Interview with GATE 2011 Topper at CEC: Arun M-CEC-2010-EC



Happy to inform you that Arun M of CEC 2010 EC Batch ( (Mob: +91 – 9447 70 35 25) has brought another feather in the crown of CEC, i.e. 123rd All India Rank in GATE 2011. This is a wonderful achievement, of course, of which all the CECians can ever be proud of! He’s joining IISc Bangalore for his M.E by the last week of July, 2011. Congrats, buddy! 🙂



N.B: You can read another interview with GATE 2010 topper at CEC – Reuben Stephen-CEC-2009-EC: Here

You can read interview with Another IIScian from CEC – Ms. Nazreen P M-CEC-2010-EC: Here


I had conducted an interview with the geek, which follows:





Name in Full: ARUN M

CEC Passed out Year: 2010

Brach: Dept. of Electronics Engineering

GATE 2011 Paper and Reg. No: EC 7132255

GATE 2011 All India Rank: 123

GATE 2011 Marks (out of 100): 71 (99.91 percentile)

GATE 2011 Score (out of 1000): 843


1. Have you taken GATE earlier and how was your performance in it?

I appeared GATE – 2010 and got AIR 5680 (32/100 marks, 94.5 percentile).


2. Can you recollect when you started preparation for GATE 2011?

Actually the mind set for GATE preparation I had taken it from the very first day I stepped into CEC. So I studied B Tech not simply to pass the university examinations but to gather the concepts behind subjects. Any way a structured preparation started only by July 2010.


3. When you started your preparation, what was your aim in GATE?

My aim was to study Signal Processing at IISc Bangalore. Studying in one of the premier institutes in India has become my dream right from my plus two classes. Now only I was able to fulfil it.


4. What were the subjects you felt were tough (for EC)?

Hmm. I liked every subject in ECE (perhaps that may be due to the interest in Physics).


5. What were the subjects you felt were easy (for EC)?

I liked all subjects in ECE. If we are interested in any subject, naturally we feel it very easy. Electromagnetic Theory, Signals and Systems, Communication Systems and Control Systems were the subjects I liked most.


6. Which books and material did you refer to in your preparation?

The study material mainly consisted of class notes by the faculty of the coaching centre (ACE Engg. Academy, Hyderabad)



1.      Network Theory:

– only the class notes from coaching centre –

2.      Electronic Devices and Circuits:

a.       “Solid State Electronic Devices”; Ben G. Streetman, Sanjay Banerjee (Pearson Education)

b.      “Integrated Electronics”; Jacob Millman, Christos Halkias, Chetan D Parikh (Tata McGraw Hill)

3.      Analog Circuits:

“Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory”; Robert L. Boylestad, Louis Nashelsky (Pearson Education)

4.      Digital Circuits and Microprocessors:

a.       “Digital Design”; M. Morris Mano, Michael D. Ciletti (Pearson)

b.      “Modern Digital Electronics”; R P Jain

c.        “Microprocessor Architecture, Programming and Applications with the 8085”; Ramesh Gaonkar (Penram)

5.      Signals and Systems:

“Signals and Systems”; Alan V. Oppenheim, Alan S. Willsky with S. Hamid Nawab (PHI).

6.      Control Systems:

“Control Systems Engineering”; Norman S Nise (Wiley).

This is really an interesting book. It explains all the concepts very clearly and practical applications of the concepts are depicted. If you get enough time, you must read the entire book. But this book is not recommended in CUSAT syllabus.

7.      Communication Systems:

“Communication Systems”; Simon Haykin (Wiley)

8.      Electromagnetic Theory:

a.       “Elements of Electromagnetics”; Matthew N O Sadiku (Oxford)

b.      “Engineering electromagnetics”; William Hart Hayt, John A. Buck (McGraw-Hill Education)

9.      Engineering Mathematics:

“Advanced Engineering Mathematics”; Erwin Keryszig (Wiley)

This is actually my favourite.


7. How did your institution (ACE Engineering Academy, Hyderabad) help in your preparation?

ACE helped a lot. The class notes of ACE teachers itself is sufficient to get a good score in GATE. Thanks a lot to the faculties and the director of ACE.


8. Do you find that CEC’s lectures helped you in securing GATE? Up to what extend?

Ofcourse. The ppts of Digital Communications prepared by Manoj Sir and the class notes of Binesh Sir (who is currently in Model Engineering College, Ernakulam) helped me in answering some questions in GATE 2011. I also would like to thank Deepa J Ma’am, Nisha Kuruvila Ma’am, Reju John Sir and our principal Dr. V P Devassia Sir for their help and support in my preparations.


9. In your opinion what are the major reasons for your success in GATE?

Not only for GATE, but whatever is concerned, if we have a strong intent or passion in heart and if we put sufficient optimum effort, then success will come to us. Getting admission in IISc was my dream while studying in B Tech and so I didn’t care any placements. I spent 5 months at coaching centre at Hyderabad, worked hard and finally got the admission. In this context I would like to say that an AIR 123 is strictly not sufficient to get admission at IISc, especially for ME course in Signal Processing, as the seats will be filled up almost by AIR 50s. I said about intent and effort and a third component, the divine grace is    very essential. In my case, divine grace came in the form of OBC Reservation and helped me to fulfil my dream. That will come only if first two are satisfied.


10. What was your methodology while preparing for GATE?

I didn’t have a special methodology while studying for GATE. I know only one method to study and that was the one which I followed even from my 9th standard. To study a new concept, we need to correlate the concept with what we already know. If we are unable to find the correlation, we should think up to that point where we find some correlation. Once we could find that correlation, we would never forget that new concept. This is the method of Science, I think. In addition to this method, I also worked out numerical problems and tried to improve the problem solving speeds. For some subjects, like Electromagnetic Theory, a lot of equations are there to be remembered. For that I prepared short notes as an aid during revision time. Also, I attended mock GATE exams conducted by GATE Forum and ACE.


11. When did you complete the syllabus? And were you able to revise? (how many times)

I was able to complete the most important topics that are supposed to ask for the exam by the beginning of January 2011. However the number of times I did revision cannot be said exactly because it is topic dependent. For the topics I may forget easily, I read it 3-4 times. Also there are topics which I didn’t give much care and some other topics I read 2 times. However I couldn’t cover up the entire syllabus and I don’t feel it is much necessary.


12. How did you prepare in the last 2 months before GATE?

No special method of preparation in the last 2 months. Reading the topics and working out problems, that’s all.


13. What suggestion and preparation tips would you like to give to GATE aspirants?

To GATE aspirants:


While preparing for GATE or any other competitive examination, the way you study should be the thorough understanding of fundamentals and concepts. As far as CUSAT syllabus is concerned, the subjects required for GATE comes from the 3rd semester itself. So rather than mugging up the contents in the subjects and vomiting it to the University answer booklet, we must know the ‘Whats’ and ‘Whys’ behind each concept. As I already mentioned, try to correlate it with what we already know. You try to do all these at the college going time itself (from 3rd semester itself) as you get lots of time for preparations. Go with this procedure until you feel confidence in the understanding of that particular portion. Only after this, you start working out problems. Also try to develop your own algorithms for approaching problems. If you are not good in solving problems very fast, then only you solve more numerical problems. Try to do some arithmetics without calculator (even if it’s permitted).


For getting the correct concepts, you better refer standard text books. The standard text books are mentioned in CUSAT syllabus itself. And please avoid using local author text books because local authors are copying standard text books and while doing so, they are making a lot of misconceptions. If you feel difficulty in understanding a particular portion in the respective standard text book, you can go to local author texts, read the portion, try to understand and come back to standard text book.


All that is needed is your passion and willingness to work for it. If you are focused, all things will fall in to your place and all circumstances will come favorable to you. You try to cultivate a good attitude to your parents, teachers and friends. I also faced tensions and worries but we should never allow the tensions to move us away from our goal.


And finally, what all you have studied or not studied, leave the rest to the almighty, where your sincerity only is counted.


14. Which institute and specialization are you planning to take up?

I prefer ME in Signal Processing at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.



Also read: This






Arunanand T A,

CEC 2010 CS.