Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering
The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an all-India examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. GATE is conducted jointly by the IISc and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee) on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. The GATE score of a candidate reflects the relative performance level of a candidate. The score is used for admissions to various post-graduate programmes (e.g. M.E., M.Tech, direct Ph.D.) in Indian higher education institutes with financial assistance provided by MHRD and other Government agencies. The score may also be used by Public sector units for employment screening purposes.
- 1 Financial Assistance
- 2 Eligibility
- 3 GATE disciplines and structure
- 4 Result
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Difficulty level of GATE
- 7 Qualifying Marks
- 8 Admission to Post-Graduate programs
- 9 Changes in recent years
- 10 Number of candidates appearing for the examination
- 11 Recruitment through GATE
- 12 Year and Organizing Institute
- 13 References
- 14 External links
A valid GATE score is essential for obtaining a financial assistance during Masters programmes and in some cases during direct Doctoral programmes in Engineering/Technology/Architecture, and Doctoral programs in relevant branches of Science in an Institution supported by the MHRD or other Government organizations. To avail the financial assistance (scholarship), the candidate must first secure admission to a programme in these Institutes, by a procedure that could be different for each institute. Qualification in GATE is also a minimum requirement to apply for various fellowships awarded by many Government organizations.
However, candidates with a Master’s degree in Engineering/Technology/Architecture may seek admission to relevant Doctoral programmes with scholarship/assistantship without appearing in the GATE examination
- 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 UPSC/AICTE (e.g. AMIE by iE(i), AMICE(i) by the institute of Civil Engineers (india)-iCE(i)) as equivalent to B.E./B.Tech.
Those who have completed section A or equivalent of such professional courses are also eligible.
GATE disciplines and structure
At present, GATE is conducted in the following 22 disciplines. A candidate can select any one of these.
|GATE Paper||Code||GATE Paper||Code|
|Aerospace Engineering||AE||Geology and Geophysics||GG|
|Agricultural Engineering||AG||Instrumentation Engineering||IN|
|Architecture and Planning||AR||Mathematics||MA|
|Civil Engineering||CE||Mining Engineering||MN|
|Chemical Engineering||CH||Metallurgical Engineering||MT|
|Computer Science and Information Technology||CS||Physics||PH|
|Chemistry||CY||Production and Industrial Engineering||PI|
|Electronics and Communication Engineering||EC||Textile Engineering and Fibre Science||TF|
|Electrical Engineering||EE||Engineering Sciences||XE*|
|Ecology and Evolution||EY||Life Sciences||XL**|
|* Engineering Sciences (XE) Paper Sections
(A and any 2 of B to G)
|Code||** Life Sciences (XL) Paper Sections
(H and any 2 of I to M)
|Engineering Mathematics (Compulsory)||A||Chemistry (Compulsory)||H|
|Polymer Science and Engineering||F||Food Technology||M|
General aptitude questions
All the papers contain a few questions that test the "general aptitude" (language and analytic skills), apart from the core subject of the discipline.
Duration and examination type
The GATE examination consists of a single test of 3-hour duration that contains 65 questions carrying a maximum of 100 marks. The questions consist of both multiple choice questions (MCQs) and numerical answer type questions.
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 candidates are required to either select the answer (for multiple-choice question type) or enter the answer for numerical answer type question using a mouse on a virtual keyboard (keyboard of the computer is disabled). Candidates are provided with blank paper sheets for rough work and these have to be returned back after the examination. At the end of the 3-hour window, the computer automatically closes the screen from further actions.
GATE Results are usually declared a little over one month after the exam. The results show the total marks scored by a candidate, the GATE score, the all-India rank and the cut off marks for various categories in the candidate's paper. The score is valid for 2 years from the date of announcement of the results.  The score cards is issued to all qualified candidates.
Normalized GATE Score (new formula):
From 2013, the GATE score is computed by a new formula.
A candidate's score is computed as:
- S = GATE Score (normalised) of a candidate,
- M = Marks obtained by a candidate in a paper,
- Mq = Qualifying marks for general category candidates in the paper,
- Mt = Average Marks of top 0.1% or 10 (which ever is higher) of candidates in the paper,
- St = GATE Score assigned to Mt (around 900), and
- Sq = GATE Score assigned to Mq (around 300).
Mq is usually 25 marks (out of 100) or μ + σ, whichever is higher. Here μ is the mean of marks of all candidates in a paper (with negative marks converted to zero) and σ is the standard deviation of the candidates' marks.
Till GATE 2012 the score was calculated using the formula: GATE score =
- m = marks obtained by the candidate.
- a = average of marks of all candidates who appeared in the paper mentioned on this scorecard in GATE for that year
- S = standard deviation of marks of all candidates who appeared in the paper mentioned on this scorecard in GATE for that year
- ag= global average of marks of all candidates who appeared across all papers and years
- sg= global standard deviation of marks of all candidates who appeared across all papers and years
Some statistics of GATE 2013 are given below:
A total of 12,00,728 candidates registered for GATE 2013 and 9,84,855 candidates (82.02%) appeared for the exam, of which 1,36,699 (13.88%) qualified in GATE 2013.
Overall gender-wise distribution in GATE 2013:
Overall category-wise distribution in GATE 2013:
- General category (GN)
- Other backward classes (OBC)
- Scheduled castes (SC)
- Scheduled tribes (ST)
|General category (GN)||Other backward classes (OBC)||Scheduled castes (SC)||Scheduled tribes (ST)||Total|
The three-hour test was conducted on two days over four sessions in total. The computer based online exam for 2,02,223 candidates in fifteen papers was conducted in 572 centers spread over 123 cities and towns across the country on 20th January 2013. The offline exam for 9,98,505 candidates in the remaining six papers was conducted in 992 centers spread over 183 cities and towns across the country on 10th February 2013.
A larger fraction of the registered men appeared (88%) for the exam than women candidates (72%). Nearly 81% of the total number of candidates who appeared for GATE 2013 were from four papers: Electronics and Communication Engineering (2,56,135), Computer Science and Information Technology (2,24,160), Mechanical Engineering (1,65,814) and Electrical Engineering (1,52,381).
|Subject||Number appeared||Number qualified||Percentage of appeared that qualified|
|Electronics and Communication Engineering (EC)||256135||36394||14.21 %|
|Computer Science and Information Technology (CS)||224160||17440||7.78 %|
|Mechanical Engineering (ME)||165814||24573||14.82 %|
|Electrical Engineering (EE)||152381||25342||16.63 %|
|Civil Engineering (CE)||67472||11920||17.67 %|
|Instrumentation Engineering (IN)||28249||3376||11.95 %|
|Biotechnology (BT)||16159||3424||21.19 %|
|Chemical Engineering (CH)||14835||2887||19.46 %|
|Life Sciences (XL)||12920||2675||20.70 %|
|Chemistry (CY)||11768||2362||20.07 %|
|Physics (PH)||7497||1000||13.34 %|
|Mathematics (MA)||4963||800||16.12 %|
|Aerospace Engineering (AE)||4523||843||18.64 %|
|Production and Industrial Engineering (PI)||3871||679||17.54 %|
|Geology and Geophysics (GG)||2765||629||22.75 %|
|Architecture and Planning (AR)||2718||580||21.34 %|
|Metallurgical Engineering (MT)||2663||635||23.85 %|
|Engineering Sciences (XE)||2476||501||20.23 %|
As can be seen, the percentage of appeared candidates that qualified is different for different subjects.
Women formed 20.9% of the total qualified candidates. As per the candidate supplied category (General, OBC-NC, SC, and ST) information, among the qualified candidates, 72,125 belong to General, 41,237 to OBC-NC, 18,936 to SC, and 4,401 to ST category. Physically challenged candidates comprised a total of 1,136 among the qualified in various categories.
The top five States that had qualified candidates as their permanent residence were Andra Pradesh (22,476), Uttar Pradesh (22,400), Maharashtra (9,951), Bihar (9,820), and Kerala (8,992).
Difficulty level of GATE
GATE Papers, for long, have 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 (30 plus subjects) for a three hour test, itself gives the test a certain level of toughness. In GATE 2012, only 14% of all candidates qualified.
The rules for qualifying scores have varied from year to year. In general the qualifying score is 25 marks (out of 100) or μ + σ, whichever is higher. Here μ is the mean of marks of all candidates in a paper (with negative marks converted to zero) and σ is the standard deviation of all marks in that paper.
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 Bengal Engineering and Science University (recently converted to IIEST), Jadavpur University, Delhi Technological University, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Andhra University College of Engineering, Osmania University and PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh 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 institute in Maharashtra that offer M.E./M.Tech. programs.
Changes in recent years
- The IT and CS papers were merged and there was no separate IT paper.
- The GATE score was valid only for one year but later the GATE committee made it valid for two years in 2010.
- Pharmacy was no longer on the GATE subject papers list, with GPAT as the replacement. Also, the Biotechnology section of the XL GATE paper had been removed and replaced by a separate Biotechnology paper (paper code BT).
- An additional section of General Aptitude was introduced in GATE. A total of ten questions carrying 15 marks makes up this last section of GATE.
- 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 are Aerospace Engineering (paper code AE), Geology and Geophysics (paper code GG), Mining Engineering (paper code MN) and Textile Engineering (paper code TF) and Fiber Science.
- GATE was held in morning (9-12) session for some papers and afternoon (2-5) session for others. Also, the computer based tests was held on a different date.
- Only final year students and passed-out candidates were declared eligible to take GATE. Pre-final year students, which 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 admit card was made downloadable from the application website. Sending admit cards by post was discontinued.
- The exam mode was changed from paper-based to "online" (i.e. computer-based) for 2 additional subjects: Agricultural Engineering (AG) and Architecture and Planning (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.
- 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.
- A new paper of "Ecology and Evolution" is introduced.
- Examinations for all the 22 papers will be conducted by an online Computer-Based Test (CBT). The online examination paper will contain 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 shall be of Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) type.
- Female candidates are 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 is increased from 1200 to 1500 for general category, OBC male/other candidates, and 750 for all female candidates and SC, ST male/other candidates.
- Examinations will be held during forenoon and afternoon sessions on alternate weekends (Saturday and Sunday) between 1st February 2014 and 2nd March 2014. Examination for some of the papers in GATE 2014 will be held in multiple sessions.
Number of candidates appearing for the examination
The number of candidates appearing in GATE is increasing every year.
|Year||Number of candidates appearing|
|Year||Number of candidates appearing||Reference(s)|
|2009||Approximately 230,000 *|||
|2008||Approximately 170,000 to 180,000 *|| |
* Precise figures unavailable as of now.
Recruitment through GATE
Public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India, for long, have had troubles conducting their recruitment processes with more than 100,000 students giving 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.
As of now, the following public sector undertakings have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the GATE 2014 organizing committee, for using GATE 2014 score as a screening tool for recruiting engineers at entry level positions:
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
- National Fertilizers Ltd.
- Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd.
- National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd.
- National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd.
- Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
- Vizag Steel Plant
- Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL)
- Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd.
Many other PSUs are also processing the MoU and these are in progress.
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.
|GATE 2014||IIT Kharagpur|
|GATE 2013||IIT Bombay|
|GATE 2012||IIT Delhi|
|GATE 2011||IIT Madras|
|GATE 2010||IIT Guwahati|
|GATE 2009||IIT Roorkee|
|GATE 2008||IISc Bangalore|
|GATE 2007||IIT Kanpur|
|GATE 2006||IIT Kharagpur|
|GATE 2005||IIT Bombay|
|GATE 2004||IIT Delhi|
|GATE 2003||IIT Madras|
|GATE 2002||IISc Bangalore|
|GATE 2001||IIT Kanpur|
|GATE 2000||IIT Kharagpur|
|GATE 1999||IIT Bombay|
|GATE 1998||IIT Delhi|
|GATE 1997||IIT Madras|
|GATE 1996||IISc Bangalore|
|GATE 1995||IIT Kanpur|
|GATE 1994||IIT Kharagpur|
|GATE 1993||IIT Bombay|
|GATE 1992||IIT Delhi|
|GATE 1991||IIT Madras|
|GATE 1990||IISc Bangalore|
|GATE 1989||IIT Kanpur|
|GATE 1988||IIT Kharagpur|
|GATE 1987||IIT Bombay|
|GATE 1986||IIT Delhi|
|GATE 1985||IIT Madras|
|GATE 1984||IISc Bangalore|
- http://recruitment2013.ind.in/GAT[dead link]
- GATE Score | GATE 2013
- GATE Score Formula 2012 | GATE 2013
- GATE 2013 Result Statistics | GATE 2013
- Official GPAT site[dead link]
- GATE 2012 - Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering
- GATE 2013
- Post-Exam Related Information | GATE 2013
- GATE 2014
- GATE 2014
- GATE 2012, organised by IIT Delhi.
- GATE 2013, organized by IIT Bombay.
- GATE 2014, organized by IIT Kharagpur.
- GATE Result analysis, by GATECounsellor.
- GATE 2014 Notifications, by GATECounsellor.