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GATE Exam Pattern

The exam for all the 25 disciplines will be carried out in a computer-based mode. This year a new discipline i.e. Biomedical Engineering has been added.

  • The paper will have 2 types of Questions- MCQs & NAT. The duration of all the papers will be of 3 hours.
  • The entire paper will be divided into three sections viz. Section A –General Aptitude, Section B – Engineering Mathematics and Section C –  Subject paper.

Highlights of GATE Exam Pattern

Exam Mode Online
Number of Questions 65
Total Marks 100
Type of Questions MCQs and NAT
Number of Sections 3 (General Aptitude, Engineering Mathematics* and Subject Specification Section)

*In place of Engineering Mathematics, Chemistry will be compulsory for Life Science (XL) Paper

Sectional Time-Limit No

GATE Exam Paper with Codes

At present GATE exam is held in 25 disciplines/subjects. A candidate can appear only in any one paper of the following disciplines.

  • CE, CS, EC, EE and ME Papers:Examination may be conducted in multiple sessions due to the increase in the number of applicants.
  • Engineering Sciences (XE) and Life Science (XL)papers are of general nature. These two papers comprise the following sections.
  • For XE Paper, Engineering Mathematicsis the compulsory section while for XL, Chemistry is the compulsory section.

GATE Exam Pattern – (AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, and XE)

  • Engineering Mathematics questions are compulsory and carry 15% of the total weightage (15 Marks).
  • The questions based on the subject of the exam have 70% of the total weightage (70 Marks).
  • The remaining part of GATE Question Paper includes General Aptitude questions (15% of the total weightage – 15 Marks).

GATE Exam Pattern – (AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL )

  • General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks (15 Marks).
  • Remaining 85% of the total marks will be based on the subject of the paper (85 Marks).
  • There is no question from Engineering Mathematics in these papers.
  • NAT includes questions with a value or a real number as their answer.
  • NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates need to make an answer.
  • The answer has to be entered using the mouse.
  • There won’t be any choices for these questions.
  • Using the keyboard must be avoided as it will lock your answer panel.
  • There will be no negative marking for NAT questions.

GATE Marking Scheme

For each of the 25 subjects, the paper covers a total of 65 questions of 100 marks. Each paper is divided into subsections and on the basis of it, marking scheme is defined.

  • From the total of 100 marks, there will be 10 questions of 15 marks covering the entire General Aptitude section (Language and Analytical Skills).
  • General Aptitude-5 Questions of 2 Marks each and 5 Questions of 1 Marks each.
  • Engineering Mathematics will cover approximately 15% weightage out of 100 marks for the paper bearing codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF and XE.
  • Engineering Mathematics- 5 Questions of 2 Marks each and 5 Questions of 1 Marks each.
  • Remaining 70% weightage of total marks is acquired by the subject of the paper.
  • Subject Knowledge-25 Questions of 2 Marks each and 20 Questions of 1 Marks each.
  • For the paper codes – AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL, the General Aptitude will cover 15% out of 100 marks, and other 85% of the total question paper will be covered by the subject of the paper.

Negative Marking in GATE Exam Pattern

  • There is no provision of negative marking in NAT questions.
  • MCQs carrying 1 marks each, 1/3 marks would be deducted as a penalty of marking the wrong answer.
  • For questions carrying 2 marks, 2/3 marks would be deducted for marking an incorrect answer.

GATE Exam Pattern for GG, XE and XL

GATE exam pattern for GG, XE and XL papers is somewhat similar to other disciplines of GATE subjects. The question paper will consist of MCQs and NAT questions.

  • There will be four options for MCQs type questions; candidates must select the most appropriate option.
  • For giving the answer of numerical answer questions, choices will not be given. You have to enter the answer by using the virtual keyboard.
  • The answer to NAT may be a real number, signed or unsigned, e.g., 25.06, -25.06, 25, -25 etc.
  • NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates need to make an answer.
  • An appropriate range will be considered while evaluating the numerical answer type questions so that the candidate is not penalized due to the usual round-off errors.

The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 25 questions for total 25 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 30 questions for total 60 marks (2 marks for each question)

GATE Exam Pattern for GG (Geology and Geophysics) Paper

Apart from the General Aptitude (GA) section, the Geology and Geophysics (GG) question paper consist of two parts: Part A and Part B.

  • Part A is common for all candidates.
  • Part B consists of two sections: Section 1 (Geology) and Section 2 (Geo-Physics).
  • Candidates will have to attempt questions in Part A and in Part B attempt either Section 1 or Section 2.
  • The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:
    1. Part A consist of 25 questions (MCQs) and carry 1 mark for each question so the total 25 marks (Some questions may be numerical answer type questions)
    2. Part B (Section 1 and Section 2) consists of 30 questions (MCQs Type) 2 mark for each question so the total 60 marks (Some questions may be numerical answer type questions)

GATE Exam Pattern for XE (Engineering Sciences) Paper

There are the following sections which have to be answered in GATE XE paper:

  • Section A – Engineering Mathematics (Compulsory)
  • GA – General Aptitude (Compulsory)
  • Any two of XE section from B to G (as given in the paper code table)

Candidates can select two sections from B to G during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be answered at a time.

Marking Scheme for GATE XE Paper

This section contains total of 33 questions of total 50 marks. In GATE XE paper, the Section – A (Engineering Mathematics) is compulsory. This section contains 11 questions of total 15 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 7 questions for total 7 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 4 questions for total 8 marks (2 marks for each question)

Each of the other sections of XE paper from section B to G contains 22 questions carrying a total of 35 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 9 questions for total 7 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 13 questions for total 26 marks (2 marks for each question)
Section No. Of 1 Mark Questions No. Of 2 Marks Questions
Section A (Compulsory) 7 4
Section B to H 9 13

GATE Exam Pattern for XL (Life Sciences) Paper

There are the following sections which have to be answered by the candidates in GATE XL paper as given in the below:

  • Section H – Chemistry (Compulsory)
  • GA – General Aptitude (Compulsory)
  • Any two of XL sections from Q to U

Candidates can select two sections from Q to U during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be answered at a time.

Marking Scheme for GATE XL Paper

This section contains total 35 questions of total 55 marks. In GATE XL paper, the Section – P Chemistry (compulsory). This section contains 15 questions of total 25 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 5 questions for total 5 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 10 questions for total 20 marks (2 marks for each question)

Each of the other sections of the XL paper from section Q to U contains 20 questions carrying a total of 30 marks. Some questions may be of numerical answer type questions. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 10 questions for total 10 marks (1 mark for each question)
  • 10 questions for total 20 marks (2 marks for each question)
Section No. Of 1 Mark Questions No. Of 2 Marks Questions
Chemistry Section / Section P 5 10
Section Q to U 10 10

Types of Questions in GATE

Questions in GATE are broadly divided into Objective Type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT). In MCQs, candidates are provided with 4 choices out of which one answer is correct. A candidate has to mark the correct choice by clicking on the radio button against the option.

Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

  • NAT includes questions with a value or a real number as their answer.
  • NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates need to make an answer.
  • The answer has to be entered using the mouse.
  • There won’t be any choices for these questions.
  • Using the keyboard must be avoided as it will lock your answer panel.
  • There will be no negative marking for NAT questions.

Questions Based on General Aptitude 

Apart from questions based on the subjects, the paper will also contain the questions to test the ability of your General Ability like- Language and Analytical Skills. 15% weightage of total marks is devoted to General Aptitude section in all the papers. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below:

  • 5 questions for total 5 marks(1 mark for each question)
  • 5 questions for total 10 marks(2 marks for each question)

The pattern of questions in GATE exam are explained below:

  1. Recall:This includes questions based on facts, principles, formulae and laws of discipline. The candidate has to mark an answer either directly from a memory or from one line computation.
  2. Comprehension: These type of questions test the candidate’s basic understanding of the field they belong to. The candidates have to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas in these type of questions.
  3. Application: These are the logical reasoning based questions wherein the candidates have to answer according to their knowledge through computation.
  4. Analysis and Synthesis:In these questions, the candidate is presented with data, diagrams, images etc. that require analysis before a question can be answered. A Synthesis question might require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of information. Questions in this category could, for example, involve candidates in recognizing unstated assumptions or separating useful information from irrelevant information.

Important Topics for GATE (Subject-wise)

Since GATE is a national level entrance examination, candidates must prepare well for it for admissions to the desired college or for recruitment to the desired PSU. Check out the list of important topics from each paper code to aid preparations for GATE:

Important Topics for GATE Civil Engineering (CE)

The candidates must concentrate more on the topics given below while preparing for GATE Exam for Civil Engineering (CE):

  • Strength of Materials
  • Geo Technical
  • Irrigation and Hydrology
  • Highway and Surveying
  • Environmental Engineering

mportant Topics for GATE CSE (Computer Science and Information Technology)

The candidates are asked the maximum number of questions from the topics given below in the GATE Exam for Computer Science and Information Technology (CS):

  • Programming and Data Structures
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Organization and Architecture
  • Algorithms
  • Theory of Computation
  • Database
  • Computer Networks

mportant Topics for GATE EE (Electrical Engineering)

There are questions from engineering mathematics and aptitude in this paper code as well while there are few topics from the subject that carry higher weightage in the GATE Exam. The important topics from Electrical Engineering are given below:

  • Network Theory
  • Analog & Digital Electronics
  • Power Systems
  • Control Systems
  • Signal and System

Important Topics for GATE ECE (Electronics and Communication Engineering)

This paper code has the maximum weight age of questions based on the subject. There are questions based on aptitude and engineering mathematics as well. The important topics for the preparation of technical questions asked in GATE EC Exam are given below:

  • Analog Circuits
  • Network Theory
  • Communication Systems
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Signal and Systems
  • Control Systems

Important Topics for GATE Mechanical Engineering (ME)

The candidates can check the important topics from the mechanical engineering syllabus for GATE below:

  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Thermodynamics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Theory of Mechanics
  • Fluid Mechanics

Important Topics for GATE Instrumentation Engineering (IN)

There are questions from various topics of instrumentation engineering studied during the Bachelor programme in GATE. Candidates can revise the following topics thoroughly to crack the GATE Exam for Instrumentation Engineering:

  • Transducers
  • Analog Circuits
  • Control Systems
  • Circuit and Networks
  • Digital Circuits

Subject Specialization Priority

Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering

  • VLSI Design Tool Technology
  • Integrated Electronics & Circuits
  • Micro Electronics
  • Microwave Engineering
  • Communication Engg
  • Telecommunication Technology & Management
  • Optoelectronics & Optical Communication
  • Nanotechnology
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Control & Automation

Electrical Engineering

  • Power Electronics
  • Machines & Drives
  • Power Systems
  • Control & Automation
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Instrumentation Technology

Mechanical Engineering

  • Design of Mechanical Equipment or Machine Design
  • Thermal Engineering
  • Manufacturing Science & Engineering
  • Production Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Material Science & management

Civil Engineering

  • Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Construction Engineering &Management
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Rock Engineering & Underground Structure

Computer Science and Engineering & Information Technology

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Information Security
  • Software Engineering
  • Distributed Computing
  • Image Processing
  • Computer Systems and Hardware
  • Database and Information Systems
  • Programming languages
  • Computer Networks and Distributed Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced Computing
  • Applicants will be permitted to occupy their seats 35 minutes before the start of the examination.
  • Students are not permitted to leave the examination hall before the end of the examination.

Instructions for PwD and Dyslexic Candidates

  • The facility of the scribe is only for the PWD Candidates who have difficulty in writing the paper including that of speed.
  • The scribe will be provided by the examination conducting authorities.
  • The additional/compensatory time will be applicable only to such candidates.
  • Also, dyslexic candidates can avail the facility of the scribe. They need to submit the certificate of dyslexia issued by competent authorities.
  • There will be a magnified question paper for the visually handicapped candidate.
  • Candidate after reaching the exam center can request the invigilator for the same.

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