GATE 2018 Topper – Prashant Varshney Interview : AIR 01 – Chemical Engineering

All GATE PSUs and IES aspirants are welcome to their own website – No. 01 Website for self-preparation, motivation and guidance.

This interview is based on the different source of information and personal talks for education and motivation purpose so kindly read the full interview and share it with your friends on facebook and whatsapp.

As GATE 2018 result is out and students who qualified these exams but not get good rank by any reason and the students who are preparing first time for the above exams wants to know how should we prepare so that we may also get good rank in GATE IES and PSUs exam.

Today we are with Prashant Varshney who secured AIR 01 in GATE 2018 in Chemical engineering branch.  

My name is Prashant Varshney. I belong to Chandausi (Uttar Pradesh). I have completed my B.Tech. Chemical engineering from HBTI Kanpur in year 2016. I got campus recruitment in Reliance Industries Ltd. (a Petchem Complex) under Production Department. Currently I am working there as Process Engineer Manager.

Gate exam is very important exam for B.Tech Students either to pursue PSUs or PG programs in IITs. I have written GATE exam in last years but didn’t took that much seriously. I joined RIL in 2016 just after graduation. After one year, my interest towards higher education and public sector units motivated me to crack GATE with good marks. I have been looking both options for me over RIL.

My first reaction

I didn’t expect first Rank. I thought someone might have scored more. It was really a great moment for me and my parents. My parents got emotional and so was I, after seeing my result. Hard work really paid me well and that was a proud feeling for myself.

I want to thank GOD and my parents specially my mom who had always faith in me. My parents have provided me everything which I needed. My two elder sisters have been always my motivation. My one sister has completed her doctorate degree from IIT Roorkee and currently posted as assistant Professor in TMU, Moradabad.


I have been in touch with one of the faculty in coaching institute for my doubts and Joined Test Series there. Rest preparation I have done on my own.

While preparing, doubts should be cleared timely and he helped to get over it. Test series is very imp key for exam preparation and one should not skip any scheduled exam of Test Series.


A. Study schedule:

Working as a process engineer, I had to do shift duties. One can not fix his schedule with shift duties. After 10 hrs of duty I used to study 3-4 hrs daily. I used to utilise my night hours usually.

Thirty days before exam are very important for any aspirant. And unfortunately I got sick in last month. Got good treatment and used to study 10-12 hrs a day in last 20 days. I used to study in silent hours of day. It totally depends on you, what time you like to study or suits you.

B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)

I have very good concepts of all subjects. While writing questions in subjects like Mass Transfer, Heat transfer, Chemical Thermodynamics Fluid Mechanics, I used to score good marks. But in Chemical Reaction Engineering and Process control, I was doing silly mistakes. I worked on mistakes and covered left out topics in other books and came over them.

I achieved a very good command over all core subjects before Gate exam.

Books and e-sources

I used to follow standard books for GATE preparation.

  • MTO- 1. Treybal and 2. Geankoplis
  • CRE- Octave Levenspiel
  • HTO- 1. B.K. Dutta and 2. Yungus A Cengel
  • PDC- 1. Coughanowr and 2. George Stephanopoulos
  • FM – 1. Bruce Roy Munson and 2. RK Bansal
  • CEThemo- JM Smith
  • MO- Swain GK Roy and NPTEL
  • CT- Dryden and NPTEL PDF
  • P.Economics Design- 1. TimmerHaus and 2. Coulsan & Richardson
  • Referred NPTEL lectures for some of the Topics.

Aptitude Section:
For aptitude, I used to do practice last year questions of all streams. And R.S. Aggarwal for aptitude helped me to boost my speed.

Mock Tests

Mock Test are really very very important for achieving good marks and to know your zone of weaknesses and mistakes. Time management can be improved by Mock Test.

Different papers have different level of difficulty and different approaches are required to solve with time management perspective. I joined EII Delhi, Test Series. I found it very effective as questions in full test papers were quality questions and least error in answers. Mock Test of test series had good balance of all subjects.

Examination Day

Everyone has his own style of solving paper according to his suitability of topics and time management.

I used to follow following strategy-

  1. All 1 mark Technical questions in first 40 minutes
  2. 15 questions (2 marks) Technical questions in next 45 minutes
  3. Then jump to Aptitude Section for 20 minutes
  4. Rest 15 questions (2 marks) Technical questions in next 45 minutes

Above Strategy has been made with a margin of 5 minutes for each section I divided. In left time, checkout remaining questions.


For IITs and PSUs interview, one has to revise basics concepts of all engineering subjects and prepare intern and final year project. For PSUs, one should be aware of Company Profile, its products Companies undergoing and upcoming projects. One should also be aware of current GD topics and practice Case Study Discussions.

Future Plans

I want to pursue M.Tech and Ph.D. from IIT B or IISC. But for my family stability, I may join a PSU. Irrespective of joining M.Tech. or PSU, I ‘ll always be helping needy students who wants to achieve milestone in studies. I really want to work for students from weaker section of society. And I have been working for it, hope I ‘ll come out with some good news for such students.

Advice to fellow students

Make your concepts clear first. Do practice of questions daily and try to get each question correct. Try to find out your weak areas & silly mistakes which you are doing and correct them. Write Mock Tests with proper time management.

Don’t be nervous if two or more questions go wrong in series, break series and pick easy question to gain momentum back.

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