Up-to-date GATE entrance syllabus and preparation tips

By | May 4, 2017

What is GATE?

If you are on this page then you will of course know about GATE but for information seekers we will in this article discuss about the GATE exam and things to know about GATE entrance exam. GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test which is an All Indian Entrance Examination jointly conducted by the IISC and 7 IIT’s. This examination is held every year in the months of January/February. This is given by candidates wanting to opt for Post Graduate programs in IIT’s, IISC and other reputed institutes. The financial assistance is provided by the MHRD. This score comes handy if you are looking for jobs in BARC, IOCL, BHEL, HPCL, NHPC, Power Grid, NTPC and others. They are hired by the PSU’s. This exam is aimed at testing the candidayes knowledge in various under graduate elements of engineering. The score/rank for the GATE entrance exam is valid for 3 years.

GATE entrance exam Question Paper pattern

 Before going into the details of the examination it is mandatory to know about the question paper pattern. It not only gives you preparation a right direction but also saves your time at the time of examination. Below is the question paper pattern for GATE exam

All GATE examinations are conducted online which is called the GATE Computer Based Test (BST). The question paper comprises both of multiple choice type and numerical answer type. In Numerical Answer Type questions the candidates have to enter a number as the answer. A virtual keyboard has to be used in this.

Duration of GATE exam – 3 hours
Total Number of Questions – 65
Total Marks – 100


The candidate must have completed a BE/B.Tech degree. Final year students of the same discipline may also apply. MA/MSc. students can also apply.
Age Limit
There is no upper age Limit.

 Syllabus for GATE entrance exam

 The second most important things to know for GATE entrance exam is the syllabus. Once you are thorough with the syllabus you can have an idea of how to prepare for GATE. The syllabus comprises of General Aptitude (14 Marks), Engineering Mathematics (10 to 13 Marks) and the rest 72 to 75 marks from technical subjects you must have studies at B.Tech level.

The exam is generally held from February to March. The online exams are conducted by the IIT, Roorkee.

The exam is conducted for admissions to post-graduate programs (e.g., M.E., M.Tech, direct Ph.D.) in Indian institutes of higher education with financial assistance provided by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and other government agencies.

A lot of planning, preparation and management must go in while studying for GATE Entrance exam.

Top free tips to crack GATE entrance exam

1.  An individual’s attitude, aptitude, fundamentals and concentration level affect the preparation time for GATE.

2.  In general a complete 5 to 6 months is required to prepare for GATE. This time should solely be dedicated to the preparation.

3.  Candidate should refer to the syllabus and analyse the exam pattern using previous years’ papers and prepare accordingly

4. Always remember that it is important to remember what to study but equally important to know what not to study.

5.    A thorough understanding of the basics is a must to crack the GATE entrance. The questions asked in this exam with test the level and depth of the underlying concepts.

6.    Since not all subjects are of equal marks you can prioritize. But do study all of them as a healthy preparation is the key.

7.    Read the sample question paper and GATE previous years question papers and make a list of questions that have recurred in all/most of them.

8.    Find out the topics that contain the most marks and attack those while preparing.

9.    Create a timetable for study of topics and follow it strictly. While studying any topic, make sure to highlight important points like key definitions, equations, derivations, theorems, laws, etc

10.    Allocate your time for each subject based on their recurrence in the previous year question papers. 

Negative Marking in GATE Entrance Test

Negative Marking
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

Here is the list of subjects that are covered by GATE Online Test – 

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

It is imperative to know about the Types of Question in Gate 

GATE Exam comprises of Multiple Choice Questions and Numeric Type Questions for all subjects. The MCQ’s carry 4 option out of which one one is right. Numerical Type Questions are the question that demand a numeric value as answer and must be entered using a mouse and virtual keyboard while giving the GATE BST. The following are type of Questions –

a. Recall: This segment is based on principles, facts, laws and formulas. The computation to derive the answer should at most take a single line. This is called recall as generally the answers have to be recalled from one’s memory.

b. Comprehension: Here the candidate’s understanding of the basics is tested thoroughly. The question will based on drawing simple conclusion from a fundamental idea/ideas.

c. Application: Computation and/or Logical reasoning play the important part in this category. The candidate has to utilize his/her knowledge of the subjects and formulate the answer accordingly.

d. Analysis and Synthesis: The questions can be linked where the answer to the first one may be required to derive the second answer. So you have to attempt all the questions in that case or you might lose out on the entire segment. These can sometimes also be Common Data Questions where are the questions share the same data but can be done separately.

e. Common Data Questions: In this case a common data problem can be linked to multiple questions. At most there will be two to three questions connected to a same date problem. Though the good part is that each question is independent and can be separately solved with the data problem.

f. Linked Answer Questions: These are the problem solving questions. There is a problem statement linked to two questions. The questions are so designed that the answer to the first question is required tto derive the second answer. Each question carries 2 marks here.

We hope that this information was useful for deciding and/or preparing for the GATE 2017. Let us know in the comments your views!

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