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Table of contents
About GATE
GATE CSE Exam Pattern
Preparation for Exam
GATE CSE Exam Pattern Section Weighting
General Aptitude
Engineering Mathematics
Computer Science Subjects
Types of Questions
Resources for GATE Exam
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the GATE exam used for?
What are the benefits of passing the GATE exam?
How many attempts are there for GATE?
How long is a GATE score valid?
What is the GATE age restriction?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

GATE CSE Exam Pattern

Author Kanak Rana
Leveraging ChatGPT - GenAI as a Microsoft Data Expert
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


IITs and IISC Bangalore administer the highly regarded competitive exam known as GATE(Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering). It can be difficult to pass the exam, and it demands perseverance.


In this blog we will be discussing about the GATE CSE Exam Pattern, preparation for the exam, and the number of subjects covered along with their weightage.

About GATE

Candidates may select one or two papers from the pre-approved combination (A candidate may take the GATE test and appear in one or two papers. A candidate, however, is only allowed to choose the second paper from the predefined "Two Paper Combination" list.) on the GATE exams, and CSE, or Computer Science and Information Technology, is one of these. Candidates who want to ace the GATE exam should follow the suggestions given in this article.

Every year, more than 3 Lakh students take the GATE CSE test. Hence candidates must become familiar with the GATE CSE Syllabus and GATE CSE Exam Pattern. 

Read this complete article to understand how to prepare for the GATE CSE Exam Pattern.

GATE CSE Exam Pattern

Let us take a look at the GATE Exam pattern for the GATE 2023 exam for Computer Science:



Total no. of Questions

Marks Allotted

Computer Science General Aptitude



Core Computer Science Subjects



Engineering Mathematics






Below is more detailed information for GATE CSE Exam Pattern.

Examination Mode Online- CBT(Computer Based Test)
Total Duration 3 hours
Questions Type

(a) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

(b) Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) 

(c) Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Number of Questions 10 (GA-General Aptitude) + 55 (subject) = 65 Questions
Total Marks 100 Marks
Marking 1 or 2 marks per correct answer
Negative Marking

(a) 1/3rd Mark will be deducted for one mark question

(b) 2/3rd Mark will be deducted for two marks question

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Preparation for Exam

Consult the Syllabus and the Exam Schedule: One should consult the most recent GATE curriculum and exam pattern as part of their GATE CSE preparation strategy. One must organize their time and study if they do this. And also managing the study schedule according to grade and topic importance would be helpful. 

Candidates interested in learning more about the GATE CSE exam format can take a look at the Section weightage below.

Preparation for  GATE Exam

Mock Examinations/Question Papers: The best strategy to boost your exam-taking confidence is to practice answering questions or taking mock tests. You can earn higher grades as you become more accustomed to the format of the test questions. You also try to pick up superior time management skills.

Pick the best books for GATE Preparation: Picking the best books for GATE preparation in computer science is crucial. Books provide accurate explanations of the topic and create the groundwork for developing exam question types.

GATE CSE Exam Pattern Section Weighting

The GATE CSE syllabus, which has more than ten sections and covers complex subjects like algorithms, data logic, discrete mathematics, compiler design, and others, requires a lengthy preparation period of more than eight months to be finished successfully. Students can drastically cut down on this time by concentrating only on the subjects that make up most of the GATE Exam. Below is a table listing each of these sections.

General Aptitude

General Aptitude consists of two sections verbal ability and numeric ability, together they consist of 18 marks(10 and 8) respectively.



Average Weightage

Verbal Ability
  • English Grammar
  • Sentence Completion
  • Verbal Analogies
  • Word Groups
  • Instructions
  • Critical Reasoning and Verbal Deduction
Numerical Ability
  • Numerical Computation
  • Numerical Estimation
  • Numerical Reasoning and DATA Interpretation

Engineering Mathematics

 It contains 2 sections, Discrete Mathematics and Engineering Mathematics weightage total of 16 marks.



Average Weightage

Discrete Mathematics
  • Propositional and first-order logic
  • Sets, Relations
  • Partial Orders and lattices
  • Functions
  • Groups
  • Graphs: connectivity,matching, coloring
  • Combinators: counting,recurrence, relations, 
    generating functions


Engineering Mathematics
  • The system of linear equations
  • Determinants
  • Matrices
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors, decomposition
  • Limits
  • Continuity and differentiability
  • Mean, Median, Mode & Standard deviation
  • Maxima and Minima
  • Integration
  • Conditional Probability & Bayes theorem
  • Uniform, Normal, Exponential, Poisson, and 
    Binomial distributions


Computer Science Subjects

This section contains 9 subject names Computer Organization and Architecture, Digital Logic, Database, Programming and Data structure, Algorithms, Computer Networks, Compiler Design, Operating Systems, and Theory of Computation. On total weightage of 69 marks.



Average Weightage

Computer Organization and Architecture
  • Data-path and Control Unit.
  • Memory Hierarchy: cache
  • Secondary Storage
  • I/O interface( Interrupt and DMA)
  • Machine instructions and addressing modes
  • ALU
  • Main Memory
  • Instruction Pipelining
Digital Logic
  • Boolean Algebra
  • Combinational and Sequential circuits
  • Number Representation and Computer arithmetic 
    (fixed & floating point)
  • Minimization
  • ER-Model
  • Relational Model: Relational algebra,tuple,calculus,SQL
  • Integrity constraints, normal forms
  • File organization, indexing (e.g. B and B+ trees)
  • Transactions and concurrency control
Programming and Data Structure
  • Programming C
  • Arrays
  • Stack
  • Queue
  • Boolean Algebra
  • Binary Heaps
  • Graphs
  • Trees
  • Binary Search Tree
  • Recursion
  • Linked List
  • Algorithm design techniques: greedy, dynamic programming, and divide-and-conquer methods
  • Searching, sorting & hashing
  • Asymptotic worst-case time and space complexity
  • Minimum spanning trees
  • Graph search
  • Shortest Paths
Computer Networks
  • TCP/UDP and sockets, congestion control
  • IPv4/IPv6, routers and routing algorithms (distance vector, link state)
  • Concept of Layering
  • LAN technologies (Ethernet)
  • Application layer protocols (DNS,SMTP,POP,FTP,HTTP)
  • Network Security: authentication, basics of the public 
    key cryptography, digital signatures and certificates, firewalls
  • Basics of WiFi
Compiler Design
  • Parsing
  • Lexical Analysis
  • Syntax-directed translation
  • Runtime Environments
  • Intermediate code
Operating Systems
  • Thread
  • Inter-process communication
  • Concurrency and synchronizations
  • CPU Scheduling
  • Memory management and virtual memory
  • Processes
  • Deadlock
  • File systems
Theory of Computation
  • Regular expressions and finite Automata
  • Pumping Lemma
  • Turing Machines
  • Undecidability
  • Regular and context-free languages
  • Context-free grammars and pushdown automata

You can read related articles such as Congestion Control in Computer Networks here.

Types of Questions

The distribution of marks for the topic with the code CS, or Computer Science and Information Technology, is made up of 15% of GA, 13% of Engineering Mathematics, and 72% of the core subject. The GA part consists of ten questions. There will be 55 questions covering the foundational topic of Engineering Mathematics in addition to the ten topics. Each of the first 25 questions will receive one mark, and the first 30 will each receive two. 

The following categories of questions are also included on the test:

  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Multiple Select Questions
  • Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Resources for GATE Exam

Here are some necessary resources that help you to clear the GATE CSE Exam:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GATE exam used for?

For applicants seeking admission to master's programs, postgraduate engineering (ME/M. Tech) programs, or analysis courses at prestigious Indian universities like the IITs, NITs, and IIITs, the GATE exam is a national-level exam. IIT Kharagpur is in charge of organizing the exam this time.

What are the benefits of passing the GATE exam?

For admission to IITs, IISC, IIITs, NITs, and many other prestigious universities, a high GATE score is beneficial.

How many attempts are there for GATE?

The number of times one can take the GATE exam is unrestricted.

How long is a GATE score valid?

The GATE score card is valid for three years after it has been issued. The tests will again be offered the following year for GATE candidates looking to raise their marks.

What is the GATE age restriction?

To take the GATE exam, one must be GATE eligibility 2023 compliant. There is no maximum age for GATE exam 2023 applicants.


This blog has discussed the GATE CSE Exam Pattern and many other things like the preparation strategy, resources, and syllabus.

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