Not for IIT Or A Govt Job: GATE 2022 Topper Ram Balaji Says He Took The Exam for Experience – News18

By: Shyna Kalra
Last Updated: March 27, 2022, 16:08 IST
New Delhi
Ram Balaji S is an IIT-Madras student and GATE topper. Pic/News18
Despite cracking GATE 2022 and securing All India Rank 1, Ram Balaji S from Chennai will neither be taking admission in an IIT nor will he be applying for a PSU job. Ram first appeared for GATE in 2021 while he was still in college. Without much preparation, he secured All India Rank 139. This motivated him to aim for AIR 1, and he decided to give it another go.
“I got a rank without even completing the entire syllabus. I took this exam while pursuing my degree. This made me believe that I could do much better if I appeared for the exam with full preparation,” said Ram. Now, in his second attempt, he scored 78 marks out of 100 and AIR 1.
Despite topping the exam, the 22-year-old will be joining the job he got at Texas Instrument via campus placement with an aim to attain 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 go with preparation of just four months. However, he was not aware at the time of his feat.
Now a BTech student from IIT Madras’ engineering physics, Ram during his schooling was not aware of the JEE Main or an IIT. When he got to know, the exam was a mere four months away. This too had inspired him to prove himself in a competitive exam and give his best shot to GATE and relive the moments.
“I came from a rural background. I did not know about IITs or NITs till I had almost finished my 12th standard. I prepared for my JEE only four months ahead of the exam that too with the help of crash courses,” recalled Ram.
He was a meritorious student throughout his schooling and got help from his teachers with counselling for IITs as well as extra material and assistance in cracking the entrance exam.
Not only did he clear the exam but also bagged a seat in the best-ranked college in the entire country. However, at the time of joining, he was guided by teachers and friends and was not aware of how big a feat it was. To relive the experience completely, 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 then after revising the syllabus and brushing up on the weak points he took full-length mock exams.
During the exams, he focused on avoiding negative marks and attempted what he knew. For exam resources, Ram relied upon the internet. He studied at NPTEL —where the IIT faculty gives lectures on topics for GATE. He also referred to online videos available on YouTube, and BYJU’s exam prep series.
Ram has secured a handsome package of Rs 25 lakh per annum. The day he got his placement was one of the happiest moments for him and his entire family, he said. His parents broke down in tears on hearing about his job placement while still in college. Ram’s father runs a stationery shop and his mother is a homemaker.
Advising his peers, Ram said, “Many people memorise and use a formula in GATE. However, it’s not a test of memory but the ability to think and apply. It’s better to always understand concepts first. One can learn a topic and solve questions from different resources under the particular topic.”
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About the Author
Shyna Kalra, Chief Subeditor, at, writes extensively on education and employment. An alumnus of IIMC-Dhenkanal, Odisha, Shyna loves food anRead More
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