How I cracked GATE in the first attempt

I pursued my B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from the UPES batch of 2015. I thankfully cracked GATE, which is a highly coveted examination for any engineering student, in my very first attempt. This is my story…

I have always believed that ‘hard work beats talent’. I joined UPES in August 2015. An average student at best, I was not very sincere about my career and future. As they say, peer pressure can either break you or make you; in my case, it made me a better person. My batchmates were thorough with the concepts of 11th and 12th and maximum students of my class had cracked JEE Mains with a good score and that’s exactly why they were there at UPES. I, however, had come through the UPESITE exam and luckily managed to get a seat through the Uttarakhand domicile. When the first semester results were announced, I managed a 6.96 SGPA, whereas the highest in my class was a 9 pointer. Almost everyone was ahead. It was then that I realised it was time to push myself.

I have always believed that ‘hard work beats talent’

The turning point in my life

I started studying for my college exams sincerely and managed to get an 8.39 SGPA in my second semester. This major leap in my grades motivated me and developed a confidence in me that if I tried, I, too, could succeed. That is when the journey of GATE began.

I started preparing for GATE exam along with my college studies from my second year. I was lucky to have a supportive faculty at the Mechanical Engineering Department, who constantly helped me in my GATE preparation. I remember taking special permissions from faculties to submit my assignments and work a little ahead of time because I was managing both GATE and college work. They always encouraged me and never made me feel alone in this journey. At the same time, they also never became too lenient so I don’t get spoiled. They gave me the motivation for working hard every day. Semester exams never bothered me since the faculty taught so well. Slowly and steadily, my grasp at academics strengthened and my grades improved. From a 6.96 SGPA to getting a 9.69 SGPA, coupled with a scholarship from the college, was when my life changed.

I am also thankful to UPES for taking away the stress of placements. We write GATE exam when we are in our final year and that is when companies also come for placements. I was the first one in my batch to be placed in a good company with a handsome package. Getting a placement early on helped me focus on my GATE exam more effectively. For cracking the interviews, UPES career guidance staff helped me in polishing my communication skills and helped me develop the right attitude.

In my very first attempt, I cracked GATE 2019 with an AIR 346 and 99.8 percentile. This score helped me get through the interview of a Navratna Public Sector Enterprise, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, where I am currently working as an Executive Officer. I wrote GATE again in 2020 because I knew that I could score a lot better. The hard work paid off and I got an AIR 30 in GATE 2020 and also cleared the ISRO written examination for the post of Scientist/Engineer (Mechanical).

Message for my alma mater:

I would like to thank the entire department of mechanical engineering as well as the career services team for guiding me throughout and supporting me not just in developing my technical concepts but also my overall personality, which later helped me crack interviews in one go. Being a part of UPES was a blessing.

(The writer is a UPES alumnus and is working as an Executive Officer at the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.)


  1. I have known you for 3 years and I know how much you have sacrificed. Your dedication and perseverance is unparalleled. I am hopeful that you will keep conquering frontiers in your life like this Suvansh. All the best.

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