Despite cracking GATE 2022 and securing All India Rank 1, Ram Balaji S from Chennai will not gain admission into an IIT nor apply for a PSU job. Ram first appeared for GATE in 2021 while still in college. Without much preparation, he achieved All India Rank 139. This motivated him to aim for AIR 1, and he decided to give it another shot.
“I got a rank without even finishing the whole syllabus. I took this exam during my studies. This made me believe I could do much better if I showed up for the exam with full preparation,” said Ram. Now, on his second attempt, he scored 78 points out of 100 and AIR 1.
Despite passing the exam, the 22-year-old will join the job he landed at Texas Instrument through a campus placement with the goal of gaining industry experience.
Though he had a job in hand, Ram appeared for the competitive exam to relive his JEE days. Hailing from a rural part of Chennai, Ram cracked JEE Main and Advanced in the first run with just four months of preparation. However, he was not aware at the time of his feat.
Now a BTech student of engineering physics from IIT Madras, Ram was not aware of the JEE Main or any IIT during his education. When he got to know it, the exam was only four months away. This too had inspired him to prove himself in a competitive exam and do his best for GATE and relive the moments.
“I came from a rural background. I didn’t know anything about IITs or NITs until I was almost done with my 12th standard. I prepared for my JEE using crash courses just four months before the exam,” Ram recalls.
A meritorious student throughout his education, he received help from his teachers with counseling for IITs, as well as additional materials and assistance in passing the entrance exam.
He not only passed the exam, but also earned a place in the top-ranked university in the entire country. However, the moment he joined, he was accompanied by teachers and friends and did not know how big it was. To fully relive the experience, he took GATE.
Now a GATE topper, Ram not only completed the syllabus for his second attempt, but also focused on mock tests and subject tests. After completing the syllabus, he took the syllabus-wise test, and after revising the syllabus and polishing up the weaknesses, he took full mock exams.
During the exams, he focused on avoiding negative grades and tried what he knew. For exam resources, Ram relied on the Internet. He studied at NPTEL — where the IIT faculty lectures on GATE topics. He also referred to online videos available on YouTube, and BYJU’s exam preparation series.
Ram has secured a nice package of Rs 25 lakh per year. The day he got his placement was one of the happiest moments for him and his entire family, he said. His parents burst into tears when they learned about his job placement while he was still in college. Ram’s father runs a stationery store and his mother is a housewife.
Ram advised his colleagues, saying: “Many people remember and use a formula in GATE. However, it is not a test of memory, but of the ability to think and apply. It is better to always understand concepts first. can learn a topic and solve questions from different sources under the specific topic.”
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