Before the marathon begins, the ‘runner’ puts in months, even years, of effort before he actually runs the race. GATE is not at all the mugging up the end results (formulae) and directly applying them; instead, you need to know the principle in the derivation of those end results because in most of the cases the questions are based on the basic principle involved in the derivation, or the case where they may ask the behavior of the system under some other conditions or simple application of that result. So at all GATE is an exam that tests you on your fundamentals.
I will recommend following while preparing for your GATE exams people may differ as this is my personal opinion:
Try to cover complete syllabus. If not possible expertise in whatever portion of syllabus you practice.
Prepare notes with reading every chapter/topic. This may initially take some time but will help you while revising before paper.
Best way to prepare is to follow cycle Learn, Test, Analyze, Improve, Learn, Test, Analyze, Improve.
Group study is one of the best ways of preparation. Divide sections/topics between you and your partner and have a brief session on topic from your friend before you actually start topic.
This will save your time and efforts and will improve your and your partner’s understanding on the topic. Normally coaching for GATE is not required but if you are not able to concentrate much then this is a good option.
Do not waste your time in NPTEL video lectures. Avoid reading from soft copies. You can also write down some important points if do not want to have printed copy.
Get Question banks: Have a question bank or GATE questions answer book for sure. As soon as you finish a topic you should refer to different types of questions that can be asked.
Simulate actual test environment: This is very important. The actual test happens in a classroom, and is timed. Also, if possible, take up a mock test series which enables you to take the test in a classroom environment.
Many of the questions that will be asked in GATE Exam are from your academic syllabus. So, do not neglect academics too.
GATE study material : choose best and deal with rest
For students starting preparation just before one month of GATE exam
If you have less time in your hands, do not bother or fear regarding the completion of syllabus for GATE Exam. Try to finish the subjects first which you feel easy and then go for the subjects which you feel difficult. As soon as you finish a topic you will see more energy and excitement of cracking the GATE. As you have less time, do not stick to be perfect in entire syllabus. Try to cover the important areas.Here are some important topics (with recommended books) for electrical which can be covered in 15-20 days and covers 50-70% of GATE exam questions
Power system:Cables, String efficiency, Symmetrical components, Distance relays, CB ratings, Swing equation, Basic stability concept, Admittance matrix (J.B.Gupta)
Machine:Transformer-phasor diagram, parallel operation,Starters, Induction machine -speed control and starting, Sharing of load, Numericals (B.L. Thareja)
Measurement:Bridges, CRO, Current transformer (A.K.Sawhney)
Electronics: Op-amp, Microprocessor instructions, Sequential circuits (Morris Mano, Anil swarnkar)
Power electronics:Clipper, Clamper, Characteristics of thyristor, Voltage commutated chopper, 180o and 120o mode of inverter (P.S.Bhimbhra)
Signal and systems-Invariant and causal systems, Fourier series and Laplace transform (Schaum series)
Control system-cover each and every topic (Nagrath and Gopal)
Engineering Mathematics:Made easy publication (no need of any other book for mathematics)