There is always a direct way of getting what you want and an indirect way. Now getting 200+ in jee mains (jo humse ho na paya) is the direct way of getting a good engineering college. Then there’s lateral entry. Just so you know, it’s a thing. Where you apply for a different college (IIIT-H) after finishing your second year and if selected go there and finish the rest of your degree, only after once again repeating your second year.
Being a blogger, and a highly experienced and successful candidate of this particaular mode of admission (the only success I’ve had so far) I feel it is my duty to share with the world the turmoil I went through.
Step 1: Apply for Lateral entry before the deadline. Keep visiting the site regularly for updates, or subscribe to their mail. And when the mail arrives don’t confuse it with a private college advertisement. The course is called “lateral entry to dual degree in CS(EC) with MS in Research”. A pretty long name for a very long course that wants 2nd year students passing in August to repeat 2nd year and finish the 5 year dual degree course through research at IIIT-H, if selected. Fill the form for the written examination, pay the registration fee and sit for step 2. Do not get worried if your college results don’t come out till september, you may apply too.
Step 1: Give the written Exam. I thought this was the biggest challenge owing to so little information about the syllabus and the kind of paper that may come. And this early in life you haven’t actually come across a MCQ paper on engineering subjects. So all you can do is take the non updated IIIT site information and head to geekforgeeks for relevant subjects. It helped me, so I believe it shall help you too. Hex-codes were something I wish I knew. The paper though wasn’t tough. They just expected you to know what a 2nd year CS student should know.
I did not have anybody to tell me this, but I shall tell you this, highly-confidential information that- the written exam score will never be revealed to you or your family. Owing to autonomy of the college they do not feel it appropriate to give out this informaton, irrespective of whether you beg, pleed, are selected or rejected.
They’ll let you know your results through mail and if selected you’ll also have the bonus information of interview dates.
Step 2: Should you go for interview to Hyederabad?
They don’t change the allotted interview dates, so if you have exams going on, you really need to think hard. Because they will terminate your admission if you fail your second year in your present college, and back is not a ‘pretty-thing’ to carry in your resume.
My interview was on 8th June, a day before my final end-semester exam. And I didn’t really think very hard. I just flew to Hyderabad. But then when I got selected, that is when I started panicking and having my doubts- “Do I really want this?” “Is it worth the time and money?”. So you must decide now, because there are very high chances that you might get selected. There are LEs here in every batch.
On the day of interview there’ll be an hour long presentation for parents and students, which frankly speaking, felt like a private college trying to sell itself with all the statistics. Then serial number and panel numbers will be allotted for interview.
The system seems a bit chaotic and complicated, but you just trust the authority because it is such a nice college (apparently).
Step 3: The INTERVIEW.
Q1. “Why do you wan’t to come to IIIT?”
I said- “Because the academics is very good compared to where I am now.” However what they wanted to hear was your love for research.
Q2. “Out of all the topics covered so far which topic excited you the most and why?”
I first confused it with favourite subject, but they were asking for a topic to take the interview in that direction. I said-“Divide and Conquer paradigm because…I gave the definition…” However what I should have said is that the recurrence tree makes divide and conquer very intutive and understandable visually.
Q3. “Where do we use it?”
“merge sort, binary search, quick sort”
Q4. “Why do we use insertion sort instead of merge sort to sort cards handed to us in ascending order?”
The answer is because mergesort is not a in place sort, I guess.
They also asked me to write code for mergesort.
Q5. “What is the application of fourier series?”
I said-“To convert time domain to frequency domain”
Q6.” If you have n numbers how do you find duplicate numbers?”
I asked if the array was sorted. First they replied with a “No”, then they were like, alright it’s sorted. I gave a quick code verbally which they then asked me to write, and find out it’s exact time-complexity (with constants). I took a lot of time.
Also instead of array if it was a linked list what would be the complexity?
Q7. What are the different methods of mathematical proofs?
“induction, deduction, contradiction…”
Q8. Last question was to prove square root 2 is not a rational number.
To which I had no clue. So I started with x=1.414. Taking 10x and subtracting. The same ol’ elementary school thing. And then they said that the proof was more complicated.
And that was it.
I had done a stanford MOOC on Algorithms by Tim Roughgarden which impressed them a lot. (they asked me the full form of MOOC and I had no clue then. Painful.)
Here are some pro tips from the pro who got selected:
- Take your relevant certificates. Certis that say something about you. Because most probably the form you filled online on your interests and achievements won’t be with them.
- Do a Stanford open course and take them the certificate. Why you ask? because it is free, you can do it and they love it. Profs from good intitutions love students with certificates from even better institutions.
- The second question is the heart and soul of your interview. Here interviewer gives you a chance to choose the direction you want to take this interview. Always say a topic if you are confident discussing it. And never ever use a term if you don’t know what it means.
- When asked to solve a question, keep trying. Do not give up and say “I can’t”. Let them tell you to leave it. If you don’t understand the question ask them to explain it. They just want to know how you approach things.
If you get selected you won’t have a clue, because your interview didn’t go that well. It never does. I knew stuff but I said it all wrong. But then I guess that panel of five professors understood my caliber or maybe just gave a free pass. Who knows? I got selected. However the acceptance letter I feel is quite cold. Because in the first line they congratulate you and immediately in the second line threaten to terminate your admission if you fail to pay the registeration fees by deadline.