#NewsBytesExclusive: GATE-2019 topper Shashank Mangal on preparation-strategy, challenges, and more!
The results of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2019, conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, were declared on Friday.
21-year-old Shashank Mangal from Madhya Pradesh's Morena topped GATE-2019, securing AIR 1, with a score of 989 out of 1,000.
In an exclusive interview with NewsBytes, Shashank talked about GATE, his preparation strategy, challenges, and also gave some tips for aspirants.
An interview with GATE 2019 topper Shashank Mangal
Shashank Mangal on becoming the GATE 2019 topper
On topping GATE-2019, Shashank said, "It feels really good being the topper. I want to thank my parents...they have always helped me achieve this mark."
He added that he was expecting to be among the toppers of GATE 2019, saying, "After writing test series, I gained confidence that I could be in top 10...because I constantly got a very good rank in test series."
A little about the GATE 2019 topper
Shashank, who secured the 6,214th rank in Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) Advanced, is a student of IIT (ISM), Dhanbad. He appeared for GATE-2019 when he was in the final year of BTech (Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering) at the institute and secured AIR 1.
Love India news?
Stay updated with the latest happenings.
Shashank found these two subjects the most challenging
Shashank appeared for the Instrumentation Engineering paper in GATE 2019 and emerged as the topper with a score of 989 out of 1,000.
When asked which subjects he found challenging while preparing for the exam, he said, "I found analog circuits and optical instrumentation challenging. This time, optical instrumentation had a high weightage... it is a core subject."
Offline v/s Online
Offline coaching institutes or online programs: Which are better?
Shashank said he joined a course at an offline coaching institute for GATE.
On whether coaching institutes are better than online programs, he said, "It actually depends on the person," adding if someone can prepare through online coaching, it is better for them.
"I like offline coaching...I feel like someone is teaching me; in a competitive atmosphere, we can learn a lot," he added.
Shashank seriously prepared for only 3 months to crack GATE
When asked how many months he prepared for, Shashank said, "I started preparing for GATE in third-year. I first focused on the reference books...then I took a summer crash course."
"After my November exams, I fully started preparing for GATE, studying for 10-12 hours per day. From December-January, I fully prepared for the exam," he said, adding he seriously prepared for around 3 months.
The most challenging part of GATE preparation
When asked what the most challenging part of GATE preparation was, Shashank said, "The hardest part is to remember all the things. Initially, you forget many things...the syllabus is vast, and you need to remember all the minor details because anything can be asked."
Balancing time between college and GATE preparation
Many aspirants feel balancing time between college studies, exams, and GATE preparation is challenging.
On how he managed college along with GATE preparation, Shashank said, "I always focused on one thing (at a time). If I wanted to prepare for GATE, I would only study for GATE the whole day. If I wanted to study for college semesters... then I did only that."
Shashank on the most important part of GATE preparation
When asked what, according to him, is the most important part of GATE preparation, Shashank said, "The most important thing is to be fully dedicated to GATE. You should be highly devoted... and hard work and dedication are important."
"You should be really interested in the subject, then only you can learn a lot. This is the most important part," the topper said.
A piece of advice to future GATE aspirants
In a message to GATE aspirants, Shashank said, "I advise the future aspirants to write as many tests as possible. Test series are very crucial and very effective."
He added that he did not take up any job through campus placements and instead concentrated on GATE preparation, which is crucial. "If you take campus placements, you cannot be much focused on GATE," he said.