Hello everyone! So this might not be the first post you are reading about the college or about the town. There are tons of stuff out there which has helped your batch to know and be prepared for your 4 years here, more than ever! If by now you have managed to know everything about Manipal – Good! If you haven’t – Great! Because I think it’s best to discover about the town, the people, the culture, etc. all by yourself.
This post deals with a bit more important aspect : the studies.
You must have gone around asking how tough the courses are, is it easy to score a good GPA, how much time we need to study, etc. Well, put those questions to rest, for you will find all answers in this one single post.
Since I am going into my final year (at the time of writing this post), I remember very little of my struggles during the first year. But the fact that I had struggled, I haven’t forgotten.
So with the help of one of my juniors (credited for all EXPERT TIPs below), who not only survived, but nailed and cracked his first year, I bring you all that needs to be done to make sure that you would be smiling on the day you would be first opening the mighty websis to check your results.
If you aren’t aware of the course patterns and exams, I would suggest you read this article by MIT Post. Only when you know about that, you can go ahead and read this.
But before we move on, just to let you know: there are no fixed rules, formulas or shortcuts that would work for all. Each one of you might have their own experience. We only tend to share ours so that in case you feel lost, you can try our methods and gain some momentum. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Oh, in case you stumbled upon the wrong post, this one deals with Physics cycle. You can read about Chemistry cycle here.
BASIC ELECTRONICS [BE]
I had to start with the course which I found the most interesting! This is a continuation of the later concepts in physics about semiconductors. I had taken up Electronics as an alternative course to Biology so most of the parts were already known to me. It is the very basics of ECE, EEE and many such related branches. So if you happen to have taken those branches, give extra attention to this course. The Analog part might look tough but the Digital part is very easy.
Electronics has always been about concepts and practice. Know your concepts well and how to apply them. I had a good faculty so most of my preparations were done in the class itself.
Be cautious while solving problems here. They are very prone to mistakes. If done right you can easily get A
BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING [BME]
Basics of Mechanical Engineering deals with, absolutely no prize for guessing, the basic concepts required in Mechanical Engineering. It is due to this one course that I still have a perception that Mechanical engineering is all about learning through slides (been told by my roomie that’s not the case). The main villain are the diagrams. There are just too many!
I still remember those days when I used to practice drawing that lathe. At the end of drawing one, I used to just sit and admire my masterpiece for a few minutes. Too bad they didn’t ask in any of the exams though.
Nothing apart from the slides/PDF is required to be read.
MECHANICS OF SOLIDS [MOS]
Polar opposite of what BME was. This is complete, pure, unadulterated numericals based course. And I loved it!
It is physics based on Force, Stress, Strain, etc. Solving problems here have a set pattern. Just follow them and solve every step with extreme caution. There are high chances you will do mistakes. Again, practice is the key. Many tend to dismiss practicing because it seems easy when you look at the procedure. You can do that if you are really good and flawless with your aptitude (not joking. There are people like that). If you are like me, who are in their own world while writing, it may need some time for your brain to grasp the concepts firmly.
Some questions are a little challenging. The topics you should give more attention to are : Rigid Bodies, Elasticity, Modulus of Rigidity and Thermal related questions involving stress and strain.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS IN ENGLISH
The name gives out the spoilers. If you are used to the board pattern of studying, you know what you can expect here. Its exam pattern is like reading out a recipe.
Apart from this, you are expected to give an individual presentation on any topic of your choice. You have the option of going impromptu (which would fetch you more marks) or doing a group discussion (lesser marks than presentation). Presentations are safe bet. If you are not at all good with public speaking, then only opt for GD. And on the contrary if you’re too good, take up impromptu.
After BE and MOS, all that remains in Physics is covered here. Which includes optics – which has polarized liking (pun intended). I belong to the disliking side. There’s something about those concepts that makes me feel it is complicated. Had this problem since 12th.
Then there’s quantum physics and quantum mechanics which are interesting to some extent. At the end, you have Solid State Physics. It is all about slides and few practice. The concepts as such may not be that hard but you are left with a lot to study at the end which may become taxing.
There’s no way you can get past that. Regular studies may work.
If you have the interests, you can crack the course smoothly. Again, you can rely just on the slides. Additionally, I would recommend you maintain some notes while in the class. Some additional points not found in the slides can be taken down.
ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS – I and II
Okay so let me get this straight first of all : MATHS IN ENGINEERING SUCKS. I have mentioned it here in detail about the reasons while talking about the shortcomings of the college. I used to love maths till my 12th. After then, engineering happened.
There is nothing wrong with the syllabus. It is just how the courses are structured and how the department is unable to give faculties good enough to handle them in a better way.
This might be the first time you are reading anything negative about the college! But that’s the purpose of writing this for you. A clear cut, honest opinion is given so that you will be prepared for such a thing and have expectations accordingly.
All this doesn’t mean people don’t get to score. Of course, they do. If you’ve been really good at Maths, then it won’t be much of a problem. But if you are average at it like me, you need to do a lot of work for yourself.
For starters, everyone agrees that Grewal is the reference to be bought. And you sure should, as you will find it useful even in your second year. But it doesn’t mean you should just stick to that book and solve all its problems. A smart move would be to solve problems that you think is around the same difficulty as your class problems.
If you want more, then instead of heading for the more difficult problems (which might confuse you) look into other class notes and try practicing them. The problems you are going to face in the exams are never new. You will find it in some book or other.
This applies to all Maths courses that you will be doing in future. I realized this pretty late, so it didn’t help me in saving my GPA. It may help you.
ENGINEERING GRAPHICS [EG] – I and II
Let’s just say I’m glad I never had to study anything even remotely related to EG after this lab!
It could have been interesting. But for (bit) slow learners like me, the 3 hours fly like a rocket and I hardly get to complete the given work on time. This lab needs a LOT of your attention and imagination. My lab being in the afternoon also didn’t work, as it meant struggling to be awake.
Major bummer is the faculty’s obsession over getting the smallest thing as they want to. The arrow markings, the space utilized, etc. needs to be the way they say, apart from drawing everything the right way, of course.
People with good drawing skills and bit of an OCD will have a blast though. Later into the lab, you will be using AutoCAD which can be bit easier.
Just remember to buy ample of graph sheets (they are long and pink) and keep some in your bag so that you never forget during the lab. Those are (deliberately kept) expensive (around 10 bucks for a 4-page sheet last I checked) so don’t waste them unnecessarily.
I, on the contrary, found this to be one of the easiest stuff I’ve studied. There is the Poty book which may help. But all that is there here is practice and some imagining.
About that EG sheet, there’s a shop near FC that sells it at 8 bucks. So you can save a few if you buy from there.
There is nothing much to be adviced here. It’s easy but can be damn tiring.
There are three parts to it:
Electrical and Mechanical can range from interesting to boring. Civil, though is a drag and very exhausting. I will leave for you to figure out why.
Best part is, there is no final exams as such. Just a final viva, and they won’t be very tough.
A lab which will give you a sense of déjà vu. Everything pretty much works like the lab you had in 12th. They even expect you to maintain a lab record. Lots of (unnecessary?) manual work needs to be done before every experiment. The vivas are also dreaded.
Experiments works on a rotation, which means your batch will be divided into the as many number of groups as there are experiments. Each experiment is carried out everyday, but the group which carries it keeps changing.
Be as prepared for the viva as you can. Enquire about the viva questions asked to the group who had previously done that experiment. Whenever you feel like you have nothing to do, just plug in some music and write those lab records. I used to enjoy doing that!
You will be done with the lab pretty soon. Which also means the final lab will be around sooner as well. You have to know everything that you’ve done in the lab until that point. Luck factor also plays in to decide which experiment you get to perform.
If you’ve performed all the experiments and know the procedure well, you have nothing to worry about. Those being your initial semesters, they do go somewhat easy with the grading.
Write additional information about the experiment to be performed on the record. That might fetch you more marks.
Truly speaking, Physics cycle doesn’t actually need a survival guide. Not only because subjects here are simple, but also because there is no confusion over references and teaching methods, which has always been the intent behind making these posts.You will be needing the guide for Chemistry cycle more.
The reason behind doing this was Physics people might start to feel helpless when seeing a guide being made just for the Chemistry cycle!
Out of all 6 semesters, I have scored the best in this one. And I have seen that with many people.
Of course, you shouldn’t take it lightly. Give your best. But at the same time, I would insist you look forward to do things other than studies. Participate in club events and fests with same enthusiasm. That exposure and experience are the reason why you are here in Manipal!
Hope you found it helpful. If you did, leave a like on the facebook page and read more of my stuff. This all is handled by just one person and made it with lots of passion and sweat.
Any kind of feedback and suggestions are more than welcome!
Hope you have a wonderful semester and a rocking four years ahead!