How to Prepare for Soil Mechanics- GATE Civil Engineering

How to Prepare Soil Mechanics for GATE Civil Engineering

Soil Mechanics is one of the crucial topics of the Civil Engineering (CE) syllabus. It is a discipline of CE involving the study of Soil, its behaviour, and application as an engineering material. 

Aspiring Civil Engineers should have a thorough understanding of it and prepare for CE holistically during the GATE exam preparation. 

Soil Mechanics manages to carry a weightage of approximately 10-15 marks in the exam. If prepared in a systematic manner, it is easy to score good marks. 

In this article, we will provide you with some valuable tips for Soil Mechanics preparation along with its essential topics. Before proceeding further, let’s first understand the importance of Soil Mechanics for Civil Engineers. 

Why should Civil Engineers study Soil Mechanics in detail?

Aspiring Civil Engineers should know the nitty-gritty of Soil Mechanics since they are the analytical face behind the construction of big projects and sky scrappers.

Let’s understand the importance of Soil Mechanics with a simple example. A huge building and its load are sustained by various beams. The beams then transfer the loads to the columns, and the columns transfer the subsequent loads to the Foundation. Now, where does the Foundation transfer the load?

To the SOIL. Yes, it’s the Soil that sustains the unimaginable load of the structure. Even a slight displacement of Soil below the structure can destroy a building in seconds. 

Hence it is imperative to understand the fundamentals such as Permeability of Soil, Shear strength, “bearing capacity of Soil, etc.”

The crux is, Soil Engineering is the backbone of Civil Engineering!

Also read: GATE 2022 Important Topics- Civil Engineering.

Before proceeding further, have a look at what constitutes the Soil Mechanics syllabus. 

Syllabus of Soil Mechanics in GATE Civil Engineering

This is what you are expected to understand and prepare while studying Soil Mechanics: 

  • Three-phase system and phase relationships, 
  • Index properties; 
  • Unified and Indian standard soil classification system;
  • Permeability – One-dimensional flow,
  • Seepage through soils, Two – dimensional flow, 
  • Flow nets, Uplift pressure, 
  • Piping, capillarity, seepage force;
  • Principle of effective stress and quicksand condition; 
  • Compaction of soils; 
  • One- dimensional consolidation, 
  • Shallow and deep foundation; 
  • Shear Strength, Mohr’s circle, Effective and total shear strength parameters,
  • Stress-Strain characteristics of clays and sand; Stress paths.

Read more: GATE 2022 Preparation Tips for Civil Engineering

Important Topics of Soil Mechanics

Out of all the topics mentioned above, there are some high-priority topics that have been continuously asked in the previous year’s exams. Hence, they should be given due attention and focused adequately during preparation. The topics are:

  • Soil Index Properties
  • Shallow and deep foundation
  • Consolidation
  • Seepage Analysis
  • Shear Strength

Recommended Books for Soil Mechanics Preparation

  • Basic and Applied Soil Mechanics: Gopal Ranjan & Rao
  • Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering: S.K Garg
  • Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering by Braja M Das

Tips to Prepare for Soil Mechanics – GATE Civil Engineering

Coupled with dedication and perseverance, you should follow the tips mentioned below for a thorough preparation of Soil Mechanics:

  • Refer to previous year’s question papers to understand the type of questions asked in the exam. 
  • Solve numericals as much as you can during preparation. 
  • Don’t neglect the theory part of the subject. 
  • Use best preparation resources for preparation such as PrepLadder.
  • Regularly revise everything you study on a daily basis. 

The plan of cracking GATE should be accompanied by a reliable training partner that provides you with all the necessary material for a seamless preparation.

PrepLadder is one such platform for the GATE aspirants that has proved to be a boon for them. It has transformed their preparation journey from the Beginner level to the Advanced level.

On PrepLadder, you will find everything that you need to crack GATE, such as conceptual and engaging video lectures from the DREAM TEAM, QBank with detailed explanations and solutions, Subject tests & Mock tests for practice, and much more to level up your exam preparation.

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All the best for your exam.

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Raminder Singh

Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.