Mid Level

What is the best approach to solve numericals for GATE?

.. and Why should you try both !
minutes read

Many of us have have been into the situation when we thoroughly understood the theory and felt very confident about concepts but as soon as we face questions, we have no clue on how to proceed. This situation is just like the case that an aspiring cricket batsman have learned everything needed to bat well, went through all the techniques on using arms and wrists to play shots but never even lifted the bat in reality. He never practiced playing shots in real life. If he goes to play the game like this, it is needless to say that he will perform poor. The role of practicing questions is just the same as doing net practice before match. Yes, it is important to have a coach/guide to show you the right direction but without doing net practice, you can not expect to score a ton!

There is an ongoing dilemma among aspirants regarding solving numericals. There are two approaches which come to their mind:

Approach 1: Solving many questions of limited types.
Approach 2: Solving limited number of questions from many categories.

Most of the concepts that are tested in GATE are known to all of us through previous year questions. If we are not practising enough questions on those concepts which are asked in GATE, then we are missing out on 60-65 marks which we can get easily in GATE (if we avoid silly mistakes). It is like a batsman not preparing to face a 'Yorker' or a 'Bouncer' knowing that he has to bat against an aggressive fast bowler. Approach 1 will help you in improving the concepts that are frequently tested.

But if you expose your brain to just limited variety of questions, you will not know how to proceed if few tricky questions come in exam or the approach for solving the question is different from the approaches you have practiced. You will feel blank and as if you know nothing.

If you want to score more than 75-80 marks, you must expose your mind to a variety of questions testing different approaches. You can not blindly follow one approach, ignoring the other. Try to maintain a balance between the two. If you solve questions for 3 hours daily, divide that time into a definite ratio for each type. For example, you can solve Approach 1 questions for 2 hours and then Approach 2 questions for next 1 hour. You can set up ratio depending upon where you think you lag.

Do everything with a plan and roadmap. Random efforts will just waste your year and energy. If you were not planning on the type of questions to solve, plan today!

We hope this article helped you in deciding the question solving approach. You may also want to know about our Exergic Question Bank focused on Approach 2 discussed above.

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Chandresh Mahajan
GATE AIR - 37 (ME), Ex-IOCL Officer
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