The GATEway to Triumph: Aditya Ranjan Kara
Continuous hard work towards your the goal always pays off this was well proved by Aditya Ranjan Kara of Civil Engineering Department who scored 64.05 marks and got a rank of 1705 in GATE 2020. He was previously placed in L&T Limited. Our club representatives Bedank Agarwal and Subhasis Rath had an opportunity to have some words with the jubilant man.
CEST-When did the idea of GATE occur to you?
Aditya-I got the inspiration for GATE exam during my 2nd semester but my wholehearted preparation started from the 4th semester.
CEST-What was your motivation behind attempting the GATE examination? Was it for the PSU job?
Aditya-In my case it was not for the PSU rather for the M.Tech. It was because Civil Engineering is a vast course and there are a lot of things to learn and discover. So, I want to pursue my master degree from old IITs and IISc because they give a better scope of exposure.
CEST- Have you enrolled for the Prestigious IES examination?
Aditya-No I couldn’t enroll for the IES examination because of my age constraint. I’m currently not considering IES, as my first and foremost option is masters and then Ph.D. but as it’s a lucrative option I can give it a thought if my plan A fails.
CEST-What is your opinion about Placements at NIT Rourkela?
Aditya- As compared to the other branches it is quiet low but when we compare it with other colleges it is kind of okay though we can’t call it good.
CEST-Do you feel GATE syllabus is adequately taught in NIT Rourkela?
Aditya-No I don’t feel that the amount material which is taught for some subjects like Environmental Engineering and transportation engineering are enough. Though I feel our institute gives a plethora of content for structural engineering. Some important subjects like hydraulics are kept as optional which are very important in GATE examination. In our times we had just one subject for environmental engineering though the syllabus has been revised and it will give my juniors a better chance in competitive exams.
CEST-What was your preparation strategy for GATE Exam?
Aditya- My focus was mainly to combine my semester study with the GATE preparation because it gives enough time to go in depth about a subject and also helps us to make notes which supports in both GATE and Semester exams. During semester breaks it’s important to cover the parts of GATE subjects which are not there in the semester syllabus. The strategy which mainly worked for me was time management, I completed the whole syllabus before one and a half month before exam and then revision and test series followed. I think the strategy of mine worked for me well.
CEST-What books/Materials or coaching did you take for exam?
Aditya-I completed 70% of the course from the YouTube videos and the rest was helped by GATE academy materials.
CEST-Does a decent CGPA or a great internship has any role to play in success in exams such as GATE and ESE?
Aditya-There is no connection between internships and competitive exams but it’s true that it gives you a true picture of the subject and coming to CGPA its obvious that if someone prepares well for GATE exam will get a decent CGPA. The internships though play a vital part during placements. CGPA matters when you go for MS as many institutes like IIT madras and IISc Bangalore as they give weightage to your CGPA as high as 40%.
CEST-How did you manage 24 hours of a day? Name a few distractions and how did you manage to get rid of them?
Aditya-It’s obvious that a person can’t read for 24hours a day so I mostly used to keep myself busy in club activities which are constructive and related to my studies. Distractions is something that totally depends on you. For better concentration I used to oscillate between my club activities and studies.
CEST- How did you manage your 4th year project and your preparation together?
Aditya- My project is yet to be completed and I just hope that I can complete my project by 8th sem (he laughs) as the vacation has already started and no one knows when it will open. I had done a lot of work on my project during my 7th semester and during my 8th semester I concentrated upon the GATE exams it’s just like how we used to manage our competitive and our board during our 12th class.
CEST-What do you think about the club culture at NITR? What are your suggestions for CEST and ICE?
Aditya- The club culture in NITR is very helpful because it helps to develop management skills and everyone should take advantage of this culture of NITR. During my interviews also I was asked about my club activities for around 20mins so you can think club can make a big difference. About CEST and ICE I don’t have much to say as I was Chief-coordinator of CEST so it’s better if I don’t say anything (he laughs).
CEST-Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics have a great weightage in GATE exam how did you plan to ace them? What was your strategy towards the non-core section?
Aditya- Aptitude in GATE is easier than the aptitude paper we give during our campus placements so I didn’t prepare it separately and for engineering mathematics also the syllabus is about 50% of what we study in our curriculum so I advise to go through the syllabus first and then prepare accordingly. As per me you can complete the whole syllabus in 2-3 weeks.
CEST- How did you manage your time in GATE exam?
Aditya- I had distributed time to each section like I gave 20 mins to aptitude,40 mins to 1 mark questions,1 hr 45 mins to 2 mark questions and rest 15 mins for rechecking but in the end I felt that I fell short of time so I advise you to go through the sample papers and test papers more and always keep more buffer during the exam.
CEST-How much test series are important in your view?
Aditya- They are very important as they teach you time management and they clear your concepts. Though it is sure that those questions have very less probable to come in exam but time management is what will be a great use during the exam. One thing I was to emphasize upon is the calculator GATE provides is not so advanced as our calculators so tests prepare us with those kind calculators and familiarisation leads to less mathematical errors during the exam.
CEST-Did you leave/ignore any section and emphasised heavily in other?
Aditya- Yes in fact you need to filter out what to read and what to leave. Basically I focussed on the subjects like Geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, structural analysis, environmental engineering, mechanic of solid and fluid mechanics as they have high weightage in the exams and as per your choice you can leave some topics of other subjects it’s up to you. But when you prepare you should keep in mind that all the high weightage subjects should be given same value during preparations because there can be small alterations in the pattern which can cost you some of your marks. This year transportation engineering had maximum weightage as compared to other years.
CEST- What was your strategy to handle factual and mathematical subjects? What subjects do you think require more time and effort?
Aditya- Subjects like environmental, geotechnical and transportation takes maximum time as there are lot of formulae to remember and they require regular revisions.
CEST- English grammar is the Achilles heel of many aspirants was it tough for you? What was your strategy to tackle it?
Aditya- It was very tough for me and I mostly relied on luck and ended up getting two wrong answers (he laughs).
CEST- How would you rate GATE 2020?
Aditya- If you have prepared well then 2020 paper was not a tough nut to crack. As compared to 2019 paper it was easier. This was the reason that cut-offs went up this year.
CEST-How did you keep yourself motivated during preparations?
Aditya- GATE is a huge chance for all students and especially for the core branch and as I was aspiring to do my masters so I kept my head up and prepared well.
CEST- What suggestions will you give to GATE aspirants?
Aditya- Everyone should prepare a routine and abide by it. With this simple trick they can crack the GATE exam. Don’t get frustrated looking at your initial test series results and keep working hard.