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Careers360: what was the GATE Paper you appeared in?

What rank did you get in GATE 2018? What

is your GATE score and how many marks did you secure out of 100 in GATE paper?

Dhanshri Jadhav: I appeared for GATE 2018 for Planning and Architecture. I secured an All
India Rank of 2. My GATE score is 924. I have got 78 marks out of 100.

Careers360: Is this your first attempt or did you attempt GATE earlier?

Dhanshri Jadhav: Yes, it is my first attempt.

Careers360: What was the reason you appeared for GATE 2018? Pls elaborate.

Dhanshri Jadhav: When smart cities came into discussion in India, I was very excited to learn
about it as I am basically a planner .I was piqued when I read“There is no universally
accepted definition of a smart city” as the first line on Smart City website of India. My
inquisitiveness for an answer to the question “What is a smart city?” sort of got satisfied
when I got an internship at IPE Global which has bagged the project for Ujjain Smart City as a
winner in the 2nd position. I witnessed brainstorming projects like value capture finance,
advertisement tax, tourism enhancement workshop, etc. with extensive interaction with 4
industrious planners from SPA-Delhi. The competence and working strategy of planners in
these workshops greatly influenced me to be inclined towards a Masters in Urban Planning.
This is the main reason I appeared for GATE 2018.

Careers360: When did you start your preparation? How did you prepare for the GATE exam? How
many hours did you put in per day as per the stage of preparation?

Dhanshri Jadhav: Because of the busy schedule of my 7th semester, I wasn’t able to deote
time and prepare for GATE. In Decemberm I could finally start my preparation. I dedicated
the entire month of December and January towards GATE preparation.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
This quote resonates with my preparation strategy. GATE syllabus is very vast. For
Architecture & Planning, we have a combination of syllabi from Civil Engineering,
Architecture and Planning. So I spent almost 4-5 days just to identify topics and analyse
question papers.

In the first week of my preparation, I just got acquainted with the topics based on the
previous year question papers. I went through them thoroughly again and again and tried to
understand the following factors

GATE Exam Pattern

Major topics (for numerical and theory) as per weightage which I noted down

Relevant materials for study.

Note: At this point, I was just setting the base for the preparation and hadn’t started it yet.
Careers360: Have you taken any coaching? If yes- From where? How did it help?

Dhanshri Jadhav: No. Though coaching is available, it would have cramped my style of
thinking. I rely on my own way of thinking and alternate with development techniques while
solving the questions. So traditional coaching may not have worked for me.

Careers360: Can you share any preparation strategies with our readers? When should one start their
preparation for GATE? How to schedule study time and make timetables?

Dhanshri Jadhav: Obviously you should start as early as possible. Only important factor that
fetches good marks is frequent revision. In the last two weeks before exam, I revised
previous question papers right from 1991 to 2016 each day. I also read solved question
papers from Gate Architecture/Planning by B.K.Das.

Some of my strategies can be summed up as

Memorising Architects, their books and buildings - This is a topic that is very important and a
cause of worry as I needed to memorize all of them. So I made up entertaining stories in my
mother tongue for each architect which included his/her building names. I spent 2-3 days on
building all of them up. It made studying interesting while ensuring that I wouldn’t forget
them. I could successfully complete this section well.

Numerical Questions – These questions require a degree of precision. So I jotted down all
the various formulae and solution strategies that I came across while solving question
papers. I noted their uniqueness and revised them frequently. I would advise to prepare a
list of formulae especially for HEAT, LIGHT and SOUND.

Architecture Dictionary – This is a must read and I would say its never too late to start
reading it. The book by Francis D.K. Ching can be used and you should read one page per
day. By December, you will have covered most of it to become a pro at it. It is an important
step for all planners.

URDPFI – This is a bible for all planners as we know it. It outlines and specifies standards and
case studies so all Architects need to read it carefully to understand planning aspects

Careers360: How important do you feel mock tests are and why? Is it true that if one solves the
previous year question papers, there is a good chance of cracking the exam successfully?

Dhanshri Jadhav: I just gave one mock test during my preparation. Mock Tests are surely
beneficial as they teach you time management and reduce your overconfidence.

Careers360: Which books did you follow for GATE preparation? Please name some very important
must read books for GATE

Dhanshri Jadhav: Some books I would suggest as necessary for GATE preparation are:

Building Construction by B. C. Punmiya

Architecture Dictionary by Francis D.K. Ching

Estimation and specification by Dutta

GATE Question paper set (B. K. DAS)

Careers360: Which are the topics one should focus more on? Kindly give us some details

Dhanshri Jadhav: Since the pattern is not fixed for theoretical questions, I would suggest
reading each and every topic given in the GATE syllabus. You never know where a question
may come from. For numericals, focus on

Heat, Light and Accoustics




Paint- pigment and volume

Concrete – Volume, density and grade

Careers360: What was the toughest aspect in your GATE preparation?

Dhanshri Jadhav: Nothing!!! Relevant strategy for every topic made it a simple and
enjoyable journey for GATE.

Careers360: What did you do for leisure? Any specific activities that helped you unwind?

Dhanshri Jadhav: During my leisure time, I watched Sandeep Maheshwari's lectures. It not
only kept me motivated but helped in developing myself. Apart from this I am a regular yoga
practitioner. I never skipped that 1 hour of daily exercise and this kept me mentally sound
and physically fit. I also spent time talking to my friends and hanging out with them once in a
week or so.

Careers360: How should you schedule answering the GATE exam – which section to attempt first
and which next? Did you have any strategy? Kindly share your exam experience with us.

Dhanshri Jadhav: Attempt the section in which you are sure of the answers. It will boost your
confidence. I did my best for the sections on core subjects and started with 2nd section of
architecture and planning. I attempted 90% of the paper there. It boosted my confidence
and then I solved aptitude section with a relaxed mind. I did not review the questions, read
them through or anything like that. I just started answering them one by one.

Careers360: What did you feel was a tough thing for you in the GATE exam?

Dhanshri Jadhav: Segregating the vast syllabi of 3 disciplines i.e. Civil, planning and
Architecture was the toughest thing for me.

Careers360: .Any advice for the future aspirants?

Dhanshri Jadhav: “Don’t care, Just Dare”. Take the risk to answer the questions if you have
prepared well. This attitude of mine took me to the 2nd position in GATE 2018. The exam is
very easy if you prepare strategically and use your own ways but impossible if you try to
follow someone blindly without any logic. You have one year to prepare, develop your
strategies, keep discussing with your friends, share your knowledge, it will bring you more
that you dreamt of. All the best!