GATE 2021 Preparation Tips, Books and Study Material

    Nikkil Visha Nikkil Visha
    Exams Prep Master

    GATE is a national level examination which is taken by more than 9 lacs candidates every year for post-graduation and research opportunities. Cracking such an exam is a challenging task. Highly motivated candidates with a clear vision of their goal will only be able to score well in the exam.

    • GATE 2021 is has been scheduled over Feb 5-7 & 12-14, 2021. While there is a lot of time on hands with the students, they often face problems at some level which includes the best online and offline resources to prepare for GATE. Check GATE 2021 Important Dates
    • Candidates must also note that from this session 3rd-year candidates can also take the exam. Moreover, arts and commerce background candidates are also eligible for the exam that means you need to formulate the best preparation strategy to crack the exam with high scores.

    The strategy should be subjective and based on one’s own abilities and limitations. There are many coaching institutes that offer a proper path for the aspirant but it is not the only way to score in the exam. Therefore, we have come up with some essential tips that candidates may follow to ace GATE 2021 without coaching. Read the article to know more about how to prepare for GATE 2021 without coaching, some last minutes preparation tips, and much more.

    Must Read:

    How to Prepare for GATE 2021 without Coachings?

    How to Prepare for GATE 2021 without Coachings?

    There are certain factors that the GATE aspirants need to keep in mind while preparing for the exam. We have formulated a few strategies opted by the previous year toppers that candidates may follow to ace the exam.

    Start Your Preparation Early

    Candidates must start their preparation early by doing so, they will be able to compile all the necessary study material and create a proper plan that they may follow during their course of preparation. Preparing a layout and then working accordingly will cut-shot the time wasted while being confused about how to start their preparation

    • During this phase, the candidate must analyze the time required on each subject and divide the number of days that they may give on a particular subject for thorough preparation.
    • Candidate must create a hierarchy of the subjects he/she will cover.
    • Follow what you have planned throughout your preparation phase.

    Time Management

    Time Management plays a major role while preparing for the exam. GATE aspirants should utilize each second effectively. Proper time division for covering the syllabus, practicing sample papers and last-minute preparation should be done so that the candidate does not miss anything before attempting the paper.

    GATE Practice Papers

    Keep Your Concepts Strong

    Having a stronghold on the basics of the topics can help in performing much better in the exam. Candidates must have deeper conceptual knowledge of the frequently asked topics. The easiest way to keep command on basics is: Prepare short notes of formulas, concepts and compile it at a single place. Make it your habit of going through the short notes before starting your preparation each day.

    Assembling the resources

    While the candidate will have a clear vision by now regarding the types of questions and the trend of questions asked in the previous year’s GATE examination, selecting proper material to study becomes a challenge. 

    • There is no doubt that there is abundant material to study both paperback books in the offline market and e-book in the online world. 
    • Selecting the proper guidance material becomes essential. The candidate can start preparation from any material. 
    • However, a very pointed material can lead to success in GATE 2021.
    • Now, this can be looked in a way that the material must be able to explain all the topics in a simple yet effective and detailed way that can help in a wider understanding. 
    • This way, the candidate will have more chances of scoring higher in the examination. There are various other resources available both online and offline.
    • The candidate can take the help of online videos like NPTEL and offline resources like notes of previous year GATE toppers.

    Read Collegedunia’s Exclusive Session with GATE AIR 11 Ashwini Jain

    Preparing a to-do list

    Now that the candidate is aware of the exam and has gathered the resources, the important part is to create a proper to-do list which is about creating a time table or schedule including the number of hours for each and every subject and topic. 

    • Next, the essential point is to allot more time to those chapters which are more difficult in comparison. 
    • This allows the candidate to follow a certain schedule and staying on track. Further dividing the topics, the studying process will also become less monotonous and would be easier to study. 
    • It is also important to practice more and more for  GATE  making sure that the planned preparation moves forward comfortably. 
    • Revising as much as possible is another important aspect of the to-do list to retain every concept for a longer time.

    Using Flashcards

    This comes as a surprise that the concept of flashcards is not followed by many aspirants, but it is the preferred technique of many of the previous year GATE toppers. 

    • The concept of the flashcard is to jot any of the difficult concepts in flashcards so that candidates can check it anytime and anywhere for revision. 
    • This could include many concepts and formulas which will be hard to grasp at one attempt. 
    • This problem is with everyone and that it can help the candidate to recall those entire concepts that took hard time understanding.

    Learning is a continuous process

    The candidate might be happily studying for a good time but a little break in this chain can create an issue for the future as it could derail the flow that was being created by studying every day. Many of the candidates might have already faced a scenario where there a great start but it falters in between. 

    • It is well understood that the candidate would feel tired while trying to maintain the same vigor for the preparation through the months, it is more important to have the consistency and to have the same amount of effort from starting and till the end.
    • When a candidate has formulated a way to reach to success in GATE 2021, that plan must be followed religiously. 
    • However, with that, once the candidate is in the process of learning finds that there is a hindrance or a modification needs to be made with respect to the study plan of any subject, it should happen only in real terms so that there are no future disappointments.
    • This process also includes the revision of each and every topic and notes that are useful for final day revision.

    Revisiting what has been studied

    This part is synonyms for everyone as the candidate might have learned a lot throughout the tenure of self-preparation and that may include making some notes. 

    • After the completion of the complete syllabus, the candidate is required to revise and revisit all the topics for at least twice. 
    • Not just this, many previous year toppers have revealed that they used to keep a day or two in the week exclusively just for the revision purpose, allowing them to remember everything clearly till the examination.

    Practice Mock Tests

    Mock Tests are the best source for GATE preparation. If taken seriously, it has its own benefits that candidates may get to know while attempting the question paper. Once the candidates have covered all the syllabi, they must take as many mock tests as possible. Mock tests are similar to the final test that candidates will give. One mock test each day will benefit the candidates in the following way:

    • It will enhance a candidate’s problem-solving efficiency.
    • Mock test improves the chances of error.
    • Solving mock tests will give candidates an idea about the type of questions asked frequently.
    • Many times it happens that the questions asked in mock tests come as it is in the question paper.
    • Mock test boost confidence in the GATE aspirant.

    Know More GATE Mock Test

    Health, first and foremost!

    • No one will put much emphasis on this, but as per experts, those candidates who remain healthy both physically and mentally, are the ones who challenge one who has studied much more than them. 
    • This means that along with studies a peaceful and healthy life is also very important to crack GATE.
    • Thus the candidate must make sure to have a good amount of breaks in between the study sessions in order to receive a good amount of time to refresh the mind. 
    • This could be done by indulging in various extracurricular activities including reading a book, listening to music, or others during the breaks.

    Candidate should also build a habit of getting enough sleep and eat healthy food. The sleep should be of a minimum of 6 hours and no more than 10 hours with the most Optimum sleep of 8 hours.

    Knowledge of GATE 2021 Syllabus

    Knowledge of GATE 2021 Syllabus

    Another foremost step that candidates must do is to have a clear idea of GATE 2021 Syllabus that needs to be covered. GATE is a high-level exam and therefore, there is a vast syllabus that candidates need to cover. In order to cover the overall syllabus without missing any topic, candidates must go through the syllabus provided on the official website of GATE 2021. Candidates must try to cover those topics first from which the possibilities of questions asked are higher.

    Tabulated below is the GATE 2021 Syllabus for each stream along with the paper code.

    Subjects with CodeSyllabusSubject with CodeSyllabus
    Statistics – STCheck HereElectronics and Communication Engineering – ECCheck Here
    Biomedical Engineering – BMCheck HereComputer Science and Information Technology – CSCheck Here
    Engineering Sciences – XECheck HereElectrical Engineering – EECheck Here
    Textile Engineering – TFCheck HereChemical Engineering – CHCheck Here
    Production and Industrial Engineering – PICheck HereBiotechnology Engineering – BTCheck Here
    Petroleum Engineering – PECheck HereMechanical Engineering – MECheck Here
    Mining Engineering – MNCheck HereLife Sciences – XLCheck Here
    Metallurgical Engineering – MTCheck HereGeology and Geophysics – GGCheck Here
    Agricultural Engineering – AGCheck HereEcology and Evaluation – EYCheck Here 
    Instrumentation Engineering – INCheck HereArchitecture and Planning – ARCheck Here
    Aerospace Engineering – AECheck HerePhysics – PHCheck Here
    Civil Engineering – CECheck HereChemistry – CYCheck Here
    Mathematics – MACheck Here--

    Understanding of GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

    Understanding of GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

    Along with the syllabus, candidates must be aware of GATE paper pattern and its trending changes. Having an idea about the exam pattern prior to taking the final test will help them to solve the paper with ease.

    Though the pattern remains the same each year, the structure of the paper may differ. An idea about the number of questions asked and the questions with higher weight may increase the chance to score high. Go through the highlights of GATE 2021 Exam Pattern given below.

    GATE 2021 Exam Pattern Highlights
    Exam Duration3 Hours
    Total Questions65
    Total Marks100
    Types of QuestionsMultiple Choice Questions Numerical Answer Types Questions
    SectionsGeneral Aptitude (Common for all streams) Engineering Mathematics (Chemistry for XL Papers) Stream Specific Subject
    Marking Scheme1 Mark MCQs - ⅓ marks will be deducted for the wrong answer 2 Marks MCQs - ⅔ marks will be deducted for each wrong answer No marks will be deducted for unattempted question No negative marking for NAT questions

    Topic-wise Weightage in GATE 2021

    The distribution of each topic in the paper will help a candidate in prioritizing the topic which needs to be covered first. Topics with higher weight must be prepared thoroughly. It will be a good strategy to ace the exam. This could be done by going through the previous year question paper and analyzing the trending changes. Also, go through the section-wise weight of GATE exam given below.

    Paper CodePercentage Weightage
    CE, CS, EC, AE, AG, BT, CH, ME, MN, MT, EE, IN, TF, XE, PE, ST, PIGeneral Aptitude - 15% Engineering Mathematics - 15% Paper Subject - 70%
    AR, CY, GG, EY, XL, PH, MAGeneral Aptitude - 15% Subject Paper - 85%

    Must Read:

    Best Books for GATE 2021

    Choose Trusted Reference Books for GATE 2021

    Books are the most trusted source of GATE preparation, they will definitely help in every way. Candidates must not pick any random book for their preparation. It is recommended that candidates must go for the books referred by GATE Toppers. Below given are the top-recommended books for GATE 2021.

    General AptitudeA Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Aggarwal
    MathematicsHigher Engineering Mathematics by B.S Grewal
    Mechanical EngineeringMachine Design by VB Bhandari Engineering Mechanics by Bhavikatti Fluid Mechanics by RK Bansal Heat Transfer by Cengal and Holman
    Industrial EngineeringIndustrial Engineering by O P Khanna, Buffa, and Sarin
    Manufacturing EngineeringProduction Technology: Manufacturing Processes, Technology and Automation by R.K. Jain
    Computer Science and Information TechnologyC Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie
    Civil EngineeringBasic Structural Analysis, C.S. Reddy
    Electrical EngineeringElectrical Power Systems by CL Wadhwa
    Electronics and Communication EngineeringPrinciples of Communication Systems by Goutam Saha, Herbert Taub, Donald Schilling
    StatisticsStatistics for Machine Learning by Pratap Dangeti

    Check Other  GATE Recommended Books for all Subjects

    GATE 2021 Last Minute Preparation Tips

    Here are some last revision tips for productive last days before the exam:

    • Stick to what you’ve read: If you are done with a considerable portion of your course, then try to avoid any new topics for now. If the topics are important, then exceptions can be made but retaining a lot of last minute information can hamper your revision.
    • Mock Tests are a must: Take a full mock test everyday and analyze it. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Time management is one of the most crucial factors for success in such competitive exams, regular mock tests will result in better speed and accuracy.
    • Formulas and Notes: Don’t rely on too many resources, reading from multiple sources may result in confusion and stress. Stick to your notes and highlights. Skim over the important formulas once everyday, so that you have them on your tips during application.
    • Keep your exam day strategies ready: Candidates should have a clear understanding of how many questions they need to attempt for a desired score. The paper has a negative marking so randomly attempting questions isn’t a feasible option. Strategies like what type of questions to attempt first, question wise time limit etc prove to be really helpful during the paper. Candidates should be able to mould their strategies as per the question paper, as the exam can be full of surprises. There is no sectional time limit so candidates should have an idea of what sequence to take and how much time to devote to a particular section.
    • Numerical Value Based Questions: During the paper, candidates should try and attempt the numerical answer value based questions as there is no negative marking for the same.
    • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Most candidates neglect keeping a healthy diet and timely sleeping but it is crucial for a higher concentration level during the paper and it can’t be achieved in a single day. Candidates should keep their lifestyle as per a healthy schedule so that they can effectively implement all their strategies.

    Download  GATE Practice Papers

    Frequently Asked Questions

    GATE 2021 Preparation FAQs

    Ques. From which subject I should start my preparation?

    Ans. In the starting, the first important thing is that you should have your focus on the preparation only. So you should start from the easy subject which you can easily remember this will help you to build your confidence level. If you choose the difficult subject it may ruin for confidence level which will later impact on your preparation strategies.

    Ques. How many hours should I dedicate to my studies?

    Ans. It depends upon your preparation. If you have done your subjects well during college time then you may study for 3 - 4 hours. If you are a beginner then the extra effort will be required from your side. 

    Ques. Is it enough to prepare from a single book?

    Ans. It depends on the subject, some subjects can be prepared well from one book. But the GATE Syllabus is such vast that some subjects syllabus is not covered by the single book. There you need various books for your preparation.

    Ques. How much time is needed to complete the Syllabus?

    Ans. It also depends on you and your preparation. If have given an exam earlier also then you can prepare for it in 3 – 4 months. If You are a beginner then you may take up to 6 - 7 months for your preparations.

    Ques. From which material I should Prepare?

    Ans. You can use the following material for preparations:

    • You can choose a good coaching institute material, there are lots of coaching institutes that provide their study material to the students for some cost.
    • You can also prefer textbooks which are for your basic engineering books. They cover lots of topics and you can also easily understand from those books
    • You can also study from the video lectures. There are free video lectures from various well-known lecturers of big institutes available on Youtube. NPTEL is one such example. It is a channel from IIT lecturers that freely provides information on various engineering subjects.
    • You also use online study material available from various educational websites.

    Ques. I have planned to prepare myself for GATE 2021 examination; can I crack it in the very first attempt?

    Ans. Yes, there is no doubt that GATE might look a bit intimidating to the starters but with the right plan and consistency, it can be cracked with high success in the very first attempt itself. Many previous year toppers of GATE have secured top ranks by self-preparation. There are many final year students who along with their studies and college, through self-preparation have secured top ranks as well. Thus, there is no need to panic for GATE 2021 as well. For those preparing themselves the point of preparing with the utmost dedication and concentration become much more important to achieve success in GATE.

    Ques. I am an average student and want to sit for the GATE examination, what are my chances of success?

    Ans. It is not advised to estimate your capabilities based on previous instances. Over the years, it has been seen that many GATE toppers were from an average learning background. Thus, it is wrong to underestimate the capabilities, and you can go ahead with the exam preparation.

    Ques. Is it Easy to Crack GATE 2021?

    Ans. Cracking the GATE 2021 is based on each person’s own set of abilities and intelligence. To add to this, there how much was learned or studied earlier does not matter with regard to GATE preparation but it depends on the quality of time that was spent on the exam preparation.

    Ques. Will I miss out on something if I do not attend the coaching for GATE 2021?

    Ans. Cracking the GATE examination without coaching is very much possible, as there is no compulsion to join a coaching institute. However, to highlight a few key differences between self-preparation and preparation though coaching, self-preparation includes the need to maintain the utmost dedication since time management also plays an important role here. There is a factor that study material is being referred to and that the candidate must be able to understand the concepts, learn new topics, revise the topics already prepared, and practice mock tests. This can happen only through a systematic preparation strategy.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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    Divyanshi Jain

    What is the minimum score of GATE to get admission in M.Tech (Mechanical Engineering) in IITs?

    14 Mar, 2019 15:19
    Komal Chawla

    Hey Divyanshi, Yes, Here’s the name of some IIT institutes which gives admission through GATE score:

    • IIT Madras
    • IIT Patna
    • IIT Kharagpur
    • IIT Bombay
    • IIT Delhi

    14 Mar, 2019 15:48

    i want model papers much more for my practice

    06 Mar, 2017 11:59

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