Planning for the GATE

This blog is the 2nd article in a series of GATE preparation tips blog articles for Civil Engineering Students. The blog author, Rohit Sachdeva has secured AIR 93 in GATE 2017 and is currently studying at IISc Bangalore. You can read the rest of the articles under the CE section for GATE blogs at

One of the most important things to do before beginning preparation for any competitive examination is to arrange for the essential study material & have a proper plan in mind. Once a good plan is made, the only thing that remains is executing it thoroughly. GATE is not the toughest of exams, but it surely requires a strategic & planned preparation!

This blog is dedicated towards gathering resources for preparation of GATE exam and helping students plan their time table. The subsequent Blog articles i.e. 3 & 4 will talk, in detail, about the textbooks and detailed scheduling for Civil Engineering GATE exam.


  1. Study Material: You might have studied your bachelors with text books for each subject. But it is highly recommended that you arrange for study material (class-notes, practice sets, etc) of some good coaching institute & study from it rather than textbooks. It will give targeted direction to your preparation and will help you stay focused.

    However, if you want to clear doubts or completely want to rely on textbooks, refer to the next blog to get an idea about which books to follow.

  2. Previous year GATE question papers: Last 5 years if not more. The most current question papers will give an idea of latest trend of questions; the older ones will give you more practice. (Don’t forget to look out for the new topics added to the syllabus, if any).
  3. Test series: You have to register for online test series by any reputed GATE coaching institution(s). Attending test series are the best ways to identify flaws in your preparation and getting accustomed to the exam pattern & time limit.


  • Schedule/Time Table: Find out (from internet or point (b) above) the weightage of different subjects in last 5 years and prepare a time table accordingly. Everyone can have a different time table depending on their strength/weakness, but one should identify the bigger subjects which take more time to cover & then plan.

    e.g. In Civil Engineering – Soil/Geotech, Environment, SOM/Structures, Transportation and Fluid Mechanics are big subjects.

    Maths+Aptitude carry 30 marks and should also be allotted sufficient time.

    Subject-wise detailed planning will be discussed in Blog 4.

3. Find leisure activities to relax yourself; get out of your house often; listen to music; sleep well.

  • This all might sound a waste of time right now but once you enter preparation mode, you are bound to feel dull and lose momentum. Do activities which keep you active and keep your preparation going!

    As we move into the next few blog articles, there will be a lot of discussion regarding strategies, problem-solving, how to attempt test-series, subject-wise discussions, etc. So start following the tips and prepare well. Stay tuned!