GATE 2020 Topper’s Interview Raja Majhi (AIR 30 EC)

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

GATE is the biggest exam for every Engineer who is aiming to secure a job in govt. PSU such as IOCL, ONGC, NTPC Exam or pursue higher studies in the most prestigious institutes i.e. IISc, IIT's, NIT etc. Every year over many candidates appear for the GATE exam and strive to fulfil their dreams. This year GATE 2020 was conducted on 2nd Feb and the final result was declared on 13th March in which Raja Majhi achieved AIR 30 with 74.33 marks and 904 GATE score in GATE 2020 Electronics & Communication Engineering exam.

BYJU’S Exam Prep got in touch with Raja and he shared his journey of being a topper with his dreams and aspirations which were the driving force in the GATE 2020 exam.

GATE 2020 Success Story of Raja Majhi

Gradeup: Please tell us something about yourself and your motivation to appear for GATE 2020

  • I have completed my B.E. in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 2016.
  • Later I joined a top PSU thanks to my rank AIR 7 in GATE 2016.
  • This time I was not actually preparing for GATE, rather I was preparing for ISRO written exam which was conducted on Jan 12, 2020. Preparation for ISRO helped me cracking the GATE 2020.

Gradeup: Please share your preparation strategy in detail

  • I started my preparation in late September. Though I appeared for GATE almost 3 and a half years ago (in 2016) and though I was completely detached from this field from then on, I still remembered quite a few things as of then. T
  • This was the starting motivation of my preparation. I started preparing the Signal and System first. I revised the subject thoroughly and practised all previous year GATE, ESE, ISRO questions.
  • Now I repeated implementation of the same strategy for all other subjects. I went for Communication systems next, then EMT.
  • I started with these three subjects rather than going for Networks, EDC, Analog etc. because I was strong in these circuit subjects since my college days and somewhat weak in these communication-related subjects.
  • One should always prepare according to their strengths and weaknesses.
  • I primarily focused on my weaknesses first so that I can give it more time.
  • The main part of my preparation consisted of only practising as many problems as possible from various sources as GATE is all about checking your problem-solving skill.
  • I finished the entire syllabus till end of December and then started revising all the topics of all subjects and also trying out few mock test as well. During reading a subject for the first time, short notes (formula and the concepts that are hard to remember) may also be prepared.

Gradeup: Please share some important topics & necessary preparation sources (books/study material etc) to prepare for GATE


  • There is nothing such as important topics for GATE.
  • Every subject has almost equal weightage. Still, I would say one must focus on Basic subjects like Network Theory, Signals and system, Engineering Math, Analog and Digital circuit.
  • The preparation sources are listed below. 
    • Network Theory -Engineering circuit analysis by Hayt and Kemmerly. (Though I personally would suggest going through NPTEL videos of IIT Delhi by Prof S.C. Duttaroy. This is not a subject to read theory but lot of numerical need to be practised for this subject. ) 
    • Signal and System -Again NPTEL video by IIT Delhi Prof. S.C. Duttaroy. Reference book will be Signal and Systems by Oppenheim for reference. This is also a subject to practice.
    • EDC – Semiconductor physics by Donald Neamen or solid-state electronic devices by Streetman. IIT-M NPTEL video is also available 
    • Analog Electronics – All lectures of Behzad Razavi available on youtube (electronics 1 and electronics 2). Nobody can teach analog circuits better than Prof Razavi. Reference – Fundamentals of
    • Microelectronics by Behzad Razavi 
    • Digital Electronics – This subject is love by almost all students. Ref book- Digital Design by Moris Mano. 
    • Microprocessor – 8085 by Ramesh Gaonkar 
    • Communication System – Simon Haykins along with several NPTEL videos are present on both analog and digital communication.
    • Electromagnetic Theory – NPTEL lectures by IITB professor R.K. Shevgaonkar.
    • Engineering Math – Book by B.S. Grewal 
    • Control System – Book by Nagrath and Gopal and NPTEL lectures of Prof Gopal

Gradeup: What are the challenges you faced in your preparation journey?

  • The main challenge for me was time management as I am currently doing a job and it has strict timing from 8:30 am to 5 pm (Monday – Saturday).
  • I never lacked motivation though. I always tried to use the time in the morning and in the evening and Sundays most effectively.

Gradeup: What are some mistakes that you would have done during your preparation, that you would advise fellow aspirants to avoid?


  • I didn't take a lot of mock tests.
  • I only practised 3 or 4 full-length tests and few subject tests.
  • This was actually not my mistake. I didn't have any time left to practice a lot of tests.
  • I would suggest aspirants complete the syllabus before mid-December and then to start taking mock tests or subject test.

Gradeup: What was your strategy in the last 1 month before the GATE exam?


  • As I completed the syllabus till the end of December. I revised all the topics again.
  • Revising does not mean cramming the formula or concept.
  • You have to solve problems(particularly previous year questions) using the formula or concept then only that will be a proper revision.
  • In the mean time, I also took a few mock tests.
  • Try to revise the subjects at least twice in this period along with this practice a lot of mock tests.

Gradeup: How did BYJU’S Exam Prep help you in your preparation?


  • I took Test Series from BYJU’S Exam Prep for practising mock tests.
  • Those subject tests, quizzes, mock test were very helpful for practising a wide variety of questions and also for identifying my weaknesses in a particular subject.

Gradeup: What feature of the BYJU’S Exam Prep App was the most useful for you?


  • The daily quizzes were very helpful as I tried to solve most of them 1 month before the exam.
  • The standard of mock test questions was also at the same level as that of GATE.
  • I also followed a few free online classes of BYJU’S Exam Prep and all of them were very helpful and interactive which helped me achieving the rank

Gradeup: Any special advice for BYJU’S Exam Prep users preparing for GATE 2021


  • All should only focus on what is the end product of the process of preparation.
  • There should not be any negativity or any sort of disbelief throughout the journey.
  • I always believe that hard work always pays off. So, If you are honestly working hard, then success will come. 
  • Just remembers GATE is an exam of your analytical/problem-solving skill.
  • Don't indulge in too much hardcore theory, Just clear the basics from any material you would like and practice all previous year (last 25 years or more) questions very sincerely.
  • Take a lot of mock tests to verify your preparation, to learn about time management and to find out your weaknesses.

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