What are Textbooks to Follow for GATE CSE Preparation?
Shreyash Srivastava gives you the answer!
Cracking the GATE exam doesn’t require a specific book set. You have options as to which book to choose. My advice is to go with the one that you find interesting, but yes, it should be of some value.
The courses that we take for GATE are like a complete story. You can read topics from different books as long as the story in your mind about the subject does not miss a few characters. But there is a certain drawback. Who prepares the GATE question papers? It is the IIT professors, and they have their own set of books that they are comfortable with. The questions and notations that would be used in the GATE exam are more likely to be from these books.
About how GATE is different from JEE: In JEE, you need to be a hard nut to crack the exam. You need to know how to solve a particular type of question (that is if you are not intuitive enough to find the solution on your own, and that is what is taught at all the coaching centres). In GATE, you need to have in-depth knowledge about your specific field. The syllabus is vast, and you cannot help but study.
Here are some books that I used while preparing for GATE 2012.
Algorithms:Introduction to Algorithms by Rivest, Cormen, Stein, Leiserson, generally known as clrs. There is no beating this book. It is like the bible for a CS engineer.
Operating System: “Operating System Principles” by Galvin. I liked the book. Read semaphores well and solve a lot of problems. There are a couple of other books by Tanenbaum and Stallings which could be useful for certain topics.
Theory of Computation: “Theory of Computation” by Ullman. The book is very hard on your eyes with so many weird symbols involved, but if you concentrate well, you would get every point of it. Another one is“Introduction to the Theory of Computation” by Michael Sipser. This I fiound more helpful for interviews.
Computer Networks:“Computer Networking: A top-down approach” by Kurose-Ross and “Computer Networks” byTanenbaum, There have been questions in the past directly from Tanenbaum. But Kurose-Ross is what I preferred. There are other books byWilliam Stallings and Behrouz Forouzan which could be useful for certain topics. Forouzan is relatively easy but i don’t advice you to read as the main book for preparation.
Computer Organisation:“Computer Organisation” by Carl Hamacher. The problem with this subject is that professors in IITs preferPatterson, but the syllabus for GATE is more in accordance with Hamacher.
Programming and Data Structures: Have a good hold on basic programming in C. Coremen is good enough for data structures.
Graph Theory: “Graph Theory with Applications to Engineering and Computer Science” by Narsingh Deo. I personally did not refer to it for GATE exams but read it for semesters. It is a good experience.
Database Systems: “Database System Concepts” by Korth
Compiler Design: “Principles of Compiler Design” by Aho and Ullman. Read parsing well and also Syntax Directed Translation(SDT) well. .
Digital Logic:“Digital Logic and Design” by Morris Mano.
Software Engineering:“Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach” by Pressman. Need not read the whole book but a few important concepts like Cyclomatic Complexity, Coupling and Cohesion, etc.
Web Technologies: Have an idea about basic HTML, XML, etc.
This is what I meant when I said that the syllabus for GATE is vast. Reading only a few selected topics from each subject could sometimes do the trick (if you are lucky). But it won’t create any interest in the subject, and you might find it very hard to solve deep questions.
Try solving previous 10 year question papers. There is a book from G K Publications that includes previous year question papers. But don’t use it for cross-checking your solutions. You would find a lot of wrong answers in there. DO NOT trust it for solutions.
About using learning material from coaching centres: You could find material from Made Easy to be good enough, but nothing beats a thoroughly written book. I did not personally prefer using the coaching material, and there are a lot of discrepancies in the questions as well as the answers.