Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering [ GATE ]

By Srushti Pargat Last Updated: November 24th, 2020


The GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is a national level online examination conducted for Masters in Technology (MTech), Master of Engineering (ME), and direct PhD entry to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), IISc Bangalore, Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other institutes across India. Several Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) including BHEL, DRDO, IOCL, NTPC and ONGC also use GATE score in their recruitment process. Representing the National Coordination Board (NCB - GATE), MHRD, Government of India, on a rotating method, the exam is jointly conducted by IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, and IISc Bangalore. The GATE exam is held to test the understanding of aspirants at the undergraduate level of Technology/ Architecture as well as at the post-graduate level of the Sciences.

Exam Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 
Conducting body 7 IITs and IISc (on a rotational basis) IIT Bombay for GATE 2021 
Frequency Once a year 
Level of Exam National 
Duration 3 hours (180 minutes) 
Mode of exam Online (Computer Based Test) 
Application mode Online 
GATE scorecard validity Three years 
Number of Questions Total 65 Questions 
Number of Papers 27 Papers  
Number of Test Takers More than 8 Lakh 
Courses offered Masters in Technology (MTech), Master of Engineering (ME), and direct PhD entry to the IITs, NITs, IISc Bangalore, IIITs and other institutes across India Recruitment to PSUs including BHEL, DRDO, IOCL, NTPC and ONGC 
Official website 

GATE 2021 - Exam Details

IIT Bombay, the organising body of GATE 2021, has recently announced the exam dates along with a few modifications in the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for the examination has since been relaxed from the minimum requirement of their 10+2+4 to a minimum 10+2+3 to allow even third-year undergraduates to appear for the examination. Besides, candidates are now allowed to sit for a maximum of two papers from this year. The registration process for the GATE 2021 closed on October 14, 2021.

Supposedly there are two additional subjects - Environmental Science and Engineering (ES) and Humanities and Social Sciences (XH) that have been included. The exam will be held across a number of test centres in the country and with six cities outside India. This examination is scheduled to be held in online mode / Computer Based Mode (CBT).

The GATE pattern of has been revised and the distribution of marks in papers except for AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, XH, ST and XL is 72% for the core subject, 13% for engineering mathematics, and 15% for general aptitude. The counselling process shall begin after the declaration of the result. The Centralised Counselling for MTech / MArch/ MPlan (CCMT) and Common Offer Acceptance Portal (COAP) are the GATE counselling authorities that conduct the counselling process to offer admissions to qualified candidates.

Event Date Details 
Official website live 16-Jul-2020 IIT Bombay is the conducting body of the GATE 2021 Exam. 
Application form availability 11-Sep-2020 The registration is to be done online only. There is no change in the fee for registration. Candidates who missed the deadline have to pay an additional fee of ₹ 500. 
Last date to complete the application form 7-Oct-2020 Aspiring candidates must complete their registrations before the last date. Otherwise, they will not be permitted to sit for the exam. 
Last date to register with late fee 12-Oct-2020 Candidates can register for the GATE 2021 by paying ₹ 500 in addition to the application fee. 
Application form correction window 17-Nov-2020 to 23-Nov-2020 In this period, candidates are allowed to make changes in their details and image/signature. An additional fee is applicable. 
Admit card download 8-Jan-2021 Students must download the admit card from the official website. It is an essential document and will be required till the admission process is complete. 
Exam day 5-Feb-2021 to 7-Feb-2021 and 12-Feb-2021 to 14-Feb-2021 The GATE 2021 will be held in two slots, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. 
Announcement of Result22-Mar-2021 Candidates will be able to download their scorecard on the official website with the help of their user ID and password

GATE 2021 Syllabus and Topic-wise weightage

In the General Aptitude section, the candidates’ verbal and numeric ability is tested as follows.

Verbal Ability

  • Critical Reasoning
  • English Grammar
  • Instructions
  • Sentence Completion
  • Verbal Analogies
  • Verbal Deduction
  • Word Groups

Numeric Ability

  • Data Interpretation
  • Numerical Computation
  • Numerical Estimation
  • Numerical Reasoning

The subjectwise weightage of marks is given as follows.

CSE (Computer Science)

TopicExpected Weightage in Marks
General Aptitude15
Engineering Mathematics14
Data Structures and Programming10
Computer Organization and Architecture9
Operating System9
Theory of Computation7.5
Computer Networks7.5
Digital Logic5.25
Compiler Design2.75
Soft. Engg/ Web Technology1.5

Mechanical Engineering

Topic Expected Weightage in Marks 
General Aptitude 15 
Manufacturing Engineering 14.25 
Thermodynamics 12.75 
Engineering Maths 12.25 
Theory of Mechanics 
Industrial Engineering 
Strength of materials 7.75 
Fluid Mechanics 7.5 
Heat Transfer 
Machine Design 3.75 
Engineering Mechanics 2.5 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning 1.25 

Electrical Engineering

Topic Expected Weightage in Marks 
General Aptitude 15 
Network Theory 11.75 
Engineering Maths 11.75 
Analog and Digital Electronics 11.25 
Power Systems 9.75 
Control Systems 
Signal and System 8.5 
Electrical machines 8.25 
Power Electronics 7.5 
Electrical and Electronics Measurements 4.5 
EMT 2.75 

Instrumentation Engineering

Topic Expected Weightage in Marks 
General Aptitude 15 
Transducers 12.25 
Analogue circuits 11.75 
Engg Maths 11.75 
Control System 10.75 
Circuits and Networks 10.25 
Signals and Systems 7.75 
Digital Circuits 
Measurements 6.25 
Analytical Biomedical and Optical Instrumentation 4.25 
Communications 1.5 
Process Controls 1.5 

Civil Engineering

TopicExpected Weightage in Marks
General Aptitude15
Engineering Mathematics12.25
Highway and Surveying12
Environment Engg9
Irrigation and Hydrology7.75
FM and Hydraulic machine6.75
RCC and Prestressed concrete6.5
Steel Structures4.25
Structural Analysis3.5

Electronics and Communication Engineering

TopicExpected Weightage in Marks
General Aptitude15
Analog Circuits11.75
Network Theory11.25
Communication Systems10.75
Engineering Maths10.5
Signal and Systems9
Control Systems9
Electronic Devices and Circuits7.25
Digital Circuits6
Micro Processors1.5

Eligibility Criteria

The changes that have been made in the eligibility criteria for GATE 2021 are mentioned below.

  • The updated eligibility criteria of GATE states that the minimum qualification required by candidates has been reduced to a minimum prerequisite of 10+2+3 this year. 
  • The relaxation now enables undergraduate candidates in their third year to apply for the exam.
  • Candidates will be able to choose two subjects/papers from the combinations that have been mentioned. Candidates were previously only eligible to apply for one paper.
  • As there are different papers offered under the aptitude test, it is advised that candidates carefully read the eligibility of the paper they wish to apply for. Candidates who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria will be disqualified from the exam during a subsequent stage.

Kindly note the following requirements.

  • Nationality: Citizens of India, along with foreign nationals from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates, are eligible to appear for the National Level Post Graduate Engineering Entrance Exam.
  • Age Limit: There is no set minimum or maximum limit on age to appear for the exam. 
  • Academic Qualification: Candidates who have passed/appearing for their Bachelor's Degree in Engineering/ Technology/ Arts/ Commerce or Post Graduation in a relevant discipline are considered as eligible applicants
  • Qualifying Marks: There is no minimum required percentage to appear for the exam. 
  • Number of Attempts: There is no specified attempt limit. Any candidate satisfying the eligibility criteria can apply for the test.

Note: : Applicants should check the eligibility criteria as it is specified for GATE only. Eligibility criteria  for M.Tech admissions in IITs is decided respectively by the respective institutes.

The official documents that are required for the GATE Examination are mentioned below:

  • Candidates having a certificate from any professional society must ensure that it is recognised by MHRD or AICTE as equivalent to B.E/B.Tech/B.Arch.
  • If the Qualifying examination was passed in 2019 or before, they have to submit their degree certificate/provisional certificate issued by the institute.
  • Candidates that are in their final year of qualifying for their examinations, a course certificate can be issued by the concerned institute or Department which will have to be uploaded.

Examination Pattern and Marking Scheme

  • GATE 2021 will be conducted only in the online mode, that is, CBT mode.
  • The exam will continue for three hours.
  • All the questions asked in the test will be related to the GATE 2021 syllabus.
  • As per the GATE 2021 exam pattern, there will be three types of questions — Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Select Questions and Numerical Answer Type Questions.
  • In the case of MCQs, candidates will have to select one answer from the four options provided, and in the NAT questions, students will have to enter the correct answer using the virtual keyboard. Students can select more than one option in MSQs.
  • Candidates will be provided a scribble pad for their rough work.
Particulars Details 
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 
Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) 
Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions 
Sections General Aptitude (GA) + Candidate's selected Subject 
Questions for testing these abilities Analysis and Synthesis Application Comprehension Recall 
Marking Scheme All the questions will carry either one or two marks 
Duration 3 hours (180 minutes) 
Distribution of Marks in all the papers namely AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, XH and XL General Aptitude: 15 Marks 
Subjective: 85 Marks 
Total Number of Marks: 100 Marks 
Distribution of Marks in all Papers apart from papers AR, PH, XH CY, EY, GG, MA, and XL General Aptitude: 15 Marks 
Engineering Mathematics: 13 Marks 
Subjective: 72 Marks 
Total Number of Marks: 100 Marks 

Application process for GATE 2021

The admission process has five stages after which candidates would get entry to the institute.

  • Filling up the application form for GATE 2021: Candidates must register themselves for the GATE 2021 online prior to appearing for the test. The online application forms for the exam are made available by the conducting authority in the last week of August or the first week of September.
  • Downloading the admit card for GATE 2021: After registering, candidates need to download the GATE 2021 admit card.
  • Appear for the GATE 2021: Depending on the subject chosen, candidates have to appear for the exam. The GATE 2021 schedule for the exam will be released along with the brochure for the exam.
  • Result declaration for the GATE 2021: IIT Bombay will announce the GATE 2021 result in the month of March. The scorecard will consist of the candidate's marks, normalised score and rank.
  • Participate in the GATE 2021 counselling process: The counselling will be organised for candidates to choose the college and branch of their choice.
  • For exam cities in India 
Category Application Fee (INR) The fee during the extended period (INR) 
Female candidates 750 1250 
SC / ST / PwD 750 1250 
Others 1500 2000 
  • For exam cities in foreign countries 
Category Application Fee (USD) The fee during the extended period (USD) 
In Addis Ababa, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu 50 70 
In Dubai, Singapore 100 20 

Exam Day Guidelines

  • Candidates appearing for the exam must report at the allotted exam centre at least an hour before the reporting time.
  • It is mandatory to carry the GATE admit card and an original photo identity proof to the test centre.
  • Students must not carry with them mobiles, pagers, watches, etc., to the exam hall.
  • The candidates will have to provide their biometric information. The candidate's photograph and fingerprint will be recorded.
  • On occupying their seats, students are requested to check the system allocated and ensure that it is in proper working condition.
  • Examinees must verify their photo, which will appear on the screen on the upper right-hand corner.
  • Candidates will be allowed to login about twenty minutes before the start of the examination.
  • Students must read the instructions that will appear on the screen after logging into the account.
  • Candidates should make sure that the invigilator provides them with a scribble pad for rough work.
  • Students must mention their GATE registration number on the scribble pad.
  • Examinees are advised to go through all the questions asked in the exam and make sure to solve them in the stipulated time.
  • It is recommended to begin your exam by attempting the more straightforward questions first.
  • After answering a question, select the "save" option to save your answer for that specific question.
  • Keep calm while attempting the numerical questions in order to avoid careless mistakes.


Recommended books for GATE preparation

Computer Science (CS) 

Book Author 
Algorithm Cormen 
Architecture Hamacher 
Operating System Galvin 
TOC- Theory of Computation Ullman 

Agriculture Engineering (AG) 

Book Author 
Concept of Agricultural Engineering Mohanty Das 
Farm Machinery by Three Authors Collaboration 
Soil and Water Conservation VVN Murty 

Electrical Engineering (EE) 

Book Author 
Electrical machines Nagrath, Kothari 
Fundamentals of circuits Alexander, Sadiku 
Power Electronics P S Bhimbhra 

Chemical Engineering (CH) 

Book Author 
Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics JM Smith 
Heat Transfer JP Holman 
An Insight into Chemical Engineering M.Subbu 
Essentials of Chemical Reaction Engineering Fogler 

Mechanical Engineering (ME) 

Book Author 
Fluid Mechanics R.K. Bansal Frank M.White 
Heat Transfer Cengel 
Production Engineering Swadesh Singh 
Strength of Materials S.S. Ratan 
Theory of Machine (TOM) R.S Khurmi 
Thermodynamics P.K.Nag 

Civil Engineering (CE) 

Book Author 
Steel Bhavikati 
Soil mechanics and foundation engineering Gopal Ranjan 
RCC Pillai and Menon 
Flow in open channels K Subramanya 
Highway engineering Khanna and Justo 
Fluid mechanics R K Bansal 
Environment 1 and 2 S K Garg 

Production and Industrial Engineering (PI) 

Book Author 
Fluid Mechanics and Machinery Modi and Seth 
Heat Transfer Made Easy Class Notes 
IC engine Mathur Sharma 
Machine Design VB Bhandari 
Material Science Swadesh Singh 
Production S K Mondal Notes Swadesh Sing 
Refrigeration Made Easy Class Notes 
Strength of Material Sadhu Singh 
Theory of Machine SS Ratan 
Thermodynamics P.K Nag 

Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) 

Book Author 
Circuit Theory Chakravarthy 
Electric Circuits Schaum’s Series 
Electronic Devices Circuits Boylested and Neshelsky 
Engg. Circuit Analysis Hayt and Kemmerly 
Graph Theory Narsing Deo (Cutset and Others) 
Microelectronic Circuits Sedra and Smith 
Network Analysis Van Valken Burg 
Network Analysis Soni and Gupta 
Network Theory Prof Yoganarasimhan 
Solutions of Network Analysis GK Publications 


Book Author 
Architecture The Road Ahead, GATE Architecture 
Bio-Technology Lehning M Prescott, Eldon John, Lehninger 
Chemical Engineering Cengel and Boles 
Geology and Geophysics Amresh Singh 
Information Technology GATE 2021 Last Year Papers 
Instrumentation and Control Natesan, Mukherjee and Chakrawarthy 
Marine Engineering RK Rajput, RK Bansal, 
Oil Engineering RK Bansal, RK Rajput 
Paint Technology PK Nag 


Q. Are candidates allowed to change their GATE exam city after the submission of the application?

A. Yes, a change of examination city will be allowed against payment but this is possible only after the passing of the deadline for submission of application. 

Q. Are candidates allowed to change their category after the submission of the application?

A. Yes, the change of category request will be entertained only till the date scheduled.

Q. Are candidates allowed to change their GATE Paper after submission of the application?

A. Yes, requests for the change of GATE Examination Paper are entertained against payment. A date for the same will be notified.

Q. Are examinees allowed to leave the examination hall during the examination?

A. No, candidates are NOT be allowed to leave the examination hall for any reason during the examination.

Q. Are physical calculators allowed during the examination?

A. No, all candidates will be provided with a virtual scientific calculator to answer the questions.

Q. Is a student who has passed BTech in 2020 but has a backlog eligible to appear for GATE 2021?

A. Yes, but such candidates must clear the backlog before the GATE 2021 counseling starts.


Best wishes to all GATE aspirants from the CollegeMarg team!

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