Hard Work Beats Talent
When Talent
Doesn't Work Hard.

                        -Kevin Durant


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How to Prepare for GATE
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What is GATE Exam?

GATE is an online national level examination conducted for Master of Engineering (ME), Masters in Technology (MTech) and direct PhD admissions to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other institutes/universities across India. The exam is jointly conducted by IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee and Indian Institute for Science, Bangalore (IISC Bangalore), on a rotational basis on behalf of the National Coordination Board (NCB - GATE), Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource & Development (MHRD), Government of India. In the last couple of years, GATE exam has been opened to international students from the following countries as well

1. Bangladesh
2. Nepal
3. Sri Lanka
4. Ethiopia
5. United Arab Emirates

GATE exam is conducted by the following institutes on behalf of National Coordination Board-GATE -

1. IISc (Indian Institute of Science)
2. IIT Roorkee, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay


Benefits of solving previous year’s GATE Question Papers 1. By solving previous year question papers of GATE, candidates will be able to get an idea about the nature of questions that will be asked in the exam. 2. Also, by solving previous years GATE question papers, students will be able to establish how much weightage is given to topics and sections. 3. Apart from getting acquainted with the nature of questions and weightage to topics, candidates appearing for the entrance exam can improve on other important attributes relating to the exam such as management of time, ability to solve tricky problems, keen eye for details, speed of solving questions and a lot more.


Question : Where can I download GATE question papers?

Answer : The authorities release the GATE question papers on the official gate website- Candidates can simply download the question papers as a PDF file.

Question : Will I also find answers with the official GATE papers?

Answer : Yes, the authorities will also release GATE answer key with the official papers.

Question : Can I download all the GATE question papers for all subjects?

Answer :  Yes, GATE question papers for all 25 subjects are available on the official website

GATE Marking Scheme

For each of the 25 subjects, the paper covers a total of 65 questions of 100 marks. Each paper is divided into subsections and on the basis of it, marking scheme is defined.

1. From the total of 100 marks, there will be 10 questions of 15 marks covering the entire General Aptitude section (Language and Analytical Skills).

2. General Aptitude - 5 Questions of 2 Marks each and 5 Questions of 1 Marks each.

3. Engineering Mathematics will cover approximately 15% weight out of 100 marks for the paper bearing codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF, and XE.

4. Engineering Mathematics - 5 Questions of 2 Marks each and 5 Questions of 1 Marks each.

5. Remaining 70% weight of total marks is acquired by the subject of the paper.

6. Subject Knowledge - 25 Questions of 2 Marks each and 20 Questions of 1 Marks each.

7. For the paper codes - AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH and XL, the General Aptitude will cover 15% out of 100 marks, and the other 85% of the total question paper will be covered by the subject of the paper.

Negative Marking in GATE Exam Pattern

1. There is no provision of negative marking in NAT questions.

2. MCQs carrying 1 marks each, 1/3 marks would be deducted as a penalty of marking the wrong answer.

3. For questions carrying 2 marks, 2/3 marks would be deducted for marking an incorrect answer.

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
MCQs 1/3 for 1 mark questions 2/3 for 2 marks questions 1 or 2 marks
NATs No negative marking 1 or 2 marks

GATE Exam Pattern - Paper Code Wise Subject Weightage

Paper Code Exam Pattern
CE, CS, EC, AE, AG, BT, CH, ME, MN, MT, EE, IN, TF, XE, PE, ST and PI GA (General Aptitude) – 15% Engineering Mathematics – 15% Subject of the Paper – 70%
AR, CY, GG, EY, XL, PH and MA GA (General Aptitude) – 15% Subject of the Paper – 85%

GATE Exam Pattern - Marking Scheme

Paper Code General Aptitude Marks Subject Marks Total Marks Negative Marking
CS, CY, EC, EE, CE, CH, AR, AE, AG, EY, BT, GG, IN, ME, MA, PH, PI, TF, MN, MT, PE, ST 15 85 100 1/3rd Mark will be deducted for 1 mark question; 2/3rd Mark will be deducted for 2 mark question
XE (Section A + any two sections) 15 15+2*35 100
XL (Section P + any two sections) 15 25+2*30 100

Types of Questions in GATE

Questions in GATE are broadly divided into Objective Type (MCQ) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT). In MCQs, candidates are provided with 4 choices out of which one answer is correct. A candidate has to mark the correct choice by clicking on the radio button against the option.

Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

1. NAT includes questions with a value or a real number as their answer.

2. NAT questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates need to make an answer.

3. The answer has to be entered using the mouse.

4. There won’t be any choices for these questions.

5. Using the keyboard must be avoided as it will lock your answer panel.

6. There will be no negative marking for NAT questions.

Questions Based on General Aptitude 

Apart from questions based on the subjects, the paper will also contain the questions to test the ability of your General Ability like- Language and Analytical Skills. 15% weightage of total marks is devoted to General Aptitude section in all the papers. The distribution of the questions and marks is described below :

=> 5 questions for total 5 marks (1 mark for each question)

=> 5 questions for total 10 marks (2 marks for each question)

Subject Based Questions

Recall : This includes questions based on facts, principles, formulae and laws of discipline. The candidate has to mark an answer either directly from a memory or from one line computation.

Comprehension : These type of questions test the candidate’s basic understanding of the field they belong to. The candidates have to draw simple conclusions from fundamental ideas in these type of questions.

Application : These are the logical reasoning based questions wherein the candidates have to answer according to their knowledge through computation.

Analysis and Synthesis : In these questions, the candidate is presented with data, diagrams, images etc. that require analysis before a question can be answered. A Synthesis question might require the candidate to compare two or more pieces of information. Questions in this category could, for example, involve candidates in recognizing unstated assumptions or separating useful information from irrelevant information.

GATE Important Instructions

1. While appearing for the examination, students must carry valid admit card and original photo identity proof along with them

2. Printed or hand-written material inside the examination hall is strictly prohibited

3. Mobile phones or any other electronic device cannot be used inside the examination hall

4. Candidates will be provided scribble pads by the invigilators for rough work. They are required to write his/ her name and registration number on the pad

5. Any kind of communication forms are also strictly prohibited inside the examination hall

6. Students must report at the examination venue 60 minutes before the commencement of the examination

7. Candidates will be allowed to appear for the examination only after the credentials are verified.

8. Applicants will be permitted to occupy their seats 35 minutes before the start of the examination.

9. Students are not permitted to leave the examination hall before the end of the examination.

Instructions for PwD and Dyslexic Candidates

1. The facility of the scribe is only for the PWD Candidates who have difficulty in writing the paper including that of speed.

2. The scribe will be provided by the examination conducting authorities.

3. The additional/compensatory time will be applicable only to such candidates.

4. Also, dyslexic candidates can avail the facility of the scribe. They need to submit the certificate of dyslexia issued by competent authorities.

5. There will be a magnified question paper for the visually handicapped candidate.

6. Candidate after reaching the exam center can request the invigilator for the same.

GATE Exam Pattern FAQs

Ques. What type of questions will be asked in GATE, subjective or objective?

Ans. GATE will contain two types of questions, multiple-choice questions (MCQ’s) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions. Other than that you have to also prepare for general aptitude questions. In total there will be 65 questions and you will get 3 hours time to complete the exam. There no sectional time limit so you can attempt the questions as per your preference.

Ques. Can I attempt/sit for 2 GATE papers?

Ans. NO. A candidate can only sit for 1 paper. As per your qualifying degree, you can select the paper. The exam is going to conduct for 25 disciplines. This year Biomedical Engineering has been added by the GATE authorities.

Ques. GATE paper will be of how much duration?

Ans. The time duration allotted to candidates for GATE is three hours. There will be no sectional time limit so all the candidates are free to attempt the questions from any section of their choice. Total number of questions will be 65 and total marks will be 100.

Ques. Is GATE an offline exam or online exam?

Ans. GATE is a computer-based i.e. online exam. Since the exam is conducted in online mode and in different slots the normalization process is used while calculating the score. This helps in maintaining the equality.

Ques. Are the Numerical Answer type (NAT) questions subjective type?

Ans. No, the Numerical answer type (NAT) questions are answered by choosing the numerical that make the final answer.

Ques. Where can I do the rough work for NAT questions during the exam?

Ans. Every candidate will be given a supplement for calculations and rough work during a GATE exam.

Ques. How many questions are asked in GATE?

Ans. In one GATE exam paper, there are 65 questions. You will 3 hours time to complete your exam. Also, there will be no sectional time limit.

Ques. Is it compulsory to attempt all questions in GATE?

Ans. Yes, all questions asked in GATE exam are compulsory.

Ques. Will I get any negative marks for answering a question with a wrong answer in GATE?

Ans. Yes, a candidate will get negative marks depending on the type of questions for every wrong answer.

Ques. What are the total marks of a GATE Paper?

Ans. A GATE exam paper is of 100 marks each, consisting of 1 mark, 1.5 mark, and 2-mark questions.

Ques. What is the additional type of questions asked in GATE?

Ans. Apart from the course-based questions, candidates are also asked questions related to Common Data and General Aptitude.

Ques. How many marks are allotted to each question in GATE?

Ans. GATE consists of questions of 1 mark and 2 marks.

Ques. What is the negative marking for a wrong answer for the 1-mark question in GATE?

Ans. A candidate will lose 1/3rd marks for every wrong answer to the 1-mark question in GATE.

Ques. Is the negative marking similar to 1-mark and 2-marks questions in GATE?

Ans. No, the negative markings for 1-mark and 2-marks questions in GATE are not similar. The negative marking for a 1-mark question is 1/3rd mark whereas the negative marking for a 2-marks question is 2/3rd marks.

Ques. What is common in all the 25 GATE Papers?

Ans. Apart from the time duration and other basic similarities, another common feature is Engineering Mathematics questions that are asked in every paper other than the general aptitude section.

Ques. How many marks are allotted to Engineering Mathematics based questions in GATE?

Ans. In every GATE paper, 15% of marks are allotted to Engineering Mathematics questions.

Ques. Which questions in GATE papers are for 2 marks?

Ans. Question number 26 to question number 51 and question number 61 to question number 65 are all 2marks questions.

Ques. What are the 1- marks questions in GATE exam paper pattern?

Ans. The questions between question number 1 to question number 25 and question number 56 to question number 60 are all 1-mark questions.

Ques. Are only MCQ type questions of 1 marks?

Ans. No, there are 1-mark questions of both types, Multiple choice questions as well as Numerical answer type questions.

Ques. 2-marks questions are allotted to what type of questions?

Ans. 2-marks are allotted to some multiple-choice questions as well as some numerical answer type questions.

Ques. Can I use a calculator during the examination?

Ans. Yes, students can use a calculator during GATE exam. But students cannot carry their own calculators. A virtual calculator will be available on their screens to do the calculations.

Ques. Can I use any type of calculator for GATE exam?

Ans. No, candidates cannot carry their own calculators. A virtual calculator will be available on their screens to do the calculations.

Ques. Is there any negative marking for numerical answer type questions?

Ans. No, there is no negative marking for numerical answer type questions asked in GATE.

Ques. Can only Engineering students appear for GATE?

Ans. No, candidates appearing for GATE can be from Engineering, Technology or Architecture background.

Ques. Highest marks are allotted to which section in GATE?

Ans. The technical section holds the highest number of marks i.e. 70% of marks in every GATE paper.

Ques. Engineering Mathematics based questions are asked in all GATE papers?

Ans. No, question papers bearing the code AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, and XL do not consist of Engineering Mathematics questions.

Ques. Are fixed marks allotted to Numeric Answer Type Questions?

Ans. No, there isn’t some fixed marks allotted to Numeric Answer type question, it may vary between 25 to 40 marks.