# Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. GATE is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technologies at Roorkee, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai (Madras) and Mumbai (Bombay) on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India.

Acronym GATE Computer-based standardized test Conducted jointly by IISc and 7 IITs on behalf of the National Co-ordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.[1] Bachelor's degree level knowledge of the chosen engineering discipline or master's degree level knowledge of the chosen science discipline. Post-graduate engineering admissions,[2] screening for entry-level engineering jobs.[3] 1984 3 hours[4] Marks (unscaled) out of 100, in 0.33 point increments. Score (scaled) out of 1000, in 1 point increments. 3 years (GATE 2015 onward). Once every year (usually in February). Over 660 centres in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and United Arab Emirates. English 718854 (in 2018).[5] Final year student or graduate of Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in engineering/ architecture or Master's degree (or equivalent) in science, computer applications, etc.[6] INR ₹ 750 for Indian female, SC, ST, and physically challenged candidates.[7] INR ₹ 1500 for all other Indian candidates. US $50 for international candidates. Various Indian engineering colleges offering post-graduate education,[2] several public sector Indian companies recruiting engineers,[3] etc. 16.53 % (in 2016). gate.iitd.ac.in (for GATE 2020) The GATE score of a candidate reflects the relative performance level of a candidate. The score is used for admissions to various post-graduate education programs (e.g. Master of Engineering, Master of Technology, Master of Architecture, Doctor of Philosophy) in Indian higher education institutes, with financial assistance provided by MHRD and other government agencies. Recently, GATE scores are also being used by several Indian public sector undertakings for recruiting graduate engineers in entry-level positions. It is one of the most competitive examinations in India. GATE is also recognized by various institutes outside India, such as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.[8] ## Financial assistance in post-graduate programs To avail the financial assistance (scholarship), the candidate must first secure admission to a program in these Institutes, by a procedure that could vary from institute to institute. Qualification in GATE is also a minimum requirement to apply for various fellowships awarded by many Government organizations. The criteria for postgraduate admission with scholarship/assistant-ship could be different for different institutions.[2] In December 2015, the University Grants Commission and MHRD announced that the scholarship for GATE-qualified master's degree students is increased by 55% from 8,000 (US$120) per month to 12,400 (US$180) per month.[9][10] ## Eligibility The following students are eligible to take GATE:[6] • Bachelor's degree holders in Engineering / Technology / Architecture (4 years after 10+2/ Post-B.Sc./ Post-Diploma) 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. • Candidates in the second or higher year of Four-year integrated master's degree programs (Post-B.Sc.) in Engineering / Technology. • Candidates in the fourth or higher year of Five-year integrated master's degree programs or Dual Degree programs in Engineering / Technology. • Candidates with qualifications obtained through examinations conducted by professional societies recognized by UGC/AICTE (e.g. AMIE by iE(i), AMICE(i) by the institute of Civil Engineers (India)-iCE(i), AMIETE By IETE(India)) as equivalent to B.E./B.Tech. Those who have completed section A or equivalent of such professional courses are also eligible. There is no age limit criterion defied by the exam conducting authority to appear in GATE.[11] ## Disciplines, structure, syllabus, and marking scheme ### Disciplines At present, GATE is conducted in the following 25 disciplines. A candidate can select any one of these.[2] GATE PaperCodeGATE PaperCode Aerospace EngineeringAEInstrumentation EngineeringIN Agricultural EngineeringAGMathematicsMA Architecture and PlanningARMechanical EngineeringME Biomedical BM Mining Engineering MN BiotechnologyBTMetallurgical EngineeringMT Civil EngineeringCEPetroleum EngineeringPE Chemical EngineeringCHPhysicsPH Computer Science and Information TechnologyCSProduction and Industrial EngineeringPI ChemistryCYTextile Engineering and Fiber ScienceTF Electronics and Communication EngineeringECEngineering SciencesXE* Electrical EngineeringEELife SciencesXL** Ecology and EvolutionEYStatisticsST[12] Geology and GeophysicsGG There is a total of 14 paper sections that come under these two Papers. The paper sections under XE* and XL* are defined by some dedicated codes which are mentioned in the following table- * Engineering Sciences (XE) Paper Sections (A and any 2 of B to H) Code** Life Sciences (XL) Paper Sections (P and any 2 of Q to U) Code Engineering Mathematics (Compulsory)AChemistry (Compulsory)P Fluid MechanicsBBiochemistryQ Materials ScienceCBotanyR Solid MechanicsDMicrobiologyS ThermodynamicsEZoologyT Polymer Science and EngineeringFFood TechnologyU Food TechnologyG Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesH ### Duration and examination type The examination is of 3 hours duration, and contains a total of 65 questions worth a maximum of 100 marks. From 2014 onwards, the examination for all the papers is carried out in an online Computer Based Test (CBT) mode where the candidates are shown the questions in a random sequence on a computer screen. The questions consist of both Multiple Choice Questions or MCQs (four answer options out of which the correct one has to be chosen) and Numerical Answer Type questions or NATs (answer is a real number, to be entered via an on-screen keypad and computer mouse). Candidates are provided with scribble pads for rough work and these have to be returned after the examination. At the end of the 3-hour window, the computer automatically closes the screen from further actions.[2] ### Syllabus ### Questions and marking scheme The examination will consist of totally 65 questions, segregated as One-mark and Two-mark questions. Out of 65 questions, 10 questions will be from General Aptitude (Verbal and Numerical ability) and 55 questions will be Technical, based on the Paper chosen. The General Aptitude section will have 5 One-mark questions and 5 Two-mark questions, accounting for about 15% of total marks. The Technical section and Engineering Mathematics section will combinedly have 25 One-mark questions and 30 Two-mark questions, accounting for about 85% of total marks. Further, all the sections will have both Multiple Choice Questions or MCQs and Numerical Answer Type questions or NATs. The examination awards negative marks for wrong MCQ answers. Usually, 1/3rd of original marks will be deducted for wrong MCQ answers (i.e. -0.33 for wrong One-mark answers and -0.66 for wrong Two-mark answers) while there is no negative marks for NATs. ## Result and test score GATE results are usually declared about one month after the examinations are over. The results show the total marks scored by a candidate, the GATE score, the all-India rank (AIR) and the cut off marks for various categories in the candidate's paper. The score is valid for 3 years from the date of announcement of the GATE results. The score cards are issued only to qualified candidates. ### Normalized GATE Score (new procedure) Calculation of "normalized marks" for subjects held in multiple sessions (CE, CS, EC, EE and ME): From 2014 onward, examination for CE, CS, EC, ME and EE subjects is being held in multiple sessions. Hence, for these subjects, a suitable normalization is applied to take into account any variation in the difficulty levels of the question sets across different sessions. The normalization is done based on the fundamental assumption that "in all multi-session GATE papers, the distribution of abilities of candidates is the same across all the sessions". According to the GATE committee, this assumption is justified since "the number of candidates appearing in multi-session subjects in GATE 2014 is large and the procedure of allocation of session to candidates is random. Further it is also ensured that for the same multi-session subject, the number of candidates allotted in each session is of the same order of magnitude." Based on the above, and considering various normalization methods, the committee arrived at the following formula for calculating the normalized marks, for CE, CS, EC, EE and ME subjects:[13] Normalized mark (ij) of jth candidate in ith session, is given by ${\displaystyle {\hat {M}}_{ij}={\frac {{\bar {M}}_{t}^{g}-M_{q}^{g}}{M_{ti}-M_{iq}}}(M_{ij}-M_{iq})+M_{q}^{g}}$ where, Mij is the actual marks obtained by the jth candidate in the ith session, Mgt is the average marks of the top 0.1 % candidates in all sessions of that subject, Mgq is the sum of mean and standard deviation of marks of all candidates in all sessions of that subject, Mti is the average of marks of top 0.1 % candidates in the ith session of that subject, Miq is the sum of mean and standard deviation of marks of all candidates in the ith session of that subject. After evaluation of the answers, normalized marks based on the above formula will be calculated using the raw (actual) marks obtained by a candidate in the CE, CS, EC, EE or ME subject. The "score" will be calculated using these normalized marks. For all other subjects (whose tests are conducted in a single session), the actual marks obtained by the candidates will be used in calculating the score. Calculation of GATE Score for all subjects (single-session and multiple-session): From GATE 2014 onward (and year 2014-15 of the 2-year validity period of GATE 2013 score), a candidate's GATE score is computed by the following new formula.[14] ${\displaystyle S=S_{q}+(S_{t}-S_{q}){\frac {M-M_{q}}{{\overline {M}}_{t}-M_{q}}}}$ where, S = Score (normalized) of a candidate, M = Marks obtained by a candidate ("normalized marks" in case of multiple-session subjects CE, CS, EC, EE and ME), Mq = Qualifying marks for general category candidates in that subject (usually 25 or μ + σ, whichever is higher), μ = Average (i.e. arithmetic mean) of marks of all candidates in that subject, σ = Standard deviation of marks of all candidates in that subject, Mt = Average marks of top 0.1 % candidates (for subjects with 10000 or more appeared candidates) or top 10 candidates (for subjects with less than 10000 appeared candidates), St = 900 = Score assigned to Mt, Sq = 350 = Score assigned to Mq. Percentile: A candidate's percentile denotes the percentage of candidates scoring lower than that particular candidate. It is calculated as: Percentile = ( 1 - All India rank/ No. of candidates in that subject ) x 100% ### Old formula Till GATE 2012 (and year 2013-14 of the 2-year validity period of GATE 2013 score), the score was calculated using the formula:[15] GATE score = ${\displaystyle 10(a_{g}+s_{g}{\frac {m-a}{S}})}$ where, m = Marks obtained by the candidate, a = Average of marks of all candidates who appeared in that subject, in that year, with marks less than zero converted to zero, S = Standard deviation of marks of all candidates who appeared in that subject, in that year, with marks less than zero converted to zero, ag = Global average of marks of all candidates who appeared across all subjects in current and past 5 years (i.e. 2010 to 2013 for GATE 2013), with marks less than zero converted to zero, sg = Global standard deviation of marks of all candidates who appeared across all subjects in current and past 5 years (i.e. 2010 to 2013 for GATE 2013), with marks less than zero converted to zero. ## Qualifying marks The rules for qualifying marks have varied from year to year. The qualifying marks (out of 100) are different for different subjects as well as categories. CategoryQualifying mark (out of 100) General (GN)25 or 25+, whichever is higher. Other backward classes (OBC)90% of general category's qualifying mark. Scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST)2/3 (i.e., 66.67%) of general category's qualifying mark. Here μ is the average (i.e., arithmetic mean) of marks of all candidates in the subject (with negative marks converted to zero) and σ is the standard deviation of all marks in that subject. Usually, the general category's qualifying mark is in the 25 to 50 range. The Government of India implemented reservations for other backward classes in college admissions and public sector job recruitment in the year 2008. Before that, all OBC candidates were included in the "general" category. There was no separate OBC category then. ## Statistics The following line chart shows the number of candidates registered, appeared, and qualified (total of all subjects). Registered Appeared Qualified YearRegisteredAppearedQualifiedPercentage of appeared that qualifiedReference(s) 2008About 180,000 *About 170,000*[16][17][18] 2009About 230,000*About 210,000*[16][18] 2010About 415,000 *[19] 2011About 553,000 *[20] 2012777,134686,614108,52615.81%[21] 20131,200,728984,855136,69913.88%[22] 20141,033,625889,156149,69416.84%[23] 2015927,580804,463121,060 [13,874 general category candidates who scored above the OBC (NCL) qualifying mark, but below the general category qualifying mark, received scorecards. But they did not qualify.] 15.05%[5] 2016971,831818,850135,39216.53%[24] 2017922,167787,148129,14916%[25] * Precise figures unavailable right now. The following line chart shows the variation of the number of candidates appeared in the 5 subjects with the largest numbers of appeared candidates, since GATE 2010: Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC) Computer Science and Information Technology (CS) Mechanical Engineering (ME) Electrical Engineering (EE) Civil Engineering (CE) All other subjects YearElectronics and Communication EngineeringComputer Science and Information TechnologyMechanical EngineeringElectrical EngineeringCivil EngineeringOthersTotalReference(s) 2010104,291107,08659,33852,24619,406About 72,000*About 415,000*[19] 2011137,853136,02781,17572,68029,347About 96,000*About 553,000*[26] 2012176,944156,780112,320110,12536,15694,289686,614[21] 2013256,135224,160165,814152,38167,472118,893984,855[22] 2014216,367155,190185,578141,79990,87299,350889,156[23] 2015172,714115,425185,758125,851101,429103,286804,463[5] 2016 183,152 131,803 234,727 146,293 118,147 4728 818,850 2017 152,318 108,495 197,789 125,859 119,873 82814 787,148 2018 125,870 107,893 194,496 121,383 153078 * Precise figures unavailable right now. ### Gate Statistics by Years ## Difficulty level GATE, for long, has been known to test the Engineering basics in a smart way. Complaints of "lengthy" problems have been rare. But the task of mastering an entire course of Engineering (around 30 undergraduate subjects) for a three-hour test, itself gives the test a certain level of toughness. Each year, only around 15% of all appearing candidates qualify. High percentiles (more than 99th percentile, in some cases) are required to get admission in M.Tech. or M.E. degree programs in Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science, or get shortlisted for job interviews in Indian public sector undertakings. ## Admission to post-graduate programs Unlike undergraduate admissions in India, candidates must apply individually to each institute after the institute has published its M.Tech. notification (usually in the month of March). There is no separate counselling held. Some institutions specify GATE qualification as mandatory even for admission of self-financing students to postgraduate programs. GATE qualified candidates are also eligible for the award of Junior Research Fellowship in CSIR Laboratories and CSIR sponsored projects. Top rank holders in some GATE papers are entitled to apply for "Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship" awarded by CSIR. Some government organizations prescribe GATE qualification as a requirement for applying to the post of a Scientist/Engineer. In recent years, various academicians have recognized GATE as being one of the toughest exams in its category. Some non-Indian universities like the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and some technical universities in Germany also identify GATE score as a parameter for judging the quality of the candidates for admission into their Masters and Ph.D. programs. Some management institutes like NITIE, Mumbai offer admission to Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering on the basis of GATE score. Most Indian institutes do not specify cut-off marks for previous years. So there is a general confusion in terms of selecting institutes and specializations. But in the recent years IIT Kharagpur and IIT Guwahati have been specifying last year cut-off mark list. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has a very detailed website on Post Graduate (PG) activities and admissions where students can find the relevant information on cut-off marks etc. Typically the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institutes of Technology are the most selective followed by National Institutes of Technology and others. Also there are some state universities in India, whose standards and facilities are very much comparable to top IITs and NITs. Some of them are PEC University of Technology (Chandigarh), Bengal Engineering and Science University (recently converted to IIEST), Jadavpur University, Delhi Technological University, gautam budh technical university, u.p, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Andhra University College of Engineering, Osmania University etc. Even within the top institutes, the selection criteria varies widely across departments and programs depending on expertise areas. The Directorate of Technical Education of Maharashtra state has also started conducting CAP round from the year 2013 for GATE and non-GATE candidates in all institutes in Maharashtra that offer M.E./M.Tech. programs. ### CSIR's JRF - GATE fellowship The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) introduced the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) - GATE scheme in 2002 to allow GATE-qualified engineering graduates and GPAT-qualified pharmaceutical graduates to pursue research through suitable Ph.D. programs at CSIR laboratories.[31] Stipend and tenure: The fellowship amount is 25,000 (US$360) per month plus HRA (house rent allowance). In addition, contingency grant of 20,000 (US$290) per annum (calculated on pro-rata basis for fraction of a year) is also provided. On completion of 2 years as JRF - GATE, the fellowship may be upgraded to SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) - GATE and stipend may be increased to 28,000 (US$410) per month in the subsequent years, on the basis of assessment of CSIR JRF-NET guidelines.

The total duration of the fellowship is 5 years, within which the candidate is expected to complete the Ph.D. degree.[31]

## Recruitment

Public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India, for long, have had troubles conducting their recruitment processes with more than 100,000 students taking the exams for less than 1000 jobs (a selection rate of less than 1%). After sensing the exponential rise in the number of engineering graduates in India who wish to get a PSU job, the PSUs have decided that a GATE score shall be the primary criteria for initial shortlisting. This change was the primary cause for the rapid increase in applicants for GATE 2012.

Indian Oil Corporation was the first PSU which successfully tested out this system and was followed two years later by National Thermal Power Corporation, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat Electronics & PowerGrid Corporation of India.

Usually these companies release their recruitment notifications right after GATE notification, indicating that candidates have to take GATE to be considered for a job in their organizations.

### List of companies

Many companies have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the GATE organizing committee, for using GATE score as a screening tool for recruiting engineers at entry level positions.

The syllabus for the GATE exam and its preparation remains the same, irrespective of whether one is applying for a job at a PSU or seeking admission for post graduation in engineering.

## Changes in recent years

YearChangesReference(s)
2009
• The Information Technology and Computer Science tests were merged into a single Computer Science and Information Technology test (code "CS").
• The GATE score was valid only for one year but later the GATE committee made it valid for two years in 2010.
2010
• Pharmacy was no longer a GATE subject, with the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education) as the replacement.
• The Biotechnology section of the Engineering Sciences GATE paper had been removed and a separate Biotechnology test (code "BT") was started.
• An additional section of General Aptitude was introduced in GATE. Ten questions carrying 15 marks makes up this section of GATE Exam.
2011
• Based on a trouble-free pilot project in 2010, four of the GATE papers in GATE 2011 were run using computer based online mode. The four online papers for 2011 were Aerospace Engineering (code "AE"), Geology and Geophysics (code "GG"), Mining Engineering (code "MN") and Textile Engineering and Fiber Science (code "TF").
• GATE was held in morning (9:00 to 12:00) session for some papers and afternoon (14:00 to 17:00) session for others. Also, the computer based tests was held on a different date.
2012
• Only final year students and passed-out candidates were declared eligible to take GATE. Pre-final year B.E./B.Tech. students, who were eligible till 2011, were no longer eligible.
• The application process was made completely online. Candidates could view their responses of the ORS and also GATE Office released official solutions for GATE papers.
• The exam mode was changed from paper-based to "online" (i.e. computer-based) for 2 additional subjects: Agricultural Engineering (code "AG") and Architecture and Planning (code "AR").
• The use of pencils to darken the bubbles in the answer sheet was discontinued. Candidates could use only black ink ball point pens for darkening of the bubbles in the answer sheet.
[44]
2013
• Female candidates were exempted from paying the application fee.
• Candidates were required to upload scanned copy of photograph and signature. Print-out of the completed application form was to be mailed to the institute by post.
• The Application fee was increased from 1000 to 1200.
• The GATE score formula was changed. Scores calculated using the old formula were effective during the year 2013-14. Scores calculated using the new formula were effective during the year 2014-15.
[45][46]
2014
• A new subject of Ecology and Evolution (code "EY") was introduced.
• Examinations for all the 22 subjects was conducted by an online Computer-Based Test (CBT). The online examination contained some questions for which numerical answers must be keyed in by the candidate using the "virtual" (i.e. on-screen) keypad. Rest of the questions were of Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) type.
• Female candidates were required to pay some fee for application, a change introduced due to many raising complaints about a large portion of female candidates who registered but did not appear for the exam in 2013.
• Application fee was increased from 1200 to 1500 for general category, OBC male/other candidates, and 750 for all female candidates and SC, ST male/other candidates.
• GATE score's validity is increased from 2 years to 3 years.
• Examinations were held during forenoon and afternoon sessions on alternate weekends (Saturday and Sunday) between 1 February 2014 and 2 March 2014. Examination for the subjects ME, EE, EC, and CS was held in multiple sessions due to the large numbers of registered candidates.
[47][48]
2015
• The entire application process is made online. All required documents have to be scanned and uploaded on the online application system. Candidates no longer have to send anything by post.
• Printed (i.e. hard-copy) score cards are no longer sent to candidates. Only a digital (i.e. soft-copy) score card can be downloaded by qualified candidates from the official GATE website.
[49][50][51]
2016
• Candidates are not permitted to bring their own calculators. An online virtual (i.e. on-screen) calculator will be available during the examination.
• The syllabus has been revised for some subjects.
• A new subject of Petroleum Engineering (code "PE") has been introduced.
• After completion of all test sessions, an Answer Key will be provided for candidates to check. Candidates can challenge the GATE 2016 Answer Key on a nominal fee for a specified time period.
[52]
2017
• A New Section has been introduced in the Engineering Sciences (XE) Paper. This section is the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (section H).
• International students from countries namely Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates are now eligible to apply for GATE 2017.
[53]
2018
• While choosing the exam centres for GATE 2018, the candidates will have to select their first two choices from the same GATE zone. The third choice can be from any other GATE zone.
• Candidates are not required to upload the scanned image of their thumb impression while filling the GATE online application.
• GATE will be held across 200 cities in India.
• GATE 2018 will also be held in following international cities- Addis Ababa, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Dubai and Singapore.
[54][55]
2019
• GATE 2019 introduces a new paper "Statistics" with a code of "ST".
• Candidates who fail to apply by 21 September 2018 can still apply till 1 October 2018 by paying a late fee of Rs 500 . The late fee in case of foreign centres is US\$20.
[56]

## Year and Organizing Institute

Each year's GATE is organised by any one of 8 institutes: IISc and 7 IITs. The overall co-ordination and responsibility of conducting GATE lies with this institute, which is designated as the Organizing Institute (OI) for GATE of that year. GATE coaching institutes often make speculations regarding the topics to focus upon depending upon the institute that is the OI of that year.

InstituteGATE editions organized
Indian Institute of Science1984, 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, 2016.
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras1985, 1991, 1997, 2003, 2011, 2019.
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2012, 2020.
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay1987, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2013.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur1988, 1994, 2000, 2006, 2014.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur1989, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2015.
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee2009, 2017.
Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati2010, 2018.

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