if you attend one). Don’t worry about your mock test ranks, worry only about how well you were able to attempt and approach the questions in exam.Refresh your concepts in which you are not comfortable.


Thanks for giving reply mam but I just started preparing and as you know exam dates are declared my slot is on 31st of Jan 2015. As u said to do revision in last 2 weeks. Then how can I complete 5 subject in Just 2 weeks.


You will have to crunch in and work smart at the last moment. Can’t afford to go through each and every word in every book at this juncture. Go through the major topics and for rest, refer to your notes.


IITR will be conducting the GATE exam 2017. The notification regarding this has been published. The GATE 2017 exam is the single joint entrance test for admission to M.Tech and other higher study courses in engineering and science in India.

Click Here for GATE Exam Preparation Guide.

Best of Luck!