Importance of Maths and General Aptitude in GATE


Importance of Maths and General Aptitude in GATE exam by Career Avenues

For the last 15 years, we at Career Avenues have been preparing students for GATE, we have seen one common thread amongst 99% of the students preparing for GATE. And that is there is either lack of focus or over-focus on some subjects; while missing out on the other subjects.

In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of preparing for General Aptitude as well as Mathematics for GATE.

Mathematics is not a part of all the GATE examinations.

  • For example, GATE in Geology or Architecture and Planning or Physics or Chemistry and a whole lot of other branches do not have Mathematics questions.
  • Also, the Mathematics asked in other branches is not of equal weightage or of the same level of difficulty for all GATE branches. For example, the Biotechnology GATE paper may have questions far easier than the GATE Mechanical engineering paper or Engineering Science (XE) paper.

The main point is, Is Math and aptitude are important for GATE?

Let us start with Aptitude.

  • The one simple fact is General Aptitude is 15 marks of GATE. Now, that is larger than any single subject of any GATE examination. With that kind of weightage, it automatically becomes important. But there are two aspects to preparing for General Aptitude. First, most students believe that even without preparation, they already will get a decent amount of marks in GATE in General Aptitude. For example, out of 15 marks, most students will get at least 5 or 6. Many will get probably between 7 to 8 or 10. And some of you may get more than 10 as well. Secondly, they believe that General Aptitude cannot be prepared in a short while.
  • At Career Avenues, we advise the students to focus on General Aptitude in a very different way. GATE is a competitive exam. So your actual marks do not matter. What matters is how much more you score compared to all the other students who are taking the same examination. So if you are scoring a 5 or 7 or 8 and everybody else is also scoring in the same vicinity. It is not helping you at all. You need to score more than others. Can you score more than 10 or 12, or 13 in General Aptitude? And that will make a difference of 5 to 6 marks compared to the other students.
  • Secondly, the way to prepare for General Aptitude is not by trying to go through all the theories of all of the topics which come under General Aptitude. Aptitude requires practice. So in the last two or three months of GATE (typically from October or November), if every day students answer 15 to 20 or 25 questions of General Aptitude. They would be able to do it in less than half an hour – that is ample preparation.

Coming to Engineering Mathematics,

  • We believe that again out of the 8 to 10 or 12 marks of Engineering Mathematics in any of the examinations of GATE, students should be able to get at least four or five or six. Now, this can simply be got just by preparing for a few of the topics. For example, normally Linear Algebra and Numerical Methods questions are definitely asked and they are easy.
  • So if a student just focuses on these two topics which will take you less than 4-5 days or one week to prepare, he would get a minimum of 2 to 3 marks. Now if a student is strong in Probability or strong in calculus or strong in vectors, he may choose that additional topic as well. There would be easy questions and difficult questions in Mathematics. If a student is able to answer at least the easy questions, he will definitely benefit from it.
  • So for Mathematics, at Career Avenues, we suggest that you should have two rounds of preparation. One much before GATE and the second in the last one and half months of GATE. The first round of preparation is learning all the concepts and practicing a decent number of questions. And the second round of preparation is for answering past GATE questions (of at least 5 to 10 years).

Overall time to prepare for Mathematics will not be more than 70-100 hours. And if in that much time you can get 5 or 6 marks. We think it is worth it. 

To know more about the GATE exam, visit the IIT Kharagpur website.

Check out Career Avenues Blog Page for more information about the GATE exam, Preparation Strategy, Tips, and Tricks.


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