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GATE Topper 2019 Mr.Vikash Raj secured an AIR I (Petroleum Engineering), he is an alumnus of IIT(ISM) Dhanbad and comes from Madhubani, Bihar. Vikash obtained a score of 961, with his marks being 84.67 out of 100. His success is a motivation for lakhs of GATE 2020 aspirants, let’s have a look at his views to learn from his journey:
Was this his first attempt at GATE?
He admits that it’s not his first attempt, he had qualified GATE 2018 but decided to retake the exam as his rank wasn’t enough to land him at his desired post at ONGC.
What made Vikash go for GATE 2019?
On being asked about the reason behind his attempt, he shares that he was a little confused regarding his professional front. He wanted to work for upstream oil and gas companies and GATE was his gateway for the same. Thus, he retook the exam in 2019.
What was his preparation strategy for the exam?
There are no fixed guidelines for clearing an exam believes Vikash. As per him, everything boils down to one’s own dedication. Any candidate should first explore the demands of the competition and then craft out a subjective suitable strategy, instead of copying others’ timetables and schedules. Check GATE Preparation Tips and Tricks
Coaching Vs Self study, what helped him more?
Vikash clearly places self study over coaching. He comments, “No, self study is the only way for an exam like GATE, particularly Petroleum Engineering. Although I had joined test series for practice and for testing my preparation.”
To what extent did he find Mock Tests and Previous years’ Question Papers useful?
He believes that unless knowledge is tested, it has no value. He says that mock tests are a way to retain whatever is being studied. But, he also adds that there is a lack of availability of good quality test series for Petroleum Engineering. The questions in these test series are often irrelevant and vague. Therefore, one must look out for and constantly analyze one’s own performance.
What topics as per him, should one prioritize while preparing for the PE paper?
He suggests to focus on the areas like Mathematics, Aptitude and Numerical (especially from the previously asked sections). Thereafter, one should move to the most basic and popular theoretical areas (primarily in Reservoir, Drilling, Production, Formation evaluation, Offshore etc) from the most popular sources. Finally, cover the rest in whichever way suits you the best.
What proved to be the most difficult aspect of GATE preparation for him?
The most difficult aspect for Vikash was preparing for fully informative subjects like Geology, HSE, Latest Trends etc.
Any particular strategy that he followed during attempting the GATE 2019 Paper?
Vikash shares that he answered the questions in the same sequence of them appearing on his computer screen, and left the questions that he was unsure about for later review. This way he could get an idea about the level of difficulty of the entire paper. Answering the sure questions first put him in a safer zone and now he could devote the remaining time on the questions he couldn’t answer in the first go.
Vikash shares that he had been sick before the exam and his chances of taking the exam were also questionable. He couldn’t get a proper sleep right before the exam day because of his health. But, he decided to eliminate all these hindrances from his head for those 3 hours of the exam and the rest is history. He comments, “I was on medicines, that too, prescribed by two different, specialized doctors to somehow be able to maintain my bodily-balance. Despite all this, I turned a blind eye in order to do what I did best i.e., dropping off every baggage for one last time. Except, there was no other last time. Unsullied, I firmly said to myself, ‘I’ll not let anything flutter my state of mind for these 3 hours.’ That’s it. You know the rest now.”
|Engineering Mathematics:||“First-hand preparation should be from any basic source like BS Grewal, Made Easy Book, or any other notes. To gain an upper hand in this subject and almost completely eliminate any chances of losing marks in this area, go for rigorously solving all previous 23-year question papers of GATE of all core branches particularly from CSE, Electrical, Electronics, Civil, Mechanical etc. You’ll learn a lot, and no matter if, in any case, GATE raises the bar of Mathematics in PE paper, you will be the winner hands down.”|
|Aptitude||“This is all common sense, at least in GATE. Not everybody needs to practice this separately as you’ll have sufficient practice of this topic in tests itself. However, for those who lack confidence I’ve heard a combo of “Indiabix & Aptipedia” websites is more than required.”|
|Reservoir Engineering & Well testing:||LP Dake, Tarek Ahmed (Fundamental as well as Advanced).|
|Oil and Gas Well Drilling Technology:||Heriot Watt University, Rabia, Pathak sir’s material.|
|Petroleum Production Operations||Lyons, Heriot Watt University, Arnold, Allen & Robert.|
|Fluid mechanics & Heat||“This is the only thing that I studied separately even though it is not mentioned overtly in syllabus only because of its role in the entire scheme of things. Here, go for a rich mix of mechanical engineering and chemical engineering stuff that may as well fall in your area.”|
|EOR:||Brigham Young University EOR pages, Tarek Ahmed, T Kumar sir’s classroom stuff.|
|Petroleum Formation Evaluation||Halender book and Petrowiki; Youtube for actual log plotting techniques.|
|Petroleum Exploration||ISM notes of Bhowmik sir for geology, Notes by Abdullah M. Al-Amri Dept. of Geology & Geophysics King Saud University, Riyadh + William Telford book for geophysics.|
|HSE & Latest trends||ISM professors materials, Slideshare, random websites, and whatever meets your eye from wherever matching keywords of syllabus-text.|