But Coding Ninjas is here with a complete last-minute preparation guide of data structures to make your revision easier and, most importantly, efficient. Each individual preparing for the goal to be placed at a good product based company is made aware of the importance of mastering Data Structures and Algorithms throughout their whole journey.
Innumerable times we are told of the emphasis that Product based companies put on this topic during their recruitment process. Because of the vastness of Data Structures and Algorithms, it becomes difficult for students to plan their revisions. Therefore, it becomes natural for it to be the topic one must spend a major chunk of time on while revising.
If you need a quick recall and problem banks of all the topics of data structures and algorithms, you might want to refer to our article on “Complete Data Structures and Algorithms Roadmap for Placements” before starting your revision.
Preparation before revision (Optional)
Please note that this section is optional and following the below mentioned path is not necessary. You may consider it only if you are left with a decent amount of time.
Before starting with the revision, it is imperative that you have prepared well in the first place. If you are still preparing, here are some tips that will help you be ready for the revisions.
- Structured path: Make sure you have a well-defined trail of topics that you’re studying and not randomly jumping through concepts. In data structures, it is often true that a good understanding of various other topics acts as a prerequisite for mastering a particular topic. This makes it vital that you move on a specific path.
- Implement the concepts: The most common mistake that students make while preparing data structures is that they don’t implement the concepts they learn. Coding the solutions is just as crucial as deriving it theoretically.
- Practice makes perfect: Keep practising problems. Ultimately, it will be during practising that you’ll understand how much you know, be able to find out your weak areas and get familiar with a lot of approaches to get to solutions. CodeStudio, Coding Ninjas’ one-stop platform for interview preparation, has a pool of problems categorised topic-wise or company-wise based on your preference.
- Stay in touch: Even after you think you have entirely mastered data structures and algorithms, make sure that you stay in touch with it. Fix a couple of hours for every week to spend on this topic. This will strengthen your foundation and make it much easier in the long run.
- Maintain a Problem Notebook: While solving, make sure you record important codes and the types of questions and prepare a library. Make a problem notebook where you bookmark all questions that you couldn’t solve in the first go or had confusions about. This will help you to do a quick revision when your interview is near.
- The secret of “intelligent” people: Learn in a way that you can infer something out of it. When you solve a question, pause to review and reflect on it. Think about whether there are any other ways you could reach a solution for it. If yes, which one is the most optimal?
Designing a perfect revision plan
Here we present to you a last minute preparation guide of data structures and algorithms. We will discuss how to make the perfect revision plan to boost your chances of getting placed at a good product based company.
You can also check out our video on ‘Best Way to Revise Data Structures and Algorithms for Placements’ to get some fantastic tips on the same by the co-founder of Coding Ninjas.
- Rewind, Redo, Review: It is natural for one to be anxious about whether one even remembers old concepts before getting into revision. Therefore, to gain back the confidence, familiarise yourself with the three Rs.
The first step of your revision should be to rewind and redo all the previously solved problems. Then, review the topic associated with every problem parallelly.
- Find your weaknesses: While solving old problems, you will be able to identify which topics give you a hard time. So get hold of these topics and spend more time on them.
- Quality over quantity: At this point, following the rule of quality over quantity becomes immensely important. Don’t solve a thousand problems. Instead, solve 25-30 high-quality problems from each topic.
- Manage your time: It is important to ensure that you don’t spend too much time on topics you are good at and are left with no time to spend on your weak areas. Instead, go through easy topics quickly and put energy and effort into strengthening your weaknesses.
- Mock Interviews: Being prepared for an interview means knowing your academic concepts and programming skills and implementing that knowledge and skill in the environment that an interview creates. The interview atmosphere is much different than solving a problem sitting with your laptop at home. Therefore it is essential to:
- Solve using pen-paper: You will be asked to solve problems given only a pen and paper in an interview. So make sure you make yourself comfortable with this since most of us are more comfortable with solving problems on our computers.
- Practice with an interviewer: Being interviewed by an actual person makes a difference. So getting a friend who is also preparing for placements to interview you would make a lot of difference.
- Time Restraints: Usually, many recruitment processes include coding tests that require you to solve problems in a stipulated amount of time. You must practice working under such restraints too.
Now that we laid down a last minute preparation guide of data structures, here’s a quick recall of the sequence of topics that one must study under data structures and algorithms.
Frequently Asked Questions
The first step to preparing data structures is laying down a structured path of all the topics. Then study one topic at a time while implementing what you learn, i.e. solving problems simultaneously.
Studying data structures requires you to understand every concept and implement it to solve problems optimally. Therefore, coding every solution is a must, along with learning topics.
To prepare an algorithm, you first need to derive a step-by-step approach to solving a problem. Doing a dry run is always helpful.
There are many resources available for preparing data structures and algorithms. CodeStudio offers a guided path for the same.
A programming language is only a medium to communicate with the computer. Hence, it does not matter which language you choose to prepare data structures. However, in the arena of competitive programming C++ is widely used.
No, data structures is a topic you need to spend time on to master. Hence unless you have previous knowledge about it, It is firmly advisable to spend at least 3-4 months.
In this article, our purpose was to lay down a data structures preparation guide for those preparing for interviews at product-based companies. We discussed the following points through this article:
- Tips for preparing Data structures
- The secret of “intelligent” people
- The 3Rs of Revision
- Last-minute preparation guide of data structures
- Path of topics under data structures and algorithms
By Khushi Sharma