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Table of contents
About GATE
Purpose of GATE
Eligibility Criteria
Paper Pattern
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Introduction to GATE

Author Pakhi Garg
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If you are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree in science or technology, you should be aware of the GATE exam. This article will briefly discuss GATE.

So, are you ready?

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About GATE

GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. It is an annual entrance exam conducted every year in February for admission to several postgraduate science and technology programs in India. On behalf of the National Coordination Board (NCB)-GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), and Government of India, the Indian Institute of Science, and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) jointly conduct and supervise the test.

The seven IITs responsible for smooth conduction of the GATE exam are IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT Madras, and IIT Guwahati.

Some important points about GATE are-

  • The GATE exam is conducted to get admission in science and technology stream postgraduate courses.
  • The GATE score is used to measure recruitment by the Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs).
  • After appearing for GATE, the candidate is eligible for the award of Junior Research Fellowship in CSIR Laboratories and CSIR sponsored projects.
  • It is a screening test that helps identify talented and potential engineers.
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Purpose of GATE

  • The primary purpose of the GATE exam is to assess students' knowledge and understanding of engineering and science subjects at the undergraduate level.
  • Every year lakhs of students passing out from their colleges and universities give the GATE exam to measure their knowledge and caliber.

Eligibility Criteria

There is no age limit for the candidates to appear for the GATE exam. However, regarding education, there are some eligibility criteria which are as follows:

  • The candidate should either be graduated or in the final year of graduation of engineering courses B.Tech/ B.E./ B.Arch, etc.
  • A recognized college or institution should be used to complete the degree.
  • Suppose the candidate holds a Master’s Degree in any branch of Science/ Mathematics/ Computer Applications/ Statistics or is in the final year of these courses. In that case, they can appear for the exam.
  • The candidates qualified by professional societies by UPSC/ AICTE can also appear for the exam.  

Paper Pattern

  • The GATE exam is a three-hour-long test.
  • The exam will be an Online Computer Based Test (CBT).
  • The paper consists of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and Numerical questions.
  • The MCQs contain 33% negative marking for wrong answers.
  • In numerical questions, there is no negative marking for incorrect responses. 


The subjects in which the GATE exam is conducted are-


Source: CareerIndia

The syllabus for the GATE exam includes

The below table shows the approximate marks distribution of the subjects in the GATE exam.



General Aptitude

15 marks

Engineering Mathematics

10 to 13 marks

Technical B.Tech subjects

72 to 75 marks


The candidate who gives the GATE exam receives a GATE score and rank. This GATE score and rank are valid for three years. 

This GATE score and rank are essential since

  • Colleges and universities use the GATE score and rank as criteria for admission in their postgraduate courses.
  • If someone wants a job in a PSU with a good package, they must have a good GATE score and rank.
  • BEHL, BARC, IOCL, NTPC, HPCL, Power Grid, NHPC, and other PSUs employ the GATE score and rank as a recruitment criterion.

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  1. What is GATE all about?
    Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is an acronym for GATE. It is an annual entrance exam for admission to numerous postgraduate scientific and technology programs in India, held in February.
  2. Is there any age limit for the candidate to appear in the GATE exam?
    There is as such no age limit for the candidates to appear for the GATE exam.
  3. What is the time duration of the GATE exam?
    The GATE exam is a three-hour-long online computer-based test (CBT). The paper consists of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and Numerical questions.
  4. Is there a negative marking in GATE?
    The MCQs in GATE feature 33% negative marking for incorrect responses. However, there is no negative marking for wrong answers in numerical questions.
  5. Which technical subjects are essential for GATE?
    The technical subjects important for GATE are- Algorithms, Compiler Design, Computer Networks, Computer Organization, and Architecture, Database Management Systems (DBMS), Digital Logic, Operating Systems, Programming and Data Structures, Software Engineering, and Theory of Computation.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we learned about the GATE exam. We thoroughly discussed the purpose, eligibility criteria, paper pattern, subjects, syllabus, and GATE result.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding GATE. If you want to know more, check out our article on Stack GATE QuestionsBinary Trees GATE QuestionsLinked List GATE QuestionsArray GATE Questions, and Queue GATE Questions

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