Exam preparation strategies for RBI, Nabard , UPSC, IRDA

GATE Mechanical EngineeringGraduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a kind of examination that basically tests the thorough understanding and the caliber of students of various subjects that are taught to undergraduates in engineering. GATE is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technologies on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development , Government of India.

GATE is a very crucial examination for mechanical engineers and is very important for those seeking something to add to your engineering degree. Also, it leads you to the prestigious colleges in India.The score obtained by a candidate in GATE exams shows the level of performance of a candidate. The score is used for admissions to various post-graduate education programs in Indian higher education institutes with financial support provided by various government agencies. It is one of the most competitive examinations in India and is also recognized by various institutes outside India. Talking about mechanical engineering, it is one of the subjects that most of the aspirants want to pursue through GATE. Even though this subject is quite popular it gives a tough competition to the students.

ELIGIBILITY FOR Mechanical Engineering EXAM

  • gate eligibility criteriaThe candidate must have a bachelor degree i.e. B.Tech/ B.E/ B.Pharm/ B. Arch from a recognized University.
  • Either Bachelor Degree in Science / BSc. Research from recognized University.
  • The applicants appearing in the final year of qualifying exam can also apply for the exam provided they have to submit the certificate from the Principal of University ot College.
  • The candidates, who have passed the qualifying examination, have to submit their certificate or degree certificate or provisional certificate.
  • Diploma holders are not eligible for the examination.
  • It should be noted that there is no age limit for candidates and they are eligible only after the achievement of their bachelor degree.
  • Also, there is no minimum pass percentage of marks required of the qualifying exam / equivalent to apply for GATE.
  • Indian students along with candidates with nationality of Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates or other foreign candidates are eligible for the exam.

GATE eligibility – important points

  • GATE eligibility criteria certificate as applicable shall be uploaded in application form and should not be sent by post.
  • If the candidate is pursuing any higher degree or already obtained a degree higher than that mentioned in the above table, then the candidate can select the minimum required qualifying examinations, then the candidate can select the minimum required qualifying degree while filing GATE application form.
  • In case, a candidate has completed one of the qualifying examinations then they have to submit the degree certificate / provisional certificate/ course completion certificate issued by the institute.
  • The candidate must upload the Provisional Certificate letter in prescribed format issued by the Head of the institute/ Dean Registrar or a copy of marks card for section A of AMIE etc.
  • Candidates with back log in any of the papers in their qualifying degree should upload a copy of any of the mark sheet of the final year issued by the institute where the candidate is studying .In this case internet downloaded mark sheet shall not be accepted.




SECTION 2 Applied Mechanics and Design
   SECTION 3 Fluid mechanics and thermal science
  SECTION 4 Materials, Manufacturing and industrial engineering
GENERAL APTITUDE SECTION TOPICS Verbal Ability and Numerical Ability
  • SECTION 1-  This will include Linear Algebra, Calculus, Differential Equations, Complex variables, Probability and Statistics and Numerical Methods
  • SECTION 2- Applied Mechanics and Design will cover areas in Engineering Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Theory of Machines, Vibrations, Machine Design
  • SECTION 3- This section includes topics such as Fluid mechanics, Heat transfer, Thermodynamics, Applications
  • SECTION 4- Engineering Materials, Casting, Forming and Joining Process, Machining and Machine Tool operations, Metrology and Inspection, Computer Integrated Manufacturing are the topics that come under this section.

Cut Off for GATE Mechanical Engineering

The cut off for the examination varies usually. But the candidates have to meet the cut off marks in order to qualify the exam, and it is as follows.

S. No  Category 2017 2016 2015
1 General 32.87 29.6 32.73
2 OBC 29 26.6 29.49
3 SC/ST/PD 21 19.7 21.82


1. Tgate tipso start with, candidates must be aware of the GATE exam pattern for mechanical engineering completely

  • It consists of 65 questions out of which 35 questions are of 2 marks and 30 questions are of 1 mark with a total of 100 marks. Candidates must know that there are only two types of questions, multiple choice questions and numerical answer type.
  • They should be aware that there will be 2/3rd negative marking in 2 markers and 1/3rd negative marking in 1 markers whereas there is no negative marking in Numerical answer type questions hence only they can get the maximum numbers in the test.

2. Know the syllabus of Mechanical engineering and the weightage

  • It is suggested that the candidate goes through the complete syllabus at least once before starting the preparation. Match your knowledge with the exam syllabus and plan your preparation with known subjects.
  • Highlight the important topics in the syllabus based upon the previous year papers and focus more on these topics during the course of your preparation. 

3. Choose good books & study materials related to mechanical engineering for the preparation

  • Selection of appropriate and concise study material is very important before starting the preparation.
  • Read at one book apart from the study material which is provided by your institution and your class notes.
  • Nowadays the whole package is available online in the form of video lectures, course materials PDF, so you can pursue best study material.

4. Study smartly during the preparation

  • Analyse important topics and pattern of questions from the previous year papers.
  • Prepare each topic in three steps. Understand the concept, practice related questions and revise regularly. This will help you to analyse your preparation and also boost your confidence.
  • Most of the questions are conceptual & numerical, so you must try to improve your solving ability and time management to score a good rank.

5. Prepare the study plan to complete the syllabus

  • The first step in the preparation is to start with easy subject and important one. Toppers suggestion is to begin with mathematics and one basic technical subject.
  • Segregate whole subject into smaller topics and prepare topic wise
  • After completing the subject, make short notes for that subject which should include definitions, important formulas etc. This will help during the time of revision.
  • Clearing all the doubts during the preparation is essential.
  • Identify weak areas while practising tests and try to revise and practice those topics.

6. Proper revision plan

  • It is not just sufficient enough to prepare revision notes, but also to revise them regularly.
  • Read the revision notes on a weekly basis to recall the concepts of prepared subjects.
  • Each time you revise the same topic/ subject, your revision time will reduce to recall the concepts.

7. Mock tests and practice papers

  • Mock tests play an important role.
  • Firstly, it gives you an exam like interface. This is very important for any aspirant, to have idea and thorough practice on exam like interface.
  • They provide All India ranking, so you know where you stand.
  • Test analysis about how you performed in exam and how toppers have performed, which helps you to analyse and understand how much more preparation is required and on which area.
  • You also get to keep a check on which question was easy and you couldn’t attempt, but attempted a tough question which was expected to be left. And how much extra time have you given to that particular question.
  • Comprehensive explanation to every single question coupled with smart tricks/intuitive approach in the form of text, Images or both.
  • From mock tests, you get to know your strength and weaknesses in a well-defined manner.
  • Tests in general are important. They help not only in the assessment of your preparation for exams, but also regular test attempts help you memorize better.

8. Last minute strategy for GATE exam

  • It is advised not to read any new topic during the last days.
  • Focus on revising the concepts and important questions which you have marked during your preparation.
  • Keep your mind relaxed and take proper sleep before the exam. This will help you in recollecting things during the exam. 

GATE Important topics & books for Mechanical Engineering

As per the assessment made on previous year question papers and based on the opinions of toppers and experts few topics are important and need to be emphasized upon. They are mentioned below.

S. No Topics What to emphasize upon Books
1. Design of Machine Elements Design For Static And Dynamic Loading; Failure Theories; Fatigue Strength And The S-N Diagram; Principles Of The Design Of Machine Elements Such As Bolted, Riveted And Welded Joints, Shafts, Spur Gears, Rolling And Sliding Contact Bearings, Brakes And Clutches. Machine design – V.B. Bhandari
2. Engineering Mechanics Resolving Forces, Equilibrium, Equilibrium And Truss Engineering Mechanics by Bhavikatti

Engineering Mechanics by Beer and Johnston,

Engineering Mechanics by R K Rajput

3. Fluid Mechanics Simple & Differential Piezometer, Pressure Column Height Calculation, Reynold’s No. Calculation, Hydraulic Power, Nozzle Velocity Etc. Of Turbines, Bernoulli’s Law (Simple Problems), Tapered Sections, Pump Parameters (Speed, Power, Discharge), Force Calculation, Fluid Mechanics by R K Bansal

Fluid & Hydraulics- Modi and seth


4. Heat Transfer Convection, Conduction, Radiation, Efficiency Calculation, Heat Exchanger (Parallel & Counter Flow) Outlet Temp. Calculation, Biot Number, Prandtl Number, LMTD, Heat Transfer Through Slabs, Shells, Cylinders, Condenser, Heat and Mass Transfer by J P Hollman and R C Sachdeva

Heat Transfer by Cengel and Holman

5. Industrial Engineering Forecasting Model, CPM, PERT, Work Study And Measurement, Scheduling And Johnson’s Rule Time Study, EOQ, Standard Time, Demand, Poisson’s Arrivals & Departures , LPP Problems (Graphical Queuing Model, Break Even Analysis Industrial Engineering by O P Khanna, Buffa and Sarin
6 . Manufacturing Engineering Machining (Milling, Drilling, EDM, ECM) Tool Geometry, Punching, Blanking, Force; Conceptual & Theoretical Questions; Orthogonal Machining , Heat & Power Required In Welding, Transformations (Rotations, Scaling Etc.), Solidification Time, CNC Machine G Codes And M Codes , Sheet Metal, Various Types Of Fits, Production Technology: Manufacturing Processes, Technology and Automation by R.K. Jain
7. Strength of Materials Principe stress and strain

BMD and SFD , Macaulay’s theorem (slope & deflection), Thin Pressure Vessels, Problems On  Various Theories Of Failure , Torques, And Bending Moment Calculation,

Strength of Materials – Gere & Timoshenko
8. Strength of Materials Concepts, Generally Theories Of Failure, Mohr’s Circle Strength of Materials by Gere and Timoshenko, B C Unamia, Sadhu Singh, Ramamrutham
9. Thermal Science Rankine Cycle, Brayton Cycle, Regeneration in steam cycles, and other cycles, T-S diagrams, P-V diagrams, enthalpy calculations, C.O.P. parameters of I.C. Engine, DBT, WBT, Relations (Otto ,Diesel Cycles), Exit Temperature In Various Stages Of Cycles , Pressure  Of Nozzle, Compressor Work Calculations, Work Done, Engineering Thermodynamics by P.K. Nag
10. Thermo Dynamics Cycles, Turbines, Refrigeration, Work & Heat

First Law Of Thermodynamics,

Second Law Of Thermodynamics,

Entropy, Properties Of Pure Substances

Engineering Thermodynamics by P K Nag and Rajput

Thermodynamics by Cengel.


Important Points

Making a proper study plan will help to score better. Few suggestions are mentioned .

  • Time management is one of the success keys for qualifying the exam. Candidates must try to solve the papers within a specific time limit to obtain an idea as to how many questions can be solved within the limited time.
  • There should not be any imbalance during preparation. Both theory and numerical problems must be given equal weightage.
  • It is important to prepare the charts/ lists of important definitions, equations, derivations, theorems, laws in every subject.
  • Discussion with mentors, fellow students, toppers also will guide the candidates by incorporating their knowledge in their preparation.
  • To get complete knowledge about technical topics candidates must sit for group study.
  • Focus carefully on different types of questions and do not panic which will kill your time and preparation.


GATE Mechanical Engineering Exam 2018

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