I know of a person with AIR-5 who couldn’t get into his/her choice of branch in IISc Bangalore and someone with AIR-1000+ right to the program of his/her. So let’s break this down for once and all.
The best way to tackle this problem is to apply everywhere, get a few admits, and then make a choice based on alumni feedback, availability of professors in a certain area, and personal preferences.
- GATE is valid for three years and many people from the previous year will apply. This brings some uncertainty.
- Many GATE high rankers will go for PSU and other jobs such as DRDO, CSIR Labs etc. This means some seats will open up.
- Top rankers will have an option to choose from multiple IITs and will end up going to only one. This will free up opportunities in terms of waiting list calls.
- Many branches such as material science and aerospace engineering accept students from different backgrounds. This means some seats will be blocked and some seats will be freed.
- Some of the people will also choose direct PhD over MTech, this will create some extra seats. There are also different kinds of courses - for example, IISc offers MTech in computational science open to all backgrounds in science and engineering. What if all the top students from mechanical opt for such courses leaving MTech- mechanical open for the next high rankers?
- What is the point of making a choice when you don’t have an admit? There are many cases where people have been declined admission at the last moment due to myriad factors.
With so many factors at play, it is really difficult to predict where one could get admission. There is a possibility that you will get into an institution way above your expectation or the opposite. So the smart thing to do is to apply everywhere, get an admit, and then choose.
When I say apply everywhere, I don’t mean literally everywhere. You may not apply to a few IITs depending on your personal preferences in terms of location, availability of professors in the area of research you are interested in, friends in a particular institution, and whatever your parameters may be.