Prakhar Shrivastava, GATE Topper (AIR 3 in IP), Walks Us Through His Preparation Strategy [Interview]


GATE 2016 Results came as the most memorable gift to Prakhar Shrivastava, who bagged AIR 03 in GATE 2016. Prakhar has scored 939 marks which took him to the top three in the merit list, that too in his very first attempt at GATE. We got a chance to have a talk with this GATE Topper from Jabalpur and he shared his happiness along with some useful tips for GATE Aspirants. Read along as he unfolds the complete story of success.

Name Prakhar Shrivastava AIR 03
College of Graduation B.Tech from Jabalpur Engineering College GATE Score 939
GATE attempt first attempt GATE Marks ,
Subject IP After GATE Result M.Tech

About Prakhar

Prakhar lives with his family in his small house in Jabalpur, a city in Madhya Pradesh. His family has always been very supportive towards his studies. He recalled the constant motivation which father provided and said “Basically my father was there (for motivation). He is like you have to study more, don’t think about the job right now, it is your age to study, try to get more education as much as possible. It was like the wind is going in my direction so why not me.”

Prakhar Shrivastava, GATE Topper (AIR 3 in IP), Walks Us Through His Preparation Strategy [Interview]

His mother is a teacher in a Private School who has given him immense support as he said

She goes to the school in the morning, comes back and takes coaching classes and she use to go to sleep then. I used to get up at 4:00 AM in the morning. I used to put on the light and it was like messed up things. She never used to say anything whether she is tired or not. I think personally it was the biggest support.

His elder brother had also bagged AIR 15 (ECE) earlier which pushed him to shoot for the moon. Surely, all the collective efforts paid off and he has made his parents the proudest in the world.

College Life

Prakhar is a B.Tech graduate from Jabalpur Engineering College. The college life plays an important role in deciding the career of a student. We asked him about his college life and teachers, to which he praised the faculty as

I got into this college from MPTET Exam, through which we get government college of MP. Teachers are excellent. They are champions in their fields. They are from different IIT’s and they are from different backgrounds. They have experience in their field of more than 20-25 years. They really helped me a lot in getting in to the subjects. They allowed me for a leave too. Syllabus is molded according to the teachers. Almost 95% syllabus of GATE was there in my semesters. So I must say teachers have done a great job.

Well, Prakhar himself did a great job after the regular guidance of supportive teachers.

How he prepared for GATE?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor the achievers. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to taste the success. We asked the GATE Topper Prakhar to tell us about his preparation strategies. He was almost shocked us saying that he started the preparation for GATE exam 19 months back and regularly studied 5 hours a day with a special focus to numericals. What a dedication, one must say.

Answering about the difficult subjects and how he tackled them, he told

Convection in Heat and Mass Transfer, Dynamic Programming in Operation Research were some difficult topics. There are maximum 5 topics which you will feel are difficult. If you are practicing those topics for 2 – 3 weeks, then we just get an idea about that topic, you are not perfect in that topic also, then why to invest those 2-3 weeks at those topics. It is about practicing more and more. If you are doing numericals then I must say that you should do previous year numericals because there are unlimited amount of questions and formulas. Maximum questions are from previous year papers only. Focus on industrial production specially numerical. Because out of 100 marks between 70 – 80 marks numericals covers.

Prakhar joined the Classroom Program of Engineering. He believes that if one tries to run in all the 360-degree direction, it becomes really very difficult. What coaching does is that it shows the direction and then you have to run in that particular direction only. He also shared his views on importance of mock tests saying

I used to give test series of Ace Engineering Academy. There are 66 tests in the series. There are part test, full length test, subject wise test, topic wise tests also. I completed all those tests. In the first test, I haven’t score well so that was really demotivating. But at the end it motivated me, as it showed me where I stand. Mock tests motivate you as you feel that you have to finish the target before the weekends and then have to give the test on the weekends.

Key Takeaways

  • Start the preparations as early as possible.
  • Invest more time in numericals.
  • Mock tests are must for boosting confidence.
  • Focus your efforts in one direction.

He also advised to move topic by topic through the syllabus and said

First of all you should take out the print out of the syllabus and start marking what you have done, what you haven’t done, which topics you feel are difficult, which topics you have done very easily and which topics you have to revise. Write these things from pen and paper only. When you write it really helps you a lot. That’s why I told you to write down the formulas in a book again and again, you are going to revise these formulas.

The Success Mantra

Prakhar seemed to be the true believer of the English proverb ‘Practice makes a man perfect’. He says “Believe in yourself, be confident before the exams because if you panic, you are losing on your efficiency. And I will say you should never loose your efficiency.”

He also advised to the GATE aspirants not to panic and said

You should never panic. You should be confident while giving the examination because in those 3 hours only you are going to perform. You have to be good in your aptitude, prepare your aptitude. Because if your aptitude is good then you can solve many questions. If you don’t even know the formulas then you can solve those formulas just from your aptitude.

Believe in yourself. Be confident.

~ Prakhar Shrivastava

Books Referred for GATE

Subject Author
Industrial Engineering Martand Telsang
Operations Research Hira Gupta
Production PC Sharma, PN Rao
Maths Grewal
Design Bhandari
Theory of Machines Khurmi
Fluid Bansal
Thermodynamics PK Nag

On the Exam Day

All that matters is what you do on the day of the exam. A little mistake and you will find yourself out of the league. So we asked Prakhar about his exam day experience to which he replied

I got up early in the morning around 6:30 AM. I am having my exam from 9:00 AM. I played that morning also. Be fresh that is the basic thing. You have to be happy, fresh and confident. Have chocolate before the exam that helps you to be cool.

Answering about the last minute preparation Prakhar advised students to listen to soothing songs, have chocolate. He added that a day before the exam should be spent enjoying.

There are a lot of students who are apprehensive about the online (computer based test) pattern, but, Prakhar seemed very comfortable with the new format.

Future Plans

After tasting the success, one may not stop. Its time to achieve more. We asked Prakhar about how he plans for his future to which he confidently answered

First I have to get into a good college, it can be an IIT or it can be some other prestigious colleges. If I get there, after getting a degree, I have to get experience in MNC’s only. I would like to go for private job only because it is like I have to work a lot.

Well, we hope Prakhar successfully makes his way towards his dreams. All the good things may hold the fortune. Best wishes from the entire team of Aglasem.

This interview was compiled by Aglasem correspondent Shivika Rastogi and edited by Lalit Sharma.

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