What is GATE?

Aug 6, 2021

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Everything you need to know about the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

What is GATE?

Who conducts it?

Significance of the GATE

The Eligibility Criteria:

The Exam Pattern


Preparation of the GATE: 

Everything you need to know about the GATE

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) makes for a good topic of discussion among students across different fields including technology, engineering, architecture, philosophy, etc. But the discussions that take place in the college canteens or parks, may not provide the information one needs to kickstart the preparation. The fear of missing out has a direct bearing on the decisions made by students and they are drawn towards following the footsteps of the majority.

However, without proper knowledge, it is impossible to arrive at the conclusions that contribute towards shaping their careers. Therefore, we are compiling all the necessary information about the GATE, so that your understanding of the exam is neither fallacious nor sketchy.

Everything you need to know about the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)

What is GATE?

It is an examination conducted on a national level to test the knowledge and comprehensive understanding of different engineering, technology, and architecture subjects taught at the undergraduate level and various arts, commerce, and science subjects taught at the postgraduate level.

The score obtained in the GATE remains valid for up to three years from the date of announcement of results.

Also read: Prepare with the DREAM TEAM for GATE

30 Extra Marks in 30 Days for GATE 2022

Who conducts it?

The Gate is conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at Guwahati, Kanpur, Delhi, Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay, and Roorkee on behalf of National Coordination Board (NCB)-GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India.

Significance of the GATE

  • Getting a qualifying score is mandatory to get admission and/or financial assistance to postgraduate programs including masters and doctoral programs with the Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • The GATE score is considered in the recruitment process conducted by some Public Service Undertakings (PSUs) and a lot of universities not only in India but also abroad (For example Singapore).

The Eligibility Criteria:

Age and Nationality don’t come in your way of attempting this exam as there is no defined age limit and along with people of Indian nationality, candidates from other countries can also appear for the exam.

Considering the qualification, the following candidates are eligible to appear for the GATE:

  • The candidates who have completed their graduation course with a passing percentage in engineering/technology/architecture or have obtained their Master's degree in a relevant science subject.
  • The students who are in the final or pre-year of their qualifying degree.
  • Candidates with qualifications received from institutions recognized by UGC/AICTE, AMICE by the Institute of Civil Engineers (India)-ICE(I), AMIETE By IETE(India)) as equivalent to B.E./B.Tech.

The Exam Pattern

The GATE is a computer-based exam. It has 29 subjects which are called Papers and they have particular codes. A candidate has to pick one of these to appear for the exam:

GATE PaperCode
Aerospace Engineering AE
Agricultural EngineeringAG
Architecture and PlanningAR
Biomedical EngineeringBM
Civil EngineeringCE
Chemical EngineeringCH
Computer Science and Information TechnologyCS
Electronics and Communication EngineeringEC
Electrical EngineeringEE
Environmental Science and EngineeringES
Ecology and Evolution EY
Geology and GeophysicsGG
Instrumentation EngineeringIN
Mechanical EngineeringME
Mining Engineering MN
Metallurgical EngineeringMT
Petroleum EngineeringPE
Production and Industrial EngineeringPI
Statistics ST
Textile Engineering and Fibre Science TF
Engineering SciencesXE
Humanities and Social SciencesXH
Life Sciences XL

The GATE exam is divided into two sections- 1) General Aptitude and 2) Core Subject. Regardless of the subject you choose, general aptitude is common for all Papers.

The core subject section bears two kinds of questions- compulsory and optional. Each question carries either one mark or two marks. The exam has three different types of questions- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Multiple Section Questions (MSQs), and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions.

The questions are framed in a way to test various abilities of the candidates including application, analysis, recall, comprehension, and synthesis.

Check the given exam pattern of the GATE 2022 to know what you can expect and how you must plan your preparation:


1. Duration of the exam- 3 hours

2. Sections of the exam-2: General Aptitude and The Core Subject (chosen by the candidate)

3. Mode of the examination- Computer-Based

4. Types of questions

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Multiple Select Questions (MSQs)
  • Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

5. Maximum marks- 100

6. Total number of questions- 65

7. Total number of General Aptitude questions- 10

8. Distribution of questions and marks in all the Papers except CY, PH, XL, AR, EY, GG, MA-

  • Engineering Mathematics- 13 marks
  • Core Subject- 72 marks
  • General Aptitude- 15 marks

9. Distribution of questions and marks in CY, PH, XL, AR, EY, GG, MA    

  • Core Subject- 85 marks
  • General Aptitude- 15 marks

10. Negative Marking

  • MCQs type 1- 1 mark to be awarded for every correct answer & ⅓ to be deducted for every incorrect answer
  • MCQs type 2- 2 marks to be awarded for every correct answer & ⅔ to be deducted for every incorrect answer.
  • NAT & MSQ- No negative marking

Preparation of the GATE: 

In most cases, a candidate requires to devote four to six months to the GATE preparation. It varies as per the individual circumstances and the number of hours a candidate can manage to give to the preparation every day. Regardless of the number of months, the plan must include completion of the syllabus while ensuring that there is a complete understanding of the concepts, ample time for revision, and mock tests. Analyzing the weaknesses right in the beginning can be rewarding in the concluding phase of the plan.

While self-study plays an undeniably important role in ensuring promising results, the preparation will be incomplete if you don’t make the most of the study material, video lectures, question bank, and mock tests available online. PrepLadder, for instance, has done a remarkable job in compiling everything that you need in one place, leaving no room for doubts and problems.

Understanding the exam helps you eradicate the hurdles that come into existence because of a lack of knowledge. It further enables you to confidently aim at excellence and prevents you from settling for the average. 

The right mindset is the key that unlocks the most challenging door of success and that is exactly what we want for you. Now that you know everything you need to know about the GATE, commence the expedition of your preparation and nail the exam.

Auther Details

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.