How many attempts do i need to qualify any examination?

After a long long time, I am back to my blog.

Today I am going to write on a topic on which I was thinking to write for a long time. Now that I have got the time to express my views here, let’s see what I have to see & whether you are going to agree with me or not.

Many people have a ‘big’ question in their mind- “Can I clear xyz exam in my first attempt?”  This ‘xyz’ could be any examination, be it GATE or IES or IAS or CAT etc etc

A closely related version of this question is – “How many attempts do I require to clear xyz exam?”

I bet at some point or the other, this question might have come to your mind. I know this because it happens to everyone, even me too. But eventually I realized the secret behind the “attempts” question. I am going to reveal that secret today..

First of all, why are we so much obsessed with attempts?

The first & the obvious reason is that it tells how much years one has saved, preparing for the examination. But, what I think is that this ‘unit’ is faulty, unless you combine with your age. A guy of 24 years age having cleared the exam in 2nd attempt will be in a similar position with a guy in his 25 having cleared in first attempt.

Obviously, everyone wants to reach to the top as quickly as possible. The early one starts, the earlier he gets to the position.

Moreover, coaching try to commercialize this ‘attempts’ as their marketing strategy. We tend to fall for that strategy, unfortunately.

But is this really an important criteria? Why attempts matter so much? And most importantly, how can I get out of this ‘attempts’ mindset?


To know the answers to these questions, let’s ask ourselves another question- What changes when a guy goes for his next attempt after being unsuccessful in his previous attempt?

When someone goes for a further attempt, according to what I have seen & felt, these changes appear-

(1)    Knowledge – Not much change. Say 10-20% only!

(2)    Strategy – Changes substantially.

(3)    Attitude towards exam- Changes substantially.

This means, an extra attempt does not means extra study. It means change in attitude & strategy. No doubt, exceptions are always there.

Before we proceed further, let’s have a look at 3 types of people into which all of them can be classified. This classification is based on the “learning from the mistakes” attitude. How quickly one adapts to the changes required in his/her strategy, makes him/her stand out of the crowd.

Type 1- These people are extremely smart as they learn from the mistakes of others. They keep on looking for the mistakes that there seniors did in their previous attempts. Then they check whether they lack in that field too & if needed, they improve on that. Many people go to coaching for the same. These people when go for their first attempt, find many loopholes already filled by them. Such people, mostly clear the examinations in 1st or 2nd attempt.

Type 2- These people somewhat lag from type 1 people as they only learn from their own mistakes. They sit for their first attempt without any guards & unfortunately find it too difficult to clear. But subsequently, they start to learn their mistakes in previous attempt & by improving on them, they come with flying colors in 2nd or 3rd attempt. That depends on how quickly one learns from his mistakes after recognizing what were his mistakes.

Type 3- These people don’t learn at all. They keep on applying for the exams again & again & again without any change in strategy or methodology only to see the same result again & again & again.


So, now we know about the three type of people. The point to ne noted is that the classification is not based on someone’s intelligence. It is based merely on the person’s attitude to learn.


The Quickly you learn, the quickly you qualify.


But you know, what is the best part? The ‘type’ of the person can be changed. Bring that change is yourself. Talk to seniors, talk to classmates. Talk about their mistakes done in previous attempts. I agree that luck plays a role too, but that role is limited. You should give your best.

Forget about the number of attempts. Only remember one thing- Improvement in strategy & techniques. The difference between a selected & a not-selected candidate is created during the 3 hours exam only.

Have faith in yourselves, Have faith in your learning abilities. Be Unconventional.


7 thoughts on “How many attempts do i need to qualify any examination?

  1. mohit kumar

    Hello sir, i am preparing by my self for gate exam, i am from ee stream and i am applyng sheets of made easy after reading theory of books, my confidence has increased but when i see the previous year questions of gate,my mind goes blank and i feel as if i have no knowledge, is my preparation strategy weak?


    1. Hi Mohit,

      It seems to me that you aren’t practicing the questions well. Always remember that practice is the secret to success. Start with the easy questions of previous year papers and then gradually move on to the tougher ones.

      All the best.


  2. Hi sir this is Roshan kumar ..I am a 2013 pass out student and I took coaching from made easy Delhi ..for my bad luck I couldn’t clear both Gate as well as IES in first attempt already wasted 1 and half year ..2014 I had health problem I am starting preparation for 2016 IES …is that good idea or should I join state level Mtech college and prepare by mean time ..


  3. sachin

    hello sir,
    all of your blogs are totally informative and inspiring.i want to share my personal problem with you so that you could help.i am in my final year of you ask me what have you learned in your,i will say nothing because what i have done in these three and half years is -just mugged up last ten years question paper before a week of semester exam and passed with average cgpa 6.75(till 7th sem). the reason behind this was bad faculty in our college and lack of my motivation towards technical stuff.after realizing this,i started to prepare for CAT about 6 month before(in 7th sem) and appeared for it is pretty obvious that CAT exam can not be prepared in such a short duration without any good knowledge in english and i decided to give another shot in 2015.everything was fine till december.but in mean time my poor academics and no extra-curricular activities used to haunt me as it is considered by almost all top notch(top 15) b-schools beside very good(99+) percentile in financial condition is also not good that’s why i have pressure for getting job.after analyzing these problems ,i suddenly changed my decision of CAT into GATE.the primary reason for giving GATE is psu job opportunity and secondary is further study .the problem is am i able to crack GATE with good rank because i shall have to start everything from begining and most importantly changing my mind from non-technical to technical.i am in very perplexed situtation right now and don’t know in which direction i am heading towards.i know its very silly question to ask but i had not another alternative to please guide me.


  4. Kannam naidu

    Sir cngrts, and al d best for civels…. Sir i impressed frm ur articles.. I m preparng 4 p.s.u s. Hw can i crack them. Please suggest me.. Me also electrical stream. My goal is a.e in transco


    1. Hello Kannam,
      I have tried to put on all the relevant points here on the blog itself. If you have any specific question, you can always ask me.

      All the best 🙂



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