GATE Topper Interview – Tanmana Mitra (AIR 5 Biotechnology, 2017)


Tanmana Mitra wanted to get decent rank GATE exam from the day she started preparing. She was studying B.Tech in Biotechnology from NIT Durgapur. She has scored 908 GATE Score and AIR 05 in one of the most difficult competitive exams in India, Tanmana Mitra shared her feelings of being a GATE 2017 Topper with Aglasem and chipped in some essential tips for GATE aspirants. Read the complete interview to know more about Tanmana Mitra and his success at GATE.

Name Tanmana Mitra
College(Graduation) National Institute of Technology Durgapur
GATE Attempt First
GATE Score 908
GATE Rank 5

About Tanmana Mitra

Tanmana Mitra has very supportive family living in Kolkata, In her family encouraged her to follow her dreams. Her father has inspired her a lot to take up this subject.

She stated his motive behind appearing in GATE 2017:

GATE score is required for applying to institutes for post graduation (M. Tech) course. I Targeted decent rank so that I can get admission in Top IITs.

GATE Exam Experience

When asked about the GATE exam experience, this is what Ms Tanmana Mitra had to say:

I always look at and solve one question at a time. It so happened that I did not know the answer to the very first question. I am generally not a very calm person, but I was prepared for this. Before I entered the examination centre, I have been telling myself that it might happen that I may not be able to answer the first 5 questions and I should not lose my calm in any situation. Interestingly, I was very cool-headed till the submission of my paper. A bit of very mild anxiety struck after that.

There are a lot of students who are apprehensive about the online (computer based test) pattern. In your opinion, is the format something to be worried about?

Not at all. The system is very user-friendly. The GATE website also provides a mock test for the same. You can have a look at it before taking the actual test.

According to you, how was the exam? Was it tough or was it easy?

This year, the paper was very easy as compared to other years.

On the exam day, what was your experience like? Please elaborate upon this as it will be extremely helpful for the students?

I had my exam on Sunday (5th Feb) from 9 am. I retired early the night before so as to get a complete sleep. I reached my examination center by 7:30 am. I was relaxing the whole time. No last-minute revision or any such thing which would make me anxious. Maybe I overdid because instead of getting excited or nervous, I was getting bored by the time it was finally 9. Thereafter, my undivided attention was dedicated to GATE BT 2017 paper. There is automatic submission at dot 12 pm. I completed my paper by 10:45, revised and re-revised. I was not looking at the timer and so, I was quite surprised when my paper was submitted, that is when I was really anxious. What I realized is, you get plenty of time to solve the paper. This is not JEE where you race against the clock. Keep calm and go steady.

Other questions asked to Tanmana Mitra were:

1. When did you start preparing for GATE exam? On an average, how many hours a day did you study?

From my experience, I would say GATE is about basic concepts. I am grateful to have a good coursework and faculty at NIT D, which has helped me have a good idea about the subjects since the beginning. I started specifically preparing for GATE from December, 2016. During that period of around 50 days, I tried to revise whatever I have studied since 2nd year and solved practice papers. I have invested almost 4-6 hours everydayconsistently during that time.

2. Have you attended any coaching classes? If yes, please mention the details. In your opinion, is it necessary to take coaching for GATE Preparation?

No, I did not take any coaching for GATE.

3. How did you balance college studies with GATE preparation?

The GATE syllabus is my syllabus for B. Tech itself. College studies were not a problem at all, rather, they helped me with GATE preparation. Although final year project work takes up a lot of time, but then it is all about priorities. I had to cut off dancing considerably to take out time.

4. What are the most important topics for GATE BT preparation that you think a GATE aspirant should focus?

Most questions come from microbiology, bioprocess engineering and molecular biology. Maximum focus should be given on bioprocess engineering and rather than mugging up the formulas, it is wiser to clear the basic concept to be able to solve the questions. I think multiple revision is required for certain microbiology topics, where you have to remember the facts.

5. What should be kept in mind for last minute GATE preparation?

Study less, but study well. If you have less time, it is better not to start a new topic and get lost altogether. Take mock tests often, that helps boost confidence.

Books for GATE

Standard books like Kuby, Lehinger, Doran, Shuler and Kargi, BS Grewal etc.

What is your success mantra?

I always aim to understand what I am studying. Understanding the thing helps me retain it.

GATE Topper Interviews GATE Info

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