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Preparation Strategy for Mechanical Engineering (GATE)

Competitive Exams guide Published on 24 June 2020

Mechanical Engineering is one of the highly demanded courses that are opted by many students each year. It opens up bundles of opportunities for students in industries like aviation, automobile, chemical, construction, marine, etc. One can either opt for their Post graduation in Mechanical Engineering or apply for a job. Many PSU companies recruit candidates for various positions. Completing a PG program from reputed universities, IITs and NITs can be beneficial for candidates as they can get many job opportunities in top MNCs or abroad. It is also observed that each year, Mechanical Engineering is one of the most attempted streams. 

It is important to score good GATE marks in order to get into the top IITs for further education. Some of the top IITs include IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Roorkee, IIT Madras, IIT Patna, IIT Kharagpur, etc. GATE is an online-based exam which holds a total duration of 3 hours. Let’s start the complete preparation strategy for GATE:

  1. The Exam Pattern 

The primary aspect before starting the preparation is to know the exam pattern. The GATE exam pattern is divided into 3 sections i.e. General Aptitude that hold 15% marks, Engineering Mathematics that hold 15% marks and Technical Questions that hold 75% marks. It consists of a total of 65 questions that are based on MCQ and NAT. The MCQ questions have four options out of which only one is correct. On the other hand, for NAT questions, candidates have to enter the numerical value for the correct answer. Note that ⅓ marks are deducted for wrong answer (applicable for 1 mark MCQ). ⅔ Marks are deducted for MCQs holding 2 marks each. There is no deduction if the candidate do not answer the question. 

  1. The Exam Syllabus

The secondary aspect is to know the exam syllabus. The Mechanical Engineering syllabus is divided into four sections. 

Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

Engineering Mathematics consists of topics like Calculus, Differential Equation, Linear Algebra, Probability & Statistics, Complex variables and Numerical methods. 

Section 2: Applied Mechanics & Design 

This section consists of topics like Theory of Machines, Machine Design, Vibrations, Engineering Mechanics and Mechanics of Materials. 

Section 3: Fluid Mechanics & Thermal Sciences

This section consists of topics like Thermodynamics, Heat-transfer, Applications and Fluid Mechanics. 

Section 4: Materials, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering 

This section consists of topics like Engineering Materials, Operations Research, Inventory Control, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Product Planning & Control, Casting, Forming & Joining Process, Machine & Machining Tool Operations. 

The general aptitude questions cover Verbal and Numerical ability. 

  1. The Study Materials 

The next aspect while preparation is to refer good study materials. There are many online and offline books available that can help candidates to prepare for the exam. 

Some of the books include: 

Reference Book 
Name of the Author
Engineering Mechanics
Engineering Mechanics - New Age International 
S S Bhavikatti 
Engineering Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach 
P K Nag, Yunus A Cengel
Machine Theory
The theory of Machines
S S Ratan
Heat Transfer
Fundamentals of Engineering Heat & Mass Transfer
R C Sachdeva
Material Strength 
Strength of Materials 
James M Gere, Stephan P Timoshenko 
Mechanical Vibrations 
G K Grover 
Industrial Engineering 
Industrial Engineering & Management 
O P Khanna 
Production Technology: Manufacturing Processes, Technology & Automation  
R K Jain
Material Science 
Material Science & Metallurgy
U C Jindal 
General Aptitude
Modern Approach to Verbal & Non- Verbal Reasoning 
R S Aggarwal

  1. Time Management 

Time is the key for preparing this exam. A proper Time table can help candidates to plan and complete their daily studying tasks. Give appropriate time to each topic and analyze the strength and weaknesses of all the subjects. Give enough time to subjects that are tough and are important for the exam. Here’s what candidates can do to plan the subjects on a daily basis:

Engineering Mathematics- 1 hour 

General Aptitude - 1 hour 

Subject Questions- 2 Hours

Try to increase the number of hours as the exam is near i.e.

Engineering Mathematics- 2 hours

General Aptitude - 2 hours 

Subject Questions - 4 hours

Make mini notes simultaneously while studying daily as the candidates can refer that a month before the exam than actually revising the whole syllabus again. 

  1. Take Mock Tests 

There are many mock tests available online which can help candidates to prepare better for the exam. Mock tests have similar exam patterns as the GATE exam which will be beneficial for the candidates to help understand the type and level of questions. Also, these tests will help in proper time management so candidates will have a thorough practice of completing the paper on time. 

  1. Revise Daily

The last aspect is to revise all the topics daily. Revision is an important thing which many candidates neglect. Revising at the last moment is something that nobody should follow. After studying make sure to revise everything again to avoid the last-minute hassle. 

Remember that each institute has its own cutoffs so candidates must prepare accordingly. In order to get into their dream institutes, candidates must study daily and keep on revising. A proper study plan along with lots of hard work, time management and dedication will help one score good marks and excel in their exams.

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