Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

What is GATE?

GATE- Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is an examination which opens the gateway to booming public organisations and in the field of research . GATE is an All-India examination administered and conducted in eight zones across the country by the GATE Committee comprising of Faculty members from IISc, Bangalore and other seven IIT’s 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
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

In GATE examination, candidates can apply for only one of the 24 papers listed in the table given below. Candidates are expected to appear in a paper appropriate to the discipline of their qualifying degree. However, candidates are 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
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

With a successful attempt in GATE an aspirant can choose the most suitable option from wide range of roads to travel to his final career destination :

  • M.Tech/M.S./ M.E. - Candidates on qualifying GATE, get a financial aid of 12400/- per month in the form of UGC scholarship. After the completion of course students get lucrative campus placements in National and International, private or public companies.
  • PhD. – Candiadates with keen interest in Research and Development can also opt for PhD from IITs/NITs and various other reputed instituitions.
  • PGDM/PGDIE -Students interested in management can swing in the management line by pursuing a PG Diploma of 2 years in Industrial Engineering. NITIE Mumbai offers the best campus placement after the completion of this course.
  • Several reputed PSUs and research organizations recruit on basis of GATE Score. i.e. IOCL, NTPC, BHEL, PGCIL, BARC etc.
  • Teaching: Professor, Asst. Professor at IITs, NITs, reputed educational institutes etc.
  • Junior Research Fellow: ISRO, DRDO, BARC, CSIR, IITs etc.
  • Senior Research Fellow: ISRO, DRDO, BARC, CSIR, IITs etc.
  • Junior Research Associates/ Senior Project Associates
  • Scientists “C” grade jobs
  • Career in Research & Development
  • Many renowned private firms shortlist candidates for personal interview based on the GATE score.
  • A good number of universities abroad also select the candidates on the basis of the GATE score for their M.S or PhD programmes.


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.

Question No.

No. of Questions

Marks Per Question

Total Marks

General Aptitude 1 to 5 5 1 5
6 to 10    5 2 10





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 :

15 marks

25 marks to 40 marks will be allotted to Numerical Answer Type Questions

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

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

These questions are objective in nature and each question will have choice of four answers, out of which the candidate has to mark the correct answer. Each question carries 1 or 2 marks in all the sections.

Numerical Answer Questions

There will be no choices available for these types of questions. A Numeric Answer question carries 1 or 2 marks questions in all sections. The answer for these questions is a real number to be entered by using mouse and virtual keypad displayed on the monitor. 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 marks Nil



Big Journeys begin with Small Steps

“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough Innovation, but from flawless Execution.”

Often I hear a concern among the students regarding “What should be our strategy to crack ESE/GATE exams?  To answer this question in the most simplified way, this article is my sincere effort to strategise things for aspirants, which will be fruitful for young friends.

There are two categories of ESE/GATE Aspirants :(1) Freshers , preparing first time for the competitive exams (Neophytes)   (2) Repeaters , who have already given one  or more attempts (Rank Improvers)


(I)  Strategy for Neophytes:

If you are fresher and preparing first time then I would suggest you the following approach to be adopted-

• 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.



Make an overall plan of your career; define immediate and ultimate goals of your career, then make a roadmap to execute in 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. Six month /One year plan:

Divide months for different subjects and plan it so as to complete the entire syllabus in the left over time. In the current scenario of high cut-offs, do not go for selective study; instead cover the entire syllabus, because you never know “the topic left could be the topic of conquest.”

2. Subject-wise Plan/ Bi-weekly plan:

For each subject, study should be exam oriented, i.e. you should get acclimatize with the subject , so that you know which area is to be focussed like whether theory has to be focussed or numerical or solving previous years’s questions will suffice. Every subject requires different approach .For example in mathematics you may be required to focus on practicing problems where as in English altogether different approach, similarly in technical subjects the approach may differ from subject to subject.

If you are enrolled in any coaching institute; then concentrate and study well in coaching classroom, your class notes should be full and final and should be ready in classroom itself, with simultaneous marking of IMPORTANT concept /formulae and develop a habit of writing of NOTE points ,wherever required. If only self study is your style of preparing without coaching, then also notes making is advisable.

One point to be kept in mind is “Work for Yourself”; i.e. make notes for yourself, it should be self hand written notes, as this will increase your writing efficiency in terms of speed, accuracy and hand writing and also helps in memory retention.


3.  Daily To-Do list /Daily plan:

This is basically for effective time management. Plan and freeze the study hours and abstain from using mobile phones, social media, what's app etc during these hours. 10 to 15 minutes are sufficient to plan next day schedule, it will help in removing redundant activities of your schedule and you can make best use of your time for 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 & ESE (at least of last 10-15 years) should be made contemporaneous with class notes. Do not postpone it for later, topic that is covered in class or studied on your own, finish the previous years' questions on priority basis.

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 in the book referred 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.

Make a REVISION plan:

Make a habit of reading and revising simultaneously.

While studying a particular subject; devote 70-80% of self study time in developing concepts of new subject and rest 20-30% time should be religiously devoted for revision of already completed topics/subjects. And, towards months closer to exam, increase the revision time 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.

Make Micro notes:

After finishing every subject make micro notes, which have only principal formulae/ diagrams/ concepts of at most importance, especially note down the area which you find difficult to remember. Then, once this is done, take a snapshot and store in your mobile gallery. These will be your Digital Micro Notes, which can be revised anywhere and everywhere, while travelling, gap between two classes, free time.

Flow like a river:

Be loquacious and discussion oriented with friends and seniors and keep on clearing your doubts, don't allow to accumulate the doubts which may result in mental stress. Also interact with successful seniors and fellow mates to know about their path of success/strategy, it is synonymous with river water which when flows gets self purified.


Evaluate yourself:

Take tests in examination environment 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.


Make holistic and balancing approach:

Cover entire syllabus but more time should be given to important areas. Identify important subjects and mark important topics within a subject. Scoring and low scoring areas should be segregated. Make a balance study plan for technical and non technical subjects. Mathematics and Reasoning Aptitude section is quite scoring in GATE exam.

(II) Strategy for Repeaters:

• Review your past performance and find the reasons for failure. Consider failure as next stepping step. In fact you are not failed your success is little postponed.

• Identify weak areas of each subject and start your preparation by first improving these areas.

• Focus more on solving different types of problems and that too from new source of material in each iteration.

• Plan your study to maintain regularity and self motivation; daily scheduling and subject wise scheduling is very important for a systematic preparation.

• Join some good test Series & Appear for tests with full preparation and take the test in examination environment and solve previous years' questions of various exams. Solving previous years’ papers of GATE, ESE& CSE may be very useful.

• To maintain continuity and keeping up the self motivation, form groups of 3-4 friends and make schedule of group study once in a week to discuss complex questions and doubts.

B. Singh (Ex IES)


GATE Online Application Processing System (GOAPS)
Website Opens for Enrolment, Application
Filling, Application Submission
September 01, 2018 (Saturday)

Last Date for Submission of Online
Application through Website

October 01,  2018 (Monday)

Last Date for Request for Change in the
Choice of Examination City via GOAPS login

November 16, 2018 (Friday)

Availability of Admit Card on the Online
Application Interface for printing

January 04, 2019 (Friday)

GATE 2019 Online Examination Dates

February 02- 03 & February 09-10, 2019
(Saturdays & Sundays)

Announcement of Results on the Online Application Website

March 16, 2019 (Saturday)

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

GATE 2019 Exam consists of Multiple Choice Questions and Numerical Type Questions in all papers & sections. Multiple Choice Questions will contain 4 options, of which only one is correct. For Numerical Type Questions a numerical value as the answer should be entered using mouse and virtual keyboard on the monitor. The following are type of Questions:

The questions in a paper may be designed to test the following abilities:

(i) Recall: These are based on facts, principles, formulae or laws in the discipline of the paper. The candidate is expected to be able to obtain the answer either from his/her memory of the subject or at most from a one-line computation.

(ii) Comprehension: These questions will test the candidate’s understanding of the basics of his/her field, by requiring him/her to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas.

(iii) Application: In these questions, the candidate is expected to apply his/her knowledge either through computation or by logical reasoning.

(iv) 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.

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