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GATE Exam: Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering

GATE 2021 Exam Date, Eligibility Criteria, Syllabus, Preparation Tips

GATE- Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is an examination which provides an exciting career perspective for students to work in public organizations and in the field of research. GATE is administered and conducted by the GATE Committee comprising of members from IISc, Bangalore and other seven IIT’s across eight zones in the country. This is done on behalf of the National Coordinating Board, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.

The following table shows the organizing institutes in various years:

Year Organizing Institute
2020 IIT Delhi
2019 IIT Madras
2018 IIT Guwahati
2017 IIT Roorkee
2016 IISc Bangalore
2015 IIT Kanpur
2014 IIT Kharagpur
2013 IIT Bombay
2012 IIT Delhi
2011 IIT Madras
2010 IIT Guwahati
2009 IIT Roorkee
2008 IISc Bangalore
2007 IIT Kanpur
2006 IIT Kharagpur
2005 IIT Bombay
2004 IIT Delhi
2003 IIT Madras
2002 IISc Banglore
2001 IIT Kanpur
2000 IIT Kharagpur
1999 IIT Bombay
1998 IIT Delhi
1997 IIT Madras
1996 IISc Banglore
1995 IIT Kanpur

The following candidates are eligible to appear in GATE:

  • Bachelor’s degree holders in Engineering/Technology (4 years after 10+2 or 3 years after B.Sc./Diploma in Engineering/ Technology) and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • Bachelor’s degree holders in Architecture (Five years course) and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • Bachelor’s degree holders of Four-year program in Science (B.S.) and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • Master’s degree holders in any branch of Science/ Mathematics/ Statistics/Computer Applications or equivalent and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • Holders of Four-year Integrated Master’s degree (Post B.Sc.) in Engineering/Technology and those who are in the second or higher year of such programs.
  • Holders of Five-year Integrated Master’s degree or Dual Degree in Engineering/Technology and those who are in the fourth or higher year of such programs.
  • Holders of Five-year integrated M.Sc. or Five-year integrated B.Sc./M.Sc. degree and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • Candidates with qualifications obtained through examinations conducted by professional societies recognized by UPSC/AICTE/ MHRD as equivalent to B.E./B.Tech. Those who have completed Section A of AMIE or equivalent of such professional courses are also eligible.

In GATE, candidates are allowed to apply for only one of the 25 papers which are listed in the table given below. Candidates are expected to appear for a paper appropriate to their discipline of qualifying degree. However, candidates are also free to choose any paper according to their admission plan, keeping in mind the eligibility criteria of the institutions in which they wish to seek admission.

Aerospace Engineering AE
Agricultural Engineering AG
Architecture and Planning AR
Biotechnology BT
Bio - medical Engineering BM
Civil Engineering CE
Chemical Engineering CH
Computer Science & Information Technology CS
Chemistry CY
Electronics and Communication Engineering EC
Electrical Engineering EE
Engineering Sciences XE
Petroleum Engineering PE
Geology and Geophysics GG
Instrumentation Engineering IN
Life Sciences XL
Mathematics MA
Mechanical Engineering ME
Mining Engineering MN
Metallurgical Engineering MT
Physics PH
Production and Industrial Engineering PI
Textile Engineering & Fibre Science TF
Ecology and Evolution EY
Statistics ST
Section Question No. No. of Questions MarksPer Question Total Marks
General Aptitude 1 to 5 5 1 5
6 to 10 5 2 10
Technical + Engineering Mathematics 1 to 25 25 1 25
26 to 55 30 2 60
Total Questions: 65 Total Marks: 100 Total Duration: 3 hours
Technical Section: 70 marks General Aptitude: 15 marks Engineering Mathematics:12-15 marks
25 marks to 40 marks will be allotted to Numerical Answer Type Questions

GATE 2019 Exam consists of two types of questions: Multiple Choice Questions and Numerical Type Questions. This is same in all papers & sections. Multiple Choice Questions contain four options, out of which only one is correct. Whereas, for Numerical Type Questions, numerical values as the answer should be entered using the virtual keyboard provided on the monitor.

The questions in GATE may be one of the following three types:

  1. Memory Based: These questions are based on facts, principles and formulae in the discipline of the paper. The candidate has to obtain the answer either from his/her memory of the subject or maybe through a one-line computation.
  2. Concept Based: These questions are designed to test the candidate’s understanding of the basic concepts of his/her field. It requires him/her to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas.
  3. Application Based:In these type of questions, the candidate has to apply his/her knowledge either through computation or through logical reasoning.
  4. Analytical Questions:Here, the candidate is presented with data, diagrams, and probably images and the student has to do analysis before a question can be answered. These questionsmay also require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of information.

GATE examination consists of two types of questions: Multiple Choice and Numerical Answer type questions.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

These questions have choice of four answersand are objective in nature. Out of the four options, the candidate has to mark the correct answer. Each question carries either 1 or 2 marks.

Numerical Answer Questions

There are no choices of options available for these types of questions. A Numerical Answer Type question carries either 1 or 2 marks. The answer for these type of questions is always a real number which has to be entered by using virtual keyboard displayed on the monitor. There is no negative marking for these questions.

Questions Type Marks Negative Marking
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 1 mark 0.33
2 marks 0.66
Numerical Answer Questions 1 mark Nil
2 mark Nil
GATE Online Application Processing System (GOAPS) Website Opens for Enrolment, Application Filling,Application Submission Will Announced Soon
Last Date for Submission of Online Application through Website Will Announced Soon
Extended Closing Date for Submission of (Online) Application (through Website) Will Announced Soon
Last Date for Request for Change in the Choice of Examination City via GOAPS login Will Announced Soon
Availability of Admit Card on the Online Application Interface for printing Will Announced Soon
GATE 2019 Online Examination Dates Will Announced Soon
Announcement of Results on the Online Application Website Will Announced Soon
  • Students can pursue M.Tech/M.S/ M.E/Ph.D from IISc Bangalore, IITs, NITs, IIITs and other reputed institutes.
  • Students can pursue Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering (PGDIE), Post Graduate Diploma in Manufacturing Management(PGDMM), Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management(PGDPM) from NITIE Mumbai.
  • Several reputed Maharatna and Navratna PSUs and research organizations recruit on basis of GATE Score. i.e. IOCL, NTPC, BHEL, PGCIL, BARC, CSIR etc.
  • Teaching: Professor, Asst. Professor at IITs, NITs and other reputed educational institutes.
  • Junior Research Fellow: ISRO, DRDO, BARC, CSIR, IITs etc.
  • Senior Research Fellow: ISRO, DRDO, BARC, CSIR, IITs etc.
  • Junior/Senior Research Associates.
  • Scientists “C” grade jobs.
  • Lucrative opportunities in research & development after post-graduation.
  • Multinational firms shortlist candidates on the basis of GATE score.
  • Some international universities offers M.S or Ph.D programs on the basis of GATE Score.
“The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with One Step at a Time”

Success is not dependent on the mode of preparation but rather on the intensity and dedication during the preparation.

Students have a common question “What should be our strategy to crack ESE/GATE exams?" To answer this question in the most simplified way, this article will act as a guiding light to strategize things for aspirants, which will be fruitful for young friends.

There are two categories of aspirants in any examination :

  1. Freshers , preparing first time for the competitive exams (Neophytes)
  2. Repeaters , who have already given one or more attempts (Rank Improvers)
Strategy for Freshsers (Neophytes):

If you are fresher who is preparing first time then it is suggested that you adhere to the following approach for the preparation-

  • Define your aim and target the desired exam right from the beginning. You should examine closely the examination pattern, syllabus and the level of difficulty.
  • The first step for amateurs should be, to go through previous years’ question papers of the aimed exam and identify what type of questions are asked, like whether it is theoretical (then what subjects/which topics are mostly asked) or derivations or numerical type.
  • Keep one best reference book for each subject. You are not advised to read too many books for each subject; practically it is not possible in limited time frame.
The Study Plan:

Make an overall plan of your preparation; define immediate and ultimate goals you want to achieve during the preparation, then make a strategic roadmap to execute the plan in the most effective manner. Being an engineer, you should understand the importance of planning and execution of the plan.

Overall plan may be further divided in three stages:

1. Long-Term Plan:

Segregate the months for different subjects and optimize your plan so as to complete the entire syllabus in the dedicated time. In the current scenario of high scores, do not go for selective approach towards studies; it is advisable to cover the entire syllabus, because you never know “the topic left could be the topic of conquest.”

2. Mid-Term Plan:

For each and every subject, the approach should be exam oriented. One should get familiar with the subject and should know which area is to be focused like whether theory has to be focused or numerical or solving previous years’ questions will suffice. Every subject requires a very different approach. If you take mathematics as an example, you may be required to focus on practicing problems where as if theoretical Paper is taken into consideration then there an altogether different approach is required. Likewise, in all the technical subjects the approach differs from subject to subject depending on various factors.

If you are enrolled in an Online Course; then concentrate and study well during the sessions. Your notes should be complete and ready during the session itself, with simultaneous marking of the IMPORTANT concepts and formulae.

One point that you should always keep in mind is “Work for Yourself”; i.e. make notes for yourself in a manner which is comfortable for you. This will increase your writing efficiency in terms of speed, accuracy and hand writing and also helps in memory retention.

3. Short-Term Plan:

This is essential for effective time management. You should plan and freeze the study hours and abstain from using mobile phones, social media, what's app etc. during these hours. A separate time of 10 to 15 minutes is sufficient to plan schedule for the next day. This will help in removing redundant activities from your schedule and you will be able to make the best use of your time dedicated to study. I would also suggest to pre plan your area /subject /topic of your study for next day, it would help in activating senses of your mind to stimulate for study which helps in better memory retention.

Solving previous years’ questions of GATE (at least of last 10-15 years) should be done while referring to and updating the notes that you have made. Do not postpone it for later, finish the previous years' questions on priority basis for all the topics that is covered in the Online Session or studied on your own.

While solving questions, mark the questions which you were not able to solve. Refer the reference book for the clarity of concepts, and solve again. In front of the question write the Page Number and Name of the book referred and underline or highlight the concept. This above methodology is to be followed for all workbook and other materials also. After a few months while doing revision you should re-attempt these marked questions only and no need to solve other questions.

Need of a REVISION Plan:

One has to make a habit of reading and revising simultaneously.

While studying a particular subject; one should devote 70-80% of self-study time in understanding the concepts of new subject and rest 20-30% of the time should be religiously devoted towards revision of already completed topics/subjects. Moreover, as you reach towards months closer to the exam, increase the time devoted to revision for proper retention of concepts till exam day.

While revising, make sure you do the following:

  • Review of class notes.
  • Revise underlined/ highlighted portion of text book.
  • Then attempt only the marked questions once more.
  • If time permits, then start with new set of questions.

The Magic of Make Micro notes:

  • After finishing every subject you can also make micro notes, which comprises of only principal formulae/ diagrams/ concepts which are very important. Especially note down the areas in which you find difficulty to remember. Then take a snapshot and store that in your mobile gallery. These shall be your Digital Micro Notes, which can be accessible anywhere and everywhere even while travelling or free time.

Flow is Important:

  • Be vocal and discussion oriented with friends as well as seniors. Keep on clearing your doubt and don't allow them to accumulate as it may result in mental stress. Let your doubts/thoughts flow like a river which gets self-purified when it flows through its course. Also interact with successful seniors and fellow mates to know about their path of success/strategy.

Evaluate yourself:

  • Take tests in examination environment and analyse your performance and make note of areas of difficulty and make a roadmap to improve these before the next test.
  • Stay away from incompetent and non-achievers. Don’t let their failure demoralise you in any sense.
(II) Strategy for Non-Freshers:
  • Reviewing your past performance and finding the reasons for failure is very important. You should consider failure as the next stepping stone towards your success. In fact you have not failed your success is little postponed.
  • Identify the weak areas of each subject. You should start your preparation by first improving these areas.
  • Dedicate more time on solving different types of problems and that too from new sources during each attempt.
  • Plan your study to maintain consistency and self-motivation. Daily planner and subject wise scheduling are very important for a strategic preparation.
  • Join some good Test Series and take the tests with full preparation while staying in examination environment.
Important Tips:
  • Avoid reading too many books for the same topic. This will simply take away precious amount of time. To save time, try referring to material of coaching institute supplemented by the standard books.
  • Strengthen the key concepts of each subject. The questions are based on the basic concepts and they do not require much calculation. Cramming up the formulae won’t help until and unless you have a clear concept of the topic.
  • Focus on writing & presentation skills, theory, derivations & diagrams for subjective paper.
  • Solve all the previous 10 years questions thoroughly. In IES exam, a lot many questions are based on the concepts of previous year’s questions.
  • Rather than solving five questions on similar concepts. It is better to solve one question with five different methods. It gives knowledge about the shortest methods to be used.