GATE Exam » GATE Exam Tips » How to Effectively Manage 3 hours in GATE Exam

How to Effectively Manage 3 hours in GATE Exam

The gate exam consists of 3 hours and must be managed efficiently. The 3-cycle method seems fruitful to cover all the questions in the examination and in time. As discussed in this article.

GATE exam stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering and is a nationwide examination that assesses applicants’ comprehension of numerous undergraduate architectures, science, and engineering disciplines, as well as post-graduation degree courses in Commerce, Economics, and Scientific knowledge.

The exam of Gate is for 3 hours and the applicant must utilize those 3 hours effectively and usefully to cover all the questions in the examination in the required amount of time and score the highest marks. Which is a problem for many applications. Some find a shortage of time and are not able to attend all the questions which results in losing marks even if they later find that they knew the answers to the questions.

Here in this article, we will be going to discuss how an applicant can effectively manage those 3 hours in the exam inside the examination hall. As well as get higher marks.

Check out free special classes to kickstart your journey: 

Civil Engineering – Watch Now

Mechanical Engineering – Watch Now

Tips to Manage Time

In the exam of 3 hours, there are a total of 65 questions out of which 10 are of general aptitude and the rest are of the engineering department. It depends on the person which kind of questions shall he/she attempt in the starting either general aptitude or the engineering sections. It is said that the questions of general aptitude come in very handy and easy to attempt. Therefore, doing this first in a quick amount of time can give a boost to confidence and the rest of the questions can be attended to with a good mindset.

The first thing is to keep in mind that the person has to qualify for the gate examination and this must be kept in mind.

It is also said that out of the total questions 25-30% of the questions are designed so that any engineering student can attend them easily if he/she has studied the basics. Such questions can be either theoretical or numerical. And therefore, these must be attended to first as this also gives a boost to confidence and generates marks.

Check out free special classes to kickstart your journey:

Computer Science Engineering – Watch Now

Chemical Engineering – Watch Now

The Three Cycles During Examination

The best way is to divide the questions covered into three cycles.

Cycle 1: In this cycle, those questions shall be attended and shall be attended at first which are easy to attempt like one has just read the questions and the answer came to the mind or one in which just calculator has to be used and by putting the values answer has come. Those come in cycle 1.

And the time one should give to questions of this cycle is 45-50 mins. The questions here account for 25-30% and if done correctly it confirms that the student has scored 25-30% of marks by that time.

To analyze this type of question, at first when the candidate gets the question, he/she must look at the complete questions paper with a bird’s eye and find the questions that come in this category. And do them quickly and leave the rest for another cycle.

Cycle 2: The time a candidate should spend in cycle 2 is about 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, not more than that. In this cycle, those questions come that need time and have to be solved and logical thinking needs to be done on the questions.

To analyze these questions, while having the bird’s eye earlier at the start the person must tick or check the questions that he/she can attempt but need time for that. Those are the ones for cycle 2.

Cycle 3: The questions that feel difficult and that require more time than questions in cycle 2 come in cycle 3. Those are left during the first look for the end. It again contains around 20-25 % of questions. This cycle also includes the trapping questions, such as those just meant to consume time; however, the answer is easy. Such questions shall also be left in the beginning and done in the 3rd cycle attempt.

Moreover, in the end, we have confidence that the rest of the questions have been done and if followed the time as required for the cycles the candidate is left 25-45 minutes depending on the time, he/she spent on the rest of the questions and can give enough time to think and find out answers for those questions too.

When a candidate has time and confidence, he/she can attend correctly even if those questions also which had seemed tough at the initial time.

Check out free special classes to kickstart your journey:

Electronics & Communication Engineering – Watch Now

Electrical Engineering – Watch Now

Extra Tips to be Carried for the 3 hours

  • Calculator used in the Gate Examination is a virtual calculator. Therefore, the candidate must use the same kind of virtual calculator during his practice at home either on the PC or on a mobile phone. This is important because in college people have used the physical calculator and when they use a digital calculator at first, they can consume a little more time while pressing the buttons of the calculator in the system.
  • Candidates must be aware of time-consuming questions; those are given purposefully to consume time. There are 3-4 such questions and the person shall not get stuck into the trap.

Some General Tips to Be Kept in Mind

  • The candidate must plan every move of his/her, which the person shall be doing in the examination hall. As it will make time management perfect.
  • Never get demotivated if the examination gets tough. It is tough for everyone, not for you only. And according to that one must keep in mind that the cut-off would also be less.
  • Sometimes it happens that the questions in the starting are hard to do or unable to do. The candidate should again not be disappointed by that and should not lose hope. Such questions shall be skipped immediately and followed up at the end. And if the candidate has studied effectively, he shall be able to do the questions.
  • If any person has prepared 4-5 subjects very strongly and keeps in mind that most of the questions will be coming from that source and he/she will be able to do it easily. It is strongly advised not to have this kind of mentality before attempting the examination. As if, however, the questions come differently as expected the candidate would not be able to clear the examination.
  • Now the tip that is most common and heard and loved by everyone, Sleep. Yes, it is, before the day of the examination, the candidate must not take any tension or problem and should have a good night’s sleep. Which would make his/her mind and body ready for the next day’s battle.


To sum up, the Gate exam consists of 3 hours which contain 10 questions of general aptitude and the rest of engineering background.

Now, when getting the questions, the candidate must have a bird’s view on every question and immediately classify the questions into 3 classes. Where the first includes easy questions that can be done within minutes, the second includes quite tough questions that require some time and the candidate knows how to solve the questions, and the third includes the questions that are hard for the candidate and required higher time than the second cycle and some time-consuming questions come in that cycle too. If following this trend, each cycle should not take more than expected time in this article. And the candidate should be able to solve every known question on time.

All Right, if you’re ready with a clear mindset let’s begin the preparation by practicing using this method and Crack the GATE Examination with great marks!