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Brazilian Footballer Pele states, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”




Succeeding in GATE English Literature is not an easy task. It demands utmost ideas and knowledge in the respective topic and field. The above mentioned eight steps are significant to crack the GATE exam.

  1. Syllabus Analysis

As soon as the Notification of an exam is released, it is necessary to read it thoroughly and note down or have a print out of the syllabus. The syllabus must be referred only from the Official Website. Additionally, the pattern of the examination must be overlooked, as it may help in increasing the Percentage. For Instance: In GATE, having thorough knowledge in General and Reasoning Sections will increase the score. So, attention must be given to all sections.

Having a look previous syllabus/Question Paper will help in preparation. When one examines those carefully, the area which has the weightage and the books that can help to understand those can be identified.


  1. Decision Making

In the very first glance of the syllabus and Pattern, one might find if they can prepare on their own or if they need a class. This choice must be taken quickly, as time management is very much necessary. Both the choice has its own benefits and disadvantages.

Self Study: The learner must have confidence and determination. But in GATE, as it is new for Literature Students, they must be aware of the standards and perspective of the Question Paper. Blindly relying on Internet will not help the students.

Coaching Class: The choice of coaching class is very crucial, and so the mentor. When it comes to GATE, one must opt for a mentor who has attempted and achieved in the exam. Experience in teaching is necessary. Before jumping into a class, the student must cross check few factors like: Is the mentor an Experienced person, Does he/she have enough capability to train a student, Has he/she achieved in the field of Literature. Learners who are willing to attend coaching classes must check out if the class is affordable and worth the Money and time. Attending coaching classes, helps the learner to study and remember as he/she will have an academic companion and authentic resources on which one can depend as a base.

  1. Generate a Timetable

Preparing with a plan is significant. Schedule helps a person to keep him in the track. Daily target plays a key role in competitive examination, as it helps in remembering things. The timetable must be prepared with utmost care. For Example: If a person studies entirely new concepts for two days, on the third day he must check himself if he can remember what he has studied.

Most importantly, the time table must have equal space for General papers too, as it demands the same effort.

  1. Move from Easier topic to Difficult titles

The learner must first identify the area which he/she likes a lot and likes the least. Starting from a familiar topic builds the confidence of a student. Starting from a favourable topic consumes less time, as the learner will be very much interested and can complete the topic in few hours. This adds additional minutes to the difficult topics.

  1. Note Taking/Note making

Note taking is essential, but making notes with accuracy and clarity is an art in itself. Gather information is easy. But what is really needed and helpful is arranging it in a way that it helps one to study any time. Notes must be written in a coherent way and must be in chronological structure.

  1. Test your knowledge

Human Mind at times remembers and forgets stuff. Competitive exam is a game of memory and time. To cross this, one must attempt more quiz with time limits, as the facts gets registered in our memory. Working out MCQ’s once a topic gets completed helps the students. NO quiz, No knowledge.

  1. Discover Strength and Shortcomings

Quiz makes a student to analyse the area where one lacks, and where one have the upper hand. The topics which are very much through do not need more than two revisions. But the area were one has least knowledge must be looked upon immediately. GATE is a game that has negative marks, and so one must try to decrease the negative marks. This can happen only when the learner gets adequate or important facts from difficult topics.



  1. Revise

If learning is necessary, Revision is mandatory.  Relying on books for Revision is a wrong task; revision must be done based on the notes. It is the last significant process, which one must not avoid. As soon as a Topic gets complete, one must recollect everything. Revising a huge pile consumes a lot of time, and leads to confusion and lack of confidence. Having a double revision on each topic works and helps the learner to remember easily.


In the recent times, many students prefer self-study because of abundant sources. But the percentage of students cracking by self preparation fluctuates rigorously. This happens because of the lack of proper method of preparation.


  • Have a proper outline about the exam ( GATE exam is divided into how many sections, Each section carries how much marks)
  • Research Previous Year Question papers and its framework
  • Select good and reliable sources and resources
  • Construct a proper schedule and abide by it


  • Don’t prepare a strategy based on assumptions
  • Do not rely on any Guides
  • Do not study any facts from Internet, without cross checking
  • Do not learn Literature only from a text, instead keep those notes as a base and prepare your own notes


Self Study and Coaching class cannot be compared as both are entirely different. But to get more exposure and to have an interaction with Experts Coaching might be needed. GATE is not just an exam; it plays a crucial role in Research and Higher Education. Having an Expert’s Guidance will provide us with lot of opportunities and ways to use it.

Vineet Pandey

2 JRF,8 NET, and 17 SET

(Ex Asst. Professor of the University of Delhi)

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