I prepared for GATE CS 2020, while doing my B.E. in CS from Mumbai University and secured an AIR of 2 in my first attempt. Yes it is possible. I’m sharing my journey, hope it helps somebody.
So, the whole story started in my 3rd year. Being from Mumbai University I kinda knew that what I was doing was not Engineering. Yes I was clearing my exams (as of now I have a average pointer of 8 for first 7 sems….donno if 8th sem will take place due to corona) but I knew I was lacking concepts. I also wanted to study more. I knew there was more to study in Computer Science and the jobs in IT Sector didn’t interest me. So with a dream to study in a prestigious institute I decided I was going to prepare for GATE. I had a plan that I will join GATE coaching (I’m lazy so I knew I will slack off if I self prepare) in JAN (6th sem). I was preparing for N4 exam ( 2nd level Japanese-Language Proficiency Test ) in December. So I decided when that is over I will start for gate, I didn’t want to start half heartedly.
I started searching for GATE institutes after Diwali (I think). I visited a few institutes in Mumbai and started reading comments about them on the internet. So what some institutes did was, They said they will bring professional teachers for each subject ( for a week or so). But in VisionGATE they had Prof. RSV Sir for all the subjects of CS. According to me, no matter how good a teacher is, It takes some time for the Teacher and Student to match each others wavelength. If one person teaches you I think a strong bond is built and the knowledge can be passed on efficiently. Along with that Prof. RSV has 16+ years of experience. So I decided to join VisionGATE. It was one of the best decisions of my life. My whole life has changed because of the one single decision. I was right all along. My concepts were horribly flawed. There were things I hadn’t even heard of. If you are reading this and doing Engineering I request you to follow standard books for each subject ( at least the core ones. See GATE syllabus and at least do it for those). I didn’t do it and had to pay a huge penalty for that. There were students in the class who were also in the fourth year but knew things much better than me. I felt devastated sometimes. I always thought that I will have to take a drop. This thought didn’t leave me. I left my 3rd level JLPT exam preparation (yes I initially thought I could do it with GATE). But even after that I felt like giving up. But there were examples of Sir’s students like Sanket (GATE CS AIR 25 2016) and many more who cleared GATE with their college. I looked up to them. There was still hope. I didn’t give up. I started reading books that Sir told. I started attending all the lectures at Thane and Dadar. Sir always guided the students. He always said this one line which I held onto for the whole time of my preparation – “Jo baccha last tak class karega wo select hoga. Aur pakka hoga.”. He always said do not give up till the very last moment. And you will get selected. He is one of the most genuine and real person I have ever met. He teaches without any book or ppt/slides. He solves the doubts on the spot. He thinks about the problems with us in the class. He tells us how he thinks about question and guides us on how we should approach the questions. And when such a person tells you that you have the potential to do it, you have to. Many students have written about Sir. You can refer this link Disha Kathin’s answer to Hello! I want to appear for GATE 2020. But since I live in Mumbai, there’s no MadeEasy/Ace Academy here. Can anyone help me as to which classes are good for Gate prep in Mumbai? to read more about Prof. RSV Sir and VisionGATE.
After working as hard as I can for a few months, I saw hope. I started answering questions. After attending lectures, reading books, discussing things in class I started understanding things. There were many moments where I even surprised myself. I started working even harder. There was only one goal in my life now. I wanted to prove myself that I could do it. We joined many test series. In class we all studied collectively and discussed many and everything that was there on the net. Different students bringing different problems. We helped each other. We competed with each other. We laughed, cried, enjoyed. It was a whole package in the class. Easily one of the best years of my life. I didn’t know learning could be this much fun. Yes I was scared. I even trembled sometimes. But I knew I was not alone in my fear. We were all in it together.
When placements season came I decided not to sit for placements. But when students started getting placed I kind of thought I should rethink on my decision. I called my Dad. I live as a Bachelor with 3 students from my college. I met my Mom and Sister only once during my preparation when they came to visit me. So I was in contact with my family through phone. My Dad knew me, when I asked him should I sit for placements he explained to me what I was doing and what my goal was and that I should not think of anything else. I had once told him I will get a Rank under 50 and I had cried that time as I didn’t believe in me when I was saying that. He told me to focus on my preparation and not to think about placements. He told me to give it my all and then whatever will come we will do something about it together and he will always be with me.
I think the reason that I got Rank 2 was because of all these little things that happened with me. Such a good teacher, supportive parents, great friends and a little luck along with my hard work. All the students at VisionGATE were very supportive and always helped anyone who asked for it. I tried to do my bit too. Prof. RSV Sir was such a great motivator that I don’t know what to say.
Yet after all this I was shaking in fear in January. I thought that all my work was going to be judged in the 3 hrs. It took me many days to realize that it was not the case. It was no other than my friends who helped me to do it. I thank Ashutosh for being with me. I realized that it was the journey that has changed me.
If you are focused on what you do and have a clear goal, all sorts of people will come to help you in your battle. This is what I learnt in my journey. Finally I gave the exam with clear mind. I was happy. I didn’t care what will happen. I did some mistakes (actually many small mistakes) in my exam but it’s okay. I will keep improving for all my life.
I hope I will be able to inspire at least one person through this. No matter what you want to do in life, keep working hard, don’t give up and unexpected things can happen in your life.