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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 Technology RoorkeeDelhiGuwahatiKanpurKharagpur, and Bombay,Chennai) on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources 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 education programs (e.g. Master of Engineering, Master of Technology, 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 (i.e., government-owned companies) 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.

Financial assistance in post-graduate programs

A valid GATE score is essential for obtaining financial assistance during Master’s programs and direct Doctoral programs in Engineering / Technology / Architecture and Doctoral programs in relevant branches of Science in Institutes supported by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) or other Government agencies. As per the directives of MHRD, the following procedure is to be adopted for admission to the post-graduate programs (Master’s and Doctoral) with MHRD scholarship/assistant-ship: Depending upon the norms adopted by a specific institute or department of the Institute, a candidate may be admitted directly into a course based on his/her performance in GATE only or based on his/her performance in GATE and an admission test / interview conducted by the department to which he/she has applied and/or the candidate’s academic record. If the candidate is to be selected through test/interview for post-graduate programs, the minimum of 70% weight is given to the performance in GATE and the remaining 30% weight can be given to the candidate’s performance in test/interview and/or academic record. The admitting institutes can, however, prescribe a minimum passing percentage of marks in the test/interview. Some colleges/institutes specify GATE qualification as the mandatory requirement even for admission without MHRD scholarship/assistant-ship.

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.

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 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.

There is no age limit criterion defied by the exam conducting authority to appear in GATE. 

At present, GATE is conducted in the following 23 disciplines. A candidate can select any one of these.[2]

GATE Paper Code GATE Paper Code
Aerospace Engineering AE Instrumentation Engineering IN
Agricultural Engineering AG Mathematics MA
Architecture and Planning AR Mechanical Engineering ME
Biotechnology BT Mining Engineering MN
Civil Engineering CE Metallurgical Engineering MT
Chemical Engineering CH Petroleum Engineering PE
Computer Science and Information Technology CS Physics PH
Chemistry CY Production and Industrial Engineering PI
Electronics and Communication Engineering EC Textile Engineering and Fiber Science TF
Electrical Engineering EE Engineering Sciences XE*
Ecology and Evolution EY Life Sciences XL**
Geology and Geophysics GG    

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) A Chemistry (Compulsory) P
Fluid Mechanics B Biochemistry Q
Materials Science C Botany R
Solid Mechanics D Microbiology S
Thermodynamics E Zoology T
Polymer Science and Engineering F Food Technology U
Food Technology G    
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences H    

General aptitude questions

Each subject's test contains 10 questions that test the "general aptitude" (language and analytic skills), apart from the core subject of the discipline.[2]

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 onward, 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 (four answer options out of which the correct one has to be chosen) and numerical answer type questions (answer is a real number, to be entered via an on-screen keypad and computer mouse).[2] 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.