Why Did I Appear for it?
There are people who ask me, “Hey, why did you appear for GATE 2011 having already cleared GATE 2010 with over 99 percentile!?” (Read here)
My answer has always been that “I wanted to do a self check. I wanted to be sure that what I had accomplished in 2010 wasn’t a strike of luck/chance.”
After clearing GATE 2010 (I was in 3rd year of my B.Tech at that time), I would search internet for post GATE experiences of the people. Through the bits and pieces of information I collected through the internet search, and surfing of the IIT webistes, one thing had got etched in my mind–”Sunil! The battle isn’t over yet! Your GATE qualification is not a guarrrantee to your bright future. You will have to face interviews, and may be more written tests by the IITs before you manage to grab a seat in some IIT (or may be you might not find any seat at all!).”
I decided that I’ll appear for GATE 2011 too, not with an aim to get even better rank (I had already secured a good enough rank of 44 in GATE BT 2010), but to ascertain that the feat of getting over 99.6 percentile in GATE 2010 wasn’t ‘LUCK BY CHANCE! If I can clear GATE 2011 too on a similar scale, only then I would stand some chance in the interviews/further tests”
GATE BT 2010: No Special Preparation. How about GATE BT 2011?
Quite contrary to GATE 2010, I was very serious about my preparations for GATE BT 2011. I was extremely structured in my approach. My key focus areas were “Bioprocess Engineering, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Applied Microbiology”. I didn’t start with studying the hectic books, my approach was rather to:
1. Do as many numerical problems on Bioprocess Engineering. My only focus in Bioprocess was on Reactor Engineering chapter. I had covered all the solved and unsolved problems of Reactor Engineering chapter of Bioprocess by Doran.
2. For Immunology I studied in detail the chapters of: “Antigens and Antibodies” and “MHC” from Kuby’s immunology. I followed all the MCQs and chapter end questions of “Hypersensitivity, Graft Rejection, Complement System, T Cell Receptor and Vaccines“. I was a great follower of INSTANT NOTES ON IMMUNOLOGY (Download from here). Also, I used to thoroughly follow the animations provided for Kuby’s Immunology 6th Edition at here.
3. For Molecular Biology, I thoroughly followed the Central Dogma from JD Watson’s Molecular Biology. Focussed on Topoisomerases as well. Again, I never went lazy about solving the chapter end problems of these sections.
4. For applied Microbiology, I studied Prescott Only. The best part of Prescott is the detailed chapter-end questionnaire. The chapters I followed for my GATE preparations were:
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
- Human Diseases caused by Bacteria
- Genes: Structure, Replication, and Expression
- Control of Microorganisms in the Environment
- and Microbial Growth
My very special focus was on “Mechanism of Action of Various Antibiotics“
5. The most important part of my preparation was “Studying all the previous year question papers”. As it was only the 2nd time that GATE BT was going to be organized, I downloaded all the GATE XL papers and went through them (with special focus on Biotech section).
A Special Thought: Can be a great relief..
The most important thought in my mind (I would recommend every GATE BT aspirant to realize the importance of the same) was that I am not supposed to read each and every topic mentioned in the syllabus of GATE BT. My 4 years study during B.Tech is definitely going to help me out in some way. All I need to do is cover those parts which indeed seem very crucial, and in which my level of confidence is bleak. Also, everyday, I used to follow 1-3 randomly searched animations on various topics of Biotech (my key words for google search used to be: Animations in Molecular biology, Cell Biology, cell signalling etc). It was a completely unstructured approach, but I used to love this random approach of learning.
In the next Part of My GATE BT 2011:
- My choice of centre for GATE BT 2011
- The Time I reached on the day of exam
- My Approach to Solve the Paper
- How Many Questions I attempted in GATE BT 2011
- Post GATE solving of questions
- Result: Did I manage to Crack GATE BT 2011? Rank? Percentile? Was it better than 2010?
Read rest of the story here: Giving GATE BT Second Time: Self Check (The Exam Experience)