GATE 2023

GATE 2023: Kolkata girls who secured AIR 40 & 45 tell their story

Mehwash Hussain
Mehwash Hussain
Posted on 24 Mar 2023
12:55 PM
L-R: Ankita Chowdhury and Chandrika Sarkar

L-R: Ankita Chowdhury and Chandrika Sarkar Edugraph

Ankita is looking forward to doing her M.Tech from any of the IITs and she is determined to get into one of her dream institutes soon
Chandrika's future plans do not include getting a job in any of the PSUs but rather completing her MTech degree. Then probably going for a job in her core subject or opting for a Ph.D. if needed

This year, approximately 5.7 lakh students took the GATE 2023 exams. According to the data from IIT Kanpur, 18% of candidates have qualified across the 29 disciplines in GATE 2023.

Two girls from Heritage Institute of Technology (HIT), Kolkata have made a mark by securing AIR 40 & 45. Both Ankita Chowdhury and Chandrika Sarkar belong to the department of Biotechnology at HIT. Ankita has secured an All India Rank of 40, whereas Chandrika has an All India Rank of 45.

Edugraph congratulates them and brings you snippets from an informal conversation with them about their GATE preparation, success mantra, and career aspirations.


Ankita Chowdhury, AIR 40

Ankita Chowdhury

Ankita Chowdhury, a 4th-year B.Tech Biotechnology student at Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata has recently qualified for GATE 2023 with an AIR of 40. She has always been inclined toward this field right from when she was in middle school at Carmel High School. Her achievement takes her one step closer to her goal.

‘When I joined the Biotechnology department, my aim was to score well in GATE and pursue M.Tech in one of the premier institutes of India in this field, said Ankita when asked what motivated her to appear for GATE 2023.

Ankita’s GATE 2023 Preparation Strategy: I started preparing for the GATE exam in November 2022, though I had my semester exam in December, so I missed a lot of time there. However, I could make up for that time by studying at least 6-7 hours/per day in the month of January.

Throughout the month of January, I created a timetable, with 3-4 tasks assigned per day of the week. I kept one day off so as to make up for whatever tasks I was unable to finish during the week. After revising each subject on the syllabus, I gave a revision mock test to test my understanding of concepts. Following this, I noted down my mistakes for revising later.

I did not opt for any coaching classes but I gave mock tests online throughout the month of January. The faculty in my college provided PPTs and extensive notes which were the study materials I used in my preparation, along with a few books suggested by them and my seniors.

I did not spend much time practicing the previous year's papers. Instead, I got my concepts cleared and tried solving new questions which were there in the mock tests. 10 days before the exam, I just went through the previous year's questions, subject-wise, as given in the Wiley book for Biotechnology.

Ankita’s tips to GATE aspirants: My preparation for GATE actually started while studying for my semester exams from the 2nd year of my course. So if you are really focused on GATE, you need to grasp the concepts of each and every subject which are included in the GATE syllabus. If you get all your concepts cleared while appearing for the semester exams itself, then before GATE all you need to do is revise them and practice thoroughly by giving mock tests.

For the last minute, preparations include just going through the notes you created while studying the topics. Don't try to read new concepts just before the exam. Instead, I would suggest aspirants revise whatever they have learned and keep giving mock tests for testing their knowledge.

With good GATE scores, one can get into any IIT or other institutes for further studies such as Masters or P.h.D or students can opt for a job in PSUs.

Ankita is looking forward to doing her M.Tech from any of the IITs and she is determined to get into one of her dream institutes soon.

Having either a long-term or a short-term plan is the pathway to success, believes Ankita. Adding more, she said, ‘Plan your day, week, or month through. Track your progress. Take enough breaks like going for a walk in the evening to stay rejuvenated. Never sit with your books at a stretch while preparing, but instead take breaks and go outside to stay connected with the outside world as well. I would suggest cycling, walking, or any type of physical exercise at least thrice a week. This will help keep your brain active and will help avoid fatigue.’

Chandrika Sarkar, AIR 45

Chandrika Sarkar

Chandrika Sarkar is currently in her last semester of B.Tech in Biotechnology at The Heritage Institute of Technology. When asked what motivated her to appear for GATE, she said, ‘What motivated me to appear for GATE 2023 was my college and especially my department where we already had previous instances of our seniors scoring top ranks.’

Chandrika’s GATE 2023 Preparation Strategy: I started my GATE preparation around the start of my 4th semester and during that period I usually studied for 9-10 hours every day. I didn't want to join a coaching institution per se because I felt like self-study during preparation time would be much more beneficial. But I did opt for a private tutor who taught me selected subjects two times a week.

Chandrika’s tips for GATE Aspirants: One should start preparing for the GATE examination by finding out which subject in their discipline GATE has been focusing on the past few years. Thereafter, start studying from there. Also one has to stay up to date with almost every core subject taught in the 2nd and 3rd years. Previous years’ question papers are essential because even this year a lot of questions, especially NAT questions, were repeated. For last-minute GATE preparation, I would suggest previous years' GATE papers. It is important to note that practising mathematics and aptitude questions are a must!

Speaking about her plans for the future, especially after securing an AIR in GATE, Chandrika says, ‘My future plans do not include getting a job in any of the PSUs but rather completing my MTech degree. Then probably going for a job in my core subject or opting for a Ph.D. if needed.’

The path to success is not a cakewalk for everyone and it certainly wasn’t so for Chandrika. She says that preparing for GATE made her aware that it wasn’t easy to stay calm but she kept trying every day. As Chandrika is yet to find her success mantra, she believes ‘trying’ plays a major role in one’s success.

Last updated on 24 Mar 2023
12:55 PM
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