How To Prepare For GATE – Chemical Engineering : Under Rank 100

This is strictly for the final year students or the ones who passed out because if you start preparation for GATE earlier than that you will just drop it.
I want to make it clear I myself did not score any good marks in the GATE-2015, There were 3 reasons for it. But in GATE 2016 i got 2 digit rank.
  1. I was already placed and wanted to enjoy my final year.
  2. I did not want to go join any PSU (I did fair amount of research before coming to this conclusion)
  3. I did not want to do my higher studies in India.
In an engineering college there are two types of students who can score well in GATE:
  1. The ones who are highly conceptual and understand Chemical Engineering to its very core (I know two such students-my batch mates one scored AIR-18 and the other-138). This type of students generally don’t prepare much, the amount of time they spend studying is less but the effort and concentration they have and put into use at the time is tremendous.
  2. The second type are who have to read a lot to get the grasp of the subject, in this case a lot of time is required and you will basically miss out your final year masti upto the point you give the exam.

I will just give an overview of what and how you should start preparing. Any person who will start preparing for GATE should start with the NPTEL lectures available on the internet and use handwritten notes (available on then move on to the books.I have listed out the important subjects and from where to prepare for them.

  1. Mass Transfer, it is by far the most important subject for a chemical engineer-this subject will be useful for your placements too. Prepare notes and study from Mass transfer operations by N Anantharaman(This is a book written by a senior Professor of NIT Trichy and he is the best we have, the book is highly compressed and will help you get an advance start, although treybal is a good book it takes a lot of time to cover all the topics), and start practising questions from Aptitude Questions and Answers. After you complete the preparation do not leave it aside-revise every day for half-one hour from the notes you have prepared.
  2. Fluid Mechanics Follow McCabe and smith it is most probably the best book for Fluids, As what it is for Mass Transfer you need to keep on revising the topic and be thorough with the basics up to an advance level. Make notes for this subject as well.
  3. Heat Transfer, This is an easy and high scoring subject, follow Binay K Dutta, it is short apt and most probably the best book for preparing for competitive exams.
  4. Chemical Reaction Engineering , do not read from fogler, no such high level questions are asked in the GATE nor any other competitive exams. follow Octave Levenspiel and solve questions from Indiabix or any other GATE preparatory book (I prefer Arihant over others).
  5. Thermodynamics Follow KV Narayan and be thorough with the basics, conceptual questions are asked from these topics
  6. Process Dynamics and Control Only basic level and Level 2 questions are asked which could be solved if you have the basic understanding of the topic follow coughanowr
  7. Mechanical Operations, Unit Operations, Equipments, and Basic Chemical Engineering follow McCabe & Smith
  8. Inorganic and Organic Chemical Technology, Petroleum, just do questions from Arihant and Indiabix-the questions are repetitive and actually studying these topics will be a waste of your time.
  9. Project Economics I did not even read the topic before writing GATE it was in the last semester that we had the topic, it is easy so you can read it from NPTEL that would be enough or just follow your professor’s notes.
  10. Process Calculations Follow Himmelblau or you can actually follow a book written by my professor N Anantharaman (It is very compact and will require far less time) the questions asked from this topic are actually very simple and easy if you remember all the terms and equations.

If you start early prepare notes and keep revising by allocating time slots for every subject on a weekly basis. Keep yourself motivated as this is the most important part- I have seen good students just leaving the preparation due to frustration. Keep in touch with friends, they will do the motivation job for you and study in groups if possible it will help solve doubts and having your friends with you will push you to perform better.
If you want to join a coaching institute do so in groups if you dont then there is a fair chance you will not even go to the coaching classes or give the practise tests (It is better if you don’t join these institutes as it does not make a difference-GATE is all about you and your determination)
Scoring around 60 in the GATE will open most of the opportunities for you and don’t forget aptitude questions- the questions are very basic and will fetch you easy 15 marks, the other 15 marks you can score through Mathematics if you are good at it. 

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