All about GATE Exam – Paper Pattern, Eligibility Criteria, Fees, GATE Financial Assistantship

GATE exam (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) is a computer-based standardized test conducted at the national level in India with an aim to examine the understanding of various engineering and science undergraduate subjects. Qualifying in the GATE exam is a mandatory requirement for the engineering graduates who are seeking admissions and/or financial assistance to the Postgraduate Programs like Master's and Doctoral with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and other Government Scholarships / Assistantships that are subject to the admission criteria’s of the institutes.

GATE exam results are also used by some of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for their recruitment and by several other universities in India and abroad for admissions. Some of the PSU Companies and research organizations that use the GATE exam results for providing jobs include ONGC, NTPC, GAIL, HPCL, PGCIL, BHEL, BSNL, HPCL, NHPC, BARC, DRDO, and more.

GATE examination is an all India exam that’s administered and conducted in eight zones across the country jointly by the following institutes on behalf of National Coordination Board-GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India.

  • IISc (Indian Institute of Science)
  • Seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at IIT Roorkee, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Bombay

In the last couple of years, GATE exam has been opened to the international students from the following countries as well,

  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Ethiopia
  • United Arab Emirates

GATE exam will be conducted online (Computer Based Test (CBT)) for all the eligible candidates at different designated centers. GATE Aspirants are not allowed to write ONE or TWO subject papers. TWO subject Paper combinations have to be chosen from the given list of combinations of papers by the GATE conducting body. Final allotment of the TWO papers will still be subjected to the availability of infrastructure and GATE exam dates.

From the GATE 2021, Two New Subject papers are introduced by the GATE conducting body,

  • ES (Environmental Science and Engineering)
  • XH (Humanities and Social Sciences) in Economics / English / Linguistics / Philosophy / Psychology / Sociology

GATE exam will be conducted for 27 Subject (GATE papers) and consists of 65 questions that will be entirely objective type (Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Select Questions and Numerical Answer type questions over a 3-hour duration.

(i) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ): Multiple Choice Questions carry 1 or 2 marks each, in all the GATE papers and sections. These questions will be objective, and each question will have the choice of four answers, out of which ONLY ONE choice is correct.

(ii) Multiple Select Questions (MSQ): Multiple Select Questions carry 1 or 2 marks each in all the GATE papers and sections. These questions will be objective, and each question will have the choice of four answers, out of which ONE or MORE than ONE choice(s) are correct.

Note: There is NO negative marking for a wrong answer in Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) type of questions. However, there is NO partial credit of marks given for choosing the partially correct combinations of choices or any single wrong choice.

(iii) Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions: Numerical Answer Type questions carry 1 or 2 marks each in most of the GATE papers and sections. For these type of questions, the answer is a real number that needs to be entered by the candidate with the help of virtual numeric keypad displayed on the monitor. No choices will be shown for Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions. The answer can be a number such as 10 or -10 (an integer only). The answer for these type of questions may also be in decimals, for example, 10.1 (one decimal) or 10.01 (two decimals) or -10.001 (three decimals). These type of questions will always be mentioned with, up to which decimal places, the candidates have to consider the answer. Also, for some NAT type of problems an appropriate range will be considered while evaluating so that the candidates are not unduly penalized for the usual round-off errors. Candidates are advised to do the rounding off at the end of the calculation (not in between steps). Wherever required and possible, it is better to give NAT answer up to a maximum of three decimal places.

Questions Type


Negative Marking

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1 mark


2 marks


Multiple Select Questions (MSQs)

1 mark


2 marks


Numerical Answer Type Questions

1 mark


2 marks



Benefits of GATE Exam (Why GATE?)

GATE score enables the students to gain admission to various prestigious PG programs in IITs and IISc such as -

  • ME (Master of Engineering)
  • Tech (Master of Technology)
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Students also get direct interview calls for prestigious PSU jobs in India whose starting salary is sometimes as high as 14.9L (example, Power Grid).


 GATE score can also be used in the following prestigious programs -

 Admission in reputed foreign universities with good scholarships such as

  • Aachen university (Germany) - best known for mechanical and automobile engineering
  • Technical University of Munich (Germany)
  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technical University (Singapore)
  1. Fellowship programs in IIMs (equivalent to PhD) with stipend ranging from Rs. 35,000 to 40,000 per month along with a one-time grant of Rs. 1,00,000 to 2,00,000 specialization in
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Economics
  • Finance and Control
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operations Management
  • Public Policy and Management
  • Strategic Management
  1. Admission to NITIE, Mumbai - best known for Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Management, Project Management. In 2018, the average salary of graduates from this prestigious institute was 19.2L.

GATE Eligibility Criteria

Before starting the GATE Application Process, all the GATE Aspirants must ensure that they meet the GATE eligibility criteria of the GATE examination.

The following students are eligible to take the GATE exam –

  • Students who have successfully completed their 10+2+2 or 10+3+1 and are currently studying in 3rd year or higher years of any undergraduate degree program (10+2+3 (ongoing) programs).
  • Students who has already completed any government approved degree program in Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Science / Commerce / Arts.
  • Master’s degree students Final Year in any branch of Science / Mathematics / Computer Applications or equivalent.

There is no age limit for the eligible students to appear in the GATE exam.

GATE Exam Syllabus

GATE syllabus is very important for the GATE exam Preparation if you want to score well in the GATE exam. Before starting your GATE preparation, all the candidates must thoroughly go through and have a better understanding of the GATE exam syllabus. GATE Syllabus covers the various topics in engineering and they will help you for GATE preparation as well as your engineering semester exams. Once you know the GATE Syllabus, GATE aspirants will be able to choose the best GATE coaching for GATE exam preparation.

GATE exam questions can be broadly classified as follows -

  • Engineering Mathematics Questions constituting 13-15 marks.
  • General Aptitude Questions constituting 15 marks.
  • Core Questions from Subject constituting 70-72 marks.

General aptitude questions (common for all streams) tests the analytic skills in verbal ability and numerical ability.

GATE Aspirants must check for the Subject-wise and Topic-wise detailed GATE exam syllabus for their GATE Papers and get GATE exam preparation done smartly to crack GATE exam with good GATE Score and Top GATE rank.

Along with the Syllabus of GATE exam, it’s important for the GATE aspirants to know all about the GATE exam pattern and practice the GATE previous year questions for better GATE results.

GATE Papers

IIT Bombay has released the Official GATE 2021 notification, and from GATE 2021, GATE examination will be conducted on the 27 Subjects (Papers). GATE Aspirants are expected to appear in a GATE paper, which is appropriate to the discipline of your qualifying degree by considering the GATE eligibility criteria.

GATE Aspirants must also learn about the Subject Code of their discipline while filling GATE application form and during the GATE examination. After the submission of GATE Application Form, candidates cannot change the paper.

Popular engineering streams on the basis of number of GATE exam takers are as follows -



Mechanical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


Electronics and Communications


Civil Engineering


Computer Science and IT


Instrumentation Engineering



Other important GATE papers with Subject Codes are listed as follow –



Aerospace Engineering


Agricultural Engineering


Architecture and Planning




Chemical Engineering




Ecology and Evolution


Geology and Geophysics




Mining Engineering


Metallurgical Engineering


Petroleum Engineering


Production and Industrial Engineering


Textile Engineering and Fiber Science


Engineering Sciences


Environmental Science and Engineering


Humanities and Social Sciences


Life Sciences



GATE Scores

GATE exam results are usually announced in the 3rd week of March (around 40 days from the GATE exam date).  A gate score is calculated by the GATE exam conducting authorities by using the normalized or the actual marks of the candidates as per the GATE Paper they have appeared for.

The GATE score card consists of the following -

  • GATE Score (on a scale of 1000)
  • GATE Marks (out of 100)
  • Qualifying marks for General, OBC and SC/ST/PwD categories.
  • All India Rank
  • Number of candidates appeared in the GATE paper

With the GATE exam results released, students wonder what GATE rank they can need to attain with the score they will be acquiring. Along with the GATE results, the conducting authorities also release the GATE qualifying cutoff marks. Based on the GATE score obtained by the candidates, they will be provided with a specific GATE rank with the help of which, they will further apply for their admissions in the different IIT / IISc institutes offering M.Tech program or gets you recruited in PSUs offering job through GATE.

Both Marks as well as GATE score is released because,

  • Marks tells the candidates about their performance in his GATE question paper
  • GATE Score is normalized score across the different sets of question papers. For Example, Because of the huge number of students, Mechanical Engineering (ME) is divided into 4 time slots on GATE exam date of students each of which get different sets of questions. Since the GATE Paper difficulty level might vary across the slots, the organizing body releases GATE score which can be used to compare and rank students in different time slots.

Click here to see a sample GATE Score.

For admissions into the top IITs and IISc Universities, the student must have a good GATE score with the GATE rank below 200. GATE Scores are valid for a period of 3 years only from the date of announcement of the GATE exam results.

GATE Exam Application Fee for GATE candidates at examination centers in India:

Candidate Category

Fees On or before  21st September

During the extended period (in Rs)


Female candidates (per paper)

Rs 750

Rs 1,250

SC/ST/PwD category candidates (per paper)

Rs 1500

Rs 1,250

All other candidates (per paper)

Rs 1500

Rs 2000


GATE Exam Application Fee for GATE candidates at international centers:

Examination Centres

On or before 21 Sept.2018 (in US$)

During the extended period (in US$)

Addis Ababa, Colombo, Dhaka, and Kathmandu (per paper)

USD 50


Dubai and Singapore (per paper)

USD 100


GATE Financial Assistance (Scholarship) & Fellowship in M.Tech/PhD

The GATE financial assistantship is provided through the institutions which is supported by the MHRD and other Government agencies. The basic requirement to get the GATE financial assistance in masters and doctorate programs is to qualify the GATE exam. So, a GATE candidate with a valid GATE score can get all the benefits of GATE Financial Scholarship / Assistantship.

To avail the GATE financial assistance, candidates must check the eligibility criteria, and then the students can apply for it and secure admissions to a program in the Institutes. Qualification in GATE is also a minimum requirement to apply for various fellowships awarded by many Government organizations. The eligibility criteria for postgraduate admissions with scholarship/internship could be different for the different institutions. Other than M.Tech admissions and research programs, the candidates can also apply for the PSU Jobs accepting the GATE score for their recruitment process.

This GATE financial assistantship is provided on the semester basis for up to 2 years for M.Tech students, while for the Ph.D. students, it is provided up to a maximum of 5 years. Additional assistantships in the form of scholarships, fellowships, etc. might be available through other organizations, such as CSIR, DAE, etc.

In 2014, UGC and MHRD announced that the scholarship for GATE-qualified master's degree students was increased by 55%, from 8000 to 12400 per month. A monthly stipend of INR 25,000 for up to 2 years is provided to the Ph.D. students.



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