GATE Exam Pattern

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GATE  Exam Pattern

GATE 2021 will be conducted on 24 subjects ( papers ). The list of papers and paper codes for GATE 2021. A candidate is allowed to appear in Only one paper in any One session.

The syllabus for each of the papers is given on GATE website http://gate.iitm.ac.in . Making a choice of the appropriate paper in the GATE application is the responsibility of the candidate. Some guidelines in this respect are suggested below.

Candidates are expected to appear in a paper appropriate to the discipline of their qualifying degree. However, candidates are free to choose any one of the GATE 2021 papers as per their admission or employment plan, while keeping in mind the eligibility criteria for the institutions in which they wish to seek admission / employment. For more details regarding the admission criteria in any particular institute, the candidate is advised to refer to the website of that institute.

Candidates must learn about the paper code of their choice, as this information is essential during making the application, as well as, during the examination. As the candidates are permitted to appear in Only one of the 24 papers of the GATE 2021, they should make their choice ( of the paper ), with due care. After submission of application, any change of paper is not permitted.

If a candidate makes more than one application for the same paper, he / she will be allowed to appear in any one session only. One of the duplicate / triplicate applications will be considered and the remaining applications will be rejected without any refund of application fee.

GATE PaperCodeGATE PaperCode
Aerospace EngineeringAEInstrumentation EngineeringIN
Agricultural EngineeringAGMathematicsMA
Architecture and PlanningARMechanical EngineeringME
BiotechnologyBTMining EngineeringMN
Civil EngineeringCEMetallurgical EngineeringMT
Chemical EngineeringCHPetroleum EngineeringPE
Computer Science and Information TechnologyCSPhysicsPH
ChemistryCYProduction and Industrial EngineeringPI
Electronics and Communication EngineeringECStatisticsST
Electrical EngineeringEETextile Engineering and Fibre ScienceTF
Ecology and EvolutionEYEngineering SciencesXE*
Geology and GeophysicsGGLife SciencesXL**

*XE Paper SectionsCode**XL Paper SectionsCode
Engineering Mathematics
( Compulsory )
AChemistry ( Compulsory )P
Any two optional sectionsAny two optional sections
Fluid MechanicsBBiochemistryQ
Materials ScienceCBotanyR
Solid MechanicsDMicrobiologyS
ThermodynamicsEZoologyT
Polymer Science and EngineeringFFood TechnologyU
Food TechnologyG
Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesH

*XE ( Engineering Sciences ) and **XL ( Life Sciences ) papers are of general nature and will be comprised of Sections listed in the above table.

#CE, CS, EC, EE and ME papers: Examination may be conducted in multiple sessions. However, a candidate is allowed to appear in only one specified session.

Examination Duration

All the papers of the GATE 2021 examination will be for 3 hours duration and they consist of 65 questions for a total of 100 marks. Since the examination is an Online computer based test, at the end of the stipulated time ( 3-hours ), computer will automatically close the screen inhibiting any further action.

Candidates will be permitted to occupy their allotted seats 40 minutes before the scheduled start of the examination. Candidates can login and start reading the instructions 20 minutes before the start of examination. Candidate will not be permitted to enter the examination hall after 09:30 hours in the forenoon session and after 14:30 hours in the afternoon session. Candidates will not be permitted to leave the examination hall before the end of the examination.

Pattern of Questions

GATE 2021 would contain questions of two different types in all the papers :

(i) Multiple Choice Questions ( MCQ ) carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all the papers and sections. These questions are objective in nature, and each will have a choice of four answers, out of which the candidate has to select (mark) the correct answer.

Negative Marking for Wrong Answers : For a wrong answer chosen in a MCQ, there will be negative marking. For 1-mark MCQ, 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer. Likewise, for 2-mark MCQ, 2/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.

(ii) Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions carrying 1 or 2 marks each in all the papers and sections. For these questions, the answer is a signed real number, which needs to be entered by the candidate using the virtual numeric keypad on the monitor ( keyboard of the computer will be disabled ). No choices will be shown for these type of questions. The answer can be a number such as 10 or -10 ( an integer only ). The answer may be in decimals as well, for example, 10.1 ( one decimal ) or 10.01 ( two decimals ) or -10.001 ( three decimals ). These questions will be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates need to present the answer. Also, an appropriate range will be considered while evaluating the numerical answer type questions so that the candidate is not unduly penalized due to the usual round-off errors. Wherever required and possible, it is better to give NAT answer up to a maximum of three decimal places. There is No negative marking for a wrong answer in NAT questions.

Marks

In all the papers, there will be a total of 65 questions carrying 100 marks, out of which 10 questions carrying a total of 15 marks will be on General Aptitude (GA), which is intended to test the Language and Analytical Skills. In the papers bearing the codes AE, AG, BT, CE, CH, CS, EC, EE, IN, ME, MN, MT, PE, PI, TF and XE, the Engineering Mathematics will carry around 15% of the total marks, the General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 70% of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper.

In the papers bearing the codes AR, CY, EY, GG, MA, PH, ST and XL, the General Aptitude section will carry 15% of the total marks and the remaining 85% of the total marks is devoted to the subject of the paper.

Marking Scheme – Marks and Questions Distribution

General Aptitude ( GA ) Questions

In all papers, GA questions carry a total of 15 marks. The GA section includes 5 questions carrying 1-mark each ( sub-total 5 marks ) and 5 questions carrying 2-marks each ( sub-total 10 marks ).

Question Papers other than GG, XE and XL

These papers would contain 25 questions carrying 1-mark each ( sub-total 25 marks ) and 30 questions carrying 2-marks each (sub-total 60 marks) consisting of both the MCQ and NAT Questions.

GG ( Geology and Geophysics ) Paper

Apart from the General Aptitude ( GA ) section, the GG question paper consists of two parts : Part A and Part B. Part A is compulsory for all the candidates. Part B contains two sections : Section 1 ( Geology ) and Section 2 ( Geophysics ). Candidates will have to attempt questions in Part A and questions in either Section 1 or Section 2 of Part B.

Part A consists of 25 questions carrying 1-mark each ( sub-total 25 marks and some of these may be numerical answer type questions ). Either section of Part B ( Section 1 and Section 2 ) consists of 30 questions carrying 2-marks each ( sub-total 60 marks and some of these may be numerical answer type questions ).

XE Paper ( Engineering Sciences )

A candidate appearing in the XE paper has to answer the following :

  • GA – General Aptitude carrying a total of 15 marks.
  • Section A – Engineering Mathematics ( Compulsory ) : This section contains 11 questions carrying a total of 15 marks: 7 questions carrying 1-mark each ( sub-total 7 marks ), and 4 questions carrying 2-marks each ( sub-total 8 marks ). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.
  • Any two of XE Sections B to H : The choice of two sections from B to H can be made during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be answered at a time. A candidate wishing to change midway of the examination to another optional section must first choose to deselect one of the previously chosen optional sections ( B to H ). Each of the optional sections of the XE paper ( Sections B through H ) contains 22 questions carrying a total of 35 marks : 9 questions carrying 1-mark each ( sub-total 9 marks ) and 13 questions carrying 2-marks each ( sub-total 26 marks ). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.

XL Paper ( Life Sciences )

A candidate appearing in the XL paper has to answer the following :

  • GA – General Aptitude carrying a total of 15 marks.
  • Section P – Chemistry ( Compulsory ) : This section contains 15 questions carrying a total of 25 marks : 5 questions carrying 1-mark each (sub-total 5 marks) and 10 questions carrying 2-marks each ( sub-total 20 marks ). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.
  • Any two of XL Sections Q to U : The choice of two sections from Q to U can be made during the examination after viewing the questions. Only two optional sections can be answered at a time. A candidate wishing to change midway of the examination to another optional section must first choose to deselect one of the previously chosen optional sections ( Q to U ). Each of the optional sections of the XL paper ( Sections Q through U ) contains 20 questions carrying a total of 30 marks: 10 questions carrying 1-mark each ( sub-total 10 marks ) and 10 questions carrying 2-marks each ( sub-total 20 marks ). Some questions may be of numerical answer type.