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GATE Mechanical Preparation tips-Muscle Memory

In this article on GATE Mechanical preparation tips, we will look at the Muscle Memory. We are continuing from the last article on GATE Preparation tips - Whiteboard Test. GATE Mechanical is a highly competetive exam with a huge difference between the level of studies in college/ university classroom and the GATE Mechanical coaching classes. 

You should be ready to be bombarded with a lot of new concepts in a short amount of time, which are ignored easily while preparing for university exams. A lot of formulae and equations, with special conditions have to be understood and remembered, with an expectation from you to use them in the correct manner. This usually seems a bit overwhelming in the beginning. The trick here is to focus on one topic at a time and then start getting comfortable with the new concepts, formulae and derivations. 

For GATE Mechanical, it is not easy to remember the formulae and equations right away, one thing that will certainly help is writing down things-repeatedly. The logic here is to make this long list of formulas a part of your muscle memory. Write the complete formula in any formula that you are solving. This practice will make sure that you are writing the whole formula instead of just plugging in the numbers and solving questions. Now, the later part is needed in an objective exam, but by creating a repetetive habit of writing down the formulas while solving a question during your GATE Mechanical preparation, the formulae will become a part of your muscle memory. 

One must ask, how many time should I write a particular formula before it becomes a part of my muscle memory? The thumb rule is, 84 times. This is also referred to as "rule of 84". Why 84? Well, it has to do with some Vedic principle of 8.4 million Hindu rebirths. So as mortal humans we stick to a figure of 84 to make something a part of our consciousness. Another way of looking at it is that by writing something 84 times, a sense of sincerity develops while solving questions, that is you develop a regimen with which you solve questions. 

Let us look at a general pathway to start your question solving practice during GATE Mechanical preparation: 

  • Write down the formulae to be used in the question.
  • Draw the free body diagram, as needed.
  • Perform complete calculations while solving the questions.

In short, write all the steps involved in solving a question and then gradually move on to solving questions mentally where just reading a question is sufficient for you to and the intermediate steps can be mapped out mentally as well. Till such a stage is reached, keep writing. Being consistent in your GATE preparation efforts as per the abocve rules, not only you will be able to make the formulae a part of your muscle memory but you will also feel confident while writing the GATE Mechanical exam. 

There are many students who are very good in mental calculations, but they still falter in the final GATE exam. The reason for this is, high levels of anxiety during the GATE exam, and a lack of practice in writing the formulae and steps involved make them doubt their answers. So write, no matter if it is wrong. The mistakes you make during this phase will give you immense learnings and it will easily become a part of your muscle memory. Whenever there is a difference between the muscle memory and the analytical part of the brain, you will be prompted to take a cautious approach towards the question or problem and this will help you steer clear of the mistakes during GATE Mechanical Engineering exam. 

We hope that you have now got a clear way forward to build a robust muscle memory for GATE Mechanical Engineering exam and this will also help you in your GATE preparation. In the next article we will look at one more tip to prepare well for GATE Mechanical Engineering, till then KEEP WRITING!

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