GATE Topper Interviews

How To Write GATE Exam: Nikhil Krishnan (AIR 4) GATE 2011 (part-3)

This is the third and final part of the interview I conducted with Nikhil Krishnan, who scored All India 4th Rank in GATE 2011 in electronics and communication paper. In previous two interviews he talked about how to prepare for GATE and in this third part he is talking about how to write GATE exam.

I strongly recommend you to watch first two interviews, they are very helpful and guiding. You can find them here How prepare for GATE interview 1 and interview 2.
In this interview for first two or three minutes the sound is not clear, therefore I had to cut the call and call him back. Rest of the interview don’t have any issues are second interviews last part. Just stay patient and listen to all interviews to know how to make best use of those 3hrs of GATE exam to score best possible rank for your preparations.

In this interview Nikhil answered the following questions. Here (you stands for Nikhil)

  1. How you planned three hours of GATE Exam?
  2. How you planned for one mark questions and two mark questions?
  3. How did you plan for making best out of Negative Marking?
  4. What was your mistake in GATE Exam and what you suggest students to take care during the exam?
  5. How did you feel when you saw GATE results and what about your parents and friends reaction?
  6. Any final message to students preparing for GATE and I n I community?

The interview is here.

It was great contribution from Nikhil for all students who are preparing for GATE. In future we will bring many more interviews and very helpful videos for all students community. Please also have a look at GATE 2012 preparation guide for different posts helping towards GATE preparation and exams.

Don’t hesitate to share with friends because sharing is caring and it just needs a click effort. Do subscribe by email for email updates and you can like I n I on facebook to get updates in facebook. If you want to ask something to toppers or have something important to share or have a suggestion don’t feel shy to drop a comment or start a topic in I n I community.

Wish you all a great luck ahead with GATE preparation and GATE exam itself.


  1. prasanth

    hi dere,

    i am prasanth from electrical and electronics engineering background. can you please provide me the names of the standard books for electrical and electronics engineering that iit professors would follow or that is required for gate preparation. this would be most helpful to me and even to those who are confused deciding which book to opt …


  2. Tushar

    I read it and really inspired. I am in last year of engineering and appearing for GATE 2012. happy to see that video :).

  3. shoaib ahamed

    Download Mp3 and store it in Ur mobile..when Ur tensed / careless
    play and listen ..

  4. Ankit Chheda

    Dear Rohit,
    If you have a strong will to do then time won’t be a matter. You must know to get into IISc, Bang. you must need incredible score of top AIR 100. So study for as much as 10-12 hours and should not let your brain to get tired of studying. For 100% use of your brain, follow one article on
    “If you believe everything is possible” (even impossible says I M Possible)

    1. Rohit Srivatsan

      Thank you for the response! I have just one more doubt, how does one find out which IIT is setting the paper? I ask this because I am not giving it this year, but in 2013. I also went to the IITD website for electrical engineering, I can’t seem to find their syllabus or recommended textbooks. IITM does seem to have some of this information though.

  5. Rohit Srivatsan

    I also have another doubt. My ultimate aim is to get into IISc, is it possible to get a good enough GATE score to get in with the time I have left?
    Also, do they have an interview process for MS applicants? Should I allocate some extra time to study my intended specialization(statistical DSP, machine learning and computer vision) so that I am comfortable with them in case of an interview?
    And oh, thank you for maintaining this website, it is an incredibly helpful resource for students!

  6. Rohit Srivatsan

    Hello! I am currently in my 6th semester, studying electrical engineering. I am planning on giving GATE in 2013, and have decided to start my preparations now itself. I have a doubt though, should I take the recommended textbook, go through it once thoroughly(or atleast the topics in the syllabus), or should I directly attempt mock GATE questions(I have Brilliant Tutorials study material with me) and use the textbook to refresh concepts and clear doubts when they arise? If I am going through the textbooks, should I attempt their exercises, or should I just attempt the problems from my study materials?

    1. Ankit Chheda

      Dear Rohit,
      since you have ample amount of time, why don’t you go through standard Reference book and solve the exercise given in every chapter. Coz what I believe is GATE paper is always designed from those standard reference book. Like this year IITD is designing the paper, so one should find their academics syllabus and find out which standard reference they use and read them all accordingly. This is ‘TRY YOUR LUCK’ method. Most of the time you get success but what about few times when it is not like that?. So start reading from reference book and solve exercise. You can give 2 apprx 2 months to every subject and by the end you will definately master the subject

  7. Ankit Chheda

    Write-up about working of brain during our studies. One must know how it works and use the fullest strength of our brain wisely

    @Zahid sir, read it once if you like it then only allow this comment for other aspirants

  8. ramkapoor

    I am more worried about written exam

    1. Ankit Chheda

      Keep follow Inspire n Ignite. And also you can follow my blog
      I am going to write a article about mental state during exam and how we need to tackle it. 🙂

  9. Chetankumar

    The Interview was really good. I really like to thanks Nikhil for sharing his tips & tricks with us. Specially that making the “Formula Sheet” while studying is awesome idea & I think the Formula Sheet will become very handy tool just before the GATE exam.

    Thank you Zahid Sir & Nikhil for spending your valuable time for us.
    Also I just wants to ask one question that:
    “What should we do 10 days before the exam: Study, Practice or something else?”
    (So that we could adjust our schedule from now)

    ((Note: Anyone from Mechanical please help me early here (PERMALINK) : ))

    1. Ankit Chheda

      When you have whole 2 months, why you worrying about tomorrow i.e. last 10 days. Start planning from now and include those 10 days as well. 🙂 Its better to study than keep on only planning

    2. Chetankumar

      @ Ankit Sir, first of all Thanks for your kind advice sir; I really agreed what you have said. But I wants to know that on what portion we should concentrate more in those last days before the GATE exam.
      And if Zahid Sir takes another Interview of GATE topper then I would like to know it from him/her.

    3. Chetankumar

      @ Ankit-ji, first of all Thanks for your kind advice; I really agreed what you have said. But I wants to know that on what portion we should concentrate more in those last days before the GATE exam.
      And if Zahid Sir takes another Interview of GATE topper then I would like to know it from him/her & that’s why I had asked it early 🙂


    How to get IIT bhubaneswar or patna JRFs or SRFs ?Where I can see it all the time through out the year in their website?

  11. srinath

    ZAHID , the rock star , these videos are such an informative .Thank you very much especially the last video,he focused on strategy to attempt the exam ,that was a great one .Thank you zahid ,as the saying goes like this “helping hands are more holier than praying lips “.
    COngo to the AIR-4 , all the best !

  12. Ankit Chheda

    @Zahid Sir, Whats your take on final 3 hours of GATE EXAM?

    Interview with Nikhil was extremely helpful and inspiring, mostly the second part (personal opinion). But its my personal opinion that 3rd part was bit expected and ordinary.
    I have taken training in students psychology (as a part of my part time profession. As per common sense, one should feel that he must solve only paper during 3 hours of exam and pschologically during this 3 hours, his mind will get fatigue and slows down. Secondly, while studying or preparing we were advised not to study for long hours, and we must take breaks after 90 or 120 minutes for at least 15-30 minutes (this is only to avoid brain fatigue). And I think I should write something about it. I will tell you when my write-up will be ready.
    For interview with Nikhil, I am thankful to you and Nikhil for your contribution to all GATE aspirants. Love you, Sir.

  13. Mithun H

    Thank you sir…………

  14. arka

    wht abt d mind set-up jst before gate exam? for instrumentation,which portition must done sequencaly to do max answers??

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