Sunday, June 6, 2010

IIIT-Allahabad M.Tech selection process

With this article, I'll acquaint the reader with the full interview process of IIIT-Allahabad M.Tech Course in Software Engineering, linking with my own experience of my selection.

If you are just preparing for GATE, you should solve more and more questions. And for that I would recommend GKP Publisher's Question Bank. Although there are some mistakes in the book for solutions to some problems, but I recommend this book solely for the huge collection of problems it has.

After an initial shortlisting based on GATE scores, names of 148 students were posted on their site who were called for the Written Test + Coding Test to be held on 1st of June and Interview of qualified students on 2nd. I received my admit card 7 days before the test. Kudos to Bharatiya Daak for their crappy service, a friend of me had received 15 days ago.

I reached Allahabad on 31st May night, and stayed at a relative's residence. On 1st June I reached IIIT-A campus at around 8:30. The auto-fare from station is just Rs.5 so don't think that being in the outskirts of the city it is very far as mentioned in Admit Card that the fare would be Rs.70-100. I guess, it is around 7-8 kilometers from railway station.
I was greeted by the guards, who were very co-operative. I was directed towards the boys hostel. I entered the mess. To my surprise, it was completely Air Conditioned and very well maintained and clean. I drank some water and cooled myself, as the North Indian heat had struck me on the way hard! Yes, at 8:30AM it was very hot in Allahabad! I believe, the temperature was 42+ at that time! In the mess itself I met my net friend Shailesh Sharma who too was shortlisted and had arrived for the admission process. We had got introduced to each other through this blog itself through my post GATE-2010 Solutions. I got introduced to his friend Vipin and we were now a group of three! At 9:30 we headed out towards the academic campus. Our written test started at 10.
The paper consisted of 100 objective questions to be solved in three hours. There were tricky questions from C, followed by Java, some very easy questions from data structures, some easy ones from SQL, and then from software engineering. Overall, the paper was deviating 80% from the provided syllabus. In first 20 minutes, C questions had trapped me and I had solved only 10 of them. Later I changed my gear and by the end of 50 minutes, I had marked all 100 questions. There was no negative marking so there was no fear of wrong answers. Marking the answers on the answer sheet took me another 40 minutes because of bigger bubbles and use of ball point pen for filling the bubbles. The question paper lacked quality standards. There were inconsistent questions, and weird ones too. Some seemed to have wrong options too. Anyways, we finished. I believe, I must have got around 70 questions right. We headed out for lunch.

At 2PM we went for the coding test. The lab had computers running Windows and Linux(Ubuntu 9.04). Student was free to choose his/her environment. I chose windows thinking that they may put me on vi editor if I chose Linux and as I am not much comfortable with vi, as well as touch typing. I saw that there was no CUI, but a GUI environment had been provided on Linux systems so I switched to a Linux system thinking about the added advantage of synatx highlighting of gedit. Windows people had option to use Turbo C++, or Microsoft Visual C++ or Dev C++. Linux users had good old GCC.
All the computers were on LAN and we had to open a URL in our browsers where Online Judge software was running. The software was coded in PHP. We had to upload the source file after coding. The compilation and evaluation on random inputs was to be done by the software itself. If the software was satisfied with our code it would give us points. But there was a catch. The way of giving input was pre-specified and exactly the program was required to receive input that way only. And the required output too was given in a pre-specified manner. This was because the code was run by a script, not a human being. Being dumb, a script can't accept anything deviating even slightly from the specified standards.

There were three questions in the paper. First was of 20 marks. Second one of 35 and third one of 45 marks. The time alotted was 3 hours. The questions were easy but I felt that I'll have problems in designing the input module because the language to be used were C or C++. I thought, if I were allowed to use PHP, I would churn out these questions within 5 minutes each. explode() function in PHP would easily let me process the input, the way I wanted. But I had to work with C and there was no explode. I was unable to take the input in required form and put it into a data structure for further processing and output. I coded the processing and output modules for 1st and 3rd questions but couldn't code the input module. Then I attacked the 2nd question and cracked it easily. I was sweating heavily in the Air Conditioned lab. As soon as my 2nd question's answer was accepted by the script I took a sigh of relief.

I checked the time and 2 and half hours had passed already. I checked the current results. This facility was provided by the Online Judge software. We could see which student had submitted correct answers. There was one girl at rank 1 who had solved 2 questions i.e. 1 and 3. She had 65 points. I was at rank 2 with 35 marks because 2nd question was worth 35 marks. There were 15 students behind me, each with 20 marks, who had solved the first question. Out of the rest, noone else could solve any program!!!
I re-attacked the 3rd question to process the input anyhow. I cursed myself for forgetting the strtok() function's syntax which would easily let me solve the 1st and 3rd questions. Strtok() works a bit similar to the explode() function in PHP. I thought I should code my own explode() function in C and I started off for the same. I reached very near but the time was up, by then! I checked current rankings. I was still at rank 2, behind that girl.
The authorities announced that those whose programs were running manually but were not accepted by the Online Judge software could get their programs verified by invigilators and get some marks. Many students who were not in Online Judge's ranking list raised their hands and were getting their programs verified. Some claimed that they have solved all three but none was accepted by online judge. I thought in my mind, even if they get more marks and I get rejected I'm still a better programmer than them because my program followed the standard defined in the problem. Anyways, the process ended after sometime. We were advised to wait for an hour for the declaration of result. We roamed through the college. At around 7PM the result was declared. Out of 148 appeared, 56 were shortlisted for the interview to be carried out next day. I was there in the list!

Shailesh and Vipin too were there. We bid good night and parted away happily thinking about the next day.
On 2nd day, we reached for the judgement day! Everyone was in formals. We were made to sit in the auditorium from where we were called for the interview one by one based on the roll number. My roll no. was 142 so I was relaxed that my interview will take time. First Vipin was called, being early in the sequence, followed by Shailesh. Finally my turn came. My interview went very pathetic. When I was asked 'tell me about yourself', I mentioned about IndiFun. Then I was asked 5 questions from the theory of social networking each going well above my head.
Then I was caught by another interviewer who was a guest lecturer from IIT Khargapur. He asked me my favourite subject. I said - databases! He asked me to define functional dependency. I spoke: an attribute B is said to be functionally dependent on an attribute A if for each unique value of A there exists a unique value in B. Then he asked, what is the mathematical term for that. Within a fraction of second I recalled about functions and two obvious answers came to my mind - one one, and one one onto. I was also frustrated due to the early 5 questions that had gone beyond me. I spoke one one onto and felt that I've made a blunder!!! He asked, where did you read this? I said Elmasri and Navathe. Then after a pause of a second, I continued, I read about functional dependencies in Elmasri and Navathe but not the fact that this is one one onto function. Then he asked, considering functional dependency define 3NF. I got confused over 3NF and BCNF. I started speaking about BCNF then stopped, beg pardon and said a table is in 3NF if it is in 2NF and every non-key attribute is non-transitively dependent on all the candidate keys. He said go.
I went out thinking about those 5 questions that hit me in a row. I thought I don't need to see the result, as I won't be selected. But a hope kept me on. The result was declared at 7. Out of 56, there were 15 selected in General category! My name was there at 9th position in the alphabetically sorted list!

I had a sigh of relief! Finally I got into an India level institution. Shailesh and Vipin too made into the 15 lucky people list. I believe the final result was made up based on GATE score, written test score, coding test score and interview, where interview had a lesser weightage. If it had higher weightage, I would have definitely been ousted!
Our classes are going to start from July 9th. That was my experience with IIIT-A selection process :) Will keep you posted with the further developments in my life/career.

84 comments:

Himadri said...

Well Done, ds helped, next time do read the social networking theories before creating something like orkut or facebook, i thought that ds is boring, but that is what helped you crack, and i hate those scripts, really annoying, and i am going to conentrate more on c as it will be my primary language while learning windows api programming.

- hero_18 / Himadri

freaky_ss said...

it ws really nice to get space in d blog of an eminent tech addict!!!

"SHAILESH SHARMA"

ankit.nagpal said...

Hi,
Good job. I am also an IIIT-A ian and I also felt the same joy when I was selected.

Prab97 said...

You are in which branch? Which year?

Shashank Gudipati said...

Hey i have applied to IIIT A SE. with 97.3 percentile , 538 gate score what are my chances of getting call for written test? (gen category)
thanks in advance

Shashank

Prab said...

You have fair chances. Perform well in the written and coding tests and interview.

Shashank Gudipati said...

usually when are the short-lists announced ?
site says written test is on jun 4th/5th.
so shall i start practicing some coding?

thanks in advance

Prab said...

Yeah do start practicing coding and make sure you are comfortable with simple data structure implementations in c or cpp

Prab said...

ABout te shortlists. They will be out by 20th.

Shashank Gudipati said...

Prab got shortlisted for IIIT A. Pls throw some light on written test prep. Want to make it thru . You are really helpful.

Thanx in advance

Shashank Gudipati said...

And one more thing regarding coding test.i m not that good at making those preformarted input modules for online judge. So is it better to use C or C++ for getting input.

Thanks in advance

Prab said...

This time they are conducting a combined written test and based on the performance the branch will be allotted. Toppers will get SE or WCC. Last time each branch had separate paper. I wrote SE paper and it had questions from C like what is the output of this program, also Java basics, Software Engineering fundas, SQL, data structures etc. But this time since it is a common exam it should be GATE kinda paper I believe.

In coding test, just don't worry much. Try solving a few problems at http://spoj.pl after registering there. The easiest one to try is "The life, universe and everything". Upload your solution there and if your program gets accepted then I don't think you will have much issues in coding test.

Shashank Gudipati said...

hey prab
thanx for ur quick response !
dude..i got iiit b admission . and i m shortlisted for iiit a test..so can u tell me which one is better..so accordingly i can decide whether to give iiit a test or not

Prab said...

I'll recommend going to IIIT-B

Pandia said...

Hey I was longing everywhere to get a sample question paper, yours is very informative. Thanks a lot!!
BTW, I've called for the examination and my stream is ECE.

ap89 said...

Hi, i have scored 334,marks-33.33 with 86% n rank-17000 in cs,general..can i be shortlisted for the iiita examination??? because they shortlist based upon the gate scores...

Prabhakar Kumar said...

@Pandia All the best!

@ap89 They won't call anyone above 4500 rank(General category)
By the way thats 86 percentile not percent. :P

AbHiShEk said...

Hey where can i get the solutions for the qnz of lab test you hav mentioned above...and how to prepare for the lab test..plz guide for written and lab test..

san212 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
san212 said...

My gate(2012) score is 602 and AIR 1666.I have applied for Mtech(is/robotics).What are my chances of getting call for written test? Category : GEN

Prabhakar Kumar said...

@Abhishek You can't get the solutions.

@san212 Why did you apply for IS/RO? You should have tried for SE. IS/RO have very bad placements. SE is the best there.
Anyways, at 1666 you will definitely get the call.

san212 said...

Thanks for quick reply.Actually I want to pursue my career in AI field.Since my GATE AIR will not ensure seat at IIT/IISC, I have applied for those program.Are this department(is/ro) academically good?

san212 said...

if u can suggest other better university offering Mtech(Specialization on AI),it will be great help for me.
Thanks in advance.

Prabhakar Kumar said...

If you are really interested in researching in AI field, you should wait an year and write GATE again and get into IITB/IISc/IITM etc. The quality of research is not upto the mark at IIIT-Allahabad.

You can do one more thing so you can avoid risk. Join IIIT-A this year, write GATE again next year. Till then you will get some idea of AI field. Then apply for MS in an IIT where AI is doing well.

san212 said...

Thanks a lot for your advice.If i get selected at IIITA ,I will join and I will appear for next year GATE.
Thanks again for your quick reply.

san212 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
::: Zombie ::: said...

gate2012 rank 6913.. any chance to get short listed...OBC category?

Unknown said...

got shortlisted..they mentioned that fee has to be deposited at the time of admission...whn is that- on 11th just after the interview results? so does that mean that we need to get DD of 50k in advance?

pradeep said...

please ,TELL ME ABOUT MTECH ADMISSION IN IIIT ALLAHABAD.MY GATE SCORE IS 598 AND RANK IS 1738.I GOT CALL FROM IIIT ALLAHABAD.WHAT I SHOULD DO IF I AM VERY WEAKV AT PROGRAMMING..........

pradeep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pri said...

hey i got a call from iiit a ... i was wondering hw much maths questions do they ask... their syllabus for the common paper includes maths...

ravi said...

I got the admission offer at iiita. I want to know how is the teaching and placemect there for se branch. Is iiit a is better than dtu for mtech.
plzz reply its urgent

freaky_ss said...

nops dtu z better....placement here in iiita is avg...

ankita manaktala said...

i know c language only and i got 4227 rank 2013 shoild i fill the form for iiit allahbad and what kind of programs they will ask?

SHobhita saxena said...

hey i have got 2462 rank in gate 2013 with 524 gate score. WiLL i get a call ? kindly reply ! thanks :)

somenath das said...

my rank is same as shobhita(2462) and my query is same too :P
plz reply..

Neeraj said...

i scored 91 percentile in GATE -2013 in ECE. Would i be shortlisted to appear in written test??????PLZ REPLY

Anu Nur said...

hello sir.. my gate score is 416, rank 7024, and category is obc.. is there ny chance to get call from iiit a...

Ankit vashishtha said...

Hello all...
I got 33.33 Marks in GATE ECE 2013
AIR- 15k, n Gate score 375...


Is there any chance to get a call for test+ interview??

EM good in Embedded n hav 1 year of industry experience

Sirish Kumar said...

I got 12498 Rank in GATE-2013 CS Paper,Score-360, General Category,
I have already applied to IIIT-A
Any chance of getting shortlisted,
Kindly reply immediately to siris2k8@gmail.com

harshita said...

sir do you know what type of questions are there in lab test for ec students?
and what was yor GATE AIR?
mine is 3538 (EC)
And I have 16 days for prepration.

Nilesh Kumar said...

Sir,I have also short listed for entrance test from IIIT A, FOR Bioinformatics . can u pls suggest me,what should i prepare for LAB test? is there will be coding test for students of bioinfo too.

ankit gupta said...

anyone know about cutoff...... or may be rank of last year ........

Harshit Kumar said...

Wat are the placement scenarios in IIIT A? Is it worth leaving job for doing m tech in IIIT A ? Please reply....

The King of Electronics said...

my friend got selected for microelectronics in iiit allahabad.. can you plz tell how is placement there for micro-electronics..??

rk_web_tips said...

hi prab , I am selected for Mtech SE in IIIT A but i want to write gate 2015 and looking for iit
i have some questions to ask you .
1. Suppose if i get any iit next year then whether i have to pay back all the stipend that i got in iiit allahabad from mhrd and after doing so can i get scholarship in the iit or i can just left the institute without paying back the scholarship,
2. Once you decide to leave m tech from iiit do the administration co-operative with you or they make troubles to you.
3. The had kept may orginal Documents . After how much time they return these documents.
throw some light on this.

Prabhakar Kumar said...

@rk_web_tips
1. No you don't have to pay back. I didn't need to pay.
2. They do co-operate. They don't care.
3. You can file an application for retrieving documents citing the reason that you have an interview by ISRO/BARC or something. They will return the docs easily.

Manindra Kumar said...

Hello there,

Sir I want to know about the placement of IIIT-A for CSE branch M.TECH and which course should I choose?

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