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Tips to crack GATE - Visualize the Problems

Let us move ahead in our article series on Tips to crack GATE. In this article we will look at VISUALIZE THE PROBLEMS

Creating visulizations of problems is a great way to improve your focus and break down even a difficult problem into simple, easy to understand parts. Especially, in Mechanical Engineering, it is very important to create visual representations of situations given in the problems. These visual representations can be mental or physical drawings depending on what you do at a comfortable level. Not only in GATE, but this approach helps in any real life problems as well. 

Whenever you are starting out with your preparation, or starting any new topic, try and make a drawing physically (often called diagrams) for each case and question. Try and put yourself through the drawing, how the clutch would have moved, how the bending would have occured. As you practice more, you will realise that for simpler problems you will not be required to draw diagrams or pictures, as with much practice the image will automatically start coming to your mind. Also, it will reduce the time it took you to visualize the situation for harder problems. 

Let us understand this concept via a simple problem on heat convection:

A solid body X of heat capacity C is kept in an atmosphere of temperature . At time t=0, the temperature of X is . It gets cooled down according to Newton's law of cooling. At time  its temperature is found to be 450K. 

At this time  the body X is connected to a large body Y at atmospheric temperature  through a conducting rod of length L, cross sectional area A and thermal conductivity k. The heat capacity of Y is so large that any variation in its temperature may be neglected. The cross sectional area A of the connecting rod is small as compared to the surface area of X. Find the temperature of X at time .

The problem will occur complex to come people at first glance. The very first step you should do is to draw a sketch for the problem. You can see a rough skecth for the problem drawn below. 

Soon after drawing the figure, you will feel you are moving towards the solution faster than imagined. The catch here is, do not overdo it. Just draw a rough schematic or sketch and don't plunge into dimensions, scales etc. 

We hope you will now learn the importance of drawing a rough sketch or schematic for a given problem or a question. Let us now move on to the next tip for cracking GATE The Whiteboard.

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